How Does a Ceiling Fan Speed Control Work?

If you’re worried about the summer heat, you know that you need a ceiling fan. It’s one of those multi-functional devices that can keep you cool and if you buy a ceiling fan with lighting, can also ensure that your surrounding is well lit.

While you can regulate it accordingly during the summers and winters, did you ever wonder how it all worked?

For instance, during the summertime, you would like your fan to rotate in the counterclockwise direction so that it will distribute that nice cool air through the house and create a soothing breeze.

Again, for the winters you would want it to operate in the clockwise direction because that will enforce the air to move-up and thus, all the hot air across the ceiling will be automatically forced down.

How Does the Ceiling Fan Speed Control Work?

The ceiling fan speed control requires some complex wiring for successful operation. The fan control allows it to rotate at various speeds and the working of the speed control largely depends on the type of technology used. It is integral to having proper wiring set up by a professional so as to be able to operate it without any hassle.

Many people think that it is okay to use a regular dimmer for fan speed control, but substantially it is not advised to do so.

The problem is that if you don’t get enough electricity, the fan won’t turn properly and will most probably get overheated- thus, resulting in a conflagration.

So, what you should ideally look for, in order to control the speed of your fan is a switch that is specifically designed for fan speed control.

The Two Types of Speed Controls

Coming to the type of speed controls – ideally, it is of two types i.e. wall control and unit control. The unit control usually has a prearranged setting of the usual ‘high, medium, low, and off’. So this way you can easily have the desired speed by operating the switch with the utmost ease.

  • Note Before Buying: This fan and light switch combo needs 5 essential wires: neutral, fan load, light load, line, and ground wires for seamless replacement. Ensure your home wiring has 2 separate wires for the fan and light on the old switch, and includes a neutral wire (homes built before 1978 may lack this). No Hub or canopy module is needed, and it is FCC certified. For the fan switch only, search for ASIN: B08P5D3ZKW.
  • Compatibility: This smart ceiling fan light switch is not compatible with fans equipped with built-in remote control/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi systems, DC motor fans, exhaust fans, or smart bulbs. Supports a maximum ceiling fan load of 1.5A with 4 fan speed controls, and a maximum light load of 150W for dimmable LED/CFL or 300W for incandescent bulbs. The smart switch operates exclusively on 2.4G Wi-Fi (not 5G) and is designed for single-pole (not 3-way) use. Not compatible with multiple dimmers on a circuit.
  • Smart Brightness and Fan Speed Control: Adjust fan speed and dim your lights from anywhere using the Smart Life App or Treatlife App. This 2-in-1 smart fan and light switch combo provide 4 fan speeds with smooth, flicker-free brightness dimming (10%-100%) for increased comfort. Gentle On & Off Lighting for comfortable visual effect.
  • Time Schedule: Create schedules to turn the light and fan on/off at specific times with preset brightness/speed or set the light to turn on and off randomly when you're on vacation to trick potential intruders. Smarter for Christmas decoration.
  • Hands-free Voice Control: Works with Alexa and Google Assistant to conveniently control the light and fan with a simple voice command, perfect for dark rooms or when your hands are full. Say goodbye to reaching for the pull chains.
  • 【Universal remote kit for 3-wire fans】Adds remote function to most of ceiling fan. It is a kit including remote and receiver. Compatible with Hunter and any other brand of 3-wire AC fan, but not DC fan. If the fan has more than 3 wires, contact an electrician.
  • 【Compact Size, Easy to install】Due to the small size receiver, it can be easily and fastly installed into any fan. Wall mount and wire nuts included. Please check the receiver size and fan canopy room firstly before order to ensure there is enough space to install it.
  • 【RF remote, Multi-function】Control fan and light individually. Let the fan has 3 levels speed (Hi-Med-Low-off) and 4 timing off function (1 hour to 4 hours). Lights turned on and off, but not dimmable. The buzzer can be muted by remote.
  • 【Excellent operating experience】Compare to others, using this kit, the lights turn on instantly without delay, the fan speeds changed quickly, and the control distance is far away.
  • 【Certified remote】Comply with UL1917 standard, CERTIFIED TO CSA STD. C22.2, FCC ID: 2AWK7-YUKIHALU, 1 year warranty, 30 days full-refund.

The Dimmer Switch

It comes in the wall control category and allows you to control the speed of the fan by switching between high and low beams. The modern dimmer switches might be saving more energy, but there is a high probability of such a switch to be on the fritz.


The capacitors also play a vital role in its functionality as after receiving all the power from the source, it supplies the motor with a pertinent amount of energy which resultantly allows the user to set the fan speed at any desired level between off to the maximum.

The working of a fan’s speed control also depends on the fact whether your fan has a capacitor or a solid-state control. If it comprises of the solid-state control, then it will control the motor in such a way that it won’t make any kind of buzzing noises, which is otherwise generated by the motor’s windings. Additionally, it also has the necessary variable speed control setting.

Changing the Settings

It is also possible to have a setting where the switch of the light and the fan is different. Ceiling fans give a versatile look to your room as you can have the desired kind of lighting and additionally, it also saves a good amount of energy. Because of its numerous advantages, everyone should have at least one ceiling fan in their house.

However, while choosing one, you should ensure that the quality of the motor is promising as there are several motors that are not constructed properly and if such a motor is installed then, unfortunately, the fan will create humming noises.

Also, keep an eye on the blade size of the fan that you are purchasing because it should preferably suit the size of the room where you will be fixing it.

How Do You Get the Best Experience?

For controlling the fan with utmost convenience, you can also buy a handheld remote to change the fan speed, and turn the light on and off from the comfort of your bed. Some remotes also have the ability to change the blade direction which makes your life a lot easier.

It also makes your room 7-10 degrees cooler and thus helps you save on your air conditioner bill! So, go ahead and make an informed purchase to save money and also to add a decorative centerpiece in your room.

Recommended Handheld Remote Control for Ceiling Fan