Say Goodbye To Pull-Chains: 6 Ways To Add Smart Control To Your Old Ceiling Fan

To me, the idea of having to manually reach up and pull the pull-chain on a ceiling fan is as awful as having to manually lift up your garage door. So, if you’re like me and you’re addicted to everything smart home, you probably have a need to add smart control to any ceiling fans in your home.

Unfortunately, its not always practical to just toss out your old fans and replace them with brand new smart fans.

Fortunately, there’s several available low-cost options to retrofit your old ceiling fan with a brand new smart fan control.

TREATLIFE Smart Ceiling Fan Control and Dimmer
Best for Fan and Light Combo

TREATLIFE Smart Ceiling Fan Control and Dimmer

A low-cost WiFi controller that can adjust fan speed and dim the lights.

Bond Bridge
Best for DC motors

Bond Bridge

Control multiple fans with one device.

Lutron Caseta Smart Fan Speed Control
Most reliable

Lutron Caseta Smart Fan Speed Control

Premium price but excellent speed control and reliability

Leviton Decora Smart Fan Speed Controller
Most Attractive

Leviton Decora Smart Fan Speed Controller

WiFi fan speed controller with sleek Decora look.

Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Fan Control
Best for Z-Wave

Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Fan Control

Reliable fan speed control with Z-Wave Plus connectivity.

Smart WiFi Fan Switch Ceiling Fan and Light
Low Cost

Smart WiFi Fan Switch Ceiling Fan and Light

Cheap WiFi controller for fan and light

How to Choose the Correct Ceiling Fan Controller

The smart ceiling fan controllers that work best for you will depend on the answers to the following questions:

1. Does your ceiling fan have a remote?

If YES, I recommend the Bond Bridge. Bond requires zero wiring and works with multiple fans.

If NO, continue to question 2.

2. Do you have an AC or DC ceiling fan motor?

If you have a DC fan motor, the only option on this list that might work is the Bond Bridge (to work with Bond, your ceiling fan must have a remote).

If you have an AC fan motor, continue to question 3.

3. Can you currently control both the light and fan from the wall switch(es)?

If YES, you can use any of the controllers on this list. I recommend the following:

Treatlife for a low-cost, WiFi, single gang solution.

Lutron for an extremely reliable, but more expensive option.

If NO, continue to question 4.

4. Do you want smart control for both fan and light?

If YES, then you’ll need to install a module in the fan canopy. I recommend the following:

Aubric WiFi Fan Switch for lowest cost and simple setup.

Bond Bridge + Remote kit if you have multiple fans.

If NO, I’ll assume you have a fan without a light fixture so all you need is a smart fan controller. I recommend the following:

Leviton for low cost and no additional hub.

Lutron for an extremely reliable, but more expensive option.

Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus smart fan speed control if you already have a Z-Wave hub.

Aubric WiFi Fan Switch if you don’t currently have a wall switch.

WARNING: DON’T try to use a dimmer switch as a fan speed control.

A smart dimmer switch should not be used as a fan speed control. I know intuitively it seems like it would work, but it’s not a good idea.

A typical ceiling fan motor is an AC induction motor. For a dimmer switch to effectively slow down that type of motor, it requires a variable frequency drive (VFD) or a TRIAC.

If you try using a light dimmer switch on your fan, you will most likely hear a loud humming sound on low speeds. Even worse, the ceiling fan motor could be damaged.

Best Ceiling Fan Controllers

INSTALLATION TIP FOR FAN CONTROLLERS: Set your fan to its highest speed before you disconnect your existing switch. That way, there’s no question that the fan is set to its top speed when you turn the power back on and test your smart fan speed controller.

TreatLife Ceiling Fan & Light Dimmer Switch

Best for Fan and Light Combo
TREATLIFE Smart Ceiling Fan Control and Dimmer
  • Compatibility: Not suitable for fans with built-in remote control, exhaust fans, or smart bulbs. Supports max 1.5A ceiling fan load with 4-speed controls, 150W dimmable LED/CFL or 300W incandescent bulbs. Only for 2.4G Wi-Fi and single-pole setups, not compatible with 5G or 3-way switches, and cannot be used with multiple dimmers.
  • Installation: Requires neutral wire and separate load wires for fan and light. Check home wiring compatibility before purchase. No hub or canopy module required. FCC certified.
  • Smart Control: Manage fan speed and light dimming (10%-100%) remotely via Smart Life or Treatlife Apps. Offers smooth, flicker-free brightness adjustment.
  • Scheduling Features: Set times for automatic light and fan operation, including preset brightness/speed. Useful for vacation security with random on/off settings. Ideal for Christmas decoration scheduling.
  • Voice Control: Hands-free operation with Alexa and Google Assistant for easy voice commands, eliminating the need for pull chains.

There is a lot to like about this TreatLife Ceiling Fan & Light Dimmer Switch. If you’re looking for a low cost, easy to install, all-in-one fan/light control, this is hard to beat.

It uses WiFi, so there’s no additional hub. It squeezes both a fan speed control and a light dimmer switch into a single gang. Plus, it’s one of the lowest priced options on this list.

To control both fan and light, you will need load wires for both the light and fan in the switch box.

Because it’s both a fan control and light dimmer, the switch is pretty big. Therefore, if you plan on installing it in a box that’s already stuffed with wires, be prepared for a struggle.

Bond Bridge

Best for DC motors
Bond Bridge
  • Device Compatibility: Connects with RF-controlled ceiling fans, allowing integration into smart home systems. Compatible with major brands and most remote-controlled devices, including fans, shades, and some fireplaces.
  • Smart Home Integration: Seamlessly integrates with popular smart home platforms like Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings for easy voice and app control.
  • App Control: Offers remote control of connected devices through the Bond Home App, available for iOS and Android. Enables turning devices on/off, adjusting speed, and customizing settings from anywhere.
  • Easy Setup: Quick and simple setup process. Connects to Wi-Fi and pairs with RF devices without needing professional installation.
  • Range and Connectivity: Boasts a strong signal with a range of up to 2,500 square feet, ensuring reliable control throughout the home. Requires 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network.

The Bond Bridge is a great solution if you have a ceiling fan with a remote. It becomes an even better solution if you have multiple ceiling fans with a remote.

The Bond Bridge can record the signals that your remote control sends. Once the signal is recorded, it remembers and plays it back whenever you (or your smart home) command it to. The ceiling fan then responds to Bond exactly as it would respond to your remote control.

Bond can record and play back any function that your remote can control. Usually that includes light dimming and fan speed.

Once your ceiling fan is connected to Bond, it’s easy to setup voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Bond can be placed pretty much anywhere in your home. The RF signal used by most ceiling fans easily goes through standard walls and has a range of roughly 40 feet. It also needs to be within WiFi range of your home router.

Bond is fairly expensive if you only plan on using it with one ceiling fan. But, a single Bond Bridge can be used to control up to 30 devices so the “price per device” can be much lower.

Also, its mostly being marketed as a ceiling fan controller, but its not limited to only ceiling fans. It can control any device that uses an RF signal (learn more).

The best part about using a WiFi ceiling fan control like Bond is that there is no wiring. So, if the idea of digging into your wall switches with a screwdriver makes you a little nervous, this may be a great option for you.

Can I Still Use Bond If My Ceiling Fan Doesn’t Have A Remote?

No, but if your old ceiling fan is not set up for remote control, you can buy a universal remote control kit made specifically for ceiling fans. The kits come with a receiver unit that installs inside the housing of your fan and a remote.

To install a remote control kit, you’ll need to open the fan housing and do some wiring. But, once the kit is installed, you’ll be all set to use Bond.

What’s the Best Ceiling Fan Remote Kit?

There are multiple kits available on Amazon from many different brands, and just about any will work.

I found this remote unit from Westinghouse. It’s one of the more expensive kits, but instead of a typical remote control, the remote unit is wired into the wall and replaces an existing switch. Therefore, you won’t ever have to worry about replacing the remote batteries and you won’t ever lose the remote. Plus, it eliminates the problem of someone turning the existing switch off and cutting all power to the fan (which means no smart control until power is restored).

Whichever one you choose, check the dimensions of the receiver and make sure it will fit inside your fan’s housing.

Lutron Caséta Smart Fan Speed Control

Most reliable
Lutron Caseta Smart Fan Speed Control
  • Pull Chain Elimination: Allows control of ceiling fans from the wall with 4 fan speeds plus an off option, enhancing comfort.
  • Wireless Control: Compatible with the Fan Pico remote (PJ2-3BRL-GXX-F01, sold separately) for remote control from anywhere in your home.
  • Broad Compatibility: Connects with numerous smart home devices, including Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Google Assistant, Ring, Serena shades, and Sonos (Caseta Smart Hub required).
  • Multiple Control Options: Control ceiling fans through the app, voice commands, or directly from the wall. Schedule fan speeds or activate scenes (smart hub required).
  • Easy 3-Way Setup: Enables 3-way control by mounting Fan Pico on any wall surface without needing to cut holes or pull wire (Pico wallmount bracket PICO-WBX-ADAPT sold separately).
  • Technical Specifications: Supports up to 1.5A for a single ceiling fan in single pole setups. Add Fan Pico for 3-way control.
  • Simple Installation: Can replace an existing switch in as little as 15 minutes. A neutral wire is required.

Another great option for a fan controller is the Lutron Caseta Smart Fan Speed Control. Lutron is very high quality and reliable equipment. It also offers the ability to easily integrate 3-way switching by using a Lutron Pico remote.

However, Lutron is a little more expensive. It runs on it’s own wireless protocol so it requires the Lutron bridge. Plus, if you want to control a fan and light, you’ll need to buy both a fan speed control and a light dimmer.

Because of the extra cost of the hub, it doesn’t make much sense to go with Lutron if all you want to automate is a single ceiling fan. However, if you also want a super reliable solution for automating other light switches and even shades, then it’s hard to go wrong with Lutron (see my review). If you want to get started with Lutron switches, I recommend buying a starter pack.

Leviton Fan Speed Controller

Most Attractive
Leviton Decora Smart Fan Speed Controller
  • Quiet Fan Speed Control: Offers control via the My Leviton app or voice commands with 4 fan speeds (low/medium/high/max) and on/off functionality. Compatible with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks. Requires a neutral wire.
  • Easy Setup: Features include scheduling based on time or sunrise/sunset, adjustable min/max speed settings, preset default speeds, and auto-shutoff countdown timer. Remote control is available via the app.
  • Compatibility: Suitable for pull chain overhead ceiling fans without electronic control. Ceiling fan light kits can be controlled separately using optional D26HD or DN6HD with MLWSB.
  • Integration with Smart Home Systems: Works with My Leviton, Amazon Alexa, Hey Google, Apple HomeKit/Siri, IFTTT, SmartThings, and Schlage.
  • Wire-Free 3-Way Support: Compatible with optional Anywhere Dimmer Companion (DAWDC), Anywhere Switch Companion (DAWSC), and also works with DD0SR and DD0SR wired companions for flexible installation.

The Leviton fan speed controller offers a clean look from a trusted brand. It uses WiFi which makes for a simple, “hub free” setup. Plus, the companion dimmer option allows for easy 3-way switching.

If you also want to control a light, you’ll want the separate Leviton smart dimmer.

The Leviton WiFi switches are a good all around option for entry level to intermediate home automation.

Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus smart fan speed control

Best for Z-Wave
Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Fan Control
  • Switch Upgrade: Allows easy replacement of any standard in-wall switch for remote control of ceiling fans, including adjusting to high, medium, and low speed levels.
  • Control Multiple Fans: Capable of wirelessly controlling and scheduling up to two identical ceiling fans from the same in-wall device.
  • Dedicated Fan Control: Specifically designed for operating fan speeds only. Not usable with lighting. Separate Enbrighten Z-Wave smart switch or dimmer needed for lights on fans with 3 wires (red, black, & white).
  • Range Extender: Acts as a Z-Wave signal repeater from your hub or other Z-Wave devices, extending the range by up to 150ft and enhancing home automation coverage.
  • Changeable Paddles: Includes white and light almond paddles to match existing switches. Other colors of easily changeable paddles are also available.

The Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus smart fan speed control is a fan speed controller that is installed at the wall switch. It operates using Z-Wave wireless, so it will require a Z-Wave hub. It only controls fan speed, so you’ll want a Z-Wave dimmer or switch if you want to control lighting. Also, the Enbrighten switches are easily adapted to 3-way switching with the Enbrighten Add-on Switch.

Aubric Smart WiFi Fan Switch

Low Cost
Smart WiFi Fan Switch Ceiling Fan and Light
  • Universal Remote for Ceiling Fan with Light: Adds smart control to any ceiling fan, enabling Wi-Fi connectivity and remote control. Allows fan speed adjustment and light on/off control via a smartphone or the included RF remote (batteries not included). Ensure sufficient space in the fan canopy for the 4.5 x 2 x 1 inch receiver.
  • Voice Control with Smart Assistants: Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice commands through the Smart Life app, providing hands-free control.
  • Wide Compatibility: Works with various ceiling fan lights, including brands like Hunter, Harbor Breeze, Westinghouse, and Honeywell. Supports light on/off (no dimming) and fan speed setting (low/medium/high).
  • Easy Installation: Can be installed over existing pull chain switch or wall switch ceiling fans. Ensure the light and fan are set to maximum speed with the original switch before using this Wi-Fi controller. Check receiver dimensions for canopy space compatibility.
  • Multi-User and Scheduling Features: Enables setting up multiple users and creating schedules to automatically turn on/off the ceiling fan light at designated times.

This Aubric WiFi Fan Switch consists of a WiFi controller that installs in the fan canopy and comes with a remote for manual control. The WiFi controller connects to your smart home via the Smart Life app and allows you to control fan speed and light on/off (no dimming).

If you happen to have a fan without any wall switches (pull chain control only), this is the perfect low-cost option to eliminate the need for those pull chains.

There are several brands selling these controllers which use basically the exact same hardware. I prefer to stick to a brand with lots of good reviews. That way, if you get a faulty unit (which will happen from time to time), you can be reasonably sure they’ll make it right without too much hassle.

Final Thoughts

If your fan already has a remote, the Bond Bridge is best for someone that wants an easy install and reliable basic automation. It offers a quick and tool-less setup (No wiring!), voice control, and IFTTT compatibility. It’s perfect for the person that wants to do a little home automation, but doesn’t want to get too deep into any programming. Plus, the price per fan is quite low if you’re using it with multiple fans.

64 thoughts on “Say Goodbye To Pull-Chains: 6 Ways To Add Smart Control To Your Old Ceiling Fan”

  1. My fan and lights are powered by the same lightswitch and I don’t have remotes for them…do you think I could install something similar to the GE fan switch and use smart bulbs to control the lights with Alexa?

    1. I don’t think so. The power to both fan and lights is controlled by the switch. If you installed the fan controller in place of the switch, you would be able to have smart control of the fan. However, every time you turn off the fan, there would be no power to the light.

      1. Travis A Johnson

        Correct me if I’m wrong:
        In theory I believe you can hook the blue wire (if your fan has it) straight to the hot/black wire coming from the breaker which would make the light sockets or pull chain switch of your fan always “hot”. Then you could use smart bulbs and retain the single switch for fan speed.

  2. Yes, smart bulbs would be ideal for your situation. The fire risk I think you are referring to is only if you use a dimmer a switch on the fan power circuit. So you are also correct in that you would definitely not want to replace the wall switch with a dimmer switch.

  3. Hi,

    How did you manage GE Switches with Ceiling Fan with Remote? Do we need to bypass the remote and wire the fan so that we can use both the switches(Light and Fan) and replace them with GE switches? Thank you.

    By the way, good article.

  4. Sheik Sajith

    Hi – i have a fan + led light combo which does not have a wall switch – it is directly hard wired and controlled only through a remote. The remote stopped working and i tried couple of other universal remotes but could not fix it. Is there a way to use on of these smart switch options. I also have Alexa enabled devices. Pls suggest

  5. I want my new ceiling fan to operate off two wall switches (already in place), one for fan, one for light. The problem is the new fan comes with the “smart box”, activated by remote, and only has one set of power inputs. (1 hot, 1 neutral). I left the smart box out, and hot wired directly into the fan and light hot legs. Wall switches now work perfectly except I have no speed control on fan. Any suggestions? I don’t want a remote or phone operation. Looking for “old school” set up.

  6. I been using the Lutron IR Maestro’s:

    Combined with SwitchBot Hub Plus, Smart IR Remote
    It’s similar to the BOND (IR Blaster), but also acts as a bridge for it’s own push button switches as well a couple of which I was already using (I made my coffee maker smart).

    The configuration does require a bit of savvy with IFTTT and Webhooks though.

  7. Hello, I have purchased and Emswell 52 in. LED Mediterranean Bronze Ceiling Fan with Light Kit Works with Bond and Alexa for the voice command abilities. Can I also install Westinghouse Lighting Westinghouse 7787500 Wireless Ceiling Fan and Light Wall Control for wall control access without complicating the wifi/voice command setup? I fear I will confuse the Smart Ceiling Fan with the Wall control setup?

  8. Robert in Austin

    I have 3 ceiling fans in a large room. There are 3 switches on the wall. One for another set of recessed lights, one for the 3 fans and 1 for the three fan lights. All I want to do is turn the fans on or off remotely. I dont care about speeds or reverse or anything. I just want the one switch to be on or off. What do you suggest.. I want to be able to control it from when i’m in bed.

  9. Can you think of any options for a DC ceiling fan? I have a Craftmade CQ52 with a Craftmade ME-MODULE-ICS receiver and an ICS-WALL controller. All fan and light control is from the internal receiver, but I would replace the receiver if there is an option for integrating it into my Insteon system.

  10. I have 25 year old Honeywell fans with lights installed in two rooms in my house. There is nothing wrong with the fans or fixtures cosmetically…they still look great and fit the decor. The problem is the wall switches….they don’t work anymore. The original Honeywell switch is no longer available. I had one electrician tell me I have to buy new fans…that the switches cannot be replaced with anything else. Is that true? Isn’t there a universal switch that can be used with a Honeywell fan? Can you recommend a replacement switch that has separate controls for the fan and the light that will be compatible with these fans? Thank you!

  11. Hi, I have a hunter ceiling fan that the speed control switch is bad.
    can I some how bypass the switch and make into a remote control fan? Also what remote do I get?

  12. Is there any switch that works with Alexa that doesn’t require a bridge? Lutron makes a nice switch but also needs a bridge. So the switch cost $60 and the bridge cost $80. $140 to be able to say “Alexa, turn off the fan” seems a bit steep.

    There’s no other option like Wemo that doesn’t require a bridge?

    1. I agree, the Lutron option probably only makes sense if you plan to continue adding Lutron switches to your smart home. Here is a potential low-cost option: It is an all-in-one remote control and wifi module. It seems pretty popular, but its pretty new and I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. It looks like it uses the same hardware as many of the other remote kits. If it is the same, the one annoyance is that the module beeps every time the fan speed or light on/off is changed.

  13. I have the wink enable ceiling fan/light module and remote. Everything works great though wink, but Alexa only recognizes the device as a light, so I only have voice control of the light settings. Do you know of a work around to get Alexa to control the fan, other than Bond?

  14. Hey Eric, nice article! I hope you can help me. I have 4 pull chain 3-speed ceiling fans with lights in the house, 3 with simple power on/off wall switches and one with no wall switch. An inelegant solution for the switched fans is to just replace the wall switch with a non-dimming controllable switch, use smart bulbs, and leave the fan switched to the medium speed. <— phoey! Perhaps I’m a bit dense, but l am having no luck in finding a clear how-to on converting an old 3 speed 2 pull chain ceiling fan/light to a wireless/Alexa control. Then there is the one ceiling fan that has no wall switching, only the two pull chains. Can you point me to a (some) product(s) and ideally a you tube, that would help this old disabled fellah who has an increasing need for remote/voice control? Thanks!

  15. I will try to make this question clear and simple. Can I change out my fan light bulbs for smart bulbs? I have a remote controlled Hunter fan with light kit. The fan is hard wired through an ‘always on’ on-off switch. I want to be able to continue to turn on the fan with the remote but control the hue and intensity of the lights with Alexa.

    1. You should be able to install smart bulbs. However if you do, and you turn off the bulbs with your remote, that will cut the power to the bulbs. Then, they will not respond via voice commands until you turn their power back on with the remote.

  16. Hi Eric, hoping you have suggestions for us as we are an Apple Homekit family. Tried purchasing the Hue light system to find that our fan only fits A15 sized bulbs. For some bizarre reason our light switch on the wall does not have any connection to the ceiling fan! You have to pull the chain every time to operate the light or fan. We thought smart bulbs would be the easy way out and now we are thinking not so much. Any suggestions?

  17. Hi. Bond Is a good option but have a trowback. Bond do not Sync light status. Then, if you turn light with remote you Will have to Sync status with its app manually.

  18. my room has a switch for the light and another for the fan. I want smart iOS switches and also the ease of Bluetooth control for both the lights (w/dimmer) and fan control but I also want ONE remote that controls both the lights and fan. So far I can only find a switch/remote for the fan. Does anyone make a single remote that controls both lights and fan? It would be ideal to control at the switch, smart via phone or Alexa, and a single remote. Suggestions?

  19. I dont use the fan part of my ceiling fan. Just the 3 way lights. Can i use smart bulbs in those if i dont use the fan at all? also, can i use dimming bulbs if i dont use fan?

  20. I’ve got a ceiling fan which has one remote to operate the fan and lights. The switch must always be open.

    I put in a smart switch with dimmer but just realized it will only operate the light. The fan operates with a loud buzz as you warned and only if the light is on.

    Best solution?

  21. I do appreciate your article as it is clear you have expertise that even BOND tech support lacks. I now have to ask for assistance with Bond and its fan capabilities. I have had several electricians over to my house and none of them have the answers. I want to continue with the BOND installation but only if I can figure this out.

    Of the twelve fans in my house I have two Harbor Breeze fans and one of them does NOT have a remote. The electrical setup in each room in my house is as follows:

    Two dial type controls on the wall on the same wall plate. One turns the light on and also acts as a light dimmer. The other control is a dial that controls fan on/off and fan speed. Every room in my house is wired this way with the same separate knob for light and a separate knob for fan speed. Some fans have remotes and some do not. Some fans work well with the light dimmer and others not so well and flicker when trying to dim.

    My goal has been to put all fans on BOND. I realize that those fans that currently do not have remotes I will need to upgrade to ones with remotes. Correct? However, how do I handle the setup of the fans with remotes that also have two wall controls allocated to them. How do I insure that the wall control setup also accommodates BOND and does not create any conflicts. Bond tech support suggested I simply “ignore wall switches.” I am not sure hot to interpret that?



    Nice article, thanks. In ref, to the GE Z-Wave Plus smart fan speed control. I have a “dumb” fan, up lights, down lights and the fan. On the fixture you can turn the up/down lights on independently and control fan speed, on the wall you have 2 switches 1 controls the lights (all on/off only) and a 2nd switch for Fan on/off only. I hate the idea of using a hub but do not think I have any other options so if I were to install the GE switch it will not work unless I also install some sort of RF receiver in the fan correct? Not concerned about light control or which ones come on/off for this question, I think I have that part figured out. Thanks!

  23. Slight correction regarding Insteon: you don’t need a hub to control it at all. One of the best features is that their controllers can control devices without a hub.
    You can install an Insteon 6 button switch to control all the features from the wall socket, or get an Insteon wireless controller to control the fan (or any other Insteon product).
    The hub is only necessary to control from your phone or other home automation systems.

  24. Great article with your discussion of so many options.
    Do you know of a solution for my bathroom vent/light problem?
    There’s only a 2-conductor wire coming to the wall switch. On-off for both the light and fan. A simple on-off wall switch is ok for the light for me, but I want the vent fan controlled separately and with timer options. I have a SmartThings hub. Any suggestions? Looking at the Aeotec Nano switch as a remote relay installed in the fan box, with a wireless smart wall switch of some sort. Don’t want to dig into the walls. Thanks.

  25. Hunter no longer supports simpleconnect. If your phone is over a certain os then it stops working. They now have a new simpleconnect 2 out that is WiFi and works with everything like Google home and alexa.

  26. I use the Sonoff iFan03 for fan control, it has both wifi and rf capability, with an optional remote control. It works pretty well with Amazon Echo devices, using the eWeLink app. It has some connectivity issues occasionally, but the control works very well. If you want smart lights in the fan, you can hard wire the lights to on position, and use some automation such as IFTTT to control the smart lights on-off and use your smart home hub (Echo etc) to control brightness and color. Lots of smart switches now come with automation, so you can hard wire the light to “on” and automate the bulb wherever it is. I particularly like the Wifi+RF models because you can pair the switch (1-2-3-4 gang models) to both wifi and RF433 switches and they work together very well. RF control is on-off toggle only on most, but some offer a variety of switch modes (momentary on, toggle etc). With hard wired devices it helps to think “out of the box” and rely more on the automation available.

  27. I have a double switch wall plate for my fan. One switch controls the light, the other controls the fan (off/on only–speed is still controlled by the pull down chain). Will the smart switches work and also control the pull down chain? And what kind of plate do I use since these switches all seem to be singles?

    1. Get one smart switch for the light. It could be an on/off or a dimmer.

      Then for the fan, you can get:
      a) on/off smart switch – In this case you will only be able to turn the fan on/off using the switch. You will still control the speed with the pull chain.
      b) smart fan speed controller – With this, you can control on/off and speed using the switch.

  28. Most multi speed fans use taps on the motor winding or more commonly have capacitors in series with the motor for other than top speed. For example, 4ufd for low, 2ufd for medium and direct wired for high. To use an outboard speed controller, the fan is left on high and the capacitors are in the remote, whether hard wired with the capacitors at the wall switch or wireless, where the capcitors and reciever are mounted next to the fan and controlled by a remote transmitter that is through the air or over the AC line. Sometimes you even gain an extra intermediate speed with an intermediate value capacitor. I have seen continuously variable industrial speed controllers that do not buzz. I guess they are pulse width modulation. Triacs work fine with universal motors that are often found on power tools.

  29. I have three basic ceiling fans w/o lights wired to one wall switch. Is there a smart wall switch that will just control the on/off duties and be able to handle the high power requirements? Insteon high power switch did not work nor did their fan controller.

    1. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks pretty decent. I usually prefer Z-Wave/Zigbee devices since that’s what most of my stuff is, but I think I’ll give this one a try.

      1. Thanks Eric! I have it and installed it. works well to control the light and fan separately in one switch. I did have a a question this one is the same as the lutron one, it has 4 speeds for the fan. I know the fan has only high medium and low settings how does this work?


  30. I’m trying to get a way to control a Casablanca fan (Holliston mod # c31u97z) that uses a wall control W-84, fcc Id H2WCASA9T. So far I couldn’t find a device that works. Is possible that you could have an idea of a device that could learn the frequencies to be compatible? Bond home isn’t working.

  31. I have a ceiling fan with light. One simple wall switch powers both fan and light. 2-pull chains for control; 1 to turn the lights on/off and the other for fan on/speed.

    What would you recommend to provide wifi control over the fan and light; ideally controllable by android phone?


  32. Great article for most of the options for smart control of fans where only a 2-wire supply is available.
    I kept searching to find a compatible wall switch with built in Smart Control – eventually found this product from Inovelli
    It is Z-Wave however and won’t communicate directly with Alexa; but you can use with a Smart Hub such as Smart things and use Alexa via that.
    Looks like a great device! Not inexpensive, but certainly a nice compact solution. I have not yet purchased but on paper looks just what I searching for.
    For my Fan that does have separate load feeds for fan and light at the wall switch, I went with the TreatLife Ceiling Fan and Light Dimmer Switch which was an easy Alexa integration without requiring a Hub.

  33. Bond works but it has no clue if you want the light on or off, when used w smart home it simply toggles , so if your smart routine turns all the lights off and the bond light was already off now the bond light is on .. argh

    Looking for a decent truly smart fan that doesnt use bond and doesn’t cost $2k

  34. Greg Taylor, P.E.

    1. Installed Leviton D215S-1BW switch (Decora Smart Wi-Fi (2nd Gen) 15A Switch) for ceiling fan and light (fan and light on same switch) in a bedroom and it quit working after 2 weeks. The green Status Light (indicating on) still illuminates but the fan and light don’t come on.

    2. Replaced it with another D215S-1BW, and it also quit working after a week or so.

    3. Replaced it with a “dumb” switch (SPST 15A 120V) and fan and light work.

    4. Problem is, I’ve had a D215S-1BW in an adjacent bedroom with the exact same fan installed for over a year and it works. The only difference is that this bedroom has separate switches for the fan and light.

    5. The only reason I can fathom for the switch failing is that I may not have had the fan pull-chain set on high speed, and the inrush current was too high for the switch contacts.

    6. Since the Leviton D215S-1BW is motor-rated for 3/4HP, so I can’t imagine the inrush current required for starting at a lower speed presenting a problem.

    7. Could it be the voltage drop is higher in this bedroom? Or is it because, unlike the other bedroom, this circuit has incandescent lights on it (Leviton D215S-1BW is rated for 600W incandescent), which I can’t imagine how this resistive load would cause the switch to stop working?

    1. I’m with you in that I don’t see any reason why the load would cause a failure. Given the detail of your post, I assume you already tried a factory reset. But if you haven’t, I would try that by holding the top rocker for 14 seconds. Beyond that, I don’t know. I suppose it’s possible you got two bad units?

  35. Please help-I have a ceiling fan/light controlled by two separate switches (one for light and one for fan on/off, speed controlled by pull chain). I originally wanted to replace the switches with smart switches to control the fan on/off and light on/off. But now, after having tried several options on this list (and others), I am willing to have only the light controlled via smart switch. I cannot seem to find a smart switch that can work with the wiring set up. Even when only replacing the light switch, the smart switch will not work and I lose function of the fan. I do not understand, but am clearly missing something. Assistance is appreciated!

  36. Are there ANY fans with a thermostat remote – automatically control on/off/speed?
    I have a couple fans with Westinghouse controllers – but they appear to be discontinued.

    The fan automatically kicks in at a set temperature, then increases speed as the temperature rises.
    More importantly, the fans slows down and shuts off as the temperature decreases.

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