How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with Light - Best Home Gear (2023)

Are you looking for “How to Wire a Ceiling fan” instructions and wiring diagrams? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Wiring a ceiling fan with light is a DIY job that anyone comfortable doing routine electrical work can do.

Once you understand the ceiling fan wiring colors, and even if you’ve never attempted to wire a ceiling fan, the steps are straightforward and accessible to even the most casual DIY handy person.

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan and Light

Step 1: Turn Off the Power at the Breaker

Before you can start wiring your new ceiling fan, you’ll need to turn off the power to its circuit by flipping the correct breaker in your home’s electrical panel. Even if the breaker switches are clearly labeled, it’s also a good idea to use a non-contact voltage tester to confirm that the power is off before proceeding, as it’s always possible that the breakers are mislabeled.

Remove any possibility of electrical shock. The voltage tester should be applied to the black wire inside your fan’s electrical box, as this is usually the hot wire from the power supply.

Step 2: Identify Wires

The wires inside of a ceiling fan are relatively simple, but you have to know what each one is to connect them correctly. Typically, you’ll see black, white, blue, and green wires inside a ceiling fan.

While you should read the instructions on your new fan carefully to be sure, the convention is that the black wire is a power supply for the fan, the blue wire is a power supply for the light, the white wire is neutral, and the green wire is a ground.

In addition to the wires on the fan itself, you’ll need to identify the wires in your ceiling box. You should find one black wire and one white wire in the box, as well as a bare copper ground wire. As with the wires in the fan itself, the black wire is hot, and the white wire is neutral.

Although this usually won’t apply, there will be a slight difference if you have independent switches for the fan and the light rather than running both from the same switch. If you have a double-switching setup, you should find an additional red wire in your ceiling box.

If you’re wiring a ceiling fan with light with one switch, though, this additional wire won’t be needed.

Step 3: Connect the Wires

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with Light - Best Home Gear (1)

The wiring diagram above is for “Typical” wiring (The light is Switched & a pull chain powers the Fan)

(Video) How to Install a Ceiling Fan on a Prewired Ceiling Fan Outlet : Ceiling Fans

Once you have found and identified all of the wires on your fan and in your electrical box, you can work on connecting them. For this, you’ll need three twist-on wire connectors.

The first connector will join the black power supply wire from the electrical box to the black and blue wires from the fan.

The second one will connect the two white neutral wires, while the third will join the ground wires. Make sure to get a firm connection at each joint by twisting the wires together before finishing the connection with twist-on wire nuts.

Also, strip enough insulation off each wire to give yourself plenty of room to make solid contact. You can always cut off any extra exposed wire before you put the connector on if necessary.

It should be noted that the instructions above are for the simplest and most common method of wiring a ceiling fan. This method involves a single-power switch that will supply power to the fan motor and the light, which have independent pull switches on the fixture.

If however, you are planning to wire the fan motor and light independently or are using a fan fixture that does not include pull switches, you may need to look up a ceiling fan wiring diagram that is specific to the way you’re approaching the project.

If You plan to provide power to the Fan & Light and Switch simultaneously (not using the pull chain for the fan separately), refer to this diagram:

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with Light - Best Home Gear (2)

Finally: If you plan to wire your ceiling fan and light so they BOTH operate from pull chains – refer to this diagram:

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with Light - Best Home Gear (3)

(Video) Unique Ceiling Fan, Super Quiet and Super Bright LED Light w/ 3 Color Temperatures & Remote Control

Of course, with the above method, your ceiling fan must have two “exposed” chains for operating the fan and the light kit separately.

Step 4: Install Ceiling Fan With Light Kit

Follow the Manufacturer’s instructions to install a light kit onto the ceiling fan, and secure the ceiling fan assembly to the ceiling mount bracket. If you have questions, what ceiling fan bracket should I use? Please see our How To Install ceiling bracket content below.

Step 5: Test Ceiling Fan & light Operation

Once the connections are made, you can turn the power back on and test the fan to ensure everything is working. If you’ve done your job correctly, the fan and the light should come on when you turn the wall switch (or portable remote) to the on position.

If they don’t, remember that your fan has pull-cord chain switches that internally control the fan motor and the light.

Try pulling each of these chain switches independently – with the main wall switch turned on, before doing anything else. If the ceiling fan isn’t working, turn the power back off and re-examine your connections to be sure they are making good contact.

How to “Install” a Ceiling Fan

In addition to knowing how to “Wire” a ceiling fan, you’ll also need to know how to “Install” a new Ceiling Fan correctly.

While the process will vary a little depending on the fan you buy, the basics of ceiling fan installation are relatively simple.

If you’re installing a ceiling fan where there wasn’t one before, the first step will be to install a new electrical box and a fan brace, which is a metal bracket that runs between ceiling joists and supports the weight of the fan.

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with Light - Best Home Gear (4)

If you’re replacing an old ceiling fan, these steps should already be taken care of and in place.

(Video) Ceiling Fan Wiring – Step by Step with Easy Diagram

With the necessary infrastructure in place, your next step will be to attach the mounting bracket that comes with your fan. This bracket will mount to the ceiling and provide a stable point to install the fan assembly.

From here, you can assemble the fan and attach it to the mounting bracket after selecting the correct “down rod length” *

At this point, the fan assembly is ready to be wired up. To ease the installation process, you can leave the fan blades off and attach them after the wiring is completed. Keeping the fan blades uninstalled until the fan assembly is ceiling-mounted will leave you much more room to work while making all your initial connections.

Here’s a viral article from us for anyone needing to do a bit of DIY toilet repair

How To Install Ceiling Fan Video:

Quick Tips For Installing a Ceiling Fan:

1) Down rods for Sloped Ceilings:

If you have a “sloped ceiling,” you will need to make sure that you use the correct “down-rod” length to avoid having fan blades hit the ceiling when in motion. Most kits come with optional length down rods; 6”, 12”, etc. make sure you select the correct length for your installation

2) Ceiling Height:

Most manufacturers recommend a minimum clearance of 7 ft. between the bottom of ceiling fan blades and the floor. With a 12” ceiling fan fixture (typical) you would need a minimum ceiling height of 8 ft.

3) Wall Clearance

Distance from outside walls to the Outer edge of fan blades should be a minimum of 24”.

(Video) How to Install a Ceiling Fan | Lighting and Ceiling Fans | The Home Depot

Note: About Your Personal Safety:

Before you grab your toolbox and set out to wire a ceiling fan, be sure to take proper safety precautions. This type of electrical work isn’t overly complicated, but any electrical work can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Always be sure to work with the power turned off and to proceed with care and caution at each stage of an electrical project. If you aren’t sure you know how to proceed or aren’t comfortable doing the work safely, it would be a good idea to hire a professional electrician to do this job instead.

Also, be sure to check the type of wiring in your home. These instructions are offered for installing switches using standard Copper wiring.

Some homes, however, do use aluminum wiring instead. If your house has aluminum wires, it’s generally best to hire a professional to do your electrical work.


Ceiling Fans, with or without a light kit, are typically one of the easiest DIY electrical projects for homeowners. You should be good to go as long as you use good common sense, pay attention to the safety precautions, and possess sufficient skills to wire the electrical connections!

Looking for a Great leaf blower and String Trimmer Combo? Check out the Top 5 Best Combo Kits Here!

Thanks again for visiting BestHomeGear.Com, and good luck with your Ceiling Fan Project!

References & Additional Resources



What color wires go together for a ceiling fan? ›

Black wire is for the fan. Blue wire is for the lamp if one is included with the fan. White wire is neutral. Green wire is for the ground.

Does the red wire go to black or white? ›

Basic Wire Color-Coding

A black or red-hot wire usually connects to a brass-colored screw terminal or black wire lead on electrical devices. A white neutral wire usually connects to a silver-colored terminal or white wire lead.

Is red black or yellow wire for ceiling fan? ›

Black wires are hot wires that run to the electrical outlet from the switch. Red wires are hot wires common in a 240-volt outlet or when a wall switch controls the outlet. Blue and yellow wires are hot wires for ceiling fans and three- or four-way switches.

What does the red wire mean when installing a ceiling fan? ›

A red wire up in the ceiling fan junction box usually indicates that the wiring has been installed which provides separate switch for the light and a separate switch for the fan motor. If your ceiling fan does not have a light fixture, then simply cap off the red wire and attach the fan motor to the black wire.

When hooking up a ceiling fan where does the red wire go? ›

Samuel, the red wire from the ceiling fan fixture box is typically connected to the blue wire of the ceiling fan which is for the light fixture of the ceiling fan. Typically the red wire is controlled by a separate wall switch.

Where does the blue black and white wire go on a ceiling fan? ›

Look at the wires coming from your ceiling fan. The black wire from the ceiling fan is the hot wire that runs the motor and turns the fan blades. The white wire is neutral and completes the fan circuit. The blue wire is the hot wire for the ceiling fan light fixture.

Why won t my ceiling fan turn on with wall switch? ›

If the switch fails to operate the fan, try pulling the fan chains first. If the fan still fails to operate and you have the switch in the “On” position, there could be a faulty connection somewhere between the circuit breaker, the wall switch and the fan.

How do you wire a ceiling fan with a switch to a receptacle? ›

Connect the two white wires together in the switch box. Connect two of the black pigtail wires to the black wire coming from the receptacle. Make a four-way splice between the two bare wires in the box and two bare pigtail wires. Make loops in the free ends of all the wires with the long-nose pliers.

Can you wire a fan and light on the same switch? ›

You'll have more control over your ceiling fan and lights if they are switched separately. But if you are determined to control them on one switch, even though you would not be able to control the fan or its speed separately, you can do so.

Can you put a ceiling fan with light on a dimmer switch? ›

Dimmer switches on ceiling fans are not safe. Dimmer switches regulate voltage in the circuit. Fan controllers regulate amperage in the circuit. Because of this, dimmer switches cannot be used on the ceiling fan without having a variety of issues from short circuitry to fire.

What happens if you put a ceiling fan on a dimmer switch? ›

Standard dimmer switches should never be used to control the fan motor on a ceiling fan because the dimmer could damage the fan motor, or overheat and start a fire.

Can a dimmer switch control just the light on a ceiling fan? ›

Standard Dimmer Switches Are Not Compatible

Regular dimmer switches should not be used to control a ceiling fan motor. They are not compatible because the fan motor requires the current to be regulated and a normal dimmer switch only controls the voltage.

What color wires go together? ›

US AC power circuit wiring color codes

The protective ground is green or green with yellow stripe. The neutral is white, the hot (live or active) single phase wires are black , and red in the case of a second active. Three-phase lines are red, black, and blue.

What is the color code for the wire? ›

They are as follows: Red – Red cables carry the positive current. Black – Black cables will be the negative cable. Grey or White – Grey or white cables are the ground wires.

What is the difference between the black wire and the white wire? ›

Here's a rundown of electrical wires: The black wire is the "hot" wire, it carries the electricity from the breaker panel into the switch or light source. The white wire is the "neutral" wire, it takes any unused electricity and current and sends it back to the breaker panel.

Can I leave the red wire unconnected? ›

It can be used to allow separate control of the light and fan on a ceiling fan, if the other end is found and properly connected. If it was unused and you don't need it, just cap it off with a wirenut and leave it alone.

Where does black wire go on ceiling fan? ›

Wiring a ceiling fan with four wires is the most common, however, an additional color wire may be incldued. Here is what each wire color represents: Household: The black wire is the hot wire that leads to the switch.

Can I connect red and black wires together? ›

These cables are commonly used for interconnection between switch wiring as well as hard-wired smoke detectors in power systems. You can link two red wires together, or you can link a red wire to a black wire. Since red wires conduct current, they are considered hot.

Is the red wire in a ceiling fan always hot? ›

Typically, black is switched at the wall for the light; Red is always hot for the fan so it can be controlled from the ceiling fan itself. If you open up the box with the switch in it, you'll probably find that the red going to the fan is nutted to the black before the switch.

What do I do with the red wire when installing a light? ›

How to Connect the Red Wire for a Ceiling Light Fixture. The red wire is most likely a spare wire that was intended to be used when wiring for a ceiling fan. Typically when a ceiling fan is installed the red wire is most commonly used for the light and the black is commonly for the fan motor.

Does the red and blue wire go together on a ceiling fan? ›

Typically when there is a red wire at the ceiling fan box it is connected to the blue light fixture wire of the ceiling fan. If there is a Black and Red wire then this usually means there are two separate wall switches, one for each function.

What does the blue wire connect with? ›

Blue = Neutral

The neutral wire colour is blue. The neutral wire transfers electricity away from the appliance to avoid overloading. It is located at the end of the circuit for connection after the electricity has flowed around the live and earth wires.

Where does the blue wire go on a ceiling light? ›

If you do have a fixture using international standards, the good news is that the matching is very easy. Brown is your hot wire so you want to connect that to your building's black wire. The blue is negative or return, so that will go to white. Green with yellow stripe is the ground and will go to the building green.

Where does the blue wire go on a light? ›

Blue wires are used as travelers, usually on three- or four-way switches (controlling a light from multiple locations) or as switch legs for things such as fans or lights. Yellow wires are almost always used as switch legs for outlets, fans, or lights.

Why wont my wired ceiling fan turn on? ›

This could be because the circuit breaker has tripped or is off. Check your panel to confirm this. If the circuit breaker works fine, it could be a problem with loose wiring and connections. Your ceiling fan could also stop working due to internal defects namely shot ball bearings or an overheated motor.

Why does my ceiling fan not work but the light does? ›

If your ceiling fan lights are working but the fan itself isn't, the most likely issue is that the fuse has blown. Ceiling fans have a built-in fuse that helps to protect the motor from power surges. Over time, this fuse can become damaged and need to be replaced.

How do you fix a ceiling fan that won t spin but light works? ›

If your ceiling fan stopped working but the light still works, check for a humming sound. This could be indicative of a blown motor capacitor, which is often caused by overheating. While inspecting the motor housing, look for a small black box connected to the pull cord.

Can any ceiling fan be connected to a wall switch? ›

You can wire a new ceiling fan with a remote to a wall switch or retrofit an older fan to accept an aftermarket remote kit.

Can you wire ceiling fan with two switches? ›

Switching the Light and Fan from Separate Switches (Two Switches) This is the most versatile way to electrically wire a ceiling fan with a light kit. It allows for separate control over both the fan and the light in the room.

What type of wire do I need to run from light switch to ceiling fan? ›

The main obstacle to installing an adjustable switch is the electrical run: Standard lighting or fans require 12-2 wire, and adjustable switches require 12-3 wire (14-gauge wire can also be used).

Can you wire a ceiling fan wrong? ›

If you connect the ground wire improperly, you are going to trip a breaker, blow a fuse or possibly destroy the fan. Other wires depend on whether you have separate switch's for light fixture and fan.

When wiring a light switch does it matter which wire goes where? ›

What color wire goes where on a light switch? Because the switch terminals are interchangeable, it doesn't matter which wire you put on each.

Can you wire a ceiling fan to an existing light? ›

There's really no problem in replacing an existing light fixture with a ceiling fan in terms of the electrical needs. But what you really have to be careful of is to make sure the electrical box that the light fixture is attached to will support the extra weight of the ceiling fan.

Why should the power be turned off when hooking up a dimmer? ›

Turning power off is the most important step and should never be skipped. Not only does it protect you from injury, but it also protects the dimmer switch from potential damage. After turning the breaker off, tape over it with a piece of electrical tape to ensure that no one will turn it on while you're working.

What is the difference between light dimmer and fan dimmer? ›

Correspondingly, the functioning of fan regulators is very similar to that of light dimmers. Like the latter, fan regulators modify voltage before it reaches the appliance—in this case, the fan. The only difference is that of the appliance itself.

Why does my ceiling fan motor smell like its burning? ›

The burning smell means something has overheated. The fan motor and other parts need to cool down before you investigate any further. You should also avoid breathing in more of the fumes of whatever plastic or paint might be burning up. Turn off the fan and walk away for several minutes.

What kind of dimmer do I need for a ceiling fan? ›

What Kind Of Dimmer Switch Do I Need For A Ceiling Fan? The kind of dimmer you need to control a ceiling fan is called a multi-speed fan control switch or a dual fan control/dimmer if the fan has a light. A multi-speed fan control comes in different speeds.

Why does my dimmer switch hum my fan? ›

One of the most common reasons for this humming noise is when a dimmer control is used to control fan speed. These dimmer switches were never intended to be used with ceiling fans and as such can cause the fans to make these noises. dimmer controls should ideally be replaced with standard speed controls.

What controls ceiling fan speed? ›

Regulators, as the name suggests, regulate or control the speed of the fan motor. They have been around since the 1950s, and there are a few types of them. These are the box type regulators, found in many old building and homes.

Why is there a switch on the ceiling fan? ›

Nearly all ceiling fans have a switch located on the side of the fan base that lets you change the direction of the fan blades. Why? Setting the direction of your fan blades will help you control the temperature in your home, so you can save on both cooling and heating costs.

Do you need a light switch for ceiling fan? ›

There's no problem installing the fan without a switch. In many cases folks replace a switched ceiling light fixture with a fan, so the fan uses the switch that used to control the light.

What is the color code for wires? ›

They are as follows: Red – Red cables carry the positive current. Black – Black cables will be the negative cable. Grey or White – Grey or white cables are the ground wires.

What color is a 3 wire fan? ›

3 pin and 4 pin Fan Wire Diagrams
Pin NameColor

What color code is hot wire? ›

Hot wire is identified by its black casing. This is the main color of hot wire for most homes. However, other hot wires can red, blue, or yellow, although these colors can indicate a different function besides powering an outlet.

Which is the positive wire black or white? ›

The positive wire, also commonly called the hot wire, will typically be black in color. It is the source of the electricity. The electrical current travels from the outlet or other power source on the positive wire, so if it is plugged in anywhere, it should be considered a live (and dangerous) wire.

Is black wire blue or brown? ›

The live Red becomes Brown. The Neutral Black becomes Blue.

When installing a ceiling fan What is the red wire? ›

The red wire is the ungrounded (hot) conductor from one switch, while the black wire is the ungrounded (hot) conductor from the other switch. In the original installation one switch would energize the red wire causing the fan to come on, while the other would energize the black turning on the light.

Where does red wire connect on ceiling fan? ›

Samuel, the red wire from the ceiling fan fixture box is typically connected to the blue wire of the ceiling fan which is for the light fixture of the ceiling fan. Typically the red wire is controlled by a separate wall switch.

Where do you connect red and black wire? ›

Their uses are:
  • Red: The red wire signifies the phase in the circuit and is the live wire and cannot be connected to another red or black wire. ...
  • Black: Black wires are neutral wires and the wire is connected to a neutral bus bar inside the electrical panel.

Can I just cap the red wire? ›

If there are two red and/or two black, connect both of the same color to the outlet and connect both of the other color together with a wire nut. If there is only one red and/or black you can cap the one not used with a wire nut.

What is the color code for three wire? ›

The protective ground is green or green with yellow stripe. The neutral is white, the hot (live or active) single phase wires are black , and red in the case of a second active.

What is the 3rd wire for in a fan? ›

In a 3-wire fan, first two wires are the power supply wires of the fan. The third wire, comes directly from the output of the built-in 'Hall Sensor' chip generates output pulses during the fan rotation. With the help of this third wire, a monitoring circuit can 'see' the rotation.

What color wires go to a 3 speed ceiling fan switch? ›

black: common. blue: 3µF, 350V. red: 3.5µF, 200V. yellow: 6µF, 200V.


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