Changing Ceiling Fan Light Switch

wall mounted switch with fan and light controls
  • 2-4 hours
  • Advanced
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Hand pliers
What You'll Need
Hand pliers

A ceiling fan is a practical fixture that allows air circulation and energy conservation, along with lighting any room. But the light switch may stop working over time, and a homeowner will be faced with the task of changing it. Follow these steps to change the light switch of your fan to make it functional again.

Step 1 - Turn the Power Off

Before you begin replacing the light switch, make sure you turn the main power off. You will have to turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse controlling the power to the room.

Step 2 - Dismantle the Bulbs

Locate and mark the pull chain with a piece of tape to avoid confusing it with the ceiling fan control switch when the light fixture is removed. Remove the light bulbs and shades by loosening the screws located at each shade's base by hand.

Step 3 - Remove the Ballast Cover

The part of the light fixture that has the light bulbs attached to it is known as the ballast cover and should be unscrewed and lowered carefully. Avoid pulling the cover off with too much force since it will still be attached to the ceiling fan by wires.

Step 4 - Remove the Light Fixture

Disconnect the light fixture from the fan using the plastic wire harness that connects all the wires of the light fixture to the wires in the ceiling fan. Press down on the release lever to enable the wire harness to come apart, and place it on a table.

Locate the light switch inside the light fixture, avoiding the fan switch you had marked with a piece of tape earlier.

Step 5 - Replace the Old Switch

Unscrew the cap located on the ballast cover by hand and remove the ceiling fan light switch you want to change. Observe the colors of the wires going into the ceiling fan light switch, and make sure they match the colors of the wires coming out of your new light switch.

Unscrew the wire nuts connecting each pair of wires from the old light switch to disconnect them.

Connect the wires of your new switch to the ceiling fan light fixture, matching one pair at a time. Twist the exposed ends of the wires together in a clockwise direction, place the wire nut on it, and twist in a clockwise direction again to tighten it. Repeat this process for all the matching pairs of colored wires.

Step 6 - Reassemble

Place the light switch into the ballast cover and insert the threaded end through the hole. This will mount the new switch into the light fixture.

Insert the pull chain into the end cap that holds the light switch in place. Using the wire harness, reconnect the wires from the ceiling fan light fixture to the fan itself. Replace the ballast cover by replacing the screws, and put the light bulbs back in place.

Turn the fuse back on to test your new light switch.