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Fan Light Switched Separately - Power Source at Switch

By Donald Kerr
Fan Light Switched Separately - Power Source at Switch

At the ceiling box - the black and red wires coming from the switches are both ungrounded switch legs {aka hots}. You will have 2 ungrounded fixture conductors {aka hots}, one for the fan and one for the lights. One ungrounded fixture conductor {aka hot} will connect to the black wire from the switch and the other ungrounded fixture conductor {aka hot} will connect to the red wire wire coming from the switch. The white wire from the switch serves as a grounded leg {aka neutral} for both the fan and the lights. This arrangement allows you to switch separately the fan and lights.

Bare wires are together and grounded to box and if the fixture has a green wire or a grounding screw , it gets grounded also. Bares and green wires are equipment grounding conductors.

Be sure to read all documentation that comes with your fan / light combo fixture.

If you need onward power from the fixture

If only switched power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to the black OR Red wire coming from switch {depending onwhich switch you want the onward switched power to be controlled from}
  • connect white from onward cable to white wire coming from the switch..
  • connect bare from onward cable to other bares and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitch power required onward then at existing fixture This is not possible with this configuration since there is no unswitched ungrounded conductors {aka hot} existing at the fixture location. Only switched ungrounded conductors exists here.

If 2 separately switched power is required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/red//white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from switch.
  • connect red from onward cable to the red wire coming from switch.
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from switch
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black and red wires are separately switched ungrounded conductors {aka hots}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If you need onward power from the switch

If only switched power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to the output of one of the switches (pigtailed to either the black OR to the red wire red wire {but not both} of the cable going between switch and fixture)
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from circuit power supply cable..
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {akahot} , the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitch power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black from the circuit power supply cable.
  • connect white from onward cable to white from circuit power supply cable .
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If switched and unswitched power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/red//white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black from circuit power supply cable.
  • connect red from onward cable to the output of one of the switches (pigtailed to either the black OR to the red wire {but not both} of the cable going between switch and fixture)
  • connect white from onward cable to white circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black wire is the unswitched ungrounded conductor {aka hot},red wire is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white wire is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare wire is the equipment grounding conductor.

If 2 separately switched power is required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/red//white/bare
  • connect red from onward cable to the red wire (pigtailed to the red wire of the cable going between switch and fixture)
  • connect black from onward cable to the black wire (pigtailed to the black wire of the cable going between switch and fixture)
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black and red wires are separately switched ungrounded conductors {aka hots}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.


Fan / Light switched separately - power source at switch

If wiring multiple fixtures be sure to check the following guidelines concerning how to do it and what not to do: Wiring Multiple Fixtures.

If you are new at understanding the "politically correct" electrical terminology and need clarification of the terms used, we strongly urge you to read the Clarification of Definitions and Terminology guide. This will explain the terminology used in this article.

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