How to Wire a Ceiling Fan

A fan is an electric device which generates air by using rotating blades. The faster the blades spin, the stronger the air current is. Fans move hot air behind it while the cooler air is moved towards the front.

There are several kinds of fans. Desk fans have short stands so they can be placed on top of desks. Stand fans have long stands and sturdy bases which can support the fan. Ceiling fans have short stands and wide bases which allow it to be attached to the ceiling.

Before installing the fan, check the manual that comes with it. This will give specific instructions on the voltage the fan needs, and the kind of connection and installation needed. You can also check the electrical system installed in the house.

Check if your circuitry has the capacity to take on the additional load for the ceiling fan. If you are in doubt, consult a professional electrician.


Ways of Making Electrical Connections


Be sure to turn off the power to your overhead fixture before installation.

The wiring of ceiling fans come in different colors. There may be variations in colors used, so be careful to check your installation manual. The usual color-coding assignments of the required wires are:

  • black is hot for the fan;
  • blue is hot for the light kit;
  • white is common for the fan and light kit;
  • green is ground

If a lighting kit is not included, there is no blue wire and the circuit is simpler.

A ceiling fan can be wired in a number of ways:

  • Power is wired directly to the fan, which is always hot. The hot feed connects to the black and blue wire. Pull strings are used to control the fan and the lights.
  • The ceiling fan and light are wired through a single switch. A single switch connects to the ceiling fan and light. The black (fan) and blue (light) wires both connect to the switched black wire. With a flip of the switch, both the fan and light are on. Pull strings and turn one of the two fixtures off.
  • The ceiling fan and light are wired through two switches, one for the fan and one for the light. A 3-way conductor with ground connects from the switch box. The black (fan) wire connects to the switched black (fan) wire from the ceiling fan switch. The blue (light) wire connects to the switched red wire from the light switch. The white (neutral) and ground (bare) connect to their associated wires.

All exposed wiring should be secured inside wire nuts. When wiring is finished, gently place the wires into the electrical box.

Test the connections to make sure that electricity flows to the fan, and that the connections are all in order. Follow all safety procedures when returning power to the fixture and testing.