Controls for ceiling fans

Rotation speed as well as lighting on ceiling fans can be individually adjusted. The selection of controls that allow this is almost just as wide as the variety of possible designs. Apart from the traditional control with a pull cord, the use of remote controls is just as conceivable as the use of wall controls, step-down transformers or sensor controlled temperature difference balancing systems. The following guide shall give you a quick overview about the various means of control, their advantages and disadvantages as well as their sensible area of application. 

Control via pull cord

A regulation with a pull cord is perhaps the most traditional type of control for ceiling fans. Here, medium length cords operate small switches when pulled. Most commonly producers are working with 2 pull cords so that light and rotation speed can be controlled separately. The lighting is usually switched on with one pull and switched off with another one. The general 3 rotation speeds are set to the first level by pulling the correspondig cord, to the second level by pulling once more, another pull will set the fan to the third level and, finally, another pull will turn off the fan. Those who find the traditional fan feeling appealing will receive a maintenance and disturbance free regulation system with a pull cord.

Control via remote control

Comfortable and with only little effort required for installation the control via remote control is suitable for almost every area of application except Outdoor fans. Mostly, so-called remote control sets containing a hand-held transmitter and receiver part are offered. They are often universally usable for ceiling fans of various manufacturers. There are also brand specific remote controls that are offered for the use with devices of this producer only. When making a decision attention should be paid to the product description. Futhermore, 2 kinds of signal transmission are possible, the classic radio remote control as well as the just as efficient IR remote control (infrared). Installation and functionality are similar for both versions. As mentioned before, a remote control set consists of a handheld transmitter and the receiver part. The latter is mounted in between the power source (light connection on the ceiling) and the fan and electrically connected to both. Some brands offer prepared plug connections, others are joint with screw terminals. After the receiver part has been properly installed, it is often slid inside the ceiling mount and hidden by the canopy.

Control via wall control

When a ceiling fan is supposed to be controlled with a wall control, it is important to keep in mind whether it is a fan with or without lighting as there are different versions for both. While the all control for fans without lighting only has switches for the rotation speed levels, there is a special light switch installed on wall controls for models with light. Special attention needs to be paid, as ceiling fans with light need at least a 4 wire cord in order for light and rotation speed to be controlled separately. Optically, wall controls are a simple solution and the control element cannot be lost or misplaced as it could happen for example with the transmitter of a remote control. However, the effort of installation is higher. The customer can choose between surface and flushed mounted controls, depending on how it should be installed. High-quality models, for example the wall control by Pepeo, can also be integrated in already existing switch panels thanks to a 6mm axis.

Step-down transformers

In larger rooms and in the industrial area it is often the case that several ceiling fans are used. If there are several devices that should be controlled with a switch without humming sounds, the use of a step-down transformer is recommended. Similar to wall controls they regulated rotation speeds and lighting, however they are often prepared for a higher nominal load capacity. These devices are also available in surface and flushed mounted versions and even as IP certified (water protected) models.


Wall speed controllers

The fluent, stepless regulation of ceiling fans is made possible with so-called wall speed controllers. They can regulate several motors up to the nominal load capacity without any steps. However, their use in private homes is rather unusual as they fluent controlling creates quite a few humming sounds.


Sensor controlled temperature difference balancing systems 

Especially in tall rooms there is often the development of air layers, the warmest layers can be found directly beneath the ceiling whereas the the bottom is noticeably colder. What is quite annoying in private households, becomes a real problem in large industrial buildings as the costs for heating energy are increased. In order to solve this problem, temperature sensing temperature difference balancing systems have been developed. They commonly consist of 2 sensors, one of them measures the temperature at the bottom and the other measures temperatures on the ceiling of a room. This data is transmitted to a control element that is connected to the ceiling fans. Specific temperatures and difference limits can be preset so that the ceiling fans are automatically switched on during the corresponding temperatures. The created air exchange leads to a mixing of warm and cold air layers, thus allowing to balance temperature differences in larger rooms in a sensible way while reducing heating costs.