Install a Remote Control Ceiling Fan: Do It Yourself

Installing a remote-controlled ceiling fan will help cool off a warm room in the hot summer weather and help to mix the air during winter weather. If you are looking to purchase a ceiling fan for a room in your house and are considering installing it yourself here are some helpful tips for you do it yourself.

First, decide on the type of ceiling fan that you want. Do you want a remote-controlled variable speed fan with lighting and dimmer or a ceiling fan without lighting?

Depending on the use may help you decide if you need lighting on the fan. If the fan is going to be installed over a kitchen table or going in a spot where there is an existing light fixture you will probably want a light included. If you are adding a ceiling fan in a family room you may not want the light. There are also different size fans available, choose a size that is appropriate for the room size. Installing the new ceiling fan in a new location may be a little harder than installing in place of an existing light fixture. Most handy people can tackle this project which may be done in a few hours. If you have worked with electricity before and have some carpentry skills this will be easy for you to do.

Remote Control Ceiling Fan Diy
Remote Control Ceiling Fan Diy

Install a Remote Control Ceiling Fan in place of an existing light fixture.

Evaluate the ceiling area where the existing light is to see if it will be a good spot to mount the new ceiling fan and check that the fan blades will be clear of any obstructions. If this existing light is on a wall switch this is ok and the wall switch will have to be left on for the new fan to operate by remote control. If this location is ok to mount the fan, turn off the circuit breaker for the light and proceed with the installation.

* Before starting installation unpack the new ceiling fan with all accessories or light kits and check that no parts are missing.

  • Tools and Materials
  • Stepladder
  • Screwdrivers, pliers, utility knife, spackle knife, wire cutter/stripper
  • Cordless drill with bits, safety glasses
  • wire nuts, electrical tape, circuit tester,
  • Remodeling type electrical box with brackets for supporting a ceiling fan
  • Wood screws, scrap 2×6, scrap sheetrock for patching
  • Spackle for patching, touch up paint for the ceiling, paintbrush

Remove the existing light fixture and put wire nuts back on the bare feed wires. If there is access to the area above the light like an attic, remove the existing ceiling electric box and replace it with a ceiling fan rated box, preferably a steel box. The new box must be mounted to the ceiling joist to support the weight of the fan and movement. If needed fasten with 3” screws a 2×6 flat bridging in between joists to screw/fasten the recessed electric box too, or purchase a ceiling fan mounting box with extended support arms. * If the space above the light is not accessible you must do this supporting from underneath within the room and use a box with hanger bars. The hole in the sheetrock may have to be made larger to do this and be patched when the installation is complete. Spread the bars apart to reach the sides of the joists and fasten with screws. For ease of tightening screws drill a smaller pilot hole first for the screws to go into.

After mounting the new electric box feed the wires into is using proper wire fittings to fasten to the box.

Follow the installation instructions and install the fan mounting bracket to the box. Pull the feed wires through the mounting bracket and strip these wires and the wires on the fan motor. You are now ready to install the fan. The fan should have a hang wire or rod to hook to the mount as you connect the wires. Lift the fan motor into this hanger support and connect/splice the wires to the feed side match up wires – black to black, white to white, ground to ground and use wire nuts and electrical tape around the wire nuts. Carefully push the wire slack back into the electric box being careful not to damage wires. Fasten the other portion of the mounting canopy to the box and this part of the installation is complete.

Hang the fixture in place and measure the distance to the floor it is best to be above 84” the stem of the mounting should have height adjustments. After the fan motor and the wiring is complete, gather the fan blades and screws needed to install fan blades. Follow the installation manual for installing the fan blades. Fan blades should be installed with the finish color facing down and install alternate blades to keep fan level while tightening screws.

Optional light kits

Install the light kit now, use wire nuts on all splices and check for obstructions. Install the glass lamp covers if provided. Install lamps and do not exceed the maximum rating.

Turn on the power source to the fan to test operation and lighting. If fan and light work properly to check the settings and direction the fan is running.

Outdoor Lighting – Do It Yourself – For Under $500

Installing outdoor lighting is one of the least expensive ways to make your yard and house entrance safer for entry and accent your house and landscaping at night. If you just want to replace the old light fixtures and brighten up your entranceway consider purchasing a new light fixture that uses halogen or new high output fluorescent lamps to light up the area best. The least expensive is to look for a fixture that will mount the same way as the existing fixture to a post or wall mount. If your electrical skills allow considering adding a floodlight type fixture higher on the exterior siding under the soffit or overhang area. The power for this fixture may be possible run from a power source in the attic. If you are not able to mount a switch in a convenient spot consider purchasing a fixture that has a on at dusk off at dawn feature if you want it on all night. If this light is only for security consider one that has a motion detector built into it. Remember these types of floodlights are fine for lighting a larger area for activities or viewing the overall yard, but they do not enhance the landscape or highlight the features of your backyard.

Decorative outdoor lighting is very popular around landscaping drives and walks around the whole property, in the front, sides, and back of the house. This is the type of lighting that you see at vacation resorts and hotels around pool areas and park walkways to accent the landscaped features. Low voltage lighting is among the easiest and safest to install for the do it yourself. This type of lighting is usually available in light kits which may include several light fixtures, wiring and a transformer with a built-in timer. These lights operate off of low voltage DC current and are safe in exterior damp locations as in landscaped areas, walks, drives, flower beds and on decks. Research the water-resistance rating ( IP Rating ) for all outdoor light fixtures. An IPx3 would be ok for many outdoor conditions to be in the rain and IPx5 is the best and can resist water in any direction. There are numerous styles of fixtures available like tiered, louvered, or eyelids in low voltage lighting and available in many decorator colors. Find the focal point that you want to be accented or highlighted with the lighting like a tree, pond or seating area and place accordingly.

First, decide on the type of lighting that you want

Area light, spotlight, up light, downlight or path lights. Floodlights are for lighting a large area and must be mounted as high as possible for the best coverage and effect. Uplights are for accenting lawn ornaments or garden features and illuminate the object rather than ground surface. Path lights are placed along a walk area and are low mounted to light the stepping or path area to follow the walkway. Install the path lights about 5’ to 8’ apart either alternating sides of the walk or along the same side. Installation of low voltage lighting is the simplest because they are plugged into an existing duplex outlet. The low voltage wiring from the timer/transformer is then run to the light fixtures; make sure to leave some slack wire at fixture for adjustments. The wiring should be placed in a shallow trench covered with soil there is no need to bury this wire more than a few inches because it is low voltage DC current.

The cost of outdoor lighting varies and can be tailored to your needs and budget.

A home can easily be sufficiently lighted with flood and landscape light fixtures for under $500 if you do it yourself. If you hire a contractor with this budget the most you can hope for is two motion flood/area lights installed with switches. The do it yourself can purchase the light fixtures at a home center, electrical supply store or a discount lighting outlet. For a DIY $500 spending budget with installing it yourself, you would be able to afford 2-3 motion floodlight fixtures, 2 new entry house mounted light lanterns/wall sconce fixtures at doorways, three to four sets of low voltage landscaping light kits and miscellaneous electrical supplies to do the hookups.