Fan Speed Controls

Buying a fan is only half the fun. Now you need to decide how you want to control it. Here are some basic types of fan controls with brief descriptions.

Traditional Toggle Switch

An ordinary wall switch may be all you want or need to control your fan. The switch turns it on an off and everything else is controlled at the fan itself. For easy to reach fans, this can be the ideal solution. These switches can be had in a variety of colors and profiles.

Traditional Toggle Switch with Dimmer

A variation on the traditional toggle switch allows you to rotate or slide the dimmer along a continuous range of brightness. These switches still fit in the standard wall plate opening. Some models will screw in and others can simply be snapped into place.

Paddle Switch (With Captive Linear-slide Dimmer)

The paddle switch keeps a lower profile, not sticking out as far from the wall. Yet its greater size makes it easier to operate. The linear slider runs along side it and is easy to slide up and down, controlling the brightness of the lamps. A different model may make the linear slide larger and more central with a smaller, horizontal paddle switch beneath it.

Multi-location Dimmer

These dimmers contain enough buttons to control the brightness in 8 or even 10 locations, yet they are small enough to fit in a standard wall mounting. Tap the button for the location you want to change and then operate the dimmer as you normally would. An LED next to each button will indicate the brightness level of the lamp being controlled. This is especially handy if you are controlling the lamp from a different room.

Smart Dimmers

These dimmers bring microprocessor technology to your aid. Tap the switch twice to bring the light to full brightness. Press and hold the switch to slowly fade the lights over 10 seconds. Smart dimmers can also be multi-location, controlling up to 10 lights. They can also come with a memory so that once you have got the lighting the way you like, you can program it to come on at that level all the time.

Remote Control Switches

Your fan may not come with a remote control, but you can easily work around that. A switch with an infrared sensor can fit into a standard wall plate opening and be operated via remote control from up to 30 feet away.

Many of these switches can be had in night light models. They glow in the dark allowing you to find them easily and switch on a brighter source.

All dimmers should come with power failure memory and RFI suppression.