There are a handful of "smart ceiling fans" available that are really expensive (up to $500).

Is there an easy way to just add a smart wall switch with a cheap dumb ceiling fan to get the same result? The fans in question are hardwired, not using any plug.

Some details:

  • Amazon Alexa switch or HomeKit switch, either would be fine
  • Would not need to control a fan light, only the fan itself
  • Would need to also control fan speed. Maybe one switch to turn the fan on and off, and a dimmer switch to control the fan speed?

1 Answer 1


You probably need a relay rather than a 'smart light switch'. This is because the light switches frequently rely on leakage through the lamp to power the electronics in the switch. With a fan motor, this might not work as intended. You would also risk some damage in using a dimmer to control the motor.

The key difference with a smart relay is that the switching element takes feed and return power directly, providing independent terminals for the load. They can use either mechanical relay or electronic ones - just make sure it is suitably rated for an inductive load.

As an example, LW821. You would typically wire this in the ceiling void, and then have the challenge of how to manage the switch - so you might replace the switch with a LW-RF transmitter (confusingly described as a wire free switch) - rather than trying to come up with a 3-way control.

You will not be able to mount the relay at the switch location because there is no 'common return/neutral' in a normal switch location. Effectively, you need to install a switched spur (and this most likely means some places require an electrician to certify the work).


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.