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ceiling fan and outdoor light

I have a kitchen ceiling fan, that when I turn on fan or switch speeds, it turns on my outdoor light. They are on the same switch. Can't figure out how to stop this. Any suggestions how to fix it.

Re: ceiling fan and outdoor light

I'll bet the outdoor light is one that has a motion detector to turn on the light and possibly with a dusk to dawn setting as well. These have electronic circuitry inside for controlling the motion sensor , the dusk to dawn light sensor , settings for controlling sensitivity , and how long the light stays on for , etc..
Typically the indoor light switch for this outdoor light is left in the on position all the time for automatic operation of the light.

This outdoor light is likely on the same electrical circuit as the kitchen ceiling fan. When the fan is turned on or you change speeds there is electrical noise ( slight spike or surge )being feed into the circuit. Since the light switch is on for the outdoor light this noise goes to the electronics of the outdoor light and turns it on. It's kind of similar if you turned off the outdoor light switch and turned it on again the outside light will turn on briefly then go out as it resets itself.

I've seen this happen with regular light switches turning on and off interior lights. The switches in those cases were arcing causing these spikes ( electrical noise ) and since these were on the same circuit as the outdoor light causes it to turn on.

Try playing with the adjustments on the outdoor light so it isn't as sensitive to this interference.


Replace the outdoor light with another one and see if that resolves the problem.


Wire the outdoor light onto it's own circuit or to another one than can accommodate an additional device.

Re: ceiling fan and outdoor light

I think canuk hit the nail on the head. Thanks to both of you, though. Will try what he said.

Re: ceiling fan and outdoor light

Let me start off by saying TOH forum is a great place for help.

We were having this same problem at our place. I decided to search the forum and see if topic ever came up before. Boy were we lucky to find this since we couldn't figure out what was going on.
Thanks to Canuk for the explantion, it all made sense. We did change out the light and it did help but I did go one step further and eventually had the outside light rewired to another circuit and alls fine and dandy.

Thanks to TOH forum.
Thanks Canuk you did nail it.

Re: ceiling fan and outdoor light

Good stuff ... thanks for the feedback. :)

Re: ceiling fan and outdoor light

wow this is really good post great thanks for the useful idea that you shared it,,,:eek:

Most problems with ceiling fans that have a controller are usually due to the controller. They have a solid state switch that switches the 120 volts line voltage on and off 60 times a second. That's a tough job. Anyway, they have a really high rate of failure
The light bulb blowing probably caused a short circuit for an instant and damaged the controller. Surges in current or voltage will do that. The controller probably needs to be replaced. The remote is probably OK.
If it was and you have already tried replacing the batteries in the remote. You will have to get a new one. This system uses the same circuit as a wall controller with the added complexity of a little computer, it's power circuit and a radio frequency circuit. I'm sure it's susceptible to the same high rate of failure as described above for wall controllers.
What is it, it is a transformer mounted inside the fan canopy the remote works it, all on the same circuit. When dimming the lights and fan speed alot it wares down the unit. Some people on wall dimmers, instead of turning it off completely they will just dim it down. This creates heat and causes the unit to fail. When not in use turn remote off if equiped with an on and off feature, this will prolong the life of a dimmer as well as a fan control.


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