Author Topic: Switches for fan and light combo?  (Read 394 times)

Offline curtm

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Switches for fan and light combo?
« on: September 11, 2017, 04:20:41 pm »
I'm replacing several switches in my cabin to zwave and have hit a snag.
I have a 2 unit/switch outlet box controlling two fans and their lights. One switch does the fan speed and light separately, in one unit. I see these at the hardware store but have yet to see them. With zwave.
Anyone know of any Switch that controls fan and light separately but in a one unit size switch?

Thanks!

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 04:48:59 pm »
I'm replacing several switches in my cabin to zwave and have hit a snag.
I have a 2 unit/switch outlet box controlling two fans and their lights. One switch does the fan speed and light separately, in one unit. I see these at the hardware store but have yet to see them. With zwave.
Anyone know of any Switch that controls fan and light separately but in a one unit size switch?

Thanks!

Doesn't exist and to properly control fan speeds there is only like 2 switches available that I know of. Both are single gang switches with only fan on them. If you get into where you don't want to control fan speed but just on off then you have maybe a few more options. Still not cheap or great though.

In my house I removed the single gang box and went to double gang and used two separate switches. This was about an hour process with no drywall or painting needed. Not sure what your options are without knowing more info.

Scene controller and micro switches may also be another option.

Please give us more info on if you need speed control or not and what the walls are like.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 04:35:22 am »
Anyone know of any Switch that controls fan and light separately but in a one unit size switch?

You mean something like this?
https://en.robbshop.nl/tkb-home-wall-dimmer-double-pad

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 10:45:07 am »

You mean something like this?
https://en.robbshop.nl/tkb-home-wall-dimmer-double-pad

That looks like a double gang box (which doesn't seem what the OP has) and its also not made for a fan.

Offline curtm

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 01:13:21 pm »
My wall in that location is  drywall and it sounds like I may have to do exactly what you did .
 Did you simply remove the two gang box and replace it with a four gang box in large the whole size to make a four unit wide area ?

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 02:03:10 pm »
That looks like a double gang box (which doesn't seem what the OP has) and its also not made for a fan.

Seems that you have different sizes in US.
As for "made for fan", there are other products like that on the market, but all for the circle (double gang in US?) type of "box"

If it is possible, I would attach two separate in-wall switches/dimmers, one for each button.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 03:32:20 pm »
That looks like a double gang box (which doesn't seem what the OP has) and its also not made for a fan.

Seems that you have different sizes in US.
As for "made for fan", there are other products like that on the market, but all for the circle (double gang in US?) type of "box"

If it is possible, I would attach two separate in-wall switches/dimmers, one for each button.

I am Located in the US. I don't believe you have said where your located.

Here is a video of a single gang being converted to double, same can go for double to triple or what ever. You shouldn't have to fish anymore wire or anything if you not adding any more circuits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogIC0Bb3R-A

Offline dzmiller

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 08:46:34 pm »
Be aware that you can place load control in the fan itself by using micro switch modules. Multi-tap zwave plus switches could possibly be used to control both the fan and light from a 2 gang box. Two loads would be controlled from the current switch location. Two additional loads would be controlled by micro switches in the fans.

You would lose speed control with this setup.

What's possible depends upon how you fans are wired.

Automating existing fans is often complicated.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 08:50:12 pm by dzmiller »

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 04:23:53 am »
I used Fibaro dimmer for such purpose, it can steer lights and motors as well, may need installing additional unit called "bypass" if you use 2-wire setup.
Qubino has the dimmer device also capable of working with fans, it doesn't need a "bypass", but it needs 3-wire installation.

For Fibaro there is a section in the manual suggesting proper setup of minimum/maximum dimming parameters to make it work properly.

From my experience, without "bypass" the fan had a tendency to rotate very slowly (like 1 circle during 1 minute) even with the dimming level set to "0". After installing "bypass" it went away.
Another thing is that the fan started to rotate correctly when the dimming level reached at least c.a. 30%. Below that, the rotation was very slow or it had tendency to continuously start-stop the rotation. You can prevent this by setting proper minimum dimming level in the unit settings, and/or proper configuration of the scenes.


Offline Sammy2

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 03:24:13 pm »
I used Fibaro dimmer for such purpose, it can steer lights and motors as well, may need installing additional unit called "bypass" if you use 2-wire setup.
Qubino has the dimmer device also capable of working with fans, it doesn't need a "bypass", but it needs 3-wire installation.

For Fibaro there is a section in the manual suggesting proper setup of minimum/maximum dimming parameters to make it work properly.

From my experience, without "bypass" the fan had a tendency to rotate very slowly (like 1 circle during 1 minute) even with the dimming level set to "0". After installing "bypass" it went away.
Another thing is that the fan started to rotate correctly when the dimming level reached at least c.a. 30%. Below that, the rotation was very slow or it had tendency to continuously start-stop the rotation. You can prevent this by setting proper minimum dimming level in the unit settings, and/or proper configuration of the scenes.

Do you have a wiring diagram or link to manufacturer's installation manual for this?
Is this dimmer listed for motor loads?

I was just looking into a Qubino motor controller to control ceiling fan speed and light dimming although the light dimming could be controlled via an Z-Wave dimmer switch. All this needs to be in the fan canopy as when I had it installed it was with an RF switch which I replaced with a Z-Wave switch but still need to control the light dimmer and fan speed with the proprietary RF remote that came with the fan. It is this remote that I want to eliminate and replace with Z-Wave control and then remove the Z-Wave ON-OFF switch that I use with my VeraPlus right now.

I have five Insteon Fanlincs that I have working on a "test bench" with the insteon app but that is not integrated into Vera but will respond to Alexa Voice input via the Insteon Skill. I may just continue with this path but am really wanting to have it under local control through Vera.

Any suggestions?

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 04:52:26 pm »
Do you have a wiring diagram or link to manufacturer's installation manual for this?

I have 2-wire installation so it it is like on the picture below:

<img src="https://www.pluscom.pl/images/big/fibaro-universal-dimmer-500w-2-wire-connection-ga2137-5398.jpg">

The only difference is that instead of light I have a fan and the bypass installed (connected to the phase and neutral in the fan).

Remember that there are two versions of this dimmer, older (FGD-211) and newer one (FGD-212). I use the older one (FGD-211)

Is this dimmer listed for motor loads?

Yes, at least the older version. I'm not sure about the newer model. AC motors, of course.

Here you have links to manual for both versions:
http://manuals.fibaro.com/fgd-211/
http://manuals.fibaro.com/dimmer-2/
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 04:57:14 pm by kwieto »

Offline Sammy2

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 06:52:24 pm »
I believe the Parameter numbers listed in the manual are actually found in the Advanced Settings in Vera as Variables.

I wish that they had some examples of what each level actually does but it looks as if a motor controller such as this could do the job.

Where do you obtain the bypass?

Thanks for the information.

Offline Sammy2

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 06:59:06 pm »
Maybe I don't need to worry about the bypass? I have hot, neutral and ground to each fan or are you talking about two hots and a neutral for "three" wire?

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 04:38:57 am »
You can buy the bypass from Fibaro seller, it is device produced by them.
There are two versions, FGB-001 for the (old) FGD-211 dimmer and FGB-002 for the (new) FGD-212 dimmer.
I don't know what is the difference between, both are installed the same way and looks alike.

As for the wiring, the ground cable doesn't count as the third wire :").

In "2-wire" system you have live (hot) cable coming to the switch and another one delivering live to the lamp/fan. The lamp/fan is connected to the "real" neutral elsewhere, the connection looks like on the attached picture:

In "3-wire system" the neutral cable from the lamp/fan is also going through the switch box, so you can access it from there.

The main issue here is that the dimmer has to be powered somehow and many of them need connection to the live and neutral current, so 3-wire installation.
Fibaro dimmers handle 2-wire system because of different construction - they behave as a "lamp" - after the installation small amount of power is going through them continuously. This power is not enough to power standard bulbs, but can be a problem if you have LED, luminescent lamps, or fan motor - it may happen that your LED light will glow or fan will rotate slowly even if the Dimmer is OFF.
This is what the "bypass" is for. This device channels the small current running from the dimmer through itself and preventing it to reach lamp or motor.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 04:44:27 am by kwieto »

Offline kwieto

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Re: Switches for fan and light combo?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 05:03:29 am »
Another approach is to find the place where the cables from fan, switch and the live/neutral from the power source are meeting together (usually some kind of ceiling box).
Then you can install dimmer there, just disconnect cables coming to the switch from the live and connect to the dimmer IN connectors.

This way you can use any dimmer, the problem is that in drywall constructions you often don't have such ceiling box and this part of the installation is behind the wall with no easy access.