How To Replace A Light Fixture With A Ceiling Fan: Step-by-Step Guide

After moving into your new house, you’ve probably noticed the lack of air circulation due to the absence of ceiling fans in every room of the house. If you’re looking to make your home more comfortable, adding a ceiling fan to replace your light fixture could be just the thing you need. A ceiling fan installation upgrades your home instantly while also being functional and reducing your utility bills. 

But fan installation isn’t exactly simple – there are several things that you should know before beginning the process of replacing your light fixture with a ceiling fan. Read on for this step-by-step guide on how to replace a light fixture with a ceiling fan!

Determine whether to hire an electrician

It might be tempting to install your new ceiling fan yourself. Depending on your comfort level and experience, you may be able to complete some or all of your ceiling fan installation by yourself. But if you’re not comfortable making these changes to your home’s electrical system, hire an electrician. Electricians can help ensure that any necessary electrical upgrades are completed properly and that everything is in working order before it’s up and running.

Tools and materials needed

Always make sure you have all the tools available before starting a project to complete the job without wasting any time. Tools and materials you’ll need are:

  1. Ceiling fan
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Power drill
  4. Flashlight
  5. Voltmeter
  6. Wire stripper
  7. Electric box (rated for ceiling fans) – optional

You will be able to determine the need for an electric outlet box when you remove the light fixture. If you find that the existing box is made of plastic or not sturdy, or if it’s not rated to be used for ceiling fan installation, then you will have to buy an appropriate electric box that can hold a ceiling fan of up to 50 lbs.

A step-by-step guide to replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan

It isn’t a complicated DIY project if you have done similar works. The electric wiring is already present, and in most cases, you’ll not even have to replace the electric box, making this project very straightforward. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to replace a light fixture with a ceiling fan:

Step 1: Choose a light fixture to be replaced

You might want to replace a light fixture with a ceiling fan in a location where you want more airflow or where you want to enhance the look of a particular space. Ensure that the location is suitable for the ceiling fan and that there will be no obstacles restricting the fan’s performance.

Step 2: Turn off the power

Cut the power to the light fixture at the circuit breaker. To do it properly, turn on the light so it’s easy to confirm that the power has been cut off to the light when you flip off the breaker.

Step 3: Dismantle the light fixture

First, take off the light fixture and remove the globes or coverings (if any). Then, remove the light bulbs in the old fixture. Next, unscrew and remove the fixture bracket from the ceiling and disconnect the wiring. You can see if an electric box is present or the fixture was just attached to a simple bracket.

Step 4: Decide whether you need a new electric box

Ceiling fans are heavier than most light fixtures, and you cannot just take off a light fixture and mount a ceiling fan in its place directly on the ceiling drywall. Ceiling fans are installed in appropriate electric boxes attached securely to a ceiling joist.

If there isn’t any existing outlet box or the current box isn’t rated to hold the fan, i.e., it is not marked “acceptable for fan support,” you will first need to install an electric box rated to hold a 50 lbs. ceiling fan. However, if a rated electric box is in place, tug on it to see if it is installed securely and ensure that it can hold the weight of a ceiling fan.

Step 5: Assemble the fan

Insert the fan wiring through the downrod, then thread the downrod on the fan. Insert the metal pin in the downrod and secure it with a clip. Next, tighten the set screws around the base of the downrod to secure it. Slide on the yoke cover and canopy on the downrod. Then slide the hanging ball, insert the stop pin, raise the hanging ball, so the slots are aligned with the stop pin, and tighten the set screw. 

Step 6: Mount the ceiling fan bracket to the electric box

At the ceiling, ensure that the green grounding wire on the mounting bracket is grounded to the outlet box, then attach the mounting bracket to the outlet box with the provided screws and tighten down. Lift the fan assembly over the bracket and slot in the hanging ball in the hanging bracket tab. 

Step 7: Connect the outlet box wiring to the ceiling fan wiring

Trim and strip the ends of the wires from the fan assembly. Connect the green wire from the fan to the grounded wire on the mounting bracket. Twist the blue wire and black wire from the fan together. Then attach them to the black hot lead from the ceiling and twist on a wire nut. Next, connect the white neutral wire from the fan to the white neutral wire in the ceiling and twist on the wire nut. Tuck the wires inside the mounting bracket and box, then slide the canopy over the bracket. Then screw the canopy to the bracket. 

Step 8: Attach the blades

Assemble the fan blades to the blade arms and tighten down the screws. Align the blade arms with the motor screw holes and attach the fan blade to the motor assembly with the supplied screws. Keep the screws loose until all the blades have been attached. When all the blades are attached, secure the screws.

Step 9: Attach the fan’s light kit

On the light kit assembly, connect the internal white wires and the blue and black wires. Connect the female plug from the light kit housing to the male plug from the motor housing. Twist on the light housing to the fan assembly, then tighten down the screws. If you have an open bulb design, attach the shades and then insert the light bulbs. For enclosed light bulbs, attach the light bulbs and then close the casing.

Step 10: Restore the power and test your installation

Finally, restore the power from the circuit breaker and turn on the fan switch on the wall. Test your fan lights and the fan speeds a few times using the pull chain and the light switch to ensure everything is working fine.

Given below is a vide of how to do this entire process;

Replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan


Replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan isn’t difficult. You may already know that many electricians estimate that installing fans is one of their simplest jobs. If you still have questions about installing a new fan or installing a new outlet box, be sure to consult an electrician who can walk you through any steps that might seem confusing or overwhelming. To avoid causing property damage or bodily harm to yourself or others, always keep safety in mind during all stages of your home improvement project. Good luck!

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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