Can You Use Smart Bulbs In Ceiling Fans?

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There’s no doubt that smart bulbs are a popular offering within the growing category of smart home products. These internet-enabled LED light bulbs let you customize your lighting for many purposes including better illumination, safety, security, and entertainment.

The best part is that you can schedule them so that they function automatically and routinely. On top of that, you can also control them remotely, which means when you are away from home. 

Smart bulbs are also fairly versatile, which means that you can use them in many ways within your home to enjoy cool smart lighting. For example, you can install them around your smart TV, above and beneath your kitchen cabinets, around your TV stand, and so on. You can also have them on your bookshelf, in your reading nook, in your lounge space, alongside your stairs, and so on. 

Many homes in hot areas feature ceiling fans for cooling purposes. Can smart bulbs be put in these fans that are designed to hang from the ceiling? The short answer is YES and NO, depending on the circumstances. Today I’ll be delving into this question and related topics, including under what circumstances you can use smart light bulbs in your ceiling fans. 

Circumstances Under Which You Can Use Smart Light Bulbs In Your Ceiling Fans

Taking down a ceiling fan with a normal bulb in it
Taking down a ceiling fan with a normal bulb in it

1. If Your Smart Bulbs Are of The Supported Type

There are a massive range of possible light bulb types: from A and AR series to F and G series bulbs (along with PAR, T, C, B and E series bulbs!). There’s literally hundreds of light bulb types.

Many ceiling fans are compatible with only A Series smart bulbs. Fortunately, many brands provide this bulb type, including Philips Hue, GE Lighting, and Cree Lighting. It means that you can seamlessly use your smart bulbs in your ceiling fans if they are of this type—A Series.

2. If Your Ceiling Fans Don’t Have a Dimming Functionality 

A good number of ceiling fans out there have a light dimming feature that is controlled, using either remote control or a pull cord. While it’s a great feature, many smart bulbs don’t work well with it. Don’t forget that these bulbs are electrical devices with an electrical control board, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi chip, and a few other components. Consequently, they require a fairly consistent level of sufficient power input. 

Unfortunately, a dimmer works by giving less voltage to the light bulb, causing it to produce less light (i.e. be dimmed). This can deprive smart bulbs of their required power. Not only can that interfere with their performance, but also damage them. 

However, you could use your smart bulbs in your ceiling fans, which have a dimming functionality anyways, by making a small adjustment to the fans though: You’ll first need to disable the dimmer unless your fans have dimmers that can’t be disabled. That will ensure that your smart bulbs receive enough power consistently. 

3. If Your Ceiling Fans Don’t Have a Voltage Limiting Feature

Some ceiling fans come with a voltage limiting feature to save energy as per the Energy Saver policy. Unfortunately, smart bulbs don’t work well with restricted energy voltage as they contain many components that require an adequate amount of energy consistently. 

Are Philips Hue Smart Bulbs Usable In My Ceiling Fans?

A Philips Hue White Ambiance candle bulb
A Philips Hue White Ambiance candle bulb

It’s one of the FAQs about Philips Hue smart bulbs by those who have or are planning to have these internet-capable bulbs. Well, the answer depends on the above factors that are; whether or not your Hue bulbs are of the supported type, whether or not your ceiling fans have a light dimmer, and whether or not your ceiling fans have a voltage limiting feature. 

It means that you cannot use your Hue smart bulbs in your ceiling fans if their type isn’t supported by your fans, if your fans have a light dimming functionality, and also if your fans have a voltage limiting feature

That means, you may or may not be lucky if your fan only supports A15 bulbs but your Hue bulbs are of other A Series types e.g A17, A19, A20, A21, or A23 (apparently Philips Hue doesn’t currently manufacture A15 bulbs).

It all depends on whether you can find the right light bulb socket converter or adapter, many of which are readily available on the market. With enough adapters or converters (depending on the number of ceiling fans in your home), you can seamlessly use any type of A series Hue bulb in your ceiling fans. 

Final Thoughts

Smart bulbs can be used in many ways at home to provide value. For example, you can use them for illumination, safety, security, and entertainment purposes. You can achieve that by putting them in many different spaces or appliances in your home, including your ceiling fan (under certain conditions though). These include if your smart bulbs are of the supported type, if your ceiling fans don’t have dimming functionality, and if your ceiling fans don’t have a voltage limiting feature.

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About James Beetie

James - a self-confessed nerd - has owned smart home equipment for close to a decade, and he loves communicating the best ways of setting them up... and resolving the various bugs and issues that you'll no doubt come across!