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Fanlinc and 2- way and 3- way light switch

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  • Fanlinc and 2- way and 3- way light switch

    First case. I have incorporated a fanlinc module into my Hunter 3 speed fan. My fan was controlled by two hardwire switches in a 2 gang box. One switch was wired for fan power with speed regulated by a pull chain switch until the pull chain broke. The other switch controlled the light for on or off only. Right now I have hardwired on wall switch to the inputs of the fanlinc and have established communication and some control with an ISY994i. I have started to establish voice control using scenes on the ISY and Alexa so I am confident I can do that before i reassemble the fan canopy. So far I have the high speed and the light controlled by voice with an ability to dim the light via voice control. I intend to use voice control exclusively using scenes for the fan motor control. I would like to have both voice and wall switch control of the light using the Alexa for voice control and the now abandoned light switch in the 2 gang box to control the light (on/off only). The question I have... can a load wire from the hard wire switch be wired in parallel with the light control wire (the blue wire) from the fanlinc without danger of destroying the fanlinc? Is there a way to safely do this otherwise by some kind of isolation wiring? I would like to use that hard wire switch rather than installing a 6 button KPL for the control of the light from the wall and leaving the aforementioned light switch abandoned. I know I could probably use an on/off switchlinc wired to the lighting circuit and cap off the blue wire but I do not need that much control (and wanted to avoid the expense of an extra insteon to control this one light and leaving a fanlinc output abandoned). Part two: I have a second fan that I will tackle next with a fanlinc install. It has one hardwire switch with pull chain for fan speed control and a three way switch for the lights. If I can wire the switch into the blue wire from the fanlinc as in my first case, I am presuming it would be acceptable to retain the three way switch control on the light circuit only for the second fan by also wiring the load wire into the blue wire from the fan linc? I f the answer is "no" for the first case, I will take it that it is also "no" for the second case. I think the question boils down to a matter of what happens if 120 V is connected to the blue wire of the fanlinc when the fanlinc has not commanded it?

  • #2
    If you want control from both switch locations, both switches would need to be changed to insteon.

    The​​ fanlinc needs constant power so you would connect the switch legs going to the fan directly to the hot on your insteon switches. Leaving the standard switches in would cause you more issues than they solve since once they are turned off, you will lose power to the FanLinc.

    Unfortunately, as with any automation, taking shortcuts leads to a bigger headache. It's better to invest and set things up properly rather than trying to take corners to save a few bucks.
    Last edited by lilyoyo1; 12-21-2017, 02:49 PM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your suggestion. Maybe I am reading you too literally or not understanding how a KPL works. The fanlinc, whether tied to a conventional switch or a KPL will be off when the relay switch is off so it is not always under constant power. It is under constant power when you want the fan to be ready and awaiting commands from, in my case, the ISY-994i. To accomplish that one might choose to place the fanlinc under constant power to allow it to communicate using the ISY. I want to issue those speed control and light on/off commands principally verbally using Alexa but that was not really the focus of my question. I simply am asking if the blue light wire from the fanlinc is susceptible to damage if it receives 120V ac from another source... the source being a conventional switch from the same two gang box. I realize that a three way switch has to use two Insteon devices to effect a virtual three way control but that is not what I propose to do. I want to use a source that is connected from a conventional light switch to the load wire of the lamp tied to the blue wire of the fanlinc. That is case one. If case one is an acceptable case two with a three way switch should also work It's not a matter of money. It's an electrical engineering and design question about the fanlinc module and only about the blue wire. I think. My hunch is that my solution is incompatible with the design of the fanlinc. But I would be guessing. I would like to understand the capabilities and limitations of the fanlinc design. If it has a limitation perhaps it can be redesigned to eliminate that limitation using protective circuit design. If I knew tham maybe I could suggest that redesign?

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      • #4
        The only wire on the fanlinc that receives power is the black line wire on it. The red and blue wires are only to power the light and the fan. Neither can be wired to hot.

        Regardless of how you want to control the fanlinc it needs constant power. You would not wire the switch leg directly to the load wire (red wire) on the insteon KPL. The switch leg going to the fanlinc would need to be wired together with the line wire from the wall and hot wire (black wire) on your insteon switch and then linked to it. This is because once power is turned off, you will not be able to control the device with anything (alexa included) since it is not powered up.

        Yes you can wire it to a regular switch or to the load wire on the KPL to cut power completely to the module. However you would then need to turn the switch on each time you want to use it which defeats the whole purpose of voice commands, remote control and automation.
        Last edited by lilyoyo1; 12-21-2017, 07:22 PM.

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        • #5
          I was not considering using the blue wire for the fan motor. KPL Wiring Scheme.PNG So referencing the normal wiring schematic for a KPL attached, are you saying that the load ( red) from the KPL and the line (black) from the KPL would be wire nut connected to both the line (usually black) and the load (black) from the electrical box? In other words 4 wires tied together with one wire nut where normally there are two sets of two wires and two nuts? Does this not negate the main relay function (top and bottom buttons of a 6 button KPL) of the KPL? Or is the red wire left unconnected and capped?

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          • #6
            FYI( all terminology I use will be based off the provided picture) The red wire on the switch is capped off. It does not get used at all. The load wire (in the wall) gets wired to the line coming out of the wall together with the line wire on the switch itself. Wiring it that way will provide constant hot to the fanlinc so that it can be controlled with the ISY, Alexa, and KPL

            Insteon talks to other devices via powerline/RF. It doesnt control other devices directly. You would achieve this communication in the ISY by creating a scene with the button you want to be a controller and the fanlinc a responder.

            IE: if using 6 button kpl

            Main button: Controller Fanlinc light: Responder
            Button A Controller Responders: Fan Low, Buttons B,C,D all responders in the off position
            Button B Controller Responders: Fan Medium Butttons A,C,D all responders in the off position
            Button C Controller Responders: Fan High Buttons A, B, D all responders in the off position
            Button D Controller Responders: This can be whatever you want it to be.

            This setup will allow you to control everything from a single keypad. It will also only light up the mode that the fan is on. This way if you switch from medium to high, the backlight on the B button will turn off automatically.
            Last edited by lilyoyo1; 12-21-2017, 07:54 PM.

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            • #7
              You do not need any separate device(s) to control both the three fan speeds plus off and the light from through to full brightness. In fact, no device should be connected to the FanLinc at all whether you want to use a KPL, separate switches on none at all.

              In each and every case, connect line and neutral to the FanLinc (black and white, respectively). Connect the white wire from the motor and the white wire from the light to the bundle of neutral wires, too,

              Connect the light wires to the FanLinc blue wire and the fan wire to the FanLinc red wire. You're done at the ceiling. You can optionally add a KPL and/or other Insteon switches later. I use a single KPL secondary button for all speeds including off.

              Create four scenes for the fan (High, Medium, Low and Off) and one scene for the light. Assign a spoken in the portal for each scene, add the scenes to the Alexa app. That's it.
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              • #8
                So these seem like two different solutions but maybe not much different. I have kept the two standard switches in the two gang box for the time being. Right now the conventional fan switch controls line power to the fanlinc so it acts like what stusviews describes above when the switch is flipped to the on position. In the off position the fanlinc is disabled (no fan or light). The second switch in the gang box (the one that used to go to the light) has been disabled by capping off the second line wire (red) at the ceiling from the light switch. That makes that light switch in the wall inoperative. To place the fanlinc into a constant power condition I could take the power line wire in the wall and wire it direct to the line (black) wire of the fanlinc. Neutrals would all be connected also. This would make the fan switch in the wall also inoperative. If I direct power wire the fanlinc like this, in effect, I can place a blank plate over the two gang box as nether conventional switch is needed.

                I would then program Alexa and my ISY for control via voice commands and scene definition. At some time of my choosing, I could restore some "manual" control to the fan and lights by wiring in a 6 or 8 button KPL at the two gang box. The KPL would be wired with switched power to the fanlinc using the relay buttons (top and bottom). The center four buttons could be control buttons for the four scenes set up for the fan speeds... high, medium, low and off. And if I choose to add a KPL I suspect that I should use the on/off keypad as I understand sending a dimming signal from a dimming keypad to the fanlinc could cause a hum with the fan motor. The only dimming would be of the light and then only by voice command. Fan and light -- off and on would be accomplished by the relay function of the KPL. When the KPL is in the off position there is no other way to operate the fan or light as there is no power to the fanlinc. Oh, by the way, I am using a 100 watt LED as the light source on the fan. Am I understanding what stuviews has said above? If I wire the KPL (again an on/off KPL) the way that lilyoyo1 has described I will negate the relay capability of the KPL and direct powered the fanlinc. I could use both the "manual" control offered at the wall by the KPL as well as voice control of the fan and the light from Alexa via ISY scenes. Am I understanding this alternate application of the KPL correctly?

                If so, thanks to you both for helping me out with this. ( One take-away I am surmising I should abandon my idea of wiring the light switch in parallel with the blue wire output of the fanlinc).

                By the way, I think for the other fan with the three way switch control and in the living room, I am going to add a more conventional three way dimmer switch to control the light function and use the fanlinc that is powered by the conventional off and on switch and Alexa/ISY scenes as the voice controller for fan speed and fan off.

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                • #9
                  We're saying the same thing just different ways and setup possibilities.

                  I would use a dimmer keypad as you avoid the relay click that comes with a relay. Because the dimmer kpl isn't wired directly to the fan, you will be ok. Just remember insteon devices are linked not wired together. In a sense, using automation requires a change in thought process from what you are accustomed to. The hum you get with wiring a dimmer to your fan is non existent since it's not wired directly (All of my fans use the fanlinc and dimmer kpl).

                  Since the other side isn't needed you could cap off the other side. Personally, I'd rather have control from both sides but that would be user choice.

                  Since you plan on using regular switches with your other fan, just remember should someone turn the switch off, you will lose power to the fanlinc. During those times, voice control will not be available until the fan is powered back on.

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                  • #10
                    In case we wern't clear, there is normally no wired connection at all between any wall switches and the FanLinc. All control of both the fan and light is virtual using only scenes. If you want to use a wall switch, then the correct device is a 6-button KPL with the buttons being scene controllers.

                    If you wire a standard switch directly to the FanLinc, then you will have no control of either the fan or the light when the switch is in the off position. If you wire a standard switch to the lights, then you should not wire the FanLinc to the lights at all.

                    If you want a 3-way configuration, then each device must be Insteon. Or, if you have the correct wiring in place, then each switch, (fan or light, not both) two for the fan or two for the light, must be standard 3-way switches. You cannot mix standard and Insteon devices.

                    If you use standard 3-way switches for the fan, then you will not have speed control.
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