There's this setup, where I have one lamp and one fan, both are connected to one switch. I would like to add another switch to control them independently.

Here's a rough schematic of what I found when looking behind the switch:

Here's a text explanation in case my schema is not that clear:

I have 2 trains of 3 wire each coming from the wall, I assume each for each appliance. Each train has a black/white(red in schema)/green.

The whites are binded together with a screw-on connector. The greens are also binded together with a screw-on connector, and have a wire going from the screw-on connector to the ground of the switch.

The black from each train goes to each pole of the switch.

What I've tried:

Without touching the greens.

I've tried to untangle all the wires, and connect black/white(red) of one train to the switch assuming it would allow me to control either fan or lamp: nothing.

I've then proceeded to various mix/matches, sometimes the fuse would pop and I would have to reset it (I know, not a very smart move here).

That's why I've given up as I must be too stupid to figure this one out on my own.

I have no idea what's in the wall, I assumed that because I have these two train both lamp and fan are in parallel?

Any ideas? Thanks a lot for your help and sorry if it's a dumb question :/


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Experimenting with mains electrical is a very bad idea. There are many combinations of hookups which will work and then kill you. Of course, you'll stop at the first combination that seems to work, and will be oblivious to the fact that you just created a danger condition. A breaker popping is a sure sign that you are out of your depth; time to stop, get a book, and skill up. Google is the wrong thing to do at this point. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


I've then proceeded to various mix/matches, sometimes the fuse would pop and I would have to reset it.

This is really bad and very stupid. You are messing with mains electricity with zero understanding of how a simple lighting circuit works.

I offer you the following circuit for your understanding but strongly recommend that you get a qualified electrician to do the work.


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Figure 1. Splitting a two-lamp circuit into independent circuits.

  • \$\begingroup\$ At the very least, this arrangement will require more wires than OP has in the walls. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do know that mixing & matching wires is a dangerous thing to do and I shouldn't have done it. I just thought it was better to be honest in my question. Whops, pressed enter too soon. Thanks that what I thought I needed to do but I didn't had the extra wire on hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – kinji
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ That being said, in the "What You have", it's not exactly what I have and that's why I think in the end I cannot do what I want to do as the connection to the mains must be done in the ceiling somewhere. The two black wires coming from each train are connected to each pole of the switch, not the same one. \$\endgroup\$
    – kinji
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well then improve your question and wiring schematic by editing your question. Note that when you use the schematic button on the editor toolbar that you can save an editable schematic in your post. You don't need a CircuitLab account. "Train" is not a word we use to describe electrical wiring. If you edit your user profile to show what your first language is we might be able to help translate. I suspect that you mean "cable". \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will update soon then! Ah okay, good to know, thanks!. By "train" I tried to meant that each set of 3 wires are in a separate "big plastic cable" in the wall. \$\endgroup\$
    – kinji
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:30

What you need is a fan remote control kit

This is a wireless remote, and a module that sits up in the fan cowling.

You (or rather, a qualified person) wires it up, and now the remote lets you control the fan independently when the switch is on.

Some of them also let you dim the light.

Some of them also provide a wired remote that goes where the switch goes; that is fine.


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