Lighted Fan Light Switch




About: I love to build things. My love affair with destructing, constructing and reconstructing stuff began when I was very young. When I got a new toy the first thing I did was take it apart to find out how it wor...

Have one of those lighted fans in your computer?  They are cool but the light is on when the fan is running and the intensity varies if you use a speed controller.   Wish you could slow down your fan without losing your lights or just turn out the lights with out turning off the fan?  In this Instructable I will show you how to do just that.

Step 1: Tools You Will Need

The tools we need are pretty basic...
A soldering iron and solder we need an old USB cable and an E-xato knife. I used a USB cable because of the size of the wires. They need to be small enough to feed under the motor housing of the fan.  Just cut off the ends and remove the outside casing.  This will leave you with four wires, two of which we will use.  The black one and the green one.

Step 2: Getting Started

The first step is to remove the sticker covering the wiring. Once you do this locate the negative connection of the LED's. These should be marked on the circuit board of the fan.

Step 3: Testing the Lights

Next unsoldered the negative wires form the circuit board . Then temporarily soldered a bare wire to them so you can make sure that you have the right wires. Simply plug in the fan and touch the end of the wire to one of the original negative terminals to make sure the lights work. If they do then you are ready to continue wiring.

Step 4: Running a New Ground

Next feed the black wire, from the USB cable, under the motor housing and attached one end to the first wire. Be sure to tape all your connections as you do not want bare wires touching the circuit board of the fan.  The hardest part of this step is stripping the wires in the middle to make the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th connection.  Just strip one section at a time, then solder on the negative wire from the LED, tape the connection, then gently pull the wire through the housing so it lays flat and tuck the new joint under the motor housing. 

Step 5: Finishing the Wiring

Here is the completed the wiring. The 3rd and 4th wire connects just like the 2nd wire.  Once all the connections are made, run the black wire out the arm of the fan.  Next solder a green wire, from the USB cable, to the original negative connection on the circuit board, and run it out the arm of the fan. Make sure these are long enough to go to the switch you want to use. Once the fan is powered up, you turn on the lights by touching the black and green wires together. These are what will connect to your switch.

Step 6: Lights On! Lights Off!

Plug your fan into your power supply and touch the green to the black and "Woopee!" we have lights!  Now you can run these to just about anything you want besides an on/off switch.  You could wire them into a sound controller and have them flash to your music.   Use a rheostat in stead of a switch and you could control the brightness.  You could even wire them to a photovoltaic  switch and have them turn off in the day time. I just wired them to an on/off micro-switch mounted to the front of my computer.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Finish off the mod with a new sticker to cover the printed circuit board and your new wiring.

Now you will be able to turn the lights on and off without affecting the fan. The best part is, if you are using a speed controller on the fan, it will not dim the lights when you slow down the fan.

I hope you found this useful.  If you have any questions just leave 'em in the comments and I will try to answer them.

In my next Instructable I will show you how to add some LED's to you fan.



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    13 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 7

    Could I get a schematic or something so I can understand this a little better? Great 'Ible except I don't understand were to cut and solder wiring. Please send me a schematic or explain it to me. Thanks in advance.


    8 years ago on Step 7

    hey, what if i'd like to put all leds of 6 fans in 1 switch is this possible? Do I need a tpst switch? thanks.

    3 replies
    the seakernin9liv9s

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    Yes it is possible. you just have to wire each fan in this same way, then attach all of the black wires to one side of the switch and all the green to the other. you can use just about any switch you wish for this task. It would be easiest with 6 fans to take the 6 black wires solder them together to one wire and do the same with the green and connect the single wires to the switch.

    ContraptionMakerthe seaker

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    If you guys are interested, I made a, well let's call it a mini power strip, that you could plug in many lights or fans. There are two banks to plug lights into, one for one set of lights and one for anothe set of lights. Hooked up up to a DPDT center off switch. In my case I could turn on all the blue lights or just the UV instead, or you could turn them off completlly.

    the seakerContraptionMaker

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 7

    could you go into more detail on your "mini power strip"? im trying to get an idea of what you mean, maby upload some pics in your free time? Thanks


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i cant wait for the instructable on how to add leds, the lighted fans are quite expensive! great instructable, 5*s

    1 reply

    Hi Zack, Glad you like the structable. As far as the fans go, not sure where you buy them but check here. They have fans starting at $1.99 up to $14.99. I do some case mods and have bought a lot of parts from them.