Some manufacturers offer handheld, wireless controls. A receiver located in the switch cup of the fan picks up the signal that controls the fan. A handheld control may offer several convenience features, including reverse and "sleep" models.
Remote Controls are popular additions and selling points for fans that come equipped with remotes. Remotes allow more versatility and convenience of operation.
Remotes use Radio Frequency to communicate between the receiver that resides with the fan and the transmitter that is either wall mounted or handheld.
Manufacturers can supply both canopy mounted and switch housing mounted after market remote controls. Usually the canopy mounted control is the least expensive. They feature Light on/off and dimming, and Fan 3 speed control. They can usually be used with fans that didn’t come with a remote on most manufacturers.
Switch housing mounted after market remotes are usually full featured remotes that include Light on/off and dimming, Fan 3 speed, and reverse control. Some fan companies such as Monte Carlo utilize a unique plug-in design that utilizes the fans own speed control capacitor that assures the fan will perform exactly as it would if using a pull chain control. This same design also allows use of the switch housing that is included with the fan. Other fan manufacturers must provide various receivers for each fan motor used and for each finish used.
Additionally, after market transmitters are available for both normal and up light/Down light controls. These can be used in conjunction with many after market remotes or fans that include remotes.
Most remote control kits are batter powered. Battery power lets the user mount wall transmitters on any wall in the room within 20ft. of the fan. Battery power also allows two or more transmitters to be placed in a room with more than one entrance for easy three way operation with special wiring. Batter power eliminates damage to transmitters due to power surges.
Transmitters can be configured using the dip switches in the transmitter and receiver to allow separate control of multiple fans in a house. Dip switches are located on the receiver and transmitter and must match for the remote to control the fan.
Multiple Fans can be controlled from one transmitter by setting the dip switch settings on all receivers the same as the transmitter. This is not recommended for fans with lights as the lights can easily get out of sync.