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Choose the right Regulator for Ceiling Fan for Electricity Saving

By on August 25, 2015

Hindi Translation: बिजली की बचत के लिए छत के पंखे के लिए सही रेगुलेटर चुनें

Ceiling fan is one of the most common appliances in Indian household. Being a tropical country, India relies a lot on ceiling fan and there is a ceiling fan in every room in the country. When we go and buy a ceiling fan, we also get a regulator along with it. Regulators are of different types, and different ceiling fans come with different types of regulators. Most people typically do not care about the regulator, but it is very important to know that even the regulator can waste electricity and can increase your electricity bills.

Fan Regulator

Good news is that you can always refuse to take the supplied regulator and can get equivalent discount, and replace it with an efficient one. But for that you need to know about the types of regulators.

How does a Fan Work?

A ceiling fan has an electric motor and metallic blades connected to it. When we switch on a fan, the voltage difference causes the current to pass through the motor and the fan rotates. The regulator controls the voltage that makes the current flow less or more. Lower the voltage lower the speed of the fan. So a regulator controls the voltage levels for the fan.

Types of Regulators

There are 3 types of regulators available in the market today: Electric Regulator, Step Type Electronic Regulator and Movable Electronic Regulator. All 3 have different ways of controlling the fan speed and thus the efficiency with which they manage electricity consumption differs. From price perspective Electric regulator is the cheapest, but of all three it is the most inefficient regulator. We are in process of compiling information related to price impact and will update that as well very soon. But first let’s look at all the three types:

Electric Regulator

Traditional regulators that were there in our homes in the past were mostly of this type. These regulators have resistors to decrease the voltage for the ceiling fan. The resistor heats up while decreasing the voltage and thus the electricity saved by reducing the fan speed is lost as heat in the regulator. The internal heat also damages the regulator in long run. These regulators are also bulky in size. They come for as low as Rs 40 a piece.ElectricRegulator

Electronic Regulator

Electronic regulators are the latest type of regulators available in the market. These are much smaller in size than the electric regulators. Electronic regulators use capacitors instead of resistors to decrease the voltage. Capacitors regulate the fan speed by regulating the waveform of power supply. These do not get heated up and thus save electricity when the fan is running at lower speeds (at higher speeds electricity consumption of fan is the same with both regulators).  These regulators save up to 40% at speed 1 and about 30% at speed 2 compared to electric regulators. There are 2 types of electronic regulators available:

    1. Movable Type: These regulators move smoothly and there are no stepped number (1 to 5) provided on theem. These regulators are better than electric ones but still can cause some distortion to the movement of the motor that causes it to heat up. This type typically costs Rs 100 apiece.MovableType
    2. Step Type: These regulators have numbered speed steps (typically 1 to 5). These regulators provide lower distortion to the movement of the motor and thus less heating. These are the most efficient type of regulator. This type typically costs Rs 200 apiece.ceiling_fan_regulator

If you run fans at low speeds in your house then a step type fan regulator is the best electricity saving option for you. Savings in electricity bills can recover the extra price you pay for it.Infographic11.png.png

Source of Information: Core Center

  • rijo

    Sir I have a doubt.. plz reply my orient fans regulator got damaged. . Can I replace it with any other brand regulator. . And also Can anyone explain the connection or wiring diagram of fan switch to regulator to fan…
    Can anyone reply to [email protected]

    • Bijli Bachao Team


      You can replace it with any other fan regulator. It should not be a problem. However we do not have the wiring diagram to connect the regulator.

  • Keyur

    Dear sir

    I am just 17 years old. I ask question to you when I on the fan on 1 speed. And then I on the fan on 5 speed.so both of result same or different? ? Please give me answer

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Keyur,

      Did not understand your question properly. At 1 speed of fan will be less and at 5 speed will be more.

    • Keyur

      Sir I mean lowest speed and fastest speed.on regulator 1 is lowest speed and 5 is fastest speed.

      Sorry sir but I am a student so I can’t present right English clearly. Just little mistakes in my writing so I apologise.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Keyur,

      Electricity bill will be different. You can check the energy consumption numbers at various speeds on this link: https://www.bijlibachao.com/fans/review-superfan-bee-5-star-regular-fan.html

    • Keyur

      Electricity bill is same or different

  • Rajesh

    I have 4 Crompton Greves (Model-High Speed) ceiling fans. The fan runs at very speedily even at level 1 and thereafter runs very fast at each level. Sometimes the speed gets unbearable for us specially during Rainy and Winter seasons. The regulators are not from the Crompton Greves.
    Please suggest some solutions for this problem.

  • Rom

    I’ve 4 electronic step type and 1 electric regulator in my home. Electric one is working fine while all the other electronic have problems of very low speed at 1-2-3-4 and very high speed at 5. After reading the comments here I learned that lot of people are facing these problem. I think either these regulators are of bogus quality (including branded regulators) or there is a problem with this technique of regulating fan speed.
    We have sent satellite to Mars, can’t we have a good fan regulator.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Rom,

      It is the capacitors that have lesser life. Unfortunately that is a problem with best of brands.

  • Hiren

    Hi, I am using Orient wendy fans with Step Type electronics regulator. My both fans can not speed up in level 1,2, and 3. On level 4 they rotate at high speed. But in level 1, 2, and 3 they both are running at too slower speed. First 3 level can not make difference in fan speed. I also have contacted technician. But technical suggest us to use old Electric Regulator. What should I do? I am totally fainted with technician’s suggestion. Please help…..

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Hiren,

      The step type regulators are efficient however they are not very durable. And this is a common problem with these regulators as the capacitors go awry most of the times. Old Electric Regulator works well with the speed but it is bad for electricity consumption. So I am sorry to say but one has to choose between either evil. Or move to brushless DC fans that work with remote control.

    • Hiren

      The problems is only with Orient fans. The same regulators are working well with USHA fans in my house.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Then you must call up Orient so that they can send their engineers to check the same. It should not happen that one brand fan is working properly and other is not on the same regulator.

    • Bipin

      I too have Orient PSPO Fans and step type electronic regulators and after having replaced all regulators periodically not even a single regulator has been able to sustain for any long.
      Do you mean the step up electronic regulators are a FAILED TECHNOLOGY and still being allowed to sell by Electrical authorities in the country and there is no quality control mechanism ?
      Moving back to older technology of electric regulators that work on resistors is not a practical option as most homes do not have space in the board nor is it updated technology.
      Regulators are meant to regulate speed for our comforts and not that we align our way of living as per capacitors wishes.
      We expect a solution through this medium, else whats the point in having such forums online to just accept what is thrown by these vendors at us.

  • Uday

    I am guessing I have the capacitor based regulators installed (they are not the older big protruding box type but small ones the same size as the switches themselves built into the board and the dial turns freely instead of in ‘clicks’ and speed of the fan is changed accordingly. Interestingly I found that it works with superfan also. The way I realized was that one day the knob was turned all the way down to ‘zero’ position and the fan won’t work at all – I didn’t notice it and I started worrying that my superfan, which I bought against the wisdom of my family members, has failed me. Then I noticed the knob and turned it to ‘full’ and thank goodness the fan started working again.

    Secondly, I have a query based on a mistake made when the house wiring was done. In one of the bedrooms, the regulator is connected to the tubelight point instead of fan. So when I turn the dial, the tubelight (regular 36W T8) starts dimming and after a certain point it turns off. I am thinking of replacing this with an LED tubelight shortly so is it possible to continue using that regulator as a dimmer? Would I be doing any harm to the LED tubelight or any of it’s components? Is there any difference between using this one and an actual dimmer?

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Uday,

      Firstly Superfan company suggests to remove regulator for their fan, so I would recommend to get it disconnected. We have done the same in our house. It is better that way.

      Regulators job is to reduce voltage and that is why when you move the regulator for your tubelight, the output of tubelight becomes low as the voltage is low. LEDs are available in dimmer compatible and non compatible versions. If you want to use them with Dimmer then you will have to go for dimmer compatible versions. With others there can be flckering or buzzing sound (or both). Luminaires will work as long as the voltage is sufficient enough to make them work. Once the voltage goes below, they will stop working (as it is happening with your current tubelight). Regulator and Dimmer are essentially the same. They regulate voltage.

  • sakshi

    We have new ceiling fans in our home, there is step type regulators installed for each fan. At no. 5 these fans runs fast but at no. 4 they go very slow as if they are being run on no. 1 or 2. we have tried changing the regulator but of no use. Pls advise as it causes very discomfort to be in Very fast air when not required

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Sakshi,

      It is a problem with the regulator. Most modern capacitor based regulators fail very quickly. They are energy efficient but not very durable. Old resistor based one were long lasting but not very energy efficient. Another solution is to move to newer BLDC super efficient fans that have a remote control to change speeds.

  • chandan chakraborty

    just take 5 fan regulator step electronic type but in lower speed all the fan causes roaring or you can say humming sound , what to do please specify..

  • Suvro Kanjilal

    I have brought a high speed ceilling fan. is it safe to Controlling it with Step Electronic regulator?

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      It is certainly safe to use step electronic regulator with a high speed ceiling fan.

  • Prashant

    Hi Team,

    I have recently purchase online an Ovastar Hand Blender-Mixer (OWHM-1014) most possibly china made, Delhi marketed. This has 5 speed settings probably field or winding tapped universal motor with carbon brushes and o/p 250W. I have used it a few times to make cakes and cookies and found that the RPM of speed setting 1 itself is so high, that there’s very small variation of RPM in other higher settings (one can say hardly any difference between speeds 1 to 5. I’d like to reduce the speed at point 1, 2 & 3.

    Can you advice if adding some resistance or inductance/capacitance or triac-diac in the speed controller’s circuit points at 1-3 would help regulate the RPM of the motor to desired level? Or can I use regular ceiling fan regulators available in the market?


    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hello Mr Bhalekar,

      The alternative you have given will certainly help in reducing the speed at level 1 and thus you can get higher speeds at point 2 and 3. But unless one know the complete circuit, it will be difficult to guide you on this. You may discuss with mixie mechanics and may get the desired adjustment. Use of regular ceiling fan may also help but better if you take to the mechanics undertaking such epair work for the correct adjustment and check on the current drawn at each setting within limits. Please share when get the desired adjustment so that it will benefit other visiter on the web site.

  • Vinayakumar

    I am using capacitive type regulator.1.1 MFD,2.2MFD 3.3MFD capacitance are using.But variation in speed is too high.All five regulators have same problem.Can I increase the speed by increasing the capacity of the capacitor.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Vinay,

      Capacitive type regulator are quite efficient, however we have not seen any regulator of this type which does not get problem after sometime of use. So this is a persistent problem with this type of regulators. We mostly recommend people to change the regulator in such case. Or we recommend people to move to brushless DC fans available in market (like superfan or orbit greens fans) that use remote control to regulate the speed.

  • Vinayakumar

    I have five fans and all are working with step type electronic regulator(GM).The problem is while it is working in speed 1,2,3,4 the speed is very slow.But in speed 5 it is ok.How can I increase the speed in1,2,3,4.

    • Bijli Bachao Team

      Hi Vinay,

      It seems your regulator is not working properly. You may have to replace it.

  • Aashana

    I m sufferin from the same prob as ayesha n hence want to slow down the speed of the fan at step 1 itself.. It wud be really helpful if u hv a suggestion to our prob…

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hi Aashana,

      You will have to get the regulator changed for that. Speed at 1 is fast only when the regulator is not working properly.

  • Salmander

    The older model regulators fail less and are more reliable. We changed nearly half a dozen electronic regulators in the past 4 or 5 years. None of them gave a consistent fan speed either. The fan either ran too fast or too slow. So much for ‘modern technology’. Every year, the quality of ‘new technologies’ seems to be so terrible it feels like it can’t get any worse – however, manufacturers consistently disprove our contention by making their newer models even worse.

    We recently switched back to an old model regulator for two of our fans. The speeds are more consistent now. We will (most likely) change the other electronic regulators once they fail.

    • Mahadeo

      Yes, I also tried a lot of movable and step type electronic regulators for more than 5 years, they really did not give better performance than the old generation electric regulator, they also died soon.

      3 years ago I decided trying old style electric regulators and I am happy with my decision. They perform better (No humming sound at low speed) and predictable results at every level. They do what they are supposed to do and none of the regulator has died in last 3 years.

  • Ayeesha

    Can the minimum speed of the fan be reduced?I mean can changing a regulator help to start the fan at a slower pace than what it runs now?the starting speed itself is too much n we now have a small baby n can’t run a fan at such speed..pls advise.

    • Abhishek Jain

      HI Ayeesha,

      The speed of the fan depends on voltage that is supplied to the fan. Regulators change the voltage. So certainly speed of the fan can be reduced. Typically it is quite low at 1st step of the regulator. Is it not changing when you move the regulator?

    • Ayeesha

      Thank you for the response…I’ll get the regulator changed.
      Typically it is quite slow in the beginning right?but ours is fast at the start itself n it only gets speedier…. Hope it slows down.

  • Nand kishore sharma

    Please tell us for 300 watt Stepped type Fan regulator

    • Abhishek Jain

      What do you want to know about it?

  • malik mudassar

    how we install a step type regulator

    • Abhishek Jain

      You should take services of an electrician to install the regulator for you.

  • Rajeev

    I have stepped electronic regulators for ceiling fans in my house. My problem is that the speed of the fan becomes erratic after few months of installing a new regulator. I have to change regulator every 6 months to 2 years. Can’t we make good, sturdy regulators in India. I have tried brands like Anchor & Straco.

    • Abhishek Jain

      Its a common problem with regulators. It’s not a problem of Fans. Other option is to switch to Supefan (www.superfan.in) which does not need regulator.

    • Rajeev

      Thanks. At last I have an authentic answer.

    • suhan

      Hi rajeev . .we have the same problem . . had to change all the regs in my house twice! . . .and they still keep failing within 6 months . . .i’ve gone to a dozen shops, and although all of them suggested that it they cant be repaired and that i have to buy a new one, none of them actually could give me a convincing reason as to why they fail . . .

      did you come up with a solution?

    • rajeev

      Hi! Suhan. I have no solution so far. I feel the component quality is to blame. Sellers get high commissions on such product and seem to be interested in handing you a new one. But that is how our economy works I guess. I would lay the blame on manufacturers rather than the sellers. An interesting information on this forum was regarding “Superfan” which does not require a regulator and is operated by a remote.It is being made only in one facility, probably in Karnatka. They accept order in bulk only. This discouraged me, as issues of warranty and couriering the unit to the factory would have been too much of a bother in case of defect.
      Best Wishes

    • Suhan

      Hi Rajeev

      (There’s no reply tab below your response, so typing here)

      Thanks for your insight. Yup, that’s how these guys make a killing. But I’m still experimenting. I’m hunting for capacitors that are attached to the back of the circuit board of the regulator. Just a hunch, not sure that’s the issue.

      I’m just baffled by what part exactly is spoiled “beyond repair” – I want someone to point out what the spoiled part is, rather than just give me universal (albeit blind) advice of just buying a new one. The d*mn thing can fit into a kid’s hand, yet noone knows why it’s not working as intended.

      You’re right though. Only the manufacturer (probably Chinese) is to blame – they know the problem.

      Will let you know if the capacitor change works.


    • Rajeev

      Hi! Suhan, I agree with you. I am sure that a knowledgeable person should be able to fix the problem either in the circuitry or the capacitor.

    • Susila

      Dear Sir,

      Thank you for your interest in SUPERFAN.

      SUPERFAN is designed and manufactured by Versa Drives Private Limited and the factory is located at Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. You can even purchase one number of Superfan and get it delivered at your doorsteps with 5 years of replacement warranty by ordering it through our online website (https://www.superfan.in/superstore/). 100% shipping will be free.

      Regarding the Service issues, you can call our toll free no 1800 425 78737 and +91 94890 78737. Our service person will call and assist you in a better way and the replacement of new motor will be provided directly from the factory in case of any defect.

      Please let us know if you have any queries.

      Thank you,
      From SUPERFAN
      Versa Drives Private Limited,


    if fan regulater slow point, then what will be current flow and what will be electric charge?

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hello Mr Patel,

      This page should help you get your answer: https://www.bijlibachao.com/fans/review-superfan-bee-5-star-regular-fan.html

  • Harmahendra Hura

    It is wrong to say that electronic regulator uses capacitor to regulate speed. Speed is regulated by triacs which cuts waveform as per setting of variable resistance. These regulators distort waveform of current causing humming sound in fan at lower speeds. Best regulators were auto transformer type which are not being made now a days being bulky and expensive. Auto transformer do not consume electric and do not distort wave form power saving is real at lower speeds.

  • Rauf

    Hi Abhishek,
    In my new flat, builder has installed 6 legrand electronic stepped regulators. All of them are having same issue like for first speed, fans runs fine but on 2nd speed fan changes its speed drastically which gives feel as speed of 4. And this is happening in all flats of the building.
    what can be the problem?

    • Abhishek Jain


      I would try with the regulator first. The speed of fan varies as the voltage varies and the job of regulator is to change the voltage. If the regulator is not able to change the voltage effectively, speeds will not be consistent. Try changing one of the regulators with a new one.

  • Adisesha

    What type of problem is encountered in ceiling fan when electronic regulator

    • Abhishek Jain

      At times electronic regulators are not able to vary voltages properly and as a result of it the fan runs at similar RPM at multiple speed levels. For eg it may run at fastest speed at setting of 3,4,5 and may slow down only at 2 or 1. Or it may slow down from 5 to 4 to 3, but may not slow down further at 2 and 1.

  • anil chodankar

    at present i have small regulator which gives to much of noise, when i put fan on slow. I have inquired in the market for old rugulator but it is not available. wiil u please guide

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hello Mr Chodankar,

      Noise is coming from the fan or from the regulator?

  • rahul gadkari

    Hello Abhishek,
    Two ceiling fans in my home recently have same problem. They run at slow speed from 1 to 4 but very fast at 5. Both have step type electronic regulators. what might be the problem?


    • Abhishek Jain

      The problem is with regulator. You might have to change it.

  • raghu

    why do regulators of fan gets heated?

    • Abhishek Jain

      If it is a resistor based regulator, then when current passes through a resistor, heat gets generated. It’s like when tyre runs on road, it gets heated.


  • K.Vittal Rao

    Can a ceiling fan with electronic regulator be operated by two 2way switches ?

    • Abhishek Jain

      Yes, they certainly can. We have such a setup in our place.


  • Reddy.SM

    Mr:Jain Thanks a lot Sir.
    I Shall go through it thanks once again.:)

  • Reddy.SM

    Sir Am having electronic regu. lator( not step type). Here my problem is. When I turned on the regulator in just minimum speed, later (aprox. 04:00 he’s) on all of sudden the fans speed will be very high.(for ex:( When I turned fan on by 11:00. pm around 03:30. Morning its runs in more speed.
    Thank you sir.

    • Abhishek Jain

      Hello Mr Reddy,

      Whatever is happening in your regulator is quite strange. It seems something is wrong in the regulator. Would suggest you to change it to a step type regulator.


  • soumya

    can it b possible to design digital regulator for ceiling fan? is it advantageous one?

    • Abhishek Jain

      It certainly is possible. But ultimately won’t it will have electronic circuitry? Can’t see any advantage over regular electronic regulator.


  • sravan

    can we replace an old crompton greaves regulator with a new one? are regulators available in market, coz i’ve learnt that new fan never comes with regulators!

    • Abhishek Jain

      You can certainly replace your old regulator with a new one. They are available in market. All brands like Anchor, Roma, etc make them. You can try them out.


  • jo

    how about connecting a fan regulator to a 100 or 60 watts bulb to make it dimmer and to save current

    • Abhishek Jain

      Well I would suggest using a CFL or LED instead of 100 or 60 watts bulb. That will save you far more electricity than using a regulator as a dimmer.


  • carrie

    Interesting post. the discussion part is really informative. Electrical Fan heaters

  • Vikrant Latkar

    Can I add another smooth regulator to the existing regular regulator so that I can control the fan speed more accurately?

    • Abhishek Jain


      It is better to replace the old regulator and put a more efficient one.


  • shashikant yadav

    how to join the regulator in
    Ceiling fan

    • avinash

      Fan regulator is connected in series to the fan. You have to connect the live or phase wire from the board-switch-end with one wire of regulator and the other wire in the regulator to the ceiling fan.The neutral wire is directly connected the other terminal of ceiling fan.