7 Ways To Add Smart Control To Your Old Ceiling Fan


To me, the concept of getting to manually attain up and pull the pull-chain on a ceiling fan is as terrible as having to manually raise up your storage door. So, in the event you’re like me and also you’re hooked on the whole lot sensible house, you most likely have a necessity so as to add sensible management to any ceiling followers in your house.

Sadly, its not all the time sensible to only toss out your outdated followers and substitute them with model new sensible followers.

I purchased my ceiling followers as a result of I like the way in which they appear. They match my décor and embrace the lighting and fan velocity choices I need. Plus, they nonetheless work. Why would I need to substitute them?

Regardless of all that, I might simply open up my pockets and purchase new sensible followers. However, the obtainable pool of ready-made sensible followers remains to be comparatively small and relatively costly.

Thankfully, its not vital to spend so much on a model new sensible ceiling fan. There’s a number of obtainable low-cost choices to retrofit your outdated ceiling fan with sensible management.



What Does It Imply To Make Your Ceiling Fan Smart?

Earlier than I get too carried away, I ought to most likely clarify what I imply after I say sensible ceiling fan. A sensible ceiling fan has its gentle and fan linked to your sensible house. As soon as linked to your sensible house, you possibly can management it remotely together with your smartphone or by organising predefined guidelines or interactions with different sensible house merchandise.

My superb sensible ceiling fan management ought to have:

  1. Voice management. I’m a giant Amazon Alexa consumer, however the different main voice assistants can work simply as effectively.
  2. Plus, I ought to nonetheless have the ability to flip them on/off with a wall swap. There’s all the time occasions when a very good, old school wall swap is each simpler and sooner.
  3. I additionally need the choice to have followers and lights mechanically activate/off after I enter/exit a room. That is normally completed with PIR movement sensors.

Finest Resolution: Smart Ceiling Fan Control Utilizing A Smart Change

In case you have a separate wall swap on your ceiling fan and lightweight, then a wall mounted sensible swap and sensible fan velocity management might work nice for you. The sensible switches set up within the wall and substitute your present wall switches. You’ll add the comfort of sensible management, and also you’ll nonetheless have the ability to management your fan and lightweight manually.

This feature provides probably the most alternative for customized automation. You may setup automations utilizing movement sensors, temperature sensors, and voice instructions. Nonetheless, bear in mind “customized” automation signifies that YOU should do the programming.

NOTE: For those who don’t like the concept of tinkering with automations and sensible house hubs, you could be extra excited about taking a look at complete smart ceiling fans.

Smart Fan Velocity Controls

WARNING #1: DON’T attempt to use a dimmer swap as a fan velocity management.

I do know intuitively it looks as if it might work, however its not a good suggestion.

A typical ceiling fan motor is an AC induction motor. For a swap to successfully decelerate that sort of motor, it requires a variable frequency drive (VFD) or a TRIAC with some further circuitry. That’s not how gentle dimmer switches are designed.

For those who strive utilizing a lightweight dimmer swap in your fan, you’ll more than likely hear a loud buzzing sound on low speeds. Even worse, the ceiling fan motor could be damaged over time.

WARNING #2: Be careful for normal switches being bought as fan controllers.

Recently, I’ve seen just a few WiFi sensible switches being bought as fan controllers. Nonetheless, they don’t have the required circuitry to successfully management a ceiling fan motor. Don’t purchase them and count on to have the ability to management your fan’s velocity except you take pleasure in listening to a relentless hum.

Sellers don’t listing what’s contained in the switches, so it’s onerous to know for positive which merchandise are the “actual deal”. The easiest way I’ve discovered is to scan the evaluations for individuals complaining of a buzzing sound after putting in the machine.

To date the one high quality in-wall fan velocity controllers I’ve discovered are the 2 I’ve listed beneath.

The GE Z-Wave Plus smart fan speed control is a fan velocity controller that’s put in on the wall swap. It operates utilizing Z-Wave wi-fi, so it would require a Z-Wave hub. Sadly, it’s not fairly an all-in-one controller. It solely controls fan velocity and doesn’t management lighting capabilities.

With the intention to use the Z Wave ceiling fan management, you put in it instead of the wall swap for the fan and set your ceiling fan velocity to its highest setting.

INSTALLATION TIP: I like to recommend you set your fan to its highest velocity earlier than you disconnect your present swap. That approach, there’s no query that the fan is about to its prime velocity once you flip the ability again on and check your sensible fan velocity controller.

One other nice choice for a fan controller is the Lutron Caseta Smart Fan Speed Control. Lutron is a bit more costly, and it runs on it’s personal wi-fi protocol so it requires a bridge. Nevertheless it’s very prime quality and dependable gear (see my review).

Control Your Lights

You don’t want a specialised sensible product to show your ceiling fan lights into sensible lights. A easy sensible swap like this GE smart switch can do the trick.

This GE sensible swap is a Z-wave machine. Which means it communicates wirelessly utilizing the Z-Wave protocol. To ensure that the swap to work you’ll want a wise house hub (like Samsung SmartThings or Wink 2) that works with Z-Wave.


Subsequent Finest Factor: Bond, The Smart Distant Controller

For those who don’t have a wall swap for each your fan and lightweight, you gained’t have the ability to use sensible switches like I described above. For those who’re actually bold, you possibly can tear into your partitions, rewire the ceiling fan, and set up the specified switches. However that would find yourself being a variety of work, particularly in the event you don’t know what you’re doing.

Usually, in case your ceiling fan has a lightweight, it’s wired to a wall swap. Nonetheless, its much less widespread to even have the fan wired to a swap. On this case, the one solution to flip the fan on/off or regulate the velocity is through the use of the pull-chain hanging from the ceiling fan. Lame, proper? Thankfully, that is the period of sensible house management, and we will do higher!

There are a pair options for sensible management that don’t require wall switches.

In case you have a ceiling fan with a distant management, there may be a better approach.

A tool just like the Bond controller can file the alerts that your distant management sends. As soon as the sign is recorded, it remembers and performs it again everytime you (or your sensible house) command it to. The ceiling fan then responds to Bond precisely as it might reply to your distant management.

Bond can file and play again any operate that your distant can management. Normally that features gentle dimming and fan velocity.

As soon as your ceiling fan is linked to Bond, its straightforward to setup voice management with Amazon Alexa.

Bond will be positioned just about wherever in your house. The RF sign utilized by most ceiling followers simply goes by normal partitions and has a spread of roughly 40 ft. It additionally must be inside WiFi vary of your property router.

Bond could seem costly (check current price) at first, however it may be used with as much as six units proper now. Additionally, its principally being marketed as a ceiling fan controller, however its not really restricted to only ceiling followers. It might probably management any machine that makes use of an RF sign (learn more).

The most effective half about utilizing a WiFi ceiling fan management like Bond is that there isn’t a wiring. So, if the concept of digging into your wall switches with a screwdriver makes you just a little nervous, this can be a terrific choice for you.

Can I Nonetheless Use Bond If My Ceiling Fan Doesn’t Have A Distant?

No, but when your outdated ceiling fan shouldn’t be arrange for distant management, you should buy a common distant management package made particularly for ceiling followers. The kits include a receiver unit that installs contained in the housing of your fan. So, to put in a distant management package, you’ll must open the fan housing and do some wiring. However, as soon as the package is put in, you’ll be all set to make use of Bond.

What’s the Finest Ceiling Fan Distant Control Equipment?

There are a number of kits obtainable on Amazon.

Whichever one you select, examine the scale of the receiver and ensure there’s room so that you can match it inside your fan’s housing.

Probably the most widespread kits is the PECHAM package. It’s a very good product besides that the receiver beeps each time it receives a command. The beep is comparatively annoying, particularly in the event you’re attempting to create a seamless sensible house expertise.

As an alternative, I like to recommend this kit. It’s just a few {dollars} extra, nevertheless it doesn’t beep. You may individually management as much as 16 completely different followers utilizing the dipswitches. You can too use the dipswitches to manage a number of followers with one command.  The size of the receiver are 4.3″ x 2.2″ x 1.2″.

Wink Enabled Ceiling Fan Premier Distant Control

The Wink remote control features a receiver module that installs within the fan housing. The distant management itself can be utilized manually like an everyday distant management. However, it additionally contains Zigbee wi-fi know-how for sensible house connectivity.

The distant is made particularly to work seamlessly with the Wink hub however it’s doable to work with different Zigbee enabled hubs equivalent to SmartThings.

There’s additionally a wall management obtainable individually. The wall management is mainly simply one other distant that will get mounted on the wall. It runs on batteries so it doesn’t require any wiring. The wall management solely takes up the house of a single normal sized swap, nevertheless it contains all capabilities it is advisable to management your ceiling fan. Every button has a handy illustration so even company will have the ability to simply determine it out.

Insteon FanLink Controller

The Insteon FanLinc controller is near an multi function resolution for wi-fi ceiling fan management. It controls each fan velocity and lightweight depth in a single handy field.

Nonetheless, the controller makes use of the proprietary Insteon protocol to speak. Which means you’ll want an Insteon hub for it to work. There’s nothing unsuitable with Insteon, however in the event you’ve already began building your smart home and it’s not Insteon, then this most likely isn’t an excellent choice for you.

Additionally, the FanLinc controller is put in contained in the fan housing. Which means in the event you do have wall switches for the fan or the sunshine or each, you’ll have to ensure the switches keep turned on for the controller to work.

Hunter SimpleConnect

The Hunter SimpleConnect Control  connects and controls your ceiling fan by way of Bluetooth. The system features a receiver that installs contained in the ceiling fan and a Bluetooth hub that relays the sign from the fan receivers to your cell phone.

I don’t actually take into account the SimpleConnect management a sound choice for sensible management. The reason being that it doesn’t connect with some other sensible house units. The one approach to make use of it’s to open up the SimpleConnect app in your telephone whilst you’re inside Bluetooth vary and navigate to the settings you need to change. Mainly, you progress the swap from the wall to your pocket. However, usually the wall swap can be faster and extra dependable.

Maybe sooner or later, Hunter will try to broaden the operate of the app and combine with another platforms. However, in its present kind, I don’t actually see a variety of use for the SimpleConnect management.

Fanimation Fansync

Fansync is one other Bluetooth linked product just like the Hunter SimpleConnect. Once more, it simply turns your smartphone into a comparatively costly ceiling fan distant management that solely works if you end up inside Bluetooth vary.

The blue module installs within the cover of the ceiling fan. The distant pictured on the precise comes with a housing that may be mounted on the wall.

Its not vital to make use of Fansync on a Fanimation model ceiling fan. Most ceiling followers with an AC motor will be managed with it.

Fanimation has just lately come out with WiFi variations of their receiver. They’ve quite a lot of completely different fashions, every of which is designed to be put in in a specific mannequin of their ceiling followers. The brand new WiFi model is appropriate with each Alexa and Google assistant.

Ai-Sync Smart Ceiling Fan Distant Control

The Ai-Sync Smart Ceiling Fan Remote Control features a WiFi receiver that installs within the fan cover and likewise an RF distant for handbook management. You need to use it to alter between Four completely different fan velocity settings and it additionally helps gentle dimming.

It may be set as much as work with Alexa, Google assistant, and even IFTTT.


Remaining Ideas

The marketplace for sensible ceiling fan controllers remains to be fairly new. There aren’t any totally built-in, all-in-one options obtainable but. However, we will nonetheless do fairly effectively with what’s obtainable.

For probably the most complete ceiling fan management, use smart switches. The sensible switches supply probably the most flexibility, however in addition they require probably the most work. You’ll want a wise hub and any sensible house interactions should be programmed together with your hub’s software program. Relying on how skilled you might be, this could turn out to be time consuming and tough. For those who’re only a informal consumer, it could be extra bother than its value.

Alternatively, a product like Bond might be finest for somebody that isn’t a hardcore sensible house do-it-yourselfer. It provides a fast and tool-less (so long as you have already got distant controls on your followers) setup, voice management, and IFTTT compatibility. These are all excellent for the individual that needs to do some house automation, however doesn’t need to get too deep into any programming. Plus, the worth per fan is sort of low in the event you’re utilizing it with a number of followers.

The Bluetooth options are, for the second, comparatively weak. The one factor they actually do is flip your sensible telephone right into a ceiling fan distant. The sensible house integration is nearly utterly missing so it might by no means fulfill the hardcore consumer.  There’s no voice management, no IFTTT, they usually solely work inside Bluetooth vary. So, even for the informal consumer, I feel Bond can be a greater resolution.

For those who occur to come back throughout a wise ceiling fan controller that I don’t have listed right here, let me find out about it within the feedback beneath so I can test it out. I’m all the time looking out for the most recent sensible house merchandise.





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