7 Ways To Add Smart Control To Your Old Ceiling Fan


To me, the thought 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 case you’re like me and also you’re hooked on every little thing good house, you in all probability have a necessity so as to add good 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Sadly, its not all the time sensible to only toss out your outdated followers and substitute them with model new good followers.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 pace 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 good followers. However, the out there pool of ready-made good followers remains to be comparatively small and relatively costly.

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 There’s a number of out there low-cost choices to retrofit your outdated ceiling fan with good management.

What Does It Imply To Make Your Ceiling Fan Smart?

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

My supreme good 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 be capable of flip them on/off with a wall change. There’s all the time instances when a superb, old style wall change is each simpler and quicker.
  3. I additionally need the choice to have followers and lights mechanically activate/off after I enter/exit a room. That is normally executed with PIR movement sensors.

Finest Resolution: Smart Ceiling Fan Control Utilizing A Smart Change

When you have a separate wall change on your ceiling fan and light-weight, then a wall mounted good change and good fan pace management might work nice for you. The good switches set up within the wall and substitute your present wall switches. You’ll add the comfort of good management, and also you’ll nonetheless be capable of management your fan and light-weight manually.

This feature presents essentially the most alternative for customized automation. You possibly can setup automations utilizing movement sensors, temperature sensors, and voice instructions. Nonetheless, bear in mind “customized” automation implies that YOU must do the programming.

NOTE: For those who don’t like the thought of tinkering with automations and good house hubs, chances are you’ll be extra eager about complete smart ceiling fans.

Smart Fan Pace Controls

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

I do know intuitively it looks like it could work, however its not a good suggestion.

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

For those who attempt utilizing a light-weight dimmer change in your fan, you’ll probably 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.

These days, I’ve seen just a few WiFi good 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 anticipate to have the ability to management your fan’s pace except you take pleasure in listening to a continuing hum.

Sellers don’t record what’s contained in the switches, so it’s onerous to know for certain which merchandise are the “actual deal”. One of the best ways I’ve discovered is to scan the evaluations for individuals complaining of a buzzing sound after putting in the system.

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

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

With a view to use the Z Wave ceiling fan management, you put in it rather than the wall change for the fan and set your ceiling fan pace to its highest setting.

INSTALLATION TIP: I like to recommend you set your fan to its highest pace earlier than you disconnect your present change. That method, there’s no query that the fan is ready to its prime pace whenever you flip the ability again on and take a look at your good fan pace controller.

One other nice possibility 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 tools (see my review).

Control Your Lights

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

This GE good change is a Z-wave system. Meaning it communicates wirelessly utilizing the Z-Wave protocol. To ensure that the change 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 change for each your fan and light-weight, you gained’t be capable of use good switches like I described above. For those who’re actually formidable, you possibly can tear into your partitions, rewire the ceiling fan, and set up the specified switches. However that would find yourself being plenty of work, particularly in case you don’t know what you’re doing.

Generally, in case your ceiling fan has a light-weight, it’s wired to a wall change. Nonetheless, its much less frequent to even have the fan wired to a change. On this case, the one method to flip the fan on/off or alter the pace is by utilizing the pull-chain hanging from the ceiling fan. Lame, proper? Thankfully, that is the period of good house management, and we will do higher!

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

When you have a ceiling fan with a distant management, there’s a better method.

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

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

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

Bond could be positioned just about anyplace in your house. The RF sign utilized by most ceiling followers simply goes by way of commonplace partitions and has a spread of roughly 40 ft. It additionally must be inside WiFi vary of your own home router.

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

The very best half about utilizing a WiFi ceiling fan management like Bond is that there isn’t a wiring. So, if the thought of digging into your wall switches with a screwdriver makes you slightly nervous, this can be a fantastic possibility for you.

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

No, but when your outdated ceiling fan just isn’t arrange for distant management, you should purchase 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 have to 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 out there on Amazon.

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

One of the vital in style kits is the PECHAM package. It’s a superb product besides that the receiver beeps each time it receives a command. The beep is comparatively annoying, particularly in case you’re making an attempt to create a seamless good house expertise.

As a substitute, I like to recommend this kit. It’s just a few {dollars} extra, but it surely doesn’t beep. You possibly can individually management as much as 16 totally different followers utilizing the dipswitches. You can even use the dipswitches to regulate a number of followers with one command.  The scale 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 a daily distant management. However, it additionally contains Zigbee wi-fi expertise for good house connectivity.

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

There may be additionally a wall management out there individually. The wall management is principally 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 area of a single commonplace sized change, but it surely contains all features you could management your ceiling fan. Every button has a handy illustration so even friends will be capable of simply determine it out.

Insteon FanLink Controller

The Insteon FanLinc controller is near an multi functional resolution for wi-fi ceiling fan management. It controls each fan pace and light-weight depth in a single handy field.

Nonetheless, the controller makes use of the proprietary Insteon protocol to speak. Meaning you’ll want an Insteon hub for it to work. There’s nothing incorrect with Insteon, however in case you’ve already began building your smart home and it’s not Insteon, then this in all probability isn’t an excellent possibility for you.

Additionally, the FanLinc controller is put in contained in the fan housing. Meaning in case 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 contemplate the SimpleConnect management a sound possibility for good management. The reason being that it doesn’t hook up with some other good house gadgets. The one method to make use of it’s to open up the SimpleConnect app in your cellphone whilst you’re inside Bluetooth vary and navigate to the settings you need to change. Mainly, you progress the change from the wall to your pocket. However, typically the wall change can be faster and extra dependable.

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

Fanimation Fansync

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

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

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

Fanimation has just lately come out with WiFi variations of their receiver. They’ve plenty of totally different fashions, every of which is designed to be put in in a selected 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 in addition an RF distant for handbook management. You need to use it to alter between Four totally different fan pace 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 good ceiling fan controllers remains to be fairly new. There aren’t any absolutely built-in, all-in-one options out there but. However, we will nonetheless do fairly effectively with what’s out there.

For essentially the most complete ceiling fan management, use smart switches. The good switches supply essentially the most flexibility, however in addition they require essentially the most work. You’ll want a wise hub and any good house interactions must be programmed together with your hub’s software program. Relying on how skilled you’re, this could develop into time consuming and tough. For those who’re only a informal consumer, it could be extra hassle than its price.

Alternatively, a product like Bond might be finest for somebody that isn’t a hardcore good house do-it-yourselfer. It presents 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 value per fan is sort of low in case 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 good cellphone right into a ceiling fan distant. The good house integration is nearly utterly missing so it could by no means fulfill the hardcore consumer.  There’s no voice management, no IFTTT, and so they solely work inside Bluetooth vary. So, even for the informal consumer, I feel Bond can be a greater resolution.

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