Ceiling fan and light help for disabled (nonverbal)

Make all of the fans and lights usable by a switch for my mom who cannot speak well after a stroke. Be able to automate fans and lights based on motion and temperature.

My Current Setup:
SmartThings v3 hub
5 pull chain ceiling fans with dimmable lights
2 do not have wall switches

  • installed RF remotes and linked with Bond

3 have wall switches

  • switches are in 4 gang box, 4 gang box ,3 gang box
  • smart wifi switches
  • not compatible with ST but compatible with Alexa

I’m in the US

Problem 1
Bond does not allow remote control use or it becomes unsynced with actual status.
Mom can not use extended voice commands. She is limited to 1-2 simple word phrases. Alexa will not allow “On” or “Off” as a voice triggers (we tried light and dark which mom could do about half the time).
The upside of bond is it is compatible with ST and I have full automation control.

Problem 2
Mom can use the physical wifi wall switches.
I have limited automation control via Alexa.
I want to turn fans on automatically if temp gets above ‘x’. (I am trying to avoid IFTTT)

Partial solution
Thanks to @Automated_House, I discovered the ERIA smart dimmer remote. As a test I have it linked to one of my bond fans. I have it set as follows:
Button 1 - light on/off
Button 2 - fan Hi
Button 3 - fan Med
Button 4 - fan off
The light control isn’t perfect (it blinks on/off/on or off/on/off with button press) but it stays synced with Bond! I am already in communication with Adurosmart support

I have been looking at fan speed control and light dimming (in 1) switch option and have not found much.
The Homeseer switch was an option until I spoke with their support today and they said the device handlers for ST integration may stop working with no fix date yet.
The Inovelli switch was an option but I haven’t had any good luck with their products and read several reviews on a forum about multiple issues with the fan/light switch.
I am open to separating into 2 smart switches but that seems like it will get expensive quickly for all 3 fans.
Bottom line is that I will do what works best for my mom and sacrifice the automations if I have to but thought someone here might have some ideas I haven’t looked at yet or more in depth product knowledge than I do.
Open to suggestions :blush:

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If you could use scenes instead of dimming (such as one scene for 50% brightness, one scene for 75% brightness, and one scene for 100% brightness), the Remotec90 might be a possibility. It’s Z wave, battery operated, about the size of a single gang switch in the US. (You didn’t say what country you’re in, but it’s available on both the EU and North American Z wave frequencies.)


This has 8 buttons, and each has tap, double tap, and long Press, so that gives you 24 different options if she has a good enough hand control to do the taps.

I believe @erocm1231 has already updated his DTH so that it works with the new V3 app.

At $50, this is a lot of buttons for the price. :wink:

I updated my OP to include my country (US) and the location of the 3 switches.

I will look into this.

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I am still pretty new to automation so please be patient with me. :wink:
How would this connect to my wifi switches?
I tried virual and simulated switches with alexa routines but couldn’t get them to work correctly.

Through SmartThings, the same way as the Eria. It just gives you more buttons on one switch.

You may eventually be able to use it with Alexa routines as well, but right now that functionality is broken. :wink:

It wasn’t clear from your first post, are you saying that only some of your fans are controlled by bond? Any others are controlled by Wi-Fi switches that work with Alexa? I was under the impression that you had bond control of all of them, if that’s not true, I apologize for any confusion.

Using the original smartthings/Alexa skill, it was possible to trigger Alexa routines from smartthings. As I mentioned in my last post, right now that’s broken. Smartthings engineering is aware of it and is working on it, so we can hope it will be fixed eventually.

If you do have fans that are not set up with bond, what’s the brand and model of the switches? (First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“)

Also, have you had a chance to look at the community FAQ? Although it says Alexa in the thread title, it applies whether you are using Alexa or not.

FAQ: 2020 Ceiling Fan and Dimmer light wall mount control compatible with SmartThings and Alexa?

There was a bug in the initial firmware on the Inovelli fan light switches. Once updated, they were fine. I have two and no issues at all with them since the firmware update, and I have a third one I’m putting in too. Their products are well supported You could get a zwave remote like @JDRoberts posted above to control this

The wink hampton bay fan I have also has a remote, and remote control use in that updates status on the fan. It’s zigbee and range is really bad though. The hub needs to be in the same room as the fan, or you need a zigbee outlet/switch as a repeater. It’s a home depot exclusive but frequently out of stock https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Universal-Wink-Enabled-White-Ceiling-Fan-Premier-Remote-Control-99432/206591100&ved=2ahUKEwixr_nhg_7rAhUUX80KHR7sAv4QjjgwAHoECAEQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2VMAEmIxrGWZX5Wko1ZDqj

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@JDRoberts Sorry for the confusion. The 3 fans with wall switches are not connected to Bond. They are currently wired to Treatlife wifi fan and light control switches.

I will look at the FAQ link you posted.
Thanks for your advice

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His FAQ is awesome, I read it before buying more switches for fans. Fan control can be very tricky, especially getting status and factoring your wiring situation. Not having that extra wire and gang definitely limits options.

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Can’t recommend the Inovelli fan/light switches enough. They sound perfect for this application.

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@mwav3 and @Kevin_Reene
Inovelli looks like the best option but I have some concerns that maybe you can help with since you both have the Inovelli?
Can either of you tell me how well the dimmer works with low watt LEDs (3 per light for a total of 15watts) and if you’ve had any trouble with reliability?
I know @mwav3 said initial issues were fixed with a FW update which may address my concerns.

  1. Personal experience with Inovelli Black dimmers was that I could update the setting via switch or app but they kept reverting to default or blank, and the light dimmer never properly worked (even with a bypass) or would shut off while in use at lower levels leaving people in the dark. The minimum brightness had to be set at 35 or else it would not function at all.
  2. Customer support replies were delayed by up to a week (quickest was 3 days) which was frustrating. I ended up removing and returning.
  3. Several reviews from the past 1-2 weeks report device malfunctions causing them to have to reset from the breaker.


I could definitely understand the concerns

1- LED’s are tricky with any dimmer. Some bulbs just work better with some dimmers. It works great in my daughter’s room, but my Son’s bulb doesn’t dim with much of a range. See this post from Inovelli - https://support.inovelli.com/portal/en/kb/articles/compatible-bulbs-gen-2-dimmers

2- I’m surprised about their support. Their support and even CEO post in this community all the time, and on the Inovelli community.

3- Its likely they still are using the old firmware. You may want to ask Inovelli prior to ordering if the new switches have the new firmware installed. It can’t be updated in Smarthings without a Zstick, so if you don’t have a Zstick and have the old firmware, that’s a problem.

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In all fairness, when I tried these I was brand new to Home Automation and was not familiar with community channels so I never posted in the forums. I was emailing directly with support.

Side note: To be honest, I am still very hesitant about posting in a lot of forums. WebCore has not been nice! I tend to start here as all of you are very patient with newbies and things being posted in the wrong place or asking for more details. The ST community is AMAZING!


That’s unusual, their forum is mostly people from this forum and they have a similar culture.

Hopefully someone who is in both can take a look at some of your posts over there and see if there’s any particular issue. :thinking:

I just looked over there, and can see what he means. telling someone repeatedly to post logs and then saying not to open another topic for a “similar” issue isn’t very helpful. I mean logs can be important to track down an issue, but usually some guesses/suggestions can be made without them. I tend to not post on the Webcore community just from what I’ve read over there. They’re pretty rigid about what they want in their posts.

I know I’m drifting off topic, but most of what i’ve learned about a lot of things, smarthome, plumbing, even gardening, lol have been from reading forums. Many of them I would never post in, this one is definitely more helpful with great people and many different levels of expertise, working together.

My last thought on anything is to call customer support. They usually just read a script and don’t provide any real solutions. Inovelli is a smaller company, and may not respond instantly, but i’d rather get the right answer then talk to someone in a call center who knows where. Also, two of their handlers just changed colors in my IDE, meaning updates were posted by Inovelli. As we navigate the Smartthings changes, it’s important to have a company stand behind their device drivers. A lot of custom code for other devices has been orphaned, and might not work at all down the road unless some random person fixes them. Inovelli keeps their code updated.

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I’m very sorry you had a negative experience on any forum. But I’m glad you’ve found this one helpful. There are a lot of great people here. :sunglasses:

Does Inovelli have a support number? When I asked via email they said they did not have a phone number or live chat which meant I was stuck waiting days without functioning lights.

The fastest way is usually through their forum. However, they have been hammered recentlybecause of the smartthings migration, I believe they said their help requests had gone up more than 100 times.

Tagging @Eric_Inovelli

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Hey @Terri_Baker – happy to help with any questions/concerns you have and sorry for the delayed response via email. Our support team has been crushed by the SmartThings migration, mixed with the continued transition from Wink to ST for a lot of people.

The good news is I just cleaned out all the tickets tonight, so I think we’re back on track (knock on wood).

Anyway, let me answer a few questions, but thanks to @mwav3, @JDRoberts and @Kevin_Reene for the air-cover until I got here.

As @mwav3 mentioned, it’s difficult with giving 100% accuracy on what bulbs work and do not work with the Fan/Light switch (or our dimmers for that matter). The good news is the Fan/Light canopy uses TRIAC which is a little more compatible than our MOSFET dimmers, so more bulbs should work.

I’m happy to test them on our internal fan if you shoot me the make/model of the bulbs!

Hmmm… not sure on this one – would you mind shooting me the bulb (make/model) and I can look into it for you? Is this the same one that will be used on the fan? If it was the Black Series dimmer you’re referencing, then you may be in luck with the Fan/Light per the TRIAC vs MOSFET explanation above. But again, I can check for you.

Ugh, sorry to hear that… In the future, feel free to PM me directly either here or in our forums. I’m in our forums daily for a few hours so I’ll see that and I’m usually in the ST forums if someone tags me or I get an alert.

Yes, this is an issue that was corrected with the firmware – however, at this time ST does not have a way to update the firmware via OTA (Z-Wave) so if you do decide to order one, let me know and I’ll flash the newest firmware on the device for you. Just let me know before you order one, so I can know to lookout for it.

I promise we’re nice over there too – I try to make it as inviting as possible and the core people that help out are very patient (see our Wiring Discussion section for reference, that requires a special patience – thanks @Bry lol). There’s actually a lot of people that help out in this community that are a major help in our community as well (@Kevin_Reene and @mwav3 are both over there too).

We do not unfortunately – we’re actually a team of 7 right now (growing!) so it would be very overwhelming to add a number, however, we are about to implement live chat. We have it setup, but I’m waiting on a couple of the guys to be better trained before I open it up. The goal is to add a couple more reps and then open up the phone lines as well. I’d say without the anomaly of the last month, we typically answer tickets within 24-48hrs (including weekends when I’m usually bored!) and you can find me in the forums, Reddit, pretty much anywhere. I don’t mind at all when someone tags me!

Worst case, just put a dramatic title for your support ticket and I’m sure it’ll get passed onto me lol.

Anyway, feel free to reach out to me anytime and I’m happy to answer any questions! But as you can see, we have quite a bit of support outside our team as well :slight_smile:

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