SmartThings Community

Ceiling fan controller?

(Tony) #130

I was following this thread also and thought my thread might help anyone doing the same thing. Tom helped me out a bunch and I basically copied everything he did with a minor tweak for the fan light


You are going to burn out your fan motor. You can not use a dimmer switch to control fan speed.

(Justin Wurth) #132

I think this is what you are looking for.

This would be a pretty cool project. Good luck. I have worked pretty extensively with the photon so let me know if you have any questions.

(Joshua Faulkenberry) #133

Like everyone else, I ideally want something like the Insteon FanLinc that works with SmartThings…

At this point, I’d even settle for doubling up and having two controllers - one for the fan and one for the light, but it doesn’t appear as though anyone makes internal fan speed controllers…

So… I was thinking, why not just get one of the z-wave fan controller wall switches and stuff it into the ceiling?? Seems like that could do the job. Just because it is a physical switch, it doesn’t mean you have to use it as one!

Here’s what I’m thinking…

GE Smart Fan Control for the fan speed control - $44.99
Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd edition for the lights - $34.95

For a total cost of $79.94

Stuff them both in the ceiling and BAM, you’ve got all the functionality of the FanLinc, plus the added bonus of a dimmer on the lights, for only $10 more. And it should all work natively in SmartThings.


(YankeeJohnboy) #134

There have been a couple forum members who have done something very much like that. In those cases, they always do so with the understanding that if you have a power/hub issue, you lose control of your fan aside from the pullchain… I thought very hard about it, but ultimately decided to fish new wire from ceiling box and extend switch box to double gang for full functionality and WAF :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Don) #135

Yes I’ve done something similar to that. I used the lights switches in a 3 way setup in the wall boxes. I put the fan controller in ceiling light box.

Read post 3 in this thread for info

I then installed a custom DTH to avoid the slider on the app screen. Like this one.

As previously stated you’ll only be able to control the fan with the smartthings app or another button controller or remote button.

(Brad Scott) #136

I too have been looking for a solution, but I didn’t really want to build something myself. I found this the other day, and it’s getting delivered today. Right now, it will only interface directly with its app, Google Home, or Amazon Echo, but SmartThings support is in development. Since it just launched in August, there is still a lot of work being done, but it looks like it checks all the boxes and will be adding support for more devices over time. I will update once I get to try it.

(Carson Dallum) #137

I’ll be interested to hear how this works out for ceiling fan control.

(Brad Scott) #138

My initial impressions are pretty good overall. The Android app (can’t comment on iOS) is somewhat slow and fairly unstable, which is a shame. All device setup is done through the app, and it tended to crash after adding a device. It also intermittently didn’t want to see the Bond on the network, despite be Bond never losing connectivity based on its status light. The status light is a bit too bright for my wife’s taste to have in the bedroom, so I may shroud it, since I am not using the IR.

Setting up the fans was relatively easy, app issues being a minor stumbling block. Because all of my “remotes” are switch box mounted, I hooked the Bond up to a mobile battery to go to each of the four rooms where I have fan controls for programming. Unusually on learning “light” and “fan 1” or possibly “fan 2” it recognized the general style of control and suggested a button set. Once, it did not, due to app quirks from a crash on adding the last one.

After setup and linking to my Echo through the Amazon Alexa App, all of the fans and lights turn on and off reliably. One caveat of using the skill is that it only will turn the fan on full or off, but I anticipate voice control primarily for turning it off on nights where it isn’t wanted.

It isn’t perfect, but in about 30 minutes I had my four upstairs rooms working reliably for voice control, without compromising or changing out existing hardware. I call that a huge win, compared to building from scratch. For a relatively new device, I hope/expect the app stability and speed will improve with development, as should support for additional devices. This was a lot cheaper than changing out the RF fan modules for IP based ones, given the number I have, and feels much more straightforward than if I had build a Pi with relays rigged to a remote that I would have needed to switch between frequencies.

(Glen King) #139

It needs devices that are already remote-controlled, right?

None of my ceiling fans fit that bill.

(Brad Scott) #140

Yes, years ago we put in wireless control kits for all of the fans in bedrooms on my second floor. The exact brand is no longer available, but most are compatible and regarded many times. This Westinghouse kit is identical to what we have: Some fan models integrate a receiver and a handheld remote or come with a receiver and a handheld, rather than a switch replacement remote. In fact, some of the IP integrated kits now have a fan receiver that looks very similar, with updated radios.

The reason we chose this route when we did was that it was the only way to control the fans without pull chains, because our house didn’t have the proper wiring to support wired fan control, because the necessary signal wires were not present. The house was also thoroughly sealed, making fishing wire not feasible.

In any case, my hope was to avoid replacing all of the fan controls, which would be fairly costly at approximately $70 per fan. This solution bridging existing communication capability is ideal for many people, but only makes sense if you already have devices that utilize some wireless, just not IP, to make them smart controlled.

I had considered smart bulbs for these fans, as a compromise, but I decided against it. Trying to explain to the kids or guests to not use the switches to keep the bulbs talking sounded like frustration for everyone. This allows everything that exists to work, with the caveat that there is no feedback to the device if one doesn’t switch as to what the current state is.

In the app, I only see fans and air conditioners (primarily wall units) listed, but they also have many other devices promised, so it’s possible the device will gain additional utility over time. For now, it solves my problem exactly. Even though I don’t have other devices I intend to connect, it seems to do the job I need well, and has strong enough signal to reach across my house.

(Ernie) #141

My experience is similar to yours. Android app needs better stability. Ifttt integration is very basic as it only turns the fan on or off. No fan speed can be selected and you can’t control the ceiling fan light.
But, overall its a nice product that will hopefully improve over time.

(Glen King) #142

I’m starting to think the right solution for ceiling fan control is a simple on-off switch. Rare is the moment when we run our fans at anything but the slow speed, so for those rare moments where it becomes necessary we could (heaven forbid! lol) actually get off our butts and pull a chain. Meanwhile, the Voice or automated control on/off would serve 99% of all needs.

At least until someone comes out with a reasonably priced zigbee/zwave/WiFi at actually does the job.

(Bill Ho) #143

I just received my Bond today. I am going to put the Google Home Mini in the bedroom for voice control. It is actually far cheaper than any other options. If you don’t have a remote control module, you need to buy a pair of switch for each of your fan with light. Just one pair of these switches would cost more than my Bond (I got it at below $60 on Cyber Monday). I have 3 ceiling fans on second floor and I have installed RF remote control for all of them already. I am going to use the Bond to control them all.

(Scott Shell) #144

This will be great once they workout the SmartThings Cloud to Cloud integration.

(Mark) #145

If they work out the SmartThings cloud to cloud integration.

I’m interested in this product and i signed up for email updates before it became available via retail channels.

I’ll continue to wait until they actually support air conditioners, and perhaps for an official ST integration. Regardless of what they claim right now, there’s no guarantee either of those things will happen.

(Ernie) #146

The app currently allows setting up an air conditioner. I don’t have an ac with a remote so I can’t test if it works.

(Scott Shell) #147

Yes… I misspoke. I’ll keep an eye on this and hopefully will see official integration with SmartThings in the future.

(Mark) #148

OK thanks for that clarification. I thought the last email update they sent out indicated that when the product came to market it would support fans only, with a/c support to be added in the future.

(Mark) #149

Here’s a couple screenshots from an email they sent on 11/21