Ceiling fan w/ remote control, z-wave wall on/off switch?


(Eric) #1

Okay, so I’ve come to the realization that 90% of ceiling fans that are 60"+ have their own RF remote controls. Would it still be possible to hook up a regular Z-Wave On/Off switch and then at least control turning the fans on/off (but not change speeds) through Smart Things? It wouldn’t be ideal, but probably good enough, as I’d really just like a way to turn off all my fans when I leave, and turn them back on when I get back.


(Eric) #2

Sure. You can always fit an Aeon Micro Switch module inside the fan housing to achieve on/off.


#3

I didn’t know the Aeon micro was rated for fan motors, I thought it was only lights. Or is there another model?

See the following topic for fan options:


(Eric) #4

The Aeon micro “switch” model is a relay contact, makes a little click, and the fan motor is typically less than 1amp even at High. 1amp at 110v is about 1/7HP. I don’t know the actual motor rating of the switch which may be rated 275W , but I’m a EE and I’ve done enough home and commercial wiring and controls design to be comfortable with this device in my fan enclosure.

Aeon may have another device that is explicitly rated for switching 2 motors, saw instructions for it.


(Eric) #5

Will the Aeon Micro switch work fine with a DC motor fan? I’m guessing so since the power draw is less, but I want to be sure.

How does this work with a regular wall switch? Will the relay change it’s state when the wall switch is used? Or will they go out of sync?


(Eric) #7

No, actually they won’t. Like I said, these are fans that use their own RF remote controls, and they aren’t compatible with variable fan speed wall controls.


#8

I’m not sure I understand the issue. Having their own RF remote doesn’t imply wall switch compatibility one way or another. Two separate issues.


(Eric) #9

Yes it does. How do you expect the wall switch to control different speeds if the RF controller is the one that controls said speed?


#10

There are multiple possibilities. The wall switch may be only power on/off, which is exactly how the Aeon relay would work.

And some fans allow for alternate controller options, one via remote, one via wall switch. Just like TV volume can be controlled by IR remote or buttons on the TV itself. Same for air conditioners. Just having an IR remote doesn’t mean there are no other controller options, it’s up to the manufacturer.


(Eric) #11

I feel like we are going in circles here. I’ve already stated that the RF controller is the only way to control the fan speeds (okay, sure, maybe some allow multiple points of control, but these do not). You point me towards wall fan controllers, which I don’t see the reason for, since like I’ve said the speed can’t be controlled by them.

So, I still have the question on how the Micro switch works with a wall switch. Does using the wall switch trigger the relay? Or does the wall switch effectively do nothing?


#12

OK, my bad. If the IR is the only way to control the fan speed on your particular fan, Sobeit.

Micro relays are normally used inside the switch box (when they stay in synch) or when there is no wall switch, most commonly to give you control of a light that used to be controlled by a pull cord hanging from the fan.

There’s no real reason to put a micro in the fan fixture if all you want is to network the on/off wall switch. Then just put the micro in the switch box.

If you do put the micro in the fan fixture but on the same circuit as the wall switch then it depends how you wired it. But most typically it’s like a smart bulb, you have to leave the wall switch on in order for the relay to operate.

It’s also possible to try a 3 way configuration but that’s trickier.


(Eric) #13

Of course now I have to complicate matters by mentioning that at least one of the fans is on a 3-way switch. Is the simple solution for that just to keep the micro switch in the fan housing?


#14

Hmmm…

With 3 way wall switches then, yeah, I agree: make ALL the wall switches dummy remotes (that tell the network hub to tell the relay to turn on or off), permanently run power to the relay in the fixture (usually code allows that, but check), and let the relay do the on/off to the fan.

But then if the internet goes down, the fans don’t work.

Alternatively the wiring gets complicated. Another option, also used if local code requires it, is to have one wall switch that controls load in to the relay, but use a switch lock on it so it stays on all the time except when you’re working on the fixture. Then the fan still works from the master wall switch if the Internet goes down and you have a way to switch off power to the relay in the fixture. A lot of wiring though.


(Eric) #15

Man, this is getting complicated!

I didn’t think about the fact that if the relay loses it’s connection to the hub I lose control completely.

What if I just installed 2 On/Off Z-Wave switches for the 3 way instead? It’d be more costly, but I could turn on/off the fan from the wall switch/Smart Things or from the RF remote, correct? Then use the RF remote to control speeds.


#16

That would be the way I’d do it. Some Zwave switches can also be load bearing, they just offer the option for remote operation.

BTW, you probably know this, but although they look like toggle switches, they function more Like momentaries. The toggle doesn’t sit in the on position then get moved to the off. Some always return to center, some look like rockers but function like two momentaries–press the top to send on, press the bottom to send off. But in between the switch lives in “ready.” Even if the load is on. That may not matter, but some people care a lot about the aesthetics.


(Eric) #17

Okay, thanks. I think I’ll just go with 2 Z-Wave switches then and use the remote for setting the speed. Not ideal, but better than no automation.


#18

If you want to get deeper into things, there are some IR bridge setups you can get into that would allow the automation to send IR commands via an IR blaster. Some community members have done that for home theater controls. Wiring is minimal, but code set up can get complicated. The IR bridge is typically $50 to $100, but you may need additional purchases.

Didn’t sound like what you wanted but just wanted to mention it does exist.


(Eric) #19

if you are switching DC then make sure you use a module with an actual relay bult-in or added because at least some Aeon modules are triac for AC only.


(Keith Croshaw) #20

Dear @Tyler please use your pull get something like the insteon fanlinc for ST. Everyone could really benefit from something small that sits in the housing that can control the fan and any attached lighting independently.

Also a lot of people are talking about using dimmers with fans, which might be dangerous, it’d be nice to see a white paper or something from ST that said here are a list of SAFE fan integrations that will work with ST. (Ex. GE wall mounted, aeon micro in housing, etc.)


(Tj Cooper (A Masked Man)) #21

It’s June 2017 and still no zwave fan integration and Bluetooth is still off