Ceiling Fans & Switches

So I’m getting ready to start integrating wall switches into my SmartThings setup. I plan on starting with the 2-way switches, since those appear to be the easiest. My wife wants me to integrate the ceiling fan in the bedroom ASAP. The fan utilizes two 2-way switches. One for the on/off of the fan, the other for the on/off of the light. Would replacing each of these switches with intelligent, ST compatible switches do the trick and that’s it? Also, is there a way to control the fan speed through ST?

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You will have to replace each with a switch. One for lights (could be a dimmer or on/off switch) and one for the fan. Currently, the only smart wall switch that I know of is the GE 12730 Z-wave switch. There is a custom device type here in the community, which you can use and it will allow you to set different speeds.

Yes - I’ve just done this. Using a GE Fan control for the fan and the matching dimmer for the light.

This custom device controller works really well: Z-Wave Smart Fan Control Custom Device Type

Great help as the weather heats up in Texas…

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You cannot use a regular dimmer for fan control. Whether it’s networked or not. You will burn out the fan motor or the switch. Nothing to do with SmartThings it just has to do with the physics of fan motors. (An on/off switch is usually fine, just match the ratings. )

Fortunately, there are two available zwave switches that can be used for fan control. Both have three settings: low, medium, high. Both work well with SmartThings. The GE switch is cheaper but I don’t think you can adjust the settings as much. The Leviton switch costs around $85 and is on the official “works with smartthings” compatibility list.


Both are popular in the community, it just depends whether you need to Leviton’s advanced features or not. :sunglasses:

For both the light switches and the fan switches you do need to have a neutral at the switchbox.

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Thanks, I was just looking at these when I saw this pop up. Nice timing. I am interested in the Leviton now but it says it requires a remote to program which is sold separately…

I have to say I am a big fan of the Works with ST stuff. I know we have an amazing user community, but the officially supported stuff just seems to work more smoothly. Thanks for showing me the Levitron stuff.

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The SmartThings hub is the zwave controller you will use, you won’t need to buy another remote since you have the hub. :sunglasses:

ah. i see now. thanks

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I have found that the way I use my ceiling fans means that I rarely change their speed, they are either on or off and almost always on medium. So I opted for the GE On/Off Switch GE12727. Got them for $37.50, new, on Ebay. I would post a link here but I’m at work and Ebay is blocked here.

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If you use the Smart Fan Control switch that can give you multiple speed control then I wrote a smartapp that will automatically control the speeds based on room temp.

I am the opposite. We use our fans with multiple speed settings all the time. Hot flashes, ya know…:wink:

I’ve had the GE Z-Wave variable speed fan switch, along with GE Z-Wave dimmer switch for the integrated light for about 6 months now. Both have performed flawlessly, on their own and with the ST hub (and indirectly, an Echo for voice control). Money well spent.

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Does it take a special smart app or anything to use the GE switch or will SmartThings automatically detect it and bring it in to the interface?

You will need a custom code device type handler. There are a couple listed in the community contributed section.

First start by reading the overview faq for using custom code:

Then if that sounds like something you’d like to do, you can quick browse the community-created device types section of the forum using the HVAC tag and you’ll see the current fan offerings. (Once you get the list, look for ones that also have the tag “fan”). :sunglasses:

Make sure you pick the quick browse list for DTHs (device type handlers), not the one for smart apps.


Not for the GE Link fan control switch, you won’t. It works as a standard dimmer switch. There is at least one community-written custom device handler that looks like it offers some better functionality than the ST one (offering discreet buttons for low, medium and high rather than a slider), but it’s not required for use of the GE switch.

I just got a fan that has only a remote for reversing direction (no physical switch on the fan housing) It’s a kischler 0747656.
I discovered that running a sequence of on/off from the switch will set the fan to reverse direction.
Is there any possibility of adding this sequence into the smartapp?

Interesting… I have no plans to add it. Reversing the motor direction was intended for the changing seasons from cooling to heating or because of a personal preference of air flow direction. I don’t even change mine

I’d like to do this same thing and my setup is the same: One dumb switch for turning the lights on and off and another switch for turning the fan off and on.

The difference in my setup comes from me wanting to use the in wall Aeotec micro switch. Looking at the wiring diagram for the micro switch, I think I’ve got all the wires I need to make this work. Could someone confirm this for me? Here is the wiring in that double gang box:

Fan Switch
There is a black wire coming from the bundle of black wires that goes to one of the poles on the fan switch. There is another black wire from the fan switch that goes back into the wall and up (towards the fan I believe). There is no neutral attached to the fan switch.

Light Switch
The light switch has a single black and a single red wire going to. There is no neutral attached to the light switch.

As you can see from the photo, there is a bundle of grey (neutral?) wires not used in the gang box.

I’m assuming that neither of your switches are 2-ways. The bundled Greys that are not used are the neutrals, which you will need for the smart switch(s). One of the black wires on each of the dumb switches should go to the line (probably all bundled together) and the other black/red goes to the load (fan/light) and will not be bundled together.