Create a wind effect using fan and dimmer

I’m trying to create a wind effect for growing seedlings.

I have a simple fan attached to a Leviton Z-Wave dimmer. Anyone know an app that can speed up the fan gradually and then slow it down, over and over again for two hours a day?

Thank you.

Rule machine will allow you to do this.

I’d be really careful using a dimmer on a fan…


I tried setting it up but it won’t let me do a continues slow down speed up.

It’s a cheap table fan I got from HD. I tested it and it slows the motor down, but it does make a loader noise. I measured the energy draw (wattage) and it’s around 24W at 35% power. I’m not planning to go any higher than that. I let it run for a while and both the motor and the fan controller do not get hot, or even warm to the touch. I’m not too concerned about burning out the motor on the fan, I am concerned about the house though =)

you can do gradual dim with rule machine. Its done with the aid of a momentary switch…look at the rule machine thread for gradual dimming or ask @bravenel for pointers

Out of curiosity what seedlings are you growing that need a wind effect?

Just a bunch of different veggies. They don’t necessarily need a wind effect, i just though it would be cool and more realistic =)

As far as the switch goes, just use the GE fan switch. A number of people use it with SmartThings. That takes care of the fire issue.

As far as a “wind effect,” however, you’ll almost certainly kill your plants. Vegetable gardeners commonly put up windbreaks to reduce wind effect on growing plants. As the tiny growing plants try to adjust to the wind, their roots usually get damaged.

If you’re doing a science experiment, or making a special effects movie, no problem. But if you’re trying to grow vegetables, you’ll reduce your yield considerably

If by chance you are growing legal marijuana indoors, or some other ornamental shrub where the shape matters and there is no fruit, then sometimes fans are used for two purposes: to keep air moving through the room, in which case they don’t blow directly on the plants, or to try to influence the pattern of leaf and stem growth. For information on that, see some of the specialty grower forums, as there are a lot of different factors. :sunglasses:


Putting a small oscillating fan on low so it blows across vegetable seedlings is pretty standard procedure. The airflow keeps algae or fungus from forming on the top of the growing medium and fights “damping off”, and the gentle breeze keeps the seedlings from getting “leggy” (tall, thin stalks that can’t support their own weight).

I start a fan when my seedlings have their second set of true leaves. This is for indoor seed starting… so obviously they’re outside by the time they start to put out flowers.

I’m not sure how ST would add any value over a small desk fan set to oscillate, but the idea is sound.

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Good point, timing is everything. :sunglasses: And different use cases have different requirements.

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True story. And speaking of timing… I only ever run my fan for 2 hours per day. That’s plenty to stimulate stalky growth and keep the surface moisture in check, anything more is a waste of electricity and could actually dry out the plants too much.

And you definitely don’t want to run the fan when your grow lights are off. That could kill the seedlings if they get too cold.

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Nice to know… Thank you!