Looking for Tower Fan that works with SmartThings. Any suggestions?

I would like to find a tower fan that works directly with SmartThings, but I don’t think there is one out there. I would use a regular one, but when the power is turned off and back on the fan will not restart unless you push the button on the unit.

I really hope I’m making sense!

you can use something like this and a smart plug

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  1. The easy way: IR

Choose a fan that has an IR remote and you can control that with Switchbot or Broadlink and integrate it to SmartThings that way.

FAQ: How to Use SmartThings with an IOT Device that has an IR Remote

  1. The Maker Way

Wire a relay in past the point of the button. This will, however, violate the fans warranty and you have to know exactly what you’re doing to maintain fire safety standards. So I don’t recommend this in general, but there are some community members have done it. :wink:

3)a) Automatic button pusher, DIY

You can build an automatic button pusher with an actuator. These are actually pretty easy, and you don’t have any fire safety or warranty issues because the pressure is just pushing the existing button. The problem is that most of them are big and ugly. But it can be done.

3)b) automatic button pusher, 21st century style

Switchbot makes one which has a SmartThings integration:

2020 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT or new V3 app

  1. The Alexa Way

If the fan has its own Alexa integration, you should be able to use an Alexa routine (not a smartthings routine) and get integration that way. Unfortunately, when smartthings released its new integration in 2020, they broke this method. Engineering is aware of the problem and is working on it, but as of this writing, 9 September 2020, there is no fix yet. Once it is fixed, this should be another alternative.

See post #20 below for some specific fan models which work with these various methods.

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Or we are all over thinking it… What i did with my vornado fan…make sure the fan has physical switches not electronic switches. So I have my vornado set to low, and a smart outlet to turn it off or on. Done.

But pretty much any fan with a remote will not work for this.

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Yep. Any device which can be turned on, unplugged, plugged back in, and will still be running in “on” status can just be plugged into a smart pocket socket.

But these days many devices will be in “off” status after they are plugged back in, even if they have physical buttons. It’s a safety feature. Sometimes you just have to try the model and see what happens when you pull the plug and then plug it back in.

What model is your Vornado?

It took me a while to figure out why you recommended this fan! I had to read the other comments before I realized it had a true switch! I think I might try this one out. Thanks!

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Wow! Thank you for all the info! Pretty cool Indigogo, but I think you’re right. There will be many of these type of devices in the near future.

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I was at a BB & Beyond last weekend and I was actually doing that with the plugs. I was unplugging them and plugging them back in to test them. Unfortunately, none of them worked. I did however get a lot of weird stares…LOL!

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Its not a tower fan but a typical Vornado

Its actually pretty large but its quieter than this stupid Dyson fan I got. Dont buy the Dyson fans they suck lol.

But most fans that say they have mechanical switches will come back on when plugged in. Ive not found any fan with mechanical switches that dont… all the fans with remotes do as they default to fan off.

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Well, you were acting all weird so…

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Just a warning to anyone other ST users who stumble on this thread. I ordered the Honeywell Comfort Control Tower Fan (HYF013W) from Amazon because it’s just about the ONLY tower fan I could find with mechanical switches and it died in 60 days. I was about to buy another one figuring it was a fluke and found about 20% of the Amazon reviews complaining about the same phenomenon (even matching the 60 day operating life I experienced!).

I’m left with no good solutions for a smart-outlet-compatible tower fan, but I’m not wasting more money on another Honeywell Comfort Control Tower Fan (HYF013W). Seems like there’s a serious design flaw / component failure with those.

That’s good information, but you are replying to a thread which is four years old and quite a bit has changed in that time.

Most significantly, there are now three other possibilities for integration which may work for you. All of these involve using the fan’s own shutdown and restart mechanisms, not just killing the power, so they should be easier on the fan mechanism. You will not need a smart plug: these methods work with the fan itself.

  1. Use Alexa as an intermediary. if you can find a fan that works with Alexa, and assuming that smartthings does in fact fix the SmartThings/Alexa integration which is currently broken (smartthings engineering is aware of the problem and is working on it), then you may be able to use an Alexa routine (not a smartthings routine) for integration. This will not require buying any additional devices except the fan itself.

The following would probably work, although I haven’t actually tested these, and again, right now, September 2020, the smartthings/alexa integration is broken. :disappointed_relieved:


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  1. Find a fan which has an IR remote and then use one of the methods For integrating with a device of that type. This method will require having an additional device to act as an IR blaster.

FAQ: How to Use SmartThings with an IOT Device that has an IR Remote

Here’s one example which should work:

If you find a model that you were interested in but you are not sure if it is using an IR remote, look it up in the Logitech Harmony device compatibility database. if it works with Harmony, it is probably using an IR remote. :sunglasses:

https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/compatibility

  1. find a fan which has a push button remote and use a SwitchBot button pusher to literally physically press the buttons. Switchbot has an official smartthings integration. This will not be the least expensive option, but sometimes this is the best way to retrofit otherwise dumb devices. This method requires buying a button pusher for each of the buttons that you want to push, so it can get expensive if you want more than just on/off. Plus you need the button pusher’s bridge device to get the smartthings integration. Setup may be easier than the IR option, but it can definitely get expensive if you want to try to emulate all the possible button pushes on the fan’s controls. :thinking:

For this method it doesn’t matter what protocol the fan’s remote uses, or if it has a remote at all. There just has to be a physical button and enough space for the SwitchBot to be attached to push it. Still, most fans vibrate so much that the switchbot will tend to fall off the fan itself, so it’s usually better to put it on a remote.

2020 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT or new V3 app

So there are now quite a few more options since more and more people are looking for smart fans of some type. :wind_face:

Hey @JDRoberts - I appreciate the detailed reply and additional info. In response…

  • This is an old thread, I get that. But the topic is still relevant and “unresolved.” From my point of view, there’s basically one low-cost (~$40) mechanical switch Tower Fan available on Amazon (that I could find) and it has a pretty bad track record for quality. As the easiest, least expensive option for making a “smart tower fan” with SmartThings, I thought it to be a useful PSA to at least put this out there for others who might turn up this thread while Googling (like I did)

  • Option 1 might work for some folks - it’s a viable option - but it’s double the cost (and those specific options aren’t “tower fans”)

  • Option 2 is a lot of extra work (inconvenient) and requires additional equipment (cost). Using a “dumb fan” on a smart outlet is so much “cleaner” for those already setup with SmartThings. This option is a great representation of the Rube Goldberg stereotype of what a smart home nightmare looks like haha! :smile:

  • Option 3 is another version of Option 2 (added expense, complexity, Rube Goldberg-esque solution), but it is super cool! I haven’t come across SwitchBot before. It definitely addresses a common smart home problem. While I’m not too keen on using a SwitchBot to address my tower fan search, I am going to buy one to play with and probably apply to other devices in my home that can’t be made smart any better way.

I don’t mean to come off needlessly resistant to the many options you suggested - I sincerely appreciate it (and the discussion)! I’m just not willing to give up the fight for a simple, inexpensive mechanical switch tower fan just yet. Finding the right “dumb tower fan” is still my aspiration. I’ll probably be back here in 3 months with my tail between my legs admitting defeat :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I understand that a tower fan isn’t the same as a pedestal fan. But there are more and more devices being released every day with Alexa integration, And I think it likely that there will be an Alexa-compatible tower fan soon if there isn’t one already. I just happened to remember those two models from helping a friend find a fan for their home office. I have a lot of family stuff going on this month and I didn’t have time to do a new search.

On the SwitchBot: definitely cool. :sunglasses: I am quadriparetic, so this solves a lot of issues for me. I have one on a mini blender which only has one big button. One on the eject button on my DVD player. One on the open door button on the microwave. One on the on/off button on my air purifier. And I also use the IR blaster to turn on my otherwise smart TV.

These solutions would probably be too expensive for physically able people, but they are really helpful to me. But they are also really good for when you find a device that does everything you want except it needs a smart button push.

BTW, the adhesive I use is Sugru. I can highly recommend it. It’s a moldable rubber that comes out of the package with Playdough like consistency. You can mold it to any shape you want, and after 24 hours it hardens to well, rubber. At that point it’s waterproof, pretty heat resistant (you can run the item through the dishwasher and it won’t come apart), even mildly non-conductive. And easily scraped off again if you want to remove it. (You can’t reuse it, but I have no fear about attaching buttons too expensive electronic equipment.)

Comes in multiple colors including white, black, gray, and red. Two formulations. The original sets faster and stronger, but you do have to wash your hands pretty quick after handling it. Then there’s a family friendly formulation which is easier on skin so you can take more time modeling it. Therefore better for kids’ craft projects.

Either is really good for attaching switchbots.

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I got this Lasko 30 inch tower fan 2 years ago from Amazon Warehouse and it runs great. Only issue is the oscillation only intermittently works as of the last month or so. I now use it in my bed pointing at me, so don’t need the oscillation. I use it with a smart outlet and have it turn on and off with Google Home. Was looking recently for a smart fan and stumbled across this thread. Only ones I can find are the Dyson ones and I don’t have 500 bucks to drop on a fan, lol.

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