Questions about making a remote controlled ceiling fan smart

I have a ceiling fan in my bedroom that is currently operated by a remote control. When we moved in to the house the ceiling fan we replaced was wired into a two gang set up. There was a toggle switch for the light and a toggle switch with a slider along side it for the fan. We replaced the fan with a Hunter fan with a remote control. When the electrician installed it he wired everything through the light toggle switch leaving the fan toggle/slider switch useless. Currently the light toggle switch is always in the on position and the remote is attached to the wall to use as a switch as we enter and leave the room What I want to do is to be able to continue to use the remote control at the wall as we currently do, but also be able to control the lights from my phone. My initial thought is to just install smart bulbs. But what I am wondering is that if I am going to be able to control the smartbulbs with the fan remote? I have a feeling to make this work right my better bet is to get the ge z-wave fan control and a ge z-wave switch and just go back to the gang box and see if I can separate out the fan and light wiring to add those switches. But I am no electrician so screwing in some new bulbs is much more appealing if it will work.

Check out this post. I cant confirm it will work with your fan (probably will), but it works great for me. It’s a zigbee fan abd light controller in one. It will require you to take the fan down and replace the wireless controller you have. Its not as difficult as it sounds. Post any questions you have on that thread.

1 Like

If you have the wiring and double gang box for separate control of light and fan, then the most reliable method would probably be install a smart dimmer for the light and a smart switch for the fan.

You could maintain remote control of both with any number of z-wave or zigbee remotes that can pair with SmartThings, then use a smartapp like smartlighting. However in the event SmartThings is down or otherwise acting up, you wouldn’t have remote control of your fan and light in that case. But you would still have wall switch control.

That new device above replaces the receiver your electrician installed. And it has a remote that works locally via a different rf regardless of ST status. The main problem is that it’s not available via retail. You have to order parts direct from the manufacturer. Then the device handler is created by community members and it’s in beta. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great option and I’m probably going to get it myself pretty soon.

But if you’re gonna need your electrician to change from your current setup either way, consider using all the wiring you have now. It may depend on how much you value the remote control aspect.

1 Like

If your Hunter fan has a removable receiver (most will look like the zigbee version but with only the one RF antenna wire and without the zigbee antenna) that your wireless transmitter talks to then you could add SmartThings automation devices but there is no doubt the way to go is using the Zigbee device that @stephack suggests. The Z-wave switches will work but you won’t have a wireless remote option I appreciate @marktheknife comments but the advantages FAR outweigh any perceived disadvantage which really there are none. I have both setups running in my house right now; the zwave fan control and zwave dimming light control as well as the zigbee combo device and I can attest that hands down the zigbee solution is rock solid as the zwave solution and even in beta which means it will only get better. You will not be disappointed I promise you when using the zigbee over the z-wave alternative.

Based on your post it sounds like you might want to use the in-wall version of the remote and mount it in the wall switch. You could always get a second wireless remote and put it at the bedside (or use your phone)

1 Like

Anyone with any thoughts on using a NodeMCU soldered up to control the rf relays in the reciever box? I’m thinking of tearing into the box in the fan and doing some circuit chasing to see if it would be possible… may take some creativity as everything in the rf box probably runs on 120v… but may be a better permanent solution than tearing apart the rf remote and soldering relays to it…