SmartThings Compatable Fan with NO WALL SWITCH and NO Aeon


(tom@ainscough.com) #1

I’m looking for a Smartthings compatable fan or controller that does NOT need a wired wall switch. For a number of reasons, I need to remove the existing switch. I can add something to that box however, as long as it doesn’t need an external face plate so that it remains flush. I’ll be hanging a Sonos playbar over the box when this is done so access will still be there.

FYI I tried the Aeon Labs Aeotec stuff, but the wire connectors are so poorly made I sent them back, so I am looking for a different solution. Personally, I think they are dangerous, but I know a lot of people use them so I don’t want to argue about that. The most common negative comment about them on Amazon is the wire connectors, so I’m not the only one that believes this.

I don’t mind buying a whole fan, but the only one I can find is “Home Decorators Collection
Gardinier 52 in. LED Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan” that for some reason uses 3000K LED lights that cannot be replaced. I need 5000K lights. (Yellow lights on brushed nickel? Seriously?)


(Joe) #2

You could try writing a custom DTH and use something like this:

http://www.hunterfan.com/SimpleConnect

I don’t know if it will work or not, just a suggestion.


(Mark) #3

There are in-wall relays made by companies other than aeotec. Enerwave, vision, fibaro come to mind. Might wanna check those out as well.


(tom@ainscough.com) #4

Hm, I’m not sure I’m good enough to do that Joe. :confused:


(tom@ainscough.com) #5

Mark: Thanks, that’s interesting. I’ll have a look at those.


#6

Quite a few people have just taken a wall switch, usually the GE fan control switch, and put the switch itself inside the fan canopy. Usually someone opts to do that because they don’t have a neutral at the light switch, but it could be used for a situation like you describe as well. There’s typically a lot more room inside the fan canopy then there is inside the switchbox, so the size of the Switch isn’t that big a deal.

See the following post for one example:


(Dale C) #7

If the neutral is down at the switch box I would mount the GE Smart Fan Controller there! You can remove the rocker switch easy enough because it is made to come off from the switch itself making it practically flush and could be covered easy enough with the Sonos playbar. FYI I LOVE my Sonos :smiley:


(tom@ainscough.com) #8

Dalec: Hmmm… Yeah, it is a pretty new commercial condo building so there are neutrals everywhere. Thats an interesting idea. I never considered leaving the faceplate off. Certainly a clean solution if the playbar mount will still sit there.

I love it too… can’t wait for the Alexa integration supposedly coming soon.


(Dale C) #9

Here is a picture of one of my GE Dimmers to give you an idea of the possibility. (I couldn’t do it with my GE Fan Smart Control because it is up in the fan canopy but I’m pretty confident it is similar construction) The rocker switch simply pops right off and there is an underlying seat that holds the rocker and the little red antenna wire. That white seat also pops right off and the antenna slides out and would need to be scotch taped down to keep it flat.

I know what you mean about the Aeon devices having a weakness on their terminals. I would consider getting the Enerwave then for putting up in the fan canopy if you don’t have room at the switch box for getting on-off control of the fan light. It uses wire pigtails for connections.


(tom@ainscough.com) #10

I think the switch box idea is great. So it needs a fan that has control at the wall then?


(Dale C) #11

Yes. Isn’t that what is at that wall switch now or what exactly do you have there? I was assuming that was an existing ceiling fan switch box you were hiding. So is it a wall switch to a light and you have a ceiling fan to be installed?


(tom@ainscough.com) #12

I have a new unfinished condo. The builder just finished it with the minimum required to sell it to me, so I have pedestal sinks and bare concrete floors. I hired a separate contractor that specializes in interiors to finish it to a high standard. I’m doing the smart home stuff myself though, 1. because I can and 2. because I want to know how it was put together so that if something goes wrong I’ll be able to fix it.

So basically I have a blank wall plate and a blank ceiling plate, but the wiring is there. Since the wall it is on has a pocket door, the switch is about 6’ from the door. That also means it is currently right in between the TV and soundbar on that wall, which looks stupid. That’s why I need to hide the switch and also why I can’t move it.


(Dale C) #13

Got it. Sorry I didn’t ask my question clear enough. I am trying to make sure I understand so to help answer your question here.

So then the wiring is there in the wall switch plate and that is good but where does it go right now? Does this wiring go up to your ceiling fan location where you will be installing the fan or a ceiling fan is already installed right?

I am assuming that is a YES, so correct me if I am wrong.

The questions I have for you which will help give you more options to consider for control;
(1) Is it a single gang wall box or a double gang wall switch box?
(2) What wiring did the contractor install; a standard romex with 2 conductors and a ground (blk/wht/grd) wires or 3 conductors and a ground (blk/wht/red/grd) wires from the wall switch location. The 3 conductors typically means it is pre-wired for light control as well as fan control at the switch location.


(tom@ainscough.com) #14

Yes it is prewired for a fan but has no fan at this time. It has 2 gangs, metal conduit (commercial code), and black, white, red, green. The problem I’m having is finding a fan with non-proprietary wall controls (like Minka-Air fans have). The vast majority of contemporary fans have a remote now and I’m told the remote control is AFTER the capacitor so no wall control is possible, not even proprietary wall control.

Honestly, even if I wasn’t in the market for home automation, that would make me mad. A ceiling fan should have wall control. Even I will have wall control, it just won’t be at that gang. Who wants to be forced to find a remote to turn off a fan? That’s ridiculous.


(Dale C) #15

Oh buddy you have it made! This is great for you. Here is my recommendation. Get the GE 12730 Smart Fan Control for the 3 Speed Fan control and GE 14294 Smart Dimmer (if you can wait till Mar 3 when they start shipping) for the fan light control. Take the white rocker assemblies off both switches and mount them flush in the double gang wall box that will hide behind the Sonos.

Of course a fan without the remote will work perfectly then for your setup!

However don’t give up on the fans with remotes. I have looked at one of these and those with the built in remote that I saw at HomeDepot it looked to me like you can easily remove the wireless assembly and make the ceiling fan remoteless and wired to the your GE switches. For example see on the HomeDepot Gardinier 52in fan (pg 10) you mentioned in your original post the receiver is not even factory installed and sitting separately in the box! So if I were you I would get the fan you really like even though it has the remote and bring it home to see if you can remove the receiver assembly. (Just make sure they have a return policy if you need to take it back.) There are only three wires you are going to connect to when you remove it in the ceiling fan, Blk (hot) Wht (neutral) Blu(light) and wire those to Blk, Wht, Red in the ceiling box.

Then for your remote control use your phone and/or get a SmartThings button controller to leave on the end table.


(tom@ainscough.com) #16

That Home Depot fan would work natively–I just didn’t like the light color and they aren’t replaceable.

From what I’ve read on the threads here, many of the fans without remotes aren’t compatable because they don’t have two line wires coming from the fan. (So a wall switch would control the entire fan rather than the fan and lights separately.)


(Dale C) #17

You mean with remotes right? Yes the design of that kind only needs power running to the receiver which in turn controls the fan motor and light but that is why I say open up the fan and see about removing the wireless receiver because at the receiver itself is where the third light wire (which is typically blue) is going to be connected.So upon removing the receiver you tie in the red wire from the wall switch location over to the blue to control the lights. The power of blk and wht just do that and connect up to the fan.

FYI: I wish the HomeDepot Gardinier would work natively on SmartThings hub because I would buy the controller to retrofit my existing fans in a heartbeat. Currently it is only for Wink until somebody can figure out a custom device handler for us.


(tom@ainscough.com) #18

The Gardinier controller is sold separately?

What is the difference between the current GE Smart Dimmer and the one coming out on the 3rd? I have a few of the old ones kicking around that I haven’t used yet.