Smart Ceiling Fan Controllers Overview

Introduction

Ceiling fans are one of the more convenient devices to control with your smart home. A chain is a very clunky way to control a device! Some ceiling fans have remote controls. Remotes are just one more thing to deal with or lose. In our house, we have one set of ceiling fans that were retrofitted in a high vaulted ceiling. It was not possible to install a wall switch, so remote controls were the only way to control them. These are great applications for smart ceiling fan controllers.

Ceiling fan smart home controller
The ceiling fans on the high vaulted ceilings of our family room have no wall switch. The lights on the fans are also an important light source for this room. A smart controller is such an improvement and eliminated the need for those annoying fan remotes.

Bond Ceiling Fan RF Controller

If you have ceiling fans with remote controls, like we do, you can install a Bond Controller to replace your remotes without having to do any wiring. In our case, the fans in the photo above don’t have a wall switch, so the Bond Controller was the only way to add them to our smart home.

The Bond controller works by replicating the RF (radio frequency) communication that is used by your remote controls. The Bond is just a simple controller that connects to your smart home network and controls your fans using the same RF that your remotes use. It is a super easy and convenient way to add ceiling fans to your smart home, if they have remote controls. The company also claims that they will be expanding the device’s ability to control other things that use RF remote controls, like garage door openers, AC units, and others.

Bond smart ceiling fan controller
Bond ceiling fan controller. Did I mention that I love this thing!

Bond Controller Installation

The Bond is configured by clicking a button on the remote while the bond is monitoring in pairing mode. The Bond recognizes your remote control from its vast data base, and then replicates the remote functions in its app. The Bond can control up to six ceiling fans. Because it communicates via RF, one bond can control fans anywhere in your house. For just $99, this device really is a steal!

Bond smart ceiling fan controller app
The Bond app does a really nice job of replicating the functions of the ceiling fan remote controls.

The Bond app works extremely well at replicating the functions of the remote control, even holding down the dim button to dim the ceiling fan lights. It also works well with Alexa (via an Alexa skill), with one minor exception. The hold to dim function of the light button can’t be controlled by Alexa yet. This requires the use of the Bond app for now.

The speed of the controller is impressive, considering that it is not controlling the fans directly, but is generating an RF signal to control them. The latency lag is less than a second. This is fast enough to not even notice.

Replace old ceiling fan remote controls
Bye, bye clunky old ceiling fan remotes. You have been replaced with a Bond!

Smart Ceiling Fan Wall Switch

GE makes a Z-Wave Smart Fan Controller for ceiling fans. The switch has three speeds and only controls the ceiling fan. A separate smart light switch is needed to control the lights.

These switches are simple and work well for installation where you already have a wall switch for your ceiling fan. They do require a bit of wiring, but are wired exactly the same as a single smart switch covered here.

Like the other GE paddle switches, these look and operate just like a normal toggle paddle, and can also be controlled through your smart home network. Guest will intuitively know how to use them, and the switches also work manually if the network goes down. I also like that all of these GE switches look the same for a consistent home decor. This is another GE smart product that I absolutely love!

GE Smart Ceiling Fan Switch
GE Smart Ceiling Fan Controller Wall Switch.

Conclusions

Smart ceiling fan controllers are a great addition to a smart home. It is so nice to be able to control the lights and fan with an audio command. Smart ceiling fan controllers are easy to install too.

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