Trade Advantage Program
How to Light Artwork

Haiku Outdoor Ceiling Fan by Big Ass Fans

Buyer's Guide to Smart Fans

In the midst of the digital era, every appliance is getting a smart update—and ceiling fans are
no different. Here's what you need to know about joining the smart fan revolution.

It's time to wise up. Smart homes are becoming more integrated all the time, and design-savvy people know that it's one trend that has serious staying power. From thermostats that sense who's home to refrigerators that can send a Tweet, our appliances are more sophisticated than ever before.

are too often an afterthought for many homeowners and designers who rigidly adhere to a clutter-free aesthetic. But modern ceiling fans are better looking now than they once were, and the features and benefits of incorporating fans into a home's design far outweigh any biases against their inclusion. Smart fans are the new wave—we'll take you through what you need to know about making this smart decision.

Why Get a Smart Fan?

You may have already learned that fans help lower energy costs related to running heating and air conditioning. Smart fans take this a step further, with sophisticated sensors that integrate with thermostats, as well as remote controls operable through smart devices and apps.

So let's talk control: Voice control. Wall control. Motion sensor control. Remote control. Smart fans have a truly remote control: The user doesn't have to be in the same room as the fan as with a . In fact, smart fans that operate via WiFi can be controlled from anywhere you have a connection. They also integrate with voice command devices like Alexa and Google Assistant. Some even have motion sensors to kick on only when the room is occupied.

A plethora of presets and customizable controls make saving more money and energy on heating and cooling costs even simpler. While fans do not actually affect the temperature of a room, they can distribute the heated or cooled air more efficiently, so the room is perceived as more comfortable on the skin. When integrated with a smart thermostat, every room can stay at the comfort setting that you've indicated.

Home automation devices like a smart fan can deter burglary attempts by making it seem as though the house is occupied. And an automated home is one less thing to worry about for not only convenience, but accessibility too. Voice control and preset schedules can help those with limited mobility have better control with ease.

What Are the Types of Smart Fan Installations?

There are essentially two types of smart fan installations possible: A new product or a retrofit device. Here are the details on each:

New Smart Fan

A brand-new smart fan with the technology built right in is great if you want to replace a fan or are starting from scratch. These are controlled via WiFi or Bluetooth connections and require nothing more than installation and syncing to any devices you wish to use with it.


You could also retrofit an existing fan with a dedicated device for this purpose. Some fans will require a wireless transmitter in the motor but others can sync via the remote control's radio frequency, eliminating the need for the old remote control at the same time.

Finally, there are on the market that install at your wall switch, which require more advanced programming and peripheral accessories.

Lumens Picks

If your project requires a brand-new fan, the selection from Big Ass Fans is a great place to start. The award-winning Haiku collection from Big Ass Fans comes in a huge variety of colors and sizes for indoors and out, and their proprietary technology includes a built-in sensor that automatically detects shifts in temperature and humidity.

Modern Forms has also broken into the smart fan market with a wide selection of fan looks that cover a range of modern aesthetics. They include an RF wall panel and an exclusive smartphone app but can also be integrated with ecobee, Nest, Alexa and Google Assistant.

Finally, Minka Aire Fans integrate with the BOND device, which pairs with any smart home app. This device works with Alexa and Google Home for voice activation and can control up to 6 fans. The BOND is a good retrofit device and there's nothing additional to install, plus future updates will come right to this device so you will not have to upgrade or replace it very soon down the line.

Final Tips

Make sure your smart fan's controls will work with your chosen smart home device. Whether you select the integrated new fan or a retrofit tool like BOND, it'll come with an app you'll need to become familiar with, so there's a learning curve for those who aren't glued to their smart phone all day. We'll assume those who want a smart fan are somewhat tech savvy, but in the case of making a home more manageable for aging relatives or the disabled, have someone on hand who can make sense of the tech and help combat the barrier to entry.

Call or chat with one of our ALA-certified lighting experts for personalized guidance through your purchase.