What ceiling fan do you use? recommendations please

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Ceiling fans are probably the worst piece of hardware to integrate into a smart home. I’ve had a few different types of fans over the years and they’ve all had problems so I’m reaching out to the community to request some input and recommendations (especially if you have a working setup you’re willing to share).

I’ve read a bunch of posts including one from 2 yrs ago. And one on RF controls with saved states

What I’ve gathered is:

  • Get a dumb (pull-chain fan) and use a controller like Sonoff iFan03
    – Pros: local support, keep existing wiring
    – Cons: generally an ugly fan
  • Get a dumb (pull-chain fan) and use a zwave/zigbee set of wall switches
    – Pros: local support
    – Cons: generally an ugly fan, possible need to rewire if in an older house
  • Get a newer model fan & either use Bond or Broadlink RF remote to control it
    – Pros: probably a nice looking fan, keep existing wiring
    – Cons: doesn’t save state of fan or light so the automation is out the window
  • Get a ‘smart fan’ deemed so by the manufacturer
    – Pros: possibly nice looking, keep existing wiring
    – Cons: stuck with another cloud service or the app doesn’t work

I want the fan to look nice in the room, so I’m weighing these options:

  • Getting a ‘smart fan’ like Modern Forms (which seems to have some user integration with homeassistant). I’m not sure if it still talks to the cloud or if it’s controlled locally via wifi.
  • or get a fan which has it’s own RF controls and add a Sonoff iFan03 controller. I’m not sure what wall control to use and if it will even work since the fan comes with an RF controller upstream.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and references, I’d love for this thread to continue and become a resource for future users searching for a solution.

EDIT: I’m reading that the Sonoff iFan03 has problems with fan speeds due to the 60Hz power we have in the US, other reviewers couldn’t dim the light and others said they can’t control the fan to reverse direction. This video from DrZzs might be helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5z4tV9BrA8

Just buy whatever fan you want and use a GE 14287 fan controller. Works great for me.

Thanks, that may be an option for some but as far as I know, you’ll need two separate wall switches (one to control the fan and one for the light).

I only have one switch and I’m sure many others may have the same setup. This would require new in-wall wiring (assuming you have access, the space, and the means to do so).

Look at the Modern Forms fans. They have a few options, but you just missed a 30% manufacturer discount on all their models. (you can probably get 15% off on places like lightsonline.com)

I wrote an integration for Home Assistant for them. (Modern Forms Smart Fans - Integration) and there are other Py modules these days.

The good thing about these fans is that their API is local as well as cloud. If internet goes down they still work.
In addition they come with a Wall control unit (requires Neutral) that is basically an RF remote.
OR you can just buy an RF remote to control them too.

The unit inside the fans works with Wifi + RF.

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just get a nice fan, and dont use the smart part instead add a sonoff

Thanks, I think I’m going with the Modern Forms fan as I like the local control (and they’re decent looking fans). I’ll definately try out your integration @jimpastos

@shanem I was really considering the Sonoff iFan03 but I keep coming across potential compatibility issues such as the fan speed being slow and needing to swap out capacitors, not light dimming functions, and no control of the fan reverse function.

That is true, but you didn’t mention that as a requirement. You simply said you were looking to control a fan, not a fan and a light from a single gang box. My bad.

Just posting an update in case any future searches lead here…

I decided to go with the modern forms fans and I’m loving the setup. I have no light dimming issues like I did with a previous model fan. But as it turns out, you do need a neutral wire at each switch with this setup (so it might not be a valid option for everyone).

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What hub do you need to control this in HA? In 2021, is this still the best solution for fan control?

Just Z-Wave, the GE 14287 fan controller is a long supported device.

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I ended up following the DigiblurDIY writeup on this tasmota flash and it was awesome. I’ve got two up and running.