2-wire ceiling fan solutions

Looking for some suggestions. We have four ceiling fans in the house. Two were installed for fans with dual light switches. No problems there. I have them integrated using 2 GE in-wall switches each.

The other two fans were retrofits. One is on a two-wire ceiling box controlled by a single switch. The other is in a constant hot box with no light switch. Both are 15+ year old fans with RF controllers.

These two fans/lights are the ONLY devices in the house not integrated into Smart house. How that erks me!

No objections to new fans, but these are small rooms. It appears wifi enabled fans are all monster big. Can these even be interfaced to HE directly?

RF blaster of some sort?

Retrofit fans with ZWave?

Have you seen https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Universal-Wink-Enabled-White-Ceiling-Fan-Premier-Remote-Control-99432/206591100? It's included in some of the Hampton Bay fans but also available as standalone. I'm not sure what the wiring requirements are but the online manual should help with that. I think if you search the community, you'll see references to this.

The hampton bay controller is your answer. I have 4 fans that are only 2 wire, all controlled by a hampton bay controller.

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Another recommendation for the Hampton Bay. I had one fan in that scenario. The original remote died and when looking for a replacement I saw someone posting about it. So far it has worked well and the hand remote is small also. Just make sure to have the fan set for high BEFORE you remove the old receiver. I had to futz with the pulls for a while trying to figure out why it was only barely moving.

One thing I forgot to note above. The controller is Zigbee instead of Z-Wave. I only have one Zigbee device that's close to my hub. I've heard that it's important to have Zigbee repeaters in place to ensure good mesh coverage.

If you use the Hampton Bay Fan Controller, you'll definitely want a Zigbee repeater. These things are reported to have weak radios (or perhaps just a poor connection to their antenna) and are prone to falling off your Zigbee network if you don't have a repeater nearby, ideally in the same room, though a smart plug in the room above might also be good if your house is laid out where that's possible. To further complicate this, the reset procedure isn't terrible but is among the most time-consuming I've seen, and (probably also due to the weak signal), it's still a pain to get re-paired sometimes, especially if going through the mesh (hub nearby works well if you can manage but shouldn't be necessary). Do everything you can to avoid needing to do that. :slight_smile:

Also strongly consider how much pain this would be versus just getting a separate switch (with neutral) run for the fan so you can use an in-wall option like the GE, HomeSeer, or Caseta fan controllers. I will probably never stop wishing that I did that instead...

I have a TINY Zigbee network. 9 devices today, 4 of them are Hampton Bay Fan Controllers (HBFC.) 3 of them are repeaters(1 Peanut, 2 Iris). But the day I started down this path I had a Peanut and an Iris Motion sensor v3.

Home Depot doesn't carry these items in stock around here so I ordered one to try. It worked and I ordered three more. Having read all there is to read on those HBFC it was clear I'd need repeaters. So I stopped by Lowes and bought both of the Iris plugs they had. I deployed them in the rooms where the fans are and waited for Home Depot to notify me of the arrival. In other words, my Zigbee network had plenty of time to settle out... not because I'm a patient guy, but because Home Depot is not Amazon Prime. :slight_smile:

When the HBFC arrived, I paired it and installed it. Elsewhere I mentioned I have small switches tucked into the canopy and I continue to use them with the HBFC. First one paired and worked first time and was such a good experience, I moved directly to ordering the remaining 3. They arrived and got installed and all worked perfectly, first time. It was all due to reading that I really needed repeaters, buying them and using them.. and luck in the placement. Ihave one Iris plug installed in an outlet that is on a common wall between two fans so I got away with one repeater for two fans.

I hate the ugly wall wart plugs. They are a failure just waiting to happen because both my wife and kids do not understand mesh and will unplug them so they can charge up a tablet/phone.

I purchased two GE Zigbee in-wall dimmers and replacing ZWave dimmers JUST so I could unplug those wall warts. One worked great. One pretty much doesn't. It works fine as a dimmer, just not as a repeater because it's LQI is a dismal 25 vs everything else is 252 and above.

Neighbor Table Entry
[peanutPlug01, 3190], LQI:254, age:3, inCost:1, outCost:1
[MasterBed WallDimmer2, 7454], LQI:254, age:3, inCost:1, outCost:1
[Hallway Dimmer, A66A], LQI:24, age:7, inCost:7, outCost:0
[Outlet 2, D714], LQI:255, age:3, inCost:1, outCost:1
[Outlet 1, DC3C], LQI:254, age:3, inCost:1, outCost:3

I mentioned I'm not Mr Patience, and so I unplugged the wall wart near one of the HBFC after the "HallwayDimmer" had been installed. I clicked the Pico to control the fan near by and it worked and I smiled and put the wall wart away. 30 mins later the fan could not be controlled. That's when I found the low LQI. Plugged the wall wart back in and 30 mins later it was all fine. I never had to do the horrific dance to re-pair. I just had to be patient. :slight_smile:

I need to swap the Zigbee in-wall dimmer because it's GE therefore probably bad. But the (to me) big news was NOT having to re-pair. It happened multiple times because my first reaction to the low LQI is.. I didn't pair in place, I need to reset. I disabled the Zigbee radio for 30 mins and unplugged the wall wart. I then enabled the radio and when it all came back, that fan was back to unusable. Plugged the wall wart in again and 30 mins later it was fine. In other words. I spent some time trying to make that specific Zigbee dimmer work (LQI= 254) like the other. Each attempt yielded a "lost" fan that reacquired itself after 30 min.

I hope this helps by adding to the community knowledge of these Fan Controllers. Mesh weakness aside, they work just fine. I have rules that take MultiSensor6 temps and turn the fan on and off in each room. There's a Pico in each room and the Push-and-Hold "layer" controls the fan. (off-low-med-high.)

I use the Hampton Bay Controller. I paired it with a 4 button Pico. The top and bottom buttons control the light, and the center "arrow" buttons control the fan. Works fairly well overall.

I did add a couple Zigbee plugs to act as repeaters. I also believe the fan controller's antenna isn't all that great, and so I changed it out for one I found to work better.

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Pick up a few peanut plugs. They are great repeaters.

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