Hoping to get some advice on how to automate a ceiling fan that uses an RF remote. I would like to be able to use Hubitat to turn on the fan, adjust the 4 speeds and turn on/off/dim the led light on it. Is this possible at all? I am totally confused on what would be required. I have the fan below if anyone can help.
The only thing I have found is a device called BOND which seems it would allow me to use Alexa and Google Home etc but not sure if I could use Hubitat?
You would need a fan with either a Z-Wave or Zigbee controller. RF won't link up to Hubitat.
Or you could do it with a traditional fan without remote that works from wall switches, and replace the wall switches with supported controllers. About $90 in switches, though.
Bond is supposedly working on integration with SmartThings, once that's done it probably wouldn't be long before someone ported it to Hubitat, however to really have the control over the fan and lighting you would want, your fan's remote would need to know the current state (usually those that do have a display that shows the current state) otherwise if you turn on the lights with the remote that wouldn't be reported to Bond and Bond would still think the lights are off, which would keep it from turning them off when you left the house if you had an automation setup to do that.
Remember, bond would not be able to know about local changes made to the fan with an RF remote. It would only be able to know about it's own changes to the device. The same is true of any RF or IR interface device. So, they are much more unreliable than a directly connected controller. For example, the Hampton Bay controller has an RF remote and local changes are reflected in the Zigbee connection as well. So, for more money you are getting something more unreliable. I would definitely go with the HB or the bond.
I have found my fav device for ir and rf is the broad link. It works amazingly well for me. is cost efficient. And as others said keeping state is not easily accomplished so I do not bother. So basically I have a "universal remote" that is linked to Alexa via node red
I have kept my distance from Zigbee because my early experiences with Home automation drove me to use multiple hubs and I did that by joining the hubs on a single ZWave network. That isn't possible with Zigbee, so I stayed away.
Fast forward to today and with 3 Hubitat Hubs linked, without resorting to the ZWave trick, I have added a few Zigbee devices. I almost doubled my Zigbee network by adding 4 Hampton Bay Zigbee Fan Controllers. I took everyone's advice and also purchased a suitable number of Zigbee repeaters. I slid the Fan Controllers into the canopies, displacing the BlueTooth ones that I installed a few years ago. Other than having to work with your hands over your head on wires that somehow manage to be too short to wirenut, but too long to fit into the canopy without pinching.. the installation was easy. The first two I 'bench paired' then moved to the canopy. The last two I forgot and had to pair in place. All of that was smooth.
The result is exactly what I wanted years ago. Multisensor6's in each room turn the fan on and off by temp that I set in RM. In each bedroom, I've had a Pico on the headboard for several years, I made use of the 'push-and-hold layer' of them to control the Fan as well.
For me, the whole process has been very satisfying and reliable. "It just works" <-- highest praise.
I can tell you aren't looking to REPLACE your fan controller(s) in the canopy... I certainly get that!! However, it should at least be a consideration, in my opinion. Broadlink was one I 'hovered over' while dithering which to buy. If you're not going to replace the canopy controller, I'd go Broadlink over Bond.
Sometimes with the RF controlled ones, the fan and light controller is integrated into the fan motor, so its not just a matter of popping a HB controller in the canopy unfortunately. I had to swap out a nice Casablanca Stealth in our new house to get control over the light.
The fan you linked to sure seems to be one of the ones that have this problem. The give-away is that it only has live and neutral wires. The HB controller can only be added fans with at least separate wires for the light and fan motor, plus neutral.
True AND it seems to be the case with the fan select by the OP. If the installation manual is to be believed, there's no room above the Ball mount.
Thanks a lot for this great info. I didn’t even know about this zigbee fan controller that goes in the canopy. This sounds like it would be perfect but I am guessing it is not an option for me unless I want to get a whole new fan and I assume a Hampton Bay brand one? Update: I just read the last 2 posts and I see it is sounding like it is not an option due to the wiring and the fact there is no room to install it in the canopy. Back to the drawing board!
I think I could live with not having feedback if I only controlled it with voice control or a pico through Hubitat and didn’t touch the remote it should stay in sync. Since bond is not supported by Hubitat how about the other Broadlink RM Pro? Can it be used with Hubitat?
The HBFC, (Hampton Bay Fan Controller) as it's been nicknamed around here, has 5 wires.. two on 'the left' and three on 'the right.' The left pair are wired to 'always on power' (or at least to a switch that doesn't get toggled.) the right set are White, Blue, and Black. Those need to go to the fan & light. So the only requirement is that those wires are available inside the canopy. (Common, Light, Fan) The fan motor must be speed controllable by capacitive changes in the fan controller. I would say that is the majority of ceiling fans sold today.
I tried Bond, and didn't really like it. Sure, it allowed me to use Alexa to turn on and off the fan and light, I couldn't dim the lights with Alexa. I could dim the lights with the mobile app. If I used a wall remote to control the fan or lights, Bond wouldn't know the status. All it really does is toggle between on/off. So, when using a routine in Alexa to turn the light off at 10:00 PM, it would sometimes turn it on.
I'm in an older house. Since it wasn't in use, I didn't realize that two hot wires were run from the switch box to the light box. Since I have two hots, I installed the GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Fan Control, and the GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Plus Smart Dimmer Switch. Now I can control both through Hubitat and Alexa. The Bond is no longer in use. The Fan Controller supports 3 speed and 4 speed fans at the switch, and, of course, provides a lot more flexibility with code or Alexa.
I have Bond and have integrated it into HE by creating virtual switches using IFTTT. It works but you can get them out of sync if you use the RF remotes or the wall remotes some of them have, but I always turn them off with everything else on a 2:30am routine.
Bond is limited to one way communication (sending commands only) by the remote control module your fan currently has installed. There are remote control modules which allow Bond to know the state of the fan/light and provide that feedback so if you tell it to turn on and it is already on it won't turn off. Bond also makes their own module now that provides that capability as well.
Currently Bond doesn't work with Hubitat natively so your solution is great since you had the wiring needed already in place.