In the market for a new ceiling fan. Want to control with Zwave

The ceiling fan we are wanting to replace is currently a 3 speed pull-chain type fan. It's really simple, small, loud, and barely moves any air. The fans we installed in the living room and our bedroom are controlled by a RF remote. We do NOT want that. The current fan is wired so that I have a switch to turn the fan on/off and a second switch to turn the light on/off.

Ideally, I want to get a fan that has a pull chain, I set it to the max speed, and then I can control it with the switch. I've seen the Zooz Zen30, but that unfortunately just gives you on/off for the fan. It looks like Invovelli has one for pre-order, but a quick search shows they've been trying to get it to market for over a year. It requires a canopy module be installed, which I am fine with.

Also, I have to admit I don't really know much about motors. Can a fan controller like this only work for certain types of motors? Do ceiling fans even have different types of motors?

There are In-Wall ZWave Fan Controllers. But you say you have a pull chain, so rewiring the house seems out of the question. You COULD theoretically mount an In-Wall Fan Controller in a box up inside the ceiling, but that also seems like a lot of extra work. (Up there, youw wouldn't have access to the physical switch, but that doesn't sound like a requirement.

The 'most popular' solution is Zigbee. Hampton Bay offers a Zigbee Canopy mount controller with a weak antenna. :slight_smile:

I'm using GE fan control switches and they've been solid for us. I have 3.

If you have the wiring in place, there's no question in my mind the In-Wall solution is superior.

Like so many, I don't have any wiring for an In-Wall. And although I have the skills to add wiring, my decision was to go with the HBFC despite not really having a Zigbee network to speak of. I do now of course :frowning:

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We were lucky and had the wiring in place for both lighting and fan. So I can use in wall solutions. The hampton bay ones, I've heard, though a weak antenna, people have had good luck with placing repeaters in the vicinity of the device.

Yes, @april.brandt I do too and it's entirely the reason I wish I had gone ahead and done the additional wiring. Those darn wall wart repeaters are just so ugly AND bothersome. :frowning:

This one? I saw that one but all the wording seems to indicate you can only change the speed using zwave (like through a phone or voice command). If the fan speed isn't adjustable from the switch, that isn't going to work for me.

Can the switch change the speed of the fan or is it just on/off?

EDIT: And it apparently has an LED indicator light, but just for on/off. Can it be disabled?

Of you want to automate your existing fans, I’m using a Broadlink RM3 pro to control my RF fan.
Works perfectly with @cybrmage’s driver for the Broadlink, and gives me control via HE

I have full voice control of my fan & it’s speed via Alexa


You can control any electric fan with any Z-wave (or any other) In-wall fan controller. GE has a Z-wave that is 3 speed my Lutron ones are 4 speed. You set the motor on high (with the pull string) and then let the "dimmer" control the amount of voltage the motor gets. If you already have separate switches you are already wired for it.

I do this with all my 1st floor fans and they are different types, but all function the same. I keep telling me wife to remove the dang strings. After three years of never touching them you'd think she be sick of looking at them :man_shrugging:

Yeah, that's the one April is referring to.

Your mileage may vary with these. The fan has to like the speed settings the Switch supports. That's kind of a variable, depending on the fan.

I do seem to recall you can set RM up to "cycle" speeds using the switch paddle, but it's been awhile since I messed with it, and find I prefer the Hampton Bay, while I await the Innovelli.

In fact, I sent my spare off to @april.brandt!


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I have a rule in rule machine that uses the environment sensor that I bought from one of the members here. So, the fan changes speed according to temperature. You can disable the led. I have them on when the switch is off. Seems logical to make the switch visible in the dark. To set up, you set the switch to high and then adjust the fan speed to high with the pull chain. Then the switch will control the lower speeds. I like the switches. They've been reliable for me.

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Thanks! I might get one of those GE switches. But... the Invovelli community forum actually has a recent post saying they are on track to start mass production May 11th, which is only a few days away. So maybe soon it would be available.

@Eric_Inovelli is this still the case?

One thing about the Invovelli though is that it has a canopy module that communicates to the switch using RF. I assume this is so you can control the fan and light separately on a unit that only has a single switch powering it because the canopy module will be always powered and the relay moved up there. Are there any downsides to this? I could potentially use of my two switches for the fan/light and a second device as a scene controller for something else entirely.

We're looking at the 18th now due to a hiccup with Z-Wave Cert, but still pushing hard for May!

Yes this is how it was designed bc the switch would've been extremely thick with all the relays in there, so we moved them to the module in the ceiling.

Hope that makes sense?

Not sure on the downsides, but I'm sure someone will find one :joy:


Getting ready to buy a fan. My wife likes this one. I don't see any reason why that fan would have issues with a fan controller.

I have some questions about the GE switch, or really most of the other in-wall switches that I've seen. They all seem to function the same as a dimmer switch. This just seems like it would make the fan control a little non-intuitive. How do you adjust the fan speed with this type of paddle? Is there an indicator of what the current speed is? Can you change how to adjust fan speed via Hubitat? I'm thinking I would want tap up to increase speed by 1 and tap down to decrease speed by 1. Unless that's how it does by default.

I'm actually having a hard time finding videos that cover using the switch; I'm only finding ones showing how to install it.

Ideally, I'd like a switch that has 3 buttons, for speeds 1 - 3 and a button to turn the fan on and off. Or something like that. Are these dimmer switch style fan controllers all there is?

I have two in the house (GE) and frankly, I don't like them.

The GE seems to support 3 speeds, something like 30% 50% and 100%. I do believe (it's been awhile since I messed with the button) that the switch operates with an increment/decrement function. But perhaps @april.brandt could answer, as she has a couple of these as well.

I'm waiting for the Innovelli personally. I have some of the Hampton Bay Fan Controllers, and with a good Zigbee mesh, they seem to work fine. But my fans are all automated, I almost never touch the switches.


I might just do the same. Plus, in the community thread about Project Hurricane, they say

Add another line terminal so that people who have both the line and load coming down from the fan can wire up the switch without a fan canopy, but still use the single switch design (with two buttons)

  • 08/22/19: I fought hard I promise! This will have to be moved to V2 due to a complete redesign of the PCB board and also there are some depth issues that may arise. Currently, the fan module houses the dimmer and fan control electronics and if we were to add two terminals to the switch in order to bypass the module, we’d have to move all the electronics from the module to the switch causing the switch depth to be much larger. We are planning on coming out with dual switches next year so we do need to figure this out – however, to meet the Jan 2020 timeline, unfortunately the team just couldn’t revamp the design at this time.

So it sounds like they will have a completely in-wall solution maybe sometime next year. Honestly, their design is the only one I've seen that I like. A button to turn the fan/light on and off and two smaller buttons to adjust each one up or down.

Lutron Casita has a fan controller if you have their devices. It does exactly what you described but will require the Lutron Pro Bridge. They tend to run $40 to $50.

This is an Amazon Link to one.

You can also find them on eBay for $5 to $10 cheaper or there may be other places that are cheaper.

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