Please help me choose a ceiling fan replacement strategy

This all started because I mistakenly purchased a few of these without realizing that when the specs say it uses “RF” it really means BT and doesn’t work within the 300-45mhz range that Bond uses:
Your friend has shared a link to a Home Depot product they think you would be interested in seeing.

It was also a decisions based on price and the fact I was using Alexa, but I’m just tired of Alexa at this point and started moving to HomeKit. I guess I could run Alexa just by for the lumen, temp, speed, and direction controls, but that would be cumbersome.

At this point I just figured everything is moving to Dc in fans these days as they’re quieter and more efficient. :man_shrugging:t2:

And Home Depot’s return window of 90 days from purchase started 98 days ago. Maybe they’ll let me slide and return it. The other one I bought is still well within the return window if that’s my ultimate best route.

I just want a fan that looks decent, isn’t too expensive, can be fully controlled by my HE C-7, and has an independent on/off for for light without affecting the fan that my parents can handle when visiting, I.e., a switch on a wall lol

Again, almost all mass-market ceiling fans are AC fans from my understanding. Especially if you are talking under $200. And the Zooz ZEN52 dual relay won't work with DC as its relays are not dry-contact, not to mention the need to for the two DC power supplies. You would need two ZEN51 dry-contact relays to switch two different DC power supplies if you really need to switch DC.

So looking at your options:

  1. This will work with a ZEN52 and give you separate control of on/off for both the fan and light from HE. No dimming. Speed control and direction from pull chains.

  2. No Zooz relay needed (or wanted) although you may want a wall switch in smart-bulb mode so to act as a scene controller but not to switch the AC. Just wire the always-on AC to the RF module and train the Bond bridge with the fan remote. Then you can use HE to separately control the light and fan. Depending on the functionality of the remote control, you may be able to change fan speed and direction as well as dim the light. You will need to make sure that the fan and the RF module are compatible if they are not sold as a set.

3a) Most native RF fans DO NOT have separate power inputs for the fan and light. The module takes an always-on AC input and the remote control is used to control both the fan and light. Then you use the Bond bridge as for option 2. You say that the native RF fan you want REQUIRES two separate power inputs? What does it do with them? If it is RF control, you don't want the AC input switching on and off. What is the model of this fan? Two AC inputs means two separate line inputs with either separate or a common neutral. A line/neutral pair is a single AC power input (don't want to be insulting but just making sure we are speaking the same langauge).

3b) My belief is that this is the most common fan, at least for mass market consumer ceiling fans. I quick search at found over 1000 fans under $200 with remote control. Here is one that has installation instructions showing that you just hook it up to AC.
The bond bridge supports both RF and IR remotes and a fairly wide range of RF frequencies so it works with most major brands of fan remotes.

If I were starting from scratch, I would either get a fan to use with the Inovelli Zigbee fan module or get an RF fan with a single AC input (again, I can't for the life of me figure out what an RF controlled integrated fan/light would do with two AC inputs) and use the Bond bridge.

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This looks to be a Wi-Fi fan that has an Alexa skill to work with their cloud app. Not what I would want but couldn't you do this with the WiFi fan you already bought?

OK. But even a DC fan will have an AC power input. Then it will have DC power supplies and control built into the fan. If it has a remote control, it doesn't matter if it as AC or DC. It has a single AC power input coming from the ceiling and when you send it remote control commands from the Bond bridge, it controls its fan and light as commanded. You don't control the DC power directly from the wall switch.

Yes, you do need to make sure that the remote control isn't Bluetooth if you want to use a Bond Bridge. You want either an 300-450mhz RF remote of an IR remote that uses 38kHz modulation (which is the most common I think).

This was meant as me trying to sus out every possible situation without knowing what they all are. Basically saying, if X exists then he’s the solution it would provide, etc. I don’t have a need for a fan with two AC inputs, sorry :grimacing:

Ultimately this is the reason I started this thread and am glad I did! I’ve been trying to kluge my hastily purchased Carro fans like a square peg into a complexity rabbit hole that just kept getting more and more complicated. I knew there simply had to be an easier solution, or at least less complex.

Look/Style matter to a point.
Price matters more than looks.
But with my home wiring and my home’s hubs and controllers matters most.
Wall switch to control lights on/off, maybe add a wall mounted scene controller in the future for lumen, temperature, speed, rotation (LTSR).
Ability the control LTSR using HomeKit at minimum but very much prefer to go through my HE first.

Other than that trying to determine what signal range an RF fan is controlled by has been harder than expected. Maybe because I’ve been mistakenly filtering on DC fans. Bond won’t give a decent list of what is compatible, you have to get the FCC ID for every fan and ask Bond one by one. Their forum is nowhere as good as this one either, but every the Hubitat compatibility list was less than helpful. It’s just a list of 6 wall switches that have been tested with HE and incorporate buttons to control fans which doesn’t exactly help my situation.

I would really prefer to stay native with Zwave/Zigbee with my house’s friggin concrete walls and how far the one would be from the furthest fan, but willing to try it for sure.

I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to explain everything while my stubborn brain fought to step back and really challenge if I’m doing this the right way. This is exactly what I hoped for when I asked the question.

It’s in the ceiling working right now using Alexa and the Carro so app on my phone, but I’m determined to migrated off Alexa to HomeKit and the thread I started yesterday trying to figure that out was more than I wanted to attempt…

I don't blame you! I don't know anything about HomeKit but I don't think you will be able to control that Carro fan remotely without either using their BT remote or going through Carro cloud services which is probably Tuyu.

If you decode to get a new fan, having a remote control and NOT having a smartphone app will mean it is more likely to work with the Bond bridge, because if it has a BT remote, you could have an app to control the fan using BT.

There are a couple threads about controlling ECM motors with I think, 0-10 V modules sold by the likes of Zooz. I recall one was for an air heat exchange/makeup system, whatever it's official name is. It was an excellent read. This is off the top of my head.

Too complex for me, however. :slight_smile:

Oh, I’m fully on board with going a different direction and trying to return these. I’m looking at AC powered with RF remote operating within 300-450mhz… now if there was only a way to find out the RF part by searching or looking at the specs. The frequency used by the remote to control the fan just is not a spec I can ever find unless a reviewer posts it in their review.

Search Amazon for anything “RF” or Remote related is impossible.

I couldn’t find that spec anywhere on Home Depot’s site searching all last night.

Now I’m on Loew’s trying to search within the page for: “RF” “Remote” “mhz” “Bluetooth” “Bond” or “frequency” and nothing seems to let me know.

It’s as if the only way to know if it works is to call customer service for each model you are interested in or buy it with hope and return if not.

Maybe I should wait for the Inovelli and see if that’s a better fit for me?

I hope you don’t mind one more question. I believe I now fully grasp what is needed for my living room in the Bond option:

“An AC powered ceiling fan that can be controlled by RF signals within the 300-450mhz range and a Bond hub to control it.”

The other option, which I definitely like better, would be to wait for the Zigbee Inovelli canopy module in Feb. which is compatible directly with HE negating the need for a Bond hub. Reading its help files, I’m a bit intimidated having never done this about the neutral / non-neutral settings, leading / trailing edge, and parameters 21 / 26 etc.

Basically, to use the Inovelli canopy module in my living room I would need:

“Any variable speed, dimmable, AC powered fan with separate power inputs for the fan and the light.”

But is my two black wires in the ceiling enough? Would I need to put it in the wall instead?

Assuming the Inovelli option works with my house’s wiring and that “Any variable speed, dimmable, AC powered fan with separate power inputs for the fan and the light” is also correct, then I think all my questions have been answered.

Oh wait, in either scenario, Bond or Inovelli, I should be able to use my Picos as on/off scene controllers via HE and the Lutron Pro Bridge, right?

I hope I’ve captured it all correctly this time!

Thanks again!

Assuming one is line hot and the other is neutral, that should be fine.

No, that's not how the canopy module works - there's no wall-mounting option.

When integrated into HE via Pro bridge telnet, you can use Picos for just about anything.

“Any variable speed, dimmable, AC powered fan with separate power inputs for the fan and the light.” refers to the fan, NOT the wires coming from your ceiling. The ceiling fan should have 3 or 4 wires, One to power the fan, one to power the light, and either one or two neutral wires.

You will need to figure out which of the two black wires from your ceiling is neutral because you need to connect it to the neutral of the Innovelli module (white wire) and the neutral wire(s) of the fan/light. Then you will connect the line input of the Innovelli module to the hot wire from the ceiling and the two outputs of the Innovelli module to the light and fan control wires of the ceiling fan. If you mix up the line and neutral from the ceiling it probably won't work right. Do you have a hot wire detector (like this:
You can use a multimeter, but a non-contact tester is much easier to use.

I have a multimeter but have been looking for a reason to upgrade and what do you know, I have 10$ in points in my Amazon account so that puppy just got ordered lol

Right, the Inovelli sits in the ceiling canopy between the house wiring and the fan wiring. The Inovelli interacts via for wires/terminals: two input from the ceiling and two output to the fan. One of the incoming wires should be hot (line) and the other a neutral (return). One of the outgoing wires will power the fan and the other will power the light.

I’m fairly comfortable that part will all go fine. I just have this once bitten twice shy feeling about selecting the right fan, at least if I go the RF/Bond route. Another reason I prefer the Inovelli option is that it will be hard to screw up fan selection. Sounds like I’d have to TRY and ‘eff that up to select wrong:

  • AC powered.
  • Accepts one fan power lead.
  • Accepts one light power lead.
  • Is dumb.
  • Is a fan.
  • has a light.

Actually, I’m not sure if it must be dumb so long as it can also be controlled by AC power fluctuations :thinking:

“Fluctuations” isn’t the right word there.

just don't forget the the neutrals of the fan need to be tied to the neutral of the module and the neutral from the ceiling. All the neutrals tied together up at the ceiling fan.

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Got it!

I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but I have to ask it. I keep picking fans that say come up when doing searches for AC then after digging in find out they’re motor is DC. The most recent one the manufacturer was telling me that their fan wires directly into standard AC wiring in my ceiling only to figure out there’s a AC to DC transformer built into the canopy.

My question is, since I’m looking for a fan that can be controlled by the Inovelli fan controller we discussed above, would the addition of an AC to DC transformer break the ability for the Inovelli to control the fan?

I’m still not 100% sure I understand how an AC fan controller actually controls a fan. Am I right to assume it’s something as simple as “controller sends little amount of power so fan spins slowly and controller sends large amount of power so fan spins faster”? Or are very specific patterns like some sort of code that an AC controller sends that tells the fan to do different things?

Into I hear different, I’m going to continue assuming these controllers simply send less power for slower speed and dimmer bulbs vs. more power for faster speed and brighter bulbs.

So, would putting a transformer in that path mess up the fan controller’s ability to control the fan?


Pretty sure the answer is yes. AFAIK fans with DC motors can be controlled with their remote controls (or a Bond hub), but not a fan control switch.

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I agree.

Basically this is true. An AC fan 'wants' to spin at a speed dictated by its winding and the frequency of the power applied, which for US line power is 60 Hz. The way that the power is reduced may vary between designs, but basically, an impedance (i.e. a resistor, capacitor, and/or inductor) is switched into the circuit path to reduce the power which causes the motor to slip and not spin as fast as the frequency due to lack of available power.