When you get into building your perfect smart home, you can fall into a rabbit hole of wanting everything to be automated. Lights, locks, thermostat, water -- all of these things are easily integrated into a Z-Wave home automation system.
An oft-overlooked area of smart home temperature control is the ceiling fan. You can save tons on energy costs by using ceiling fans to circulate air, so you don’t rely on your thermostat to cool your smart home in the summer. Not only that, but being able to control your ceiling fans via Z-Wave can be very convenient!
With Z-Wave fan control, you can automate your fans too. This means they can be remotely turned on and off just as easily as other Z-Wave products! Unfortunately, ceiling fans can be one of the hardest things to automate, but in this article, we'll show you which products you can buy to add Z-Wave fan control to your home!
Aside from Z-Wave, you’re left with few options for smart ceiling fan control. (Not only that, but Z-Wave is is a great technology!) Most smart controllers wire into a fan the same way (via the switch), however, the difference is you won’t have near as many features as with a Z-Wave fan controller.
Don't want to read reviews? Here are the top best selling Z-Wave fan controllers on Amazon at the moment!
If you want to read more in depth about these fan controllers, continue on!
Best Selling Z-Wave Fan Controllers on Amazon
- Works with Alexa for voice control (hub Required, Alexa device and hub sold separately)
- The switch easily replaces any standard in-wall switch and enables wireless control of ceiling fans anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.
- Easily replace any standard in-wall switch with the GE z-wave smart fan control to turn on/off or adjust speed levels with your mobile device or computer using any z-wave certified gateway.
- Operate and control virtually any electrical device or appliance from anywhere
- Perfect for Commercial Lighting, Dry-Contact Relays, Pool Pumps, Water Heaters, or In-Ceiling Lighting
- Mounts in an electrical box
- Preset On Level option sets the fan speed when the device is turned on, regardless of the previous setting
- Off-Low-Medium-High speed settings
- Microprocessor-controlled "kick start" allows fan to go directly from OFF to any speed setting
Last update on 2017-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why Not Use a Z-Wave Switch?
You may be tempted to wire a simple Z-Wave on and off switch into your fan, but beware! This can cause a host of problems. First, you will only have on/off capability, which may not sound like a huge issue, but I don't think you'll want to turn your fan on high in the summer AND the winter.
If you use a dimmer switch made for a light to get that speed control, the consequences can be even worse. Many automated dimmer switches aren’t strong enough to control the powerful motors on ceiling fans, so you can blow out the motor or the switch. This means your fan can develop a loud sound or you could even possibly fry the wiring in the wall!
So what are your options for a truly automated ceiling fan controller? Let’s compare a few models to see which Z-Wave fan control is best for your smart home.
Z-Wave Fan Control Comparison
Leviton VRF01-1LZ Vizia RF Quiet Fan Control
- High Quality
- Bright LED on Switch
- 3 Speed Settings
- Very Expensive
This Z-Wave fan controller has a wall plate (available in three colors) with an LED to let you find the wall plate in the dark, which is pretty convenient. This model isn’t just the wall control, though; it works in conjunction with a Vizia RF Remote Control, so you can control it from anywhere in your home.
Though it says it will only work with this proprietary remote, since the device is Z-Wave, the Leviton fan switch is also compatible with any Z-Wave controller. The Leviton Vizia RF Fan Control has three default settings for ceiling fan speed, though there can be more, depending on the controller you use. At around $80, the Leviton is one of the most expensive smart fan controllers on the market.
- This features off, low, medium, and high speed settings with quick start which can return to the previous speed it was operating at with the touch of a button.
- Can be used at a single pole or 3-way switch.
What Others Say
I didn't believe that this was the only Z wave switch that worked with fans. I tried a cheaper GE dimmer first and the fan motor was very loud. This switch worked much better and the fan motor is just as quiet as ever.
The one thing that I was not expecting is that with this switch there are 3 defined speeds (low, medium, high). I was initially anticipating that I would be able to set it at whatever speed I wanted (0-100%). You can set it to whatever speed you want, however it only operates at the 3 defined speeds, so if you make small incremental changes in the speed setting, nothing will actually happen until you move to the next level.
I highly recommend for fan speed control.
GE 12730 Z-Wave Fan Control
- High Quality
- Bright LED on Switch
- 3 Speed Settings
- Comes w/ Two Switch Covers
- Doesn't Come w/ Wall Plates
Like the Leviton Vizia RF, this Z-Wave fan control can control a fan (not a light switch) and features an LED for easy locating at night. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a wall plate, but it does feature two colored switch covers (ivory and white).
Like the Leviton, the GE Smart Fan Control can be used with your Z-Wave controller on your smartphone or tablet. The GE has three set fan speeds as well, but you can configure many other options with your Z-Wave controller.
The GE fan controller is also compatible with other GE smart home products, so you can wire it along with a light switch to control both airflow and light in a room. That gets you the dual functionality you want when it comes to true home automation. The GE Smart Fan Control is cheaper than the Leviton, with similar features, so it’s top-notch from a budget standpoint.
- Features a low, medium, and high speed setting.
- Can be used with a three, four, five, and even six way wiring configurations
- Bright blue LED is easy to locate in the dark.
What Others Say
There aren't too many z-wave fan controllers on the market and these are a great price alternative to another higher priced option. I have no complaints so far with these other an a minor usability issue. When turning on the fan, if you want to increase or decrease the speed, you have to continually press the rocker until the LED blinks a pattern at you indicating the new set speed. It would have been nice if you could just simply keep pressing up to get the faster speed, or press down multiple times to lower it. On the z-wave side of things, these do not support notification, so you'll have to poll these to get updated status. When the controller sets the speed, it works very quickly and I haven't had any problems. All in all, for the price, you can't go wrong with these.
Enerwave ZWN-RSM2 Z-Wave Smart Dual Relay
- Control Both a Light and Fan
- Adds To An Existing Switch
- Only Can Use One Fan Speed
- Light Bulb Cannot Be Dimmed
The Enerwave ZWN-RSM2 is a unique beast in the sense that it can be used with an existing light/fan switch. You simply wire it to the switches and put this little box behind the current switches in the same gang box (it can be quite the tight fit). This then adds Z-Wave connectivity for both your light switch and fan switch.
The problem with this method of fan control is that it limits your ability to control your fan speed. You can only turn the fan on (high) and off and your light switch on and off (no dimming).
- This device allows you to add Z-Wave connectivity to both a light and a fan in the same gang box.
- Hides behind your switch.
What Others Say
I love this device and it plays well with VeraPlus. The device included with Vera no problem. Just note, in Vera, it creates 3 devices: switch 1, switch 2, and the relay itself. The relay device it creates is not used for anything.
In our expert opinion, the GE 12730 Z-Wave fan controller is the clear winner of this Z-Wave fan control battle. This smart home control gives you the most bang for your buck and still allows you to control the speed of your fan. You simply cannot go wrong with this GE device!
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