Best practices with DC motor "smart" fans

I’m doing research for our new house, which we’re gut renovating to the studs and replacing all of the systems. In my current house, I’ve been testing one of our ceiling fans with an Inovelli Blue fan controller, and I like it a lot.

Now that we’re starting to think about finishes in the new place, I’m discovering that most of the ceiling fans we’re interested in have DC motors and remotes, and thus won’t be compatible with the Inovelli fan controller. Which is a shame, because I hate remotes and would love to have an in-wall control that won’t get lost or have dead batteries.

But a few of the more expensive fans we’re looking at (e.g. this one) have Smart by Bond wifi controllers, and that gave me an idea.

I could have one of those fans wired to an Inovelli switch and have Home Assistant coordinate between the Zigbee commands and the HA Bond integration, which apparently is pretty good.

I assume for a setup like this I’d want to use a regular 2-1 switch and not a fan control. Probably in smart bulb mode so the wifi fan controller never loses power.

Has anyone set something like this up? Is there any reason it wouldn’t work or I might regret doing it?

Regular 2-1 switches are not rated for inductive loads (which fans are). You’ll want to use a Fan Switch and put it into Smart Fan Mode (which is the equivalent to Smart Bulb Mode but for fans).

The only caveat with this setup is that you won’t have any fan control if Home Assistant is down.


Thanks for the answer. I wasn’t sure if having a DC motor changed the requirements, so I’m glad I checked.

Understood about the fragility with Home assistant going down – that’s why I’ve been doing direct Zigbee bindings between my switches and lights as much as possible. But I think there’s no way to avoid it in this scenario. Luckily if it does briefly go down, I’d still be able to turn it on/off at the wall via airgap, and the original remote would still work to change speed.

Id consider the upcoming scene controller without the fan connected to it so you can do buttons for the different functions/speeds.

You can use a 2-1 as a controller by wiring power directly to the fan and not putting a load on the switch. Run the fan wiring through the switch box so it can be changed to different wiring later.

Interesting idea, but I think in my case I’ll stick with the fan switch so I’ll have an easy way to cut power to the fan without shutting it off at the breaker.