ZigBee Fan Switch | Project Zephyr (Blue Series)

Just wanted to double check that I understand what wiring is needed for these. I was reading through this thread and got confused by a post regarding what wiring is needed for these to work.

We have three basic Hunter ceiling fans with 3 speed pull chain control (not including off, so High, Med, Low, off). One has no lights and a single switch to control power to the fan. The other two have separate controls for power to the lights and power to the fan.

I got inside the switches to see what wiring we have. The fan switches have a single ground and the two black (one coming into the switch, the other going out - which obviously completes the circuit when turned on). The switch controlling the lights has a ground, a single red and a single black connected. Not sure at this point if I’ll change this to a smart switch as I already am using smart bulbs for light controls. We have a number of white (neutral lines) coming together in a wire nut at the back of the electrical box.

If I understand this correctly, this is all I need to be present in the electrical box for the fan switch to work. There isn’t another “fan control line” that should be present, right? (That’s what I thought someone else was saying.) The switch itself changes the power level that’s flowing to the fan so one initially puts the fan on high using the pull chain (and the switch gives 100% power to the fan). To create the other speeds, the switch lowers the power output to say 66% (med), 33% (low), and 0% (off) - and obviously the power levels/speeds are all yet TBD by the firmware. This was just a rough hypothetical example.

Is this correct?

I have one more question and genuinely mean no offense by it (so sincere apologies if it seems insensitive) - but I don’t know who else to ask and I’d love to hear the answer directly from this community (because who would better know the answer)? Could anyone offer a comparison of this Innovelli Blue Fan Switch and say, the Lutron Caseta Fan Switch? Obviously, the Lutron requires a proprietary hub where as the Innovelli Blue can connect to something like Hubitat (which I already own). But what would the other differences be? From what I know, the Inovelli will strengthen our existing Zigbee mesh, the Caseta is a proprietary 400mhz(ish) system. Both are the only ones I’ve found that can control fan speed. These will be the first smart switches I’ve installed and will determine future switches. When I’ve read other comparisons on forums, most are comparing the Red series to Lutron and users just give a quick “Get the Innovelli” or “I love the Caseta” without reasons or actual comparisons of the similarities and differences between them. Does it matter either way that we live in a multi family apartment building?

Thanks so much! Really looking forward to learning more. :smiley:

Those sound as if they are likely AC fans, but you should double-check to make sure as the switch only supports AC fans. You can post the model number(s) here and we can double-check.

What wiring do you have, Romex or single conductors? When you say a ground, do you know it’s really a ground? I’m thinking you might mean it’s a neutral which is likely a white conductor.

Unless you have individual conductors like THHN, I’d expect TWO whites and TWO blacks, but you stated that you only have one white and two blacks, which somewhat suggests THHN.

You might want to post a picture of the existing switch pulled out as far as possible so that we can also see into the box. You wiring sounds like it’s probably ok, but what you described isn’t totally lining up with what would be expected. That may just be your description, however.

@Bry, thanks so much for your response. I really appreciate it! I tried my best to look up the model number but I didn’t find any info that’s absolutely definitive. I did find one site that says 120v so I’m pretty sure it’s AC. But here’s the model number: Hunter 20516 (Savoy, white). Apparently one can add on the lights which is why two of them have it and one does not but the fans themselves appear to be the same.

Sorry for the less-than-clear description of the wiring. I can try to get some photos but, to be honest, some damn genius at some point left the wiring completely exposed when they used a sprayer to paint the place. So, most of the wires look white unless you really trace them back making photos difficult to see.

So, to clarify, both the light and fan switches absolutely have a ground wire, not neutral. It’s bright green. As for the other wires on each one: the fan switch has two black (so this cuts or connects the “live” wire). The light’s switch has the green ground plus a black and red. There are white neutral wires (I’d say at least three?) present in the box that are unused in any of the switches. they are all closed off together in a large wire nut at the back of the box. So I can easily connect into the neutral wire bundle, but it’s not part of the current wiring of the switches.

We live in a multi unit apartment building. I’m not entirely sure if the wiring is Romex or individual connections (assuming you mean by that single 12g or 14g wires rather than a pre-made bundle like Romex or metal clad). I’m betting that it’s the individual but I cannot say entirely for certain as I don’t see beyond the metal electrical switch box. However, all of the wires coming into the box are individual and there’s no sight of any Romex in there.

If you have any other questions, please let me know. Thanks again.

Got it. One of the white neutrals probably makes its way up to the fan.

When you are ready to wire, you’ll need to determine which of the black is the hot and which goes to the fan (the load). You’ll pigtail a white neutral to connect to the Inovelli as well.

@raeyning most likely whichever black wire comes into the box in the same bundle as the red wire is the one going to the fan.

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Thanks everyone, this has been a really useful thread as I’m trying to figure out if I should get this switch. I’m staritng a remodel for a kid’s bathroom next week and I ordred Hue slim downlights and Blue 2-1 Smart Switches. Adding the Blue Fan Switch would be a huge win for me.

One more question: I saw someone mention the Panasonic whisperquiet bathroom exhaust fans. Would a Panasonic WhisperFit bathroom exhaust fan work with a switch like this? The contractor mentioned to me it has a DC motor and converts AC to DC, but I don’t know if that would throw a wrench into how the fan switch would work.


One thing to look at is if the fan requires it’s own remote to control. My bath fan I’m installing in guest bath has its own wall switch (has fan and light in the unit) that allows me to control the light/fan independently; I wouldn’t be able to use the fan switch in this case. But my master bath fan could be a bath fan with a DC motor and I could use the Inovelli fan switch and just use the minimum setting at 100% to ensure I provide the full voltage to the fan.

Hopefully that makes sense?

That does make sense. The Panasonic WhisperFit doesn’t have a remote. I also have no problem setting the fan to only run at 100% (on/off) since it’s pretty quiet even at max speed (110 CFM @ 0.8 sones).

Thanks @harjms!

Do we have a better idea now of when these switches will be shipping?
I just got a notification that a batch of my 2-1s will be shipping, but most of the places I need to install the 2-1s are in 2-gangs that have fans alongside them. So I have to hold off on installing the 2-1s until the fan switches get here too.

Any update on these? After getting all of the other switches in my house outfitted with a combo of reds and blue switches, even my wife is starting to ask about these.

Quick update: We just got the MG24’s, so we’re going to do some quick testing to make sure the firmware is where it needs to be. The parts have been ordered and they’re just waiting on our confirmation to get started, so I’m hoping by mid-end of May they’ll be in production.


Has any thought been given to adding a humidity sensor so that a bathroom exhaust fan can detect the humidity and automatically turn on the fan?

For example, Leviton has this in (at least) one of their [dumb] fan switches. See here.

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That’s a great idea – unfortunately, we’re in the final stages right now so we can’t add anything from a hardware perspective, but potentially if we revamp it in the future. I like the idea though!

Add a smell-o-sensor … so when you’re going #2:wink:

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While this SOUNDS like a good idea… in practice they are practically useless. Light switches are not optimally placed for humidity sensing.

I had one of the Leviton humidity-sensing switches and it never worked right. I could adjust sensitivity lower, but it would never activate the fan even when the room was completely steamy. I could up sensitivity, but then the fan randomly activated and would not deactivate, even when the room was unoccupied.

If you want a humidity sensor to work right, it needs to be ceiling mounted.


Exactly. I was just about to say this.
Plus it would add to the tooling cost and overall cost of the switch for people who don’t need/want it.

You’re better off using AC power outlet humidity sensors and putting an outlet on your ceiling if you want the best results.

If the humidity sensors don’t work well, that’s one thing, but I would say that many people aren’t able to retroactively add one to their ceiling, etc.

I’ve always had ones on timers, but I’ve wondered about the humidity sensors. if one could be made to work ok, I would definitely use it, while adding a separate humidity sensor doesn’t seem practical

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I personally use the Xiaomi Mi Temp Humidity sensors. The BLE ones with the little display on them. I put them in every room so they cost around $4 each because I bought 20. But for a single it’s around $6. Have it mounted high on the wall right next to the shower. Then an automation when the humidity spikes a certain % over the avg humidity from the past 2hrs, it turns on the shower light, starts some music and bumps our air exchanger up to high (could have it trigger a bathroom fan just as easy). It takes about 2mins or so to trigger.


@MRobi - what bluetooth adaptor you are using?

ESP32’s using the bluetooth proxy
Bluetooth Proxy — ESPHome

For me I already had ESPHome devices so it was just a matter of adding a single line of code. But even if I didn’t, I’d still probably go this route because an ESP32 is around $5 so it’s easy and cheap to put out 3-4 of them around the house and have a very solid BLE network. You can buy them with a case too for an extra few bucks.