I used to suggest choosing one sensible residence ecosystem and sticking with it. Start with Z-Wave or Zigbee or Lutron or Wi-Fi for lighting management and stick with that platform while you select a wise thermostat, garage-door controller, water-leak sensor, or what have you ever. Times have modified, in order that recommendation isn’t as legitimate because it as soon as was. Smart residence dabblers may wish to observe it, however fans are higher off shopping for the very best gadget in a given class, no matter protocol. And as a lot as I just like the Leviton Decora Smart Voice Dimmer with Amazon Alexa, I don’t assume the Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Fan Controller is the very best one available on the market.
Leviton’s product isn’t a dangerous selection by any measure, it’s simply that the Lutron Caséta Smart Fan Speed Control is best—even when is costlier for those who don’t have already got a Lutron Caséta Bridge. The finest cause to make use of a single sensible residence platform is so that you simply’re not coping with a number of apps to regulate every little thing. But as sensible audio system just like the Amazon Echo and Google Home have risen to prominence, that’s not a lot of a difficulty.
Once you’ve arrange a brand new sensible residence gadget and linked it to your digital assistant of selection, you don’t want to take care of every producer’s app. You can use the sensible speaker’s software program to do just about every little thing, together with tying units from in any other case disparate ecosystems collectively so every little thing might be managed with voice instructions.
What for those who don’t desire a sensible speaker in your own home? Then you will be happier sticking with one ecosystem. And for those who additionally don’t wish to take care of a wise residence hub, sensible residence units that function immediately over Wi-Fi—equivalent to every little thing in Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi lineup—are the higher selection. Let’s take a deep dive into the Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Fan Controller to judge its professionals and cons.
Design and have set
The most blatant function that units Leviton’s fan controller other than Lutron’s is that it doesn’t require a hub or a bridge. It connects on to your Wi-Fi community on both the two.4- or 5GHz frequency bands. Depending on Wi-Fi may go away you susceptible to vary points, however this shouldn’t be an issue for those who’re utilizing a more recent router, particularly if it’s a mesh community mannequin.
The different main distinction is the controls on the gadget itself. Where Lutron’s fan controller has 5 buttons to regulate on, off, fan pace up and down, and a middle button that may bear in mind a “favorite” setting, Leviton’s gadget has one broad rocker to show the fan on and off, and a second wafer-thin rocker to the suitable of that to pick out fan pace. I like that the first rocker gives apparent visible affirmation as as to if the change is within the on or off place (those on Leviton’s Z-Wave merchandise don’t “flip”). But the thinness of the pace management rocker makes it considerably uncomfortable to press. Here once more, nevertheless, it’s an enchancment over Leviton’s Z-Wave fan controller, which is horizontally oriented above the on/off paddle.
Unlike Lutron, Leviton doesn’t supply an optionally available wi-fi distant management that you would be able to carry round with you (or mount on a wall at one other location). Lutron’s Pico remotes aren’t low cost, nevertheless; the fan-control mannequin prices $30.
A column of 4 LEDs on the left aspect of the controller gentle present a visible indication of the fan’s pace, and an LED beneath the on/off paddle lights up when the fan is off, that can assist you find it at nighttime. You also can select to show that LED off or have it gentle up solely when the change is within the on place. While Leviton’s gadget doesn’t have a favourite setting, it may be programmed to start out the fan at no matter pace it was at when it was final turned off.
As with its dimmer/sensible speaker hybrid, Leviton’s app enables you to tweak plenty of the fan controller’s settings. You can program the speed-indicator LED stack to remain on for between one to 25 seconds after a change, for instance, or have them keep on on a regular basis. You can program the fan to routinely shut off after an outlined period of time elapses, starting from one minute to 12 hours; and you may set default minimal and most speeds (the default minimal or most pace might be set to medium, for instance).
You also can group all of your Decora Smart Wi-Fi units into rooms for simpler administration, so you possibly can create guidelines (“activities,” in Leviton parlance) to regulate all of the units in that room without delay.
Any of Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi units might be programmed to function on a schedule, which might be very helpful if the fan is put in in a room that will get very heat at a given time of day. You also can schedule the fan to activate at dawn and off at sundown (and even a couple of minutes earlier than or after these occasions).
IFTTT is supported, too, which implies you can tie the fan to a wise thermostat, in order that it turns the fan on routinely when the air will get heat. Voice instructions, nevertheless, are more likely to be the management mechanism most individuals will use with a linked ceiling fan. To that finish, every little thing within the Decora Smart Wi-Fi line helps each Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Installing the Decora Smart Wi-Fi Fan Controller
As is widespread with Leviton’s sensible lighting controls, the Decora Smart Wi-Fi Fan Controller depends upon the presence of a impartial wire within the junction field. And you’ll want a number of companion switches (Leviton’s model DD00R, $20 every) if the fan is on a three- or four-way circuit. Leviton makes use of pigtail wires and wire nuts as a substitute of backstabs, and because the fan controller will in all probability be deeper than no matter you’re changing, you may need problem stuffing every little thing again into the field, particularly if there are adjoining switches. I didn’t encounter this downside, although, although I used to be putting in it subsequent to one in every of Leviton’s equally thick Z-Wave dimmers.
Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi merchandise include two-piece cowl plates (a steel sub-plate that you simply screw to the J-box, and a polycarbonate cowl that snaps on to that, hiding the screwheads). I couldn’t use it, although, as I put in the fan controller in a two-gang field and Leviton solely gives single-gang covers with the gadget. If you just like the look and want greater than a single-gang plate, Leviton sells them individually in as much as six-gang configurations (seek for “Decora Plus Screwless Wallplate). It’s value noting right here that Lutron has comparable screwless cowl plates, however its controls don’t include any—screwless or in any other case.
Once you’ve wired up the fan controller, you’ll use the My Leviton app to determine a Bluetooth connection to the gadget. The last step is to switch management to your property Wi-Fi community. Leviton has a separate Wi-Fi product line for those who’re searching for HomePackage-compatible sensible residence units, but it surely at the moment doesn’t embrace a fan controller and this one is just not HomePackage suitable.
If you by no means work together with the bodily controls on Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Button Fan Controller and solely use Leviton’s app or a digital assistant to regulate it, it’s each bit pretty much as good as Lutron’s Caséta Smart Fan Speed Control. The design of Lutron’s wall controller is rather a lot busier, but it surely’s additionally rather more helpful. And if you wish to add fan management to a different wall that’s not at the moment wired for it, Lutron’s Pico distant makes it simple.
On the opposite hand, Leviton’s controller doesn’t require a bridge to your Wi-Fi community, and the corporate has an excellent app for controlling and programming its sensible residence units. And for those who crave consistency and have already purchased into Leviton’s Decora Smart Wi-Fi lighting controls, you’ll encounter a really flat studying curve while you set up its fan controller.