Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Fan Controller review: No hub required

    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.

    Michael Brown / IDG

    Alexa doesn’t care that I’ve Leviton’s Wi-Fi fan pace controller put in subsequent to the corporate’s Z-Wave dimmer. 

    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.

    leviton wi fi fan 80 percent Michael Brown / IDG

    A stack of LEDs on the left-hand aspect of the fan pace controller present visible suggestions.

    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.

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