Are these $1600 sensible ceiling followers well worth the cash?


Haiku Technology 4 with Chromatic Uplight

In 2013, shortly after transferring to South Florida, we determined to outfit our front room with a showpiece ceiling fan, a first-generation Massive Ass Followers Haiku H sequence with SenseMe, a WiFi-controlled gadget that built-in with sensible thermostats reminiscent of the Nest and had onboard movement sensors and clever scheduling.

It served us properly for about ten years, and we favored it sufficient that we put in a Haiku L sequence in our bed room.

We had a technical subject with our authentic Haiku H a couple of months in the past (it might need been associated to a lightning storm, we’re unsure why it failed) and contacted assist. The decision was that Massive Ass Followers would exchange it (totally free) with a new Technology 4 Haiku gadget, a testomony to the corporate’s superior guarantee and assist companies, should you’re questioning why it is best to spend upwards of $1600 on one in every of these models.

Additionally: This Alexa-controlled fan is the sensible house luxurious I did not know I wanted

However as I needed to get an electrician in to re-install it, I additionally took the chance to exchange my outdated (dumb) Hunter fan in my kitchen/bar space with a Technology 4 and to exchange the older (and finicky) Wi-Fi wall management switches with the newer Bluetooth Low Vitality-based ones. Along with the dome lighting on the unique fan, we additionally purchased the brand new chromatic uplight kits for each new followers to offer temper lighting.

New tech, new app

The Technology 4 know-how is now deployed throughout Massive Ass Fan’s whole residential and client product line, together with their i6 and ES6 (six-blade) and their entry-level Haiku L gadgets. This enables all the pieces to be managed by the corporate’s newest smartphone app, together with its industrial/industrial gadgets. 


Jason Perlow/ZDNET

This new app for iOS and Android launched with Technology 3 replaces the earlier “Haiku Followers” app, however when you have Technology 1 and Technology 2 gadgets in your community, they’re caught on that older app. Sure Gen 1 and Gen 2 followers can get new essential logic boards to maneuver them over (a process I tried on our first 10-year-old fan to attempt to repair it when it grew to become unresponsive). Nonetheless, it isn’t a straightforward process for the reason that whole housing of the unit must be disassembled to place it in. Except you might be tremendous useful with disassembling electronics, I would advocate getting an electrician to alter these.

Upon getting the followers put in, getting them linked to the app is simple. Every fan broadcasts a Wi-Fi sign, so that you merely be part of that community with the cellular gadget and add it to the app with a easy wizard. The brand new Gen4 tech absolutely helps fashionable WiFi 2.4Ghz 802.11n networks. It’s way more dependable than the older Technology 1/Technology 2 tech, which used a much less highly effective 2.4ghz 802.11g transceiver and would typically disconnect until you remoted it to a legacy Wi-Fi community. This subject was the Achilles heel in an in any other case wonderful product.

The brand new wall controller, which installs in a typical mild swap receptacle flush mounted, can also be modernized utilizing contact controls for fan velocity and lightweight dimming and routinely pairs with a fan utilizing Bluetooth Low Vitality, a big enchancment over the two.4ghz Wi-Fi wall controllers, which additionally had periodic connectivity points with fashionable entry factors.  

Along with scheduling utilizing the app and movement sensing to set off fan operation and lighting, the followers may be built-in with Alexa and Google Assistant, permitting for voice management for use for setting fan velocity and in addition dome mild brightness (however not heat/colour, which is toggled manually between tender white and vivid white). 

When you’ve got an Ecobee thermostat, you can even combine with it to optimize HVAC and fan effectivity. The platform was additionally as soon as built-in with Nest, however sadly, Google discontinued its Works with Nest program in 2019.

When you’ve got a couple of Massive Ass Fan product put in in your house, you can even mix them into management teams — that is useful if they’re situated close to one another, and also you wish to synchronize fan speeds and lighting ranges. It additionally simplifies wall management setup by having a couple of fan and lightweight operated by a single wall management.

Chromatic lighting may very well be higher


The chromatic uplighting improve ($400), additionally obtainable for the ES6, is an adjunct possibility that, in idea, could be a terrific addition to the product if it was extra software-configurable. Along with a vivid white uplight for ceiling illumination, it additionally implements a multi-color temper night time mild with seven completely different colour mixtures: purple, orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, purple, and vivid purple. On the ES6, the chromatic mild also can combine UV-C, for room sterilization.

Nevertheless, all of those night time mild colours should be manually chosen within the app — you’ll be able to’t management them with Alexa or Google like you’ll be able to the dome mild; they merely activate when the primary dome lights are turned off and are set to one of many seven colours; there is not any “get together mode” or gradual colour transition movement obtainable. The setting to alter the colour can also be buried three ranges down within the app UX, which is inconvenient.

As they’re hardcoded, pairing them with Hue and different producer lights in an Alexa routine is inconceivable if you wish to color-coordinate them. Hopefully, a few of these points may be addressed in a software program replace sooner or later.

The Haiku Fan, perfected ultimately?

I have been utilizing these followers for ten years, and whereas they have been nice air movers and look incredible, the reliability of the Wi-Fi connectivity on the Technology 1 Haiku with SenseMe left rather a lot to be desired. The connectivity now works flawlessly with the up to date communications stack and Bluetooth wall controllers.

However is it price it? That is actually a magnificence within the eye of the beholder subject. If you need primary IoT ceiling fan integration, you are able to do this for lots much less cash utilizing Lutron’s Wi-fi Caseta Fan Controller, and a Lutron Caseta Starter Equipment mixed with any 3-speed or 4-speed “dumb” ceiling fan just like the Hunter I had put in beforehand. 

That stated, the fan intelligence with its onboard sensors distinguishes the Haiku and the ES6 from different merchandise in the marketplace, significantly the scheduling, movement sensing, room temperature optimization, and the “whoosh” mode that simulates a pure breeze. And the truth that the corporate is prepared to face behind its merchandise, even exchange them after ten years of service, implies that the funding is sound.

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