Smart Comfort with Haiku Home
Installing connected devices to handle one task better is great. Lights that you can turn on with your phone or your voice. A garage door that reminds you when it is left open too long. A sprinkler system that waters your lawn based on the climate and the weather. But what really makes your home truly smart is when these devices start to work together, right out of the box, to make your home more comfortable and save money and energy.
Enter the Haiku Fan by Big Ass Fans. We first saw the Haiku Fan at CES, where it won a coveted CES 2015 Innovation Award. At the time, the Nest thermostat had just started doing integrations and we wondered what we were going to get out of it. Sure the Nest would connect to our garage door opener. So what? How would it know if we were coming or going? But the Nest integration with the Haiku Fan makes a lot of sense. If your ceiling fans are connected to your thermostat, they can work with your heating and cooling system to keep your home more comfortable. Plus, the name of the company is Big Ass Fans. How could we resist? Almost three years later we are now the proud owners of two Haiku H Series ceiling fans, replacing the original fans that came with our home.
We had already connected our original fans to our smart home with Z-wave switches and our Wink hub, so we could turn them off and on with Alexa, but that was the limit of their usefulness. We’d often forget to turn them off, we couldn’t figure out a good motion sensor to use with them, and they just weren’t really that effective, especially in the hot California summer. Plus, they were defintitely not attractive.
Ordering and shipping
Haiku Home offers four lines of fans for the home – starting at $550 for the L Series and going up to $1595 or more for the gorgeous Luxe Series. We chose the Haiku H Series in Cocoa with Oil Rubbed Bronze Hardware (60″ and 52″ models) primarily because it matched the decor in our home, but it also has the added benefit of sustainable bamboo airfoils. That’s right – airfoils – don’t call them blades – they have more in common with an aircraft wing than a regular ceiling fan blade.
Once you have selected your fan, the Haiku website has a really easy to use shopping tool that helps you find the right size and appropriate mount for your home, and suggests other accessories you might want – for instance, we added an LED light kit. You can also add extra remotes and a wall control. Even though we were replacing two identical ceiling fans, we wound up buying a slightly larger, 60” fan for our living room since it is in a much bigger space. Our fans shipped in about three weeks, and they were individually hand balanced and sound tested in the factory, with a hand signed certificate – very impressive!
Our fans arrived in lighter than expected boxes, ready for assembly and installation. The attention to detail in the packaging was evident – all the parts and instruction manuals bagged, the screws and bolts attached to their own card, color coding and stickers indicating parts that go together. This is a really high-quality product.
Installation was a bit harder than we expected and took about two hours. Assembling the fan itself was pretty straightforward – everything is well labeled and easy to connect. It was kind of a pain to install the airfoils on the console while keeping it stable – it would have been nice if the styrofoam packaging could be used as a base and we will try to see if we can adapt that for the next install.
The installation documentation and the videos on the Haiku site are well done and easy to follow, except for a couple of spots that were not absolutely clear. The fan itself was also much lighter than our old ceiling fan, making it much easier to lift and move around.
The hardest part of the installation was attaching the finished fan into the standard mounting bracket. We needed to make sure the fan outlet and the Haiku fan bracket were level, then we had to push the fan assembly over a rubber grommet and push thru a bolt. The grommet seems slightly wider than the fan brackets so this took a bit of finagling, and it wasn’t obvious how much to tighten the bolts. This definitely felt like a two-person job.
After we got the fan connected and mounted, it was simple to get it going with the Haiku app. We followed the instructions to set up an account, connected the fan via Wi-Fi and set our prefered motion sensor and comfort settings so our home will always be a comfortable 68 degrees.
Our Haiku is now connected to both our Nest thermostat and our Amazon Alexa. Now we can say: “Alexa, set living room fan to 3” to adjust the speed, or “Alexa, dim the living room light,” to dim the fan LED light.
However, with Haiku’s SenseME technology and Auto Comfort setting – we are hoping we don’t have to worry about adjusting it moving forward. Our fan has an integrated motion sensor that will turn off when we leave the room in the summer, and actually spin it faster when we leave the room in the winter to fully mix the warm air in the space. While we are in the room, the smarter cooling will make the fan spin faster as it gets warmer, and with smarter heating it will move more slowly to gently push the warm air down to us. Since our Haiku is connected to our Nest thermostat, it will automatically switch between smarter cooling and heating from now on.
We may have to tweak the settings on our fan a bit for the next month or so but by then hopefully we can forget about it and just enjoy its elegant, almost silent presence in our home.
We can’t wait to tell all our friends that we finally have a Big Ass Fan!