Moving beyond efficient high volume low speed (HVLS) airflow, Big Ass Fans, makers of the Haiku residential and light commercial fans, has announced they intend to integrate anti-pathogenic ultraviolet C (UV-C) light technology into their fan. The forthcoming optional feature is manifested as an LED uplight on the Haiku UV-C fan, and has diodes pointing upward to prevent ground-level UV exposure to building occupants. This will mark the first such application of UV-C tech in a ceiling fan product.
While BAF has not explicitly mentioned COVID-19 in their current messaging, UV-C has been widely heralded for its sanitizing effects seen with other coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). According to a recent article on the medical site WebMD, hospitals have been using ultraviolet for years to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.
One of three types of light rays naturally generated by the sun, UV-C can cause cancer, destroy DNA, and damage the corneas of the eye, but it gets filtered out by the ozone layer before it strikes the surface of the Earth. So, safety in its usage as a germicidal in dwellings becomes paramount.
In the case of Haiku, BAF says they intend to maximize health benefits for building occupants by combining the airflow from the fan with safely-applied sanitizing effects of UV-C emitted from the uplight. Furthermore, the onboard smart technology in the fan can be used to easily schedule air circulation or sanitization operations via the Haiku by BAF app, through occupancy-based operation with their SenseMe technology, or even through voice commands.
Presumably, all of this will work with the recently-launched Fan Eco mode in the app, which can help save on energy costs more so than the already-efficient standard and Whoosh (a setting that simulates natural breezes) modes.
Residential and Beyond
Fitted with sleek, aerospace-inspired airfoils, the virtually silent Haiku fans were originally ideated and sized for design- and energy-conscious consumers in the residential market. But BAF is also targeting a broader market for these fans. This includes hotel rooms, restaurants, smaller businesses, break rooms, and the like—places where the UV-C sanitization capability may be even more relevant than the home.
They have also been expanding the use of innovative materials for the construction of these fans, moving far beyond the original bamboo airfoils (which we personally owned and loved) of the original Haiku. Today, the fan can still be ordered with the caramel or cocoa bamboo airfoils, while standard aluminum, brushed aluminum, polished aluminum, brushed copper, and other metals and finishes can be selected. Most recently, a limited-edition model crafted in a driftwood finish was released. The fans are available in 52-in., 60-in., and 84-in. diameters.
BAF says they plan to formally launch the Haiku UV-C version of their fan in July 2020. The cost of a fan so equipped starts at $1,744. We’ll bring you more details as we learn them.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.