Giving homeowners another choice for controlling air circulation in their dwellings, Lutron announced at CES 2019 they will launch the Caséta Wireless Fan Speed Control in March 2019, enabling flexible smart control for non-smart ceiling fans. The in-wall fan control joins the rest of the Caséta Wireless line of dimmer switches, products we have relied on for several years to control lighting fixtures inside and outside of our Digitized House smart house.
While there are other smart ceiling fans and fan controls available, the Lutron Caséta fan control differs in that all of the smarts are in the wall switch itself, obviating the need for an accessory control module to be installed inside the fan canopy.
Versatile Smart Control for Fans
The control will offer 4 fan speeds, and one of them can be set as a favorite for instantly selecting rotation at the desired speed. And as part of the Caséta Wireless system, the fan will become controllable by the Lutron app, a Lutron Pico wireless fan remote, or by Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands when the home has a Lutron Smart Bridge.
While all other Caséta Wireless products also work with Apple HomeKit, the Apple Home app, and the Siri digital assistant, Lutron says that functionality may not be in place at the time of the March release. However, Lutron says they are committed to adding it soon thereafter, so Apple-centric homeowners should be fine.
Retrofit Done at the Wall Switch
For those familiar with the basics of electrical wiring, Lutron says the installation is a 15-minute affair when used in a retrofit for a standard wall switch. Once that is done, you should be able to permanently retire the ceiling fan’s pull chain for speed adjustment. Be aware that a neutral wire is required, but for most recently-built homes that is likely a given.
The small Pico remotes are great for use at bedside, and can also be fitted to a wall mount for multi-location control capability or to a Lutron pedestal for use on a tabletop. In our experience, these tiny remotes have excellent range: we even use the lighting dimmer version in all of our cars for activating exterior lights as we approach the driveway.
For ceiling fans with separately controllable lighting kits, one would have to install a second Lutron Caséta Wireless lighting dimmer or simply leave the standard analog control in place.
The Decora-style fan control is expected to sell for about $80, and will be available in available in white, light almond, ivory, and black finishes to coordinate with most decorating schemes. Keep in mind you will need to purchase a Decora-style wall plate if you are upgrading from a standard toggle switch.
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.