The Haiku I Series from Big Ass Fans is not your typical ceiling fan. Not only does it look different than most others you've seen, it's packed with features not typically found on ceiling fans, including a Wi-Fi radio and multiple sensors that detect motion, room temperature, and humidity. That means you can have the fan turn on or off when you enter or leave a room and change rotation speeds depending on current indoor climate conditions. Moreover, it communicates with Ecobee Nest smart thermostats to help reduce your HVAC workload, and works with Amazon's Alexa. At $895, this fan doesn't come cheap, but its smart home technology, sleek lines, and excellent build quality are worth the extra coin.
Design and Features
With three sculpted airfoils and a minimalist design, the I Series looks more like a miniature wind turbine than a ceiling fan. It's solidly built and comes in a white or black finish. The fan is available in two sizes (52 inches and 60 inches) and can be ordered with a Low Profile, Standard, or Universal mounting apparatus depending on the height of your ceiling.
The airfoils are made from a lightweight glass-infused composite and are treated with three coats of automotive-grade paint before they leave the factory. The variable speed motor has a minimum speed of 35rpm and a maximum speed of 202rpm.
The fan is controlled using an Android or iOS app, or a small remote (included). You can also order a wall control for $125. An LED light kit, which is controlled using the mobile app and remote, is available for an extra $95.
Inside the box are the three air foils, a motor assembly, the remote, detailed installation instructions, and assorted mounting hardware and trim rings, all of which are clearly labeled in a shrink wrap package. We reviewed a black Low Profile 60-inch model that came with the LED light kit.
Embedded in the fan is Big Ass Fans' SenseME technology, which uses temperature and humidity sensors that automatically adjust its speed when the room reaches certain temperature and humidity levels. Smarter Cooling mode adjusts fan speed as the temperature climbs to keep you cool and help ease your air conditioner's workload, and Smarter Heating makes the fan spin more slowly to push warm air down when the room is cold. If you have a Nest or Ecobee3 thermostat you can pair it with the Haiku to have the fan automatically switch to Smarter Cooling mode when the thermostat is in cooling mode, and Smarter Heating mode when the thermostat is in heating mode. This allows you to keep your A/C set point higher and your heating set point lower, which, according to Big Ass Fans, can help reduce HVAC costs by as much as 30 percent.
In Sleep mode, the fan uses the embedded sensors to monitor room conditions and automatically change speeds to maintain a preferred sleeping temperature. It can also adjust room lighting to suit your sleep and waking schedule. With the motion sensor enabled, you can have the fan and lights automatically turn on when you enter the room and turn off when you leave. Whoosh mode uses variable fan speeds to simulate the kind of natural breeze you get while sitting outdoors. Finally, you can set the Haiku's timer to automatically turn the fan and light on and off, switch to Smart mode or Sleep mode, and enable motion detection at specific times and days of the week.
Although the Haiku has built-in Wi-Fi, it can only be controlled while your mobile device is connected to your home network, at least for now (meaning you can't use your phone to trigger the fan when you're out of the house). It also lacks support for If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes, but it works with Amazon's Alexa voice service.
The fan can be controlled with the mobile app or with the tiny 3.5-by-1.3-inch (HW), 10-button remote. The remote lets you turn the fan on and off, adjust speed, turn the light on and off, adjust brightness, and enable Whoosh, Sleep, and Timer modes.
The app opens to a main page that lists each device, the room it's installed in, and the current settings. Tapping a device takes you to a page where you can turn the fan and light on or off and adjust fan speed and light brightness. At the bottom of the page are Smart Mode, Motion, Schedule, Sleep, and Whoosh Mode buttons. The Smart Mode page is where you go to enable Smarter Cooling or Smarter Heating, set your ideal temperature, and select a maximum fan speed. On the Motion page you can enable motion detection to have the fan and/or light turn on when you enter the room and off when you leave. You can also set a time to have them turn off automatically.
The Schedule page is where you go to create a schedule to turn the fan and light on and off and enable the various modes, and the Sleep page offers sleep temperature settings and wake-up lighting settings. The Whoosh page offers a single button to enable/disable Whoosh mode. Back at the main page there's a four bar icon at the top of the page that takes you to a Settings page where you can connect a new device, edit room and device names, configure network settings, pair the fan with a compatible thermostat, pair the fan to work with Alexa, and update the firmware. The app does not offer current room temperature and humidity readings, which is odd considering the fan includes sensors for both. However, according to a Big Ass Fan spokesman, this is intentional because in most cases, the temperature where the fan is installed, such as a bedroom or living room, is usually different from the temperature where you have your thermostat, such as a hallway, and having two different temperature readings can lead people to believe that one of the devices is incorrect.
Installation and Performance
Installing the Haiku I Series fan is fairly easy, but if you're starting fresh you'll need to have an electrician run power and install a junction box in the ceiling. Even if you're replacing an existing fan (as I did for this review), you should have a basic knowledge of home electricity wiring and a pair of helping hands.
To start, I shut off power to my existing fan at the breaker box and removed the old fan. Using the installation instructions and the included Allen wrench, I attached the Haiku's airfoils to the motor housing and attached the LED kit using the four included screws. I then snapped on the light lens and was ready to install the fan.
I slid on the two included rubber mounting bumpers and attached the fan to the junction box using the two metal mounting bars. Before tightening everything up I connected the three fan wires (hot, neutral, and ground) to the wires in the junction box and secured them using the included wire nuts. I slid the wiring cover up to the ceiling and secured it with the included screws, then slid the bottom trim up to meet the cover and twisted it into place. Finally, I switched the breaker to On to restore power and was finished. The entire process took less than half an hour.