Haiku L Series Review: Smart Ceiling Fan Brings Luxury To Smart Home
Do you like luxury? Of course you do, and so do the folks at Big Ass Solutions (yes, that is the actual company name). The Haiku L Series ceiling fan is the newest fan in their Haiku Home line of smart devices for homes. It’s an industry leader in noise level, efficiency, and style. It’s also the first ceiling fan with built-in WiFi connectivity which effectively makes it the first smart ceiling fan.
Haiku L Series Overview
- Control your fan with your voice using Amazon Echo.
- Connect your Haiku to a smart thermostat for enhanced energy savings and control.
- Use Woosh mode to simulate a gentle breeze right in your living room.
- Add a Haiku Wall control and watch your ceiling fan and light automatically turn on/off as you enter/leave the room.
- The L Series exceeds current energy use standards by 4X.
Let’s dig a little deeper and see if this smart ceiling fan works as good as it looks.
- 1 Look And Feel
- 2 Haiku L Series Features
- 3 What Does The WiFi Module Do?
- 4 What Does The Wall Control Do?
- 5 Where To Buy Haiku L Series?
- 6 Installation
- 7 Drawbacks
- 8 TheSmartCave Official Opinion
Look And Feel
You don’t have to check the price of the Haiku L Series to realize that it’s a luxury item. Just take one look at it and it screams elegance. The smooth curves of the Haiku’s blades slice through the air swiftly and silently and look great doing it.
The competition’s blades are flat with 90-degree edges that do nothing for their aerodynamics. They look like they are stamped out of a piece of particleboard and probably are. They are no match for the Haiku.
No more nights lying awake in bed while your ceiling fan whines and shakes above you. The superior aerodynamics of the Haiku translates to more efficient airflow. More efficient airflow translates to quieter operation and less power consumption.
Many ceiling fans tip the scales in excess of 20 lbs. The Haiku weighs in at a lean 11 lbs.
The blades are lighter so they create less stress on bearings. Again, this contributes to the virtually silent operation of the fan as well as the low power usage.
The Haiku L Series is available in several different color schemes. The center motor area can come in either black or white. The blades come in your choice of black, white, caramel, or cocoa.
Haiku L Series Features
Alright. On to the fun part! You’ve probably never had a smart ceiling fan before so you’re probably asking yourself, “what can a ‘smart’ ceiling fan do?”
The Woosh setting is designed to simulate a gentle breeze flowing through your living room. You can use the app to set the maximum speed of the “breeze” and the Haiku will provide you with intermittent gusts of wind to keep you comfortable.
With any other fan, I could see this being impractical and annoying as the fan noisily ramps up its speed over and over. But, the quiet operation of the Haiku makes it possible and quite pleasant.
The Haiku L Series comes with a built-in LED light fixture. Haiku Home also sells Haiku Lights which are the perfect complement to your Haiku fan.
The brightness of the fan light is rated at 988 lumens, which is comparable to a 60-watt incandescent bulb. It has 16 different brightness settings.
Don’t worry about ever having to replace the bulb, because it’s not replaceable. However, that shouldn’t be a problem because the light’s expected lifespan is 40 years.
You can also purchase the optional wall control which enables the Haiku Home SenseMe technology. This enables some automation features which are described in more detail below. It also allows the Haiku to integrate with Nest and Ecobee3 thermostats. There are no subscription fees to use the SenseMe technology.
For conventional control of your luxury fan, the Haiku comes with a remote control.
The remote has buttons to control fan speed, lighting intensity, Woosh mode, sleep mode, and a timer.
It also comes with a mounting bracket that allows you to mount the remote on the wall.
For the “ultimate” in conventional control, you can still use a good, old-fashioned wall switch to turn your fan on and off.
You will still need the remote to set your initial settings. After that, the fan will remember the light intensity and fan speed settings when you switch it off. When you flip the switch back on, the fan will continue operating just as it was when you shut it off.
**Pay close attention to what the WiFi module and the wall control unit do because it isn’t explained very well in other places.**
What Does The WiFi Module Do?
Haiku Home App
If you buy the fan on Amazon it comes with a WiFi module (it does not if you buy from the manufacturer). The module is built into the fan. The module connects to your WiFi router so that you can control your fan using your mobile phone paired with the Haiku Home app. If you have the WiFi module, you will be able to use the app to:
- turn the fan on and off and adjust the speed
- turn the light on and off and adjust the brightness
- set up schedules to control these functions
- enable voice control for your fan using Amazon Echo
I’m not exactly sold on the usefulness of the app as a control device. If you want to turn the fan/light on in a given room, you will most likely be in that room. In most cases, it will be easiest to just grab the remote to turn things on/off. Consider the steps required to use the app:
- take out your phone and turn on the screen
- find the app icon and press it
- wait for the app to load
- navigate to whichever setting you wish to change and adjust it
Granted this is not very difficult. But, compared to the old way of just flipping a switch or turning a dial as you walk into the room, using the app doesn’t seem like much of an improvement.
With truly smart technology, interacting with my appliances should require even less thought than flipping a switch or turning that dial. Luckily, the Haiku gives you a couple other solutions for control that are a bit smarter.
As you can tell from above, I’m not a big fan of using the app as the main means to control the fan and light. Using your smartphone as a glorified remote control is both less convenient and less reliable than an actual remote control. I’m sure the folks at Haiku Home understood this which might be why they made the effort to make their product compatible with Amazon Echo.
The Haiku with the WiFi module can be paired with the Amazon Echo for voice control. You can control both the fan speed and light intensity with several simple voice commands. If you have more than one fan, you can create groups of fans and name each group. Then, you can control them with commands such as:
“Alexa, turn Bedroom light on.”
“Alexa, set Garage fan to 50%.”
“Alexa, turn Living Room fan off.”
The full list of commands is available here.
What Does The Wall Control Do?
The wall control is what turns your connected fan into a smart fan. It has a thermostat, humidistat and motion sensor built into it. If you put a wall control in each room that you have a Haiku fan, you will enable the SenseMe technology and all its cool features.
Helps you stay comfortable at night by adjusting the fan speed while you sleep. You choose the temperature that makes you the most comfortable while sleeping, and the L Series will adjust its speed to keep it there.
Set up your fan and your lights to come on automatically when you enter the room. Then, after a set period of inactivity, the lights and fan will shut off. You can adjust the time it takes to shut off inside the app.
During the steamy summer months, the smarter cooling feature can help reduce your A/C bill. The wall control senses temperature and humidity and SenseMe can use this data to calculate the optimal fan speed to keep you cool. The Haiku fan is an extremely efficient fan. It will always be cheaper to set the thermostat a few degrees higher and make up the difference with a cooling draft from your ceiling fan.
During heating periods, natural convection causes warm air to rise and leaves the lower parts of a room feeling much cooler than the air near the ceiling. The role of a ceiling fan is to push that warm air back down to where it can be felt by you. However, you don’t want the fan to be pushing the air so hard that it causes a draft because that will probably end up giving you the chills.
With other ceiling fans, the standard solution is to reverse the fan blades so that it is sucking air towards the ceiling during heating periods. This still has the desired effect of mixing up the air and it minimizes the chance that you will feel a draft.
The Haiku is not designed to work like this. The airfoil design of the blades is meant to operate only in one direction. The Haiku can achieve the same air mixing effect (destratification is the scientific word) operating in the forward direction without creating a draft. They even have a fancy Harvard study to back up their claims.
What smarter heating does is keep the fan at its slow “no draft” speed while you are in the room. Then it speeds up when you leave the room. This thoroughly mixes the air which helps save on heating costs.
Works With Smart Thermostats
The wall control allows your L Series to connect with Nest and Ecobee3 smart thermostats. So far, what it does is automate the smarter heating and smarter cooling features.
Here is an example:
Let’s say it’s summer time and your desired “feels like” temperature is 75F. Without a smart thermostat, you set your Haiku app to 75F. Then you walk over to your thermostat and raise the set point to 76F or 77F. The fan will provide the extra cooling necessary to make your 77F room feel like its 75.
With the smart thermostat, the step where you walk over to your thermostat is eliminated. Instead, the fan automatically tells the thermostat to raise the set point a bit. My initial concern was that the fan would just set the thermostat 5 degrees higher and crank itself up to high to make up the difference. If that were the case, you would be living in a perpetual windstorm during the summer. Thankfully, the maximum and minimum allowable fan speeds can be set in the app.
So, all you have to do is set your desired temperature and your max and min fans speeds. Haiku SenseMe will figure out the rest to save as much as possible on your energy costs.
Where To Buy Haiku L Series?
Read this carefully! I have seen several negative reviews on Amazon due to confusion about this topic.
The complete Haiku L Series Smart Fan system consists of 3 items: the ceiling fan itself, a WiFi module that installs on the fan, and the SenseMe wall control module that mounts on the wall in the room. It is not necessary to have all three.
1. If you buy only the fan, you will only be able to control the fan with the included remote. You will not be able to use the app, and there will be no temperature based controls or motion activated control. Basically, you will not have any smart features.
2. If you also buy the WiFi module, you now have a connected fan. You will be able to control your fan using the app. You would also be able to pair it with Amazon Echo. However, you would not have the temperature or motion controls.
3. Lastly, if you buy the SenseMe wall control, you will be able to set up automatic temperature and motion based controls. This will give you all the SenseMe features and turn your connected fan into a smart fan. In order for the wall control to work, the fan must also have a WiFi module installed.
When you buy this fan, you have two options. You can buy from a retail store like Amazon or you can buy directly from the manufacturer.
If you buy from Amazon, you will receive a package that includes the fan and the WiFi module but not the wall control.
If you buy from the manufacturer, you will receive only the fan. It will not include the WiFi module or the wall control.
The wall control is only sold by the manufacturer. When you order a wall control and specify that it is for a Haiku L Series, they will include a free WiFi module as well.
If you have installed a ceiling fan before, the Haiku L Series fan will be similar. It requires feats of strength that should be familiar to any homeowner with a DIY spirit. Basic electrician skills and using a screwdriver while standing on a ladder are a couple things that come to mind.
The Haiku can be installed either indoor or outdoor. It can be installed in covered outdoor areas with temperatures ranging from -4 F to 122 F.
For effective air circulation in indoor areas, the manufacturer suggests a maximum of a 15′ x 15′ room size. It can be installed on sloped ceilings up to 33-degree pitch.
The package includes down rods for 11.4 in or 16.4 in (measured from the ceiling to the lowest point of the fan). However, if you have extra tall ceilings and want some longer down rods, they are available to order from the manufacturer.
The Haiku is clearly a luxury item and it’s priced like it. A nice, but considerably more modest ceiling fan can be purchased for one-fourth the price of a Haiku. Considering many homes could have upwards of 5 ceiling fans, the extra cost can add up in a hurry.
The Haiku Home App Is A Work In Progress
I have read a number of reports of people struggling with connectivity and stability when using the Android app. It appears that the original app was written for iOS and then converted to Android. Sometimes issues arise when converting which could be the source of the problems.
The wall control and SenseMe technology don’t seem to be suffering the same connectivity issues.
The good news is that software is something that can be updated relatively easily. It’s much much easier to fix a couple lines of code and push out an app update than it is to fix something that is physically faulty with the fan.
The available designs of the Haiku L Series are limited. It is only available in the 52″ size and the only color choices are white and black.
Update: The fan is now available with caramel and cocoa colored blades as well but they cost a bit more.
TheSmartCave Official Opinion
To me, Big Ass Solutions has done for the ceiling fan what Nest did for the thermostat. They took a boring product that had hardly changed in years and brought it screaming into the 21st century.
They are a fan company and they are really good at making fans. The hardware of the fan is amazing. The motor, the blades, the look, and the sound (or lack thereof) are all top of the line and befitting of a luxury fan. The smart features are neat and will only get better with time.
Its weakness is definitely the Haiku Home app. It’s not surprising because they are not a software company. The challenge of creating a stable user-friendly app seems to be a work in progress.
I personally would prefer to wait until there are some competitors in the market to hopefully bring the price down. However, I’m sure there are some people building new homes that don’t have the luxury of waiting. And, I know there are others who just love being the first to have these sorts of stylish, luxury items.
If you are willing to fork over the cash, you can expect to get an amazing ceiling fan.
Do you have any experience with the Haiku L Series? Do you have any questions I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to respond!