Haiku Fan Review: A premium product with a premium price tag
UPDATE: I just got the email this morning and Big Ass Fans is having another Big Ass Sale. Prices are reduced 40% on Haiku fans and 50% on Haiku L fans until Dec 13 2019. This is the lowest price I’ve seen in several years for the Haiku models. See their website for full details.
The Haiku ceiling fan is an industry leader in noise level, efficiency, and style. When I first wrote this review, it was the only ceiling fan with built-in WiFi connectivity. It was THE first smart ceiling fan.
Since then, a number of other smart ceiling fans have been released. Competitors are starting to catch up with smart integration, but the quality and style of the Haiku is still unique to Big Ass Fans.
Although installing a ceiling fan isn’t necessarily permanent, it’s significantly more time consuming than, for example, changing a light bulb. Add to that the premium price of the Haiku fans and you probably want to be extra sure this is the right fan for you.
That’s why I’ve done hours of research to make this review the most comprehensive and accurate review out there. So, if you’re in the market for a luxury ceiling fan that seamlessly integrates with your smart home, read on.
- Control your fan with your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- Connect your Haiku to an ecobee smart thermostat for enhanced energy savings and control.
- Use Woosh mode to simulate a gentle breeze right in your living room.
- A luxury item that is priced like one.
Haiku Fans Look And Sound Like Luxury
You don’t have to check the price of the Haiku fans to realize they’re 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.
No more nights lying awake in bed while your ceiling fan whines and shakes above you. The superior aerodynamics of the Haiku translate to more efficient airflow. Efficient airflow and light-weight parts combine to create quieter operation and less power consumption.
What Makes It A Smart Fan?
You’ve probably never had a smart ceiling fan before so you might be asking yourself, “what can a ‘smart’ ceiling fan do?”
Haiku fans have two levels of smart capability:
First, there is the WiFi adapter which enables app control and voice control (see below for more info). It is available on all models.
The next level up is SenseMe technology. The SenseMe technology incorporates a temperature, humidity, and motion sensor in the fan housing. It uses the data collected from the sensors to help determine whether a room is occupied and what the current “feels like” temperature is in the room.
NOTE: SenseMe technology is only available on the Haiku models (not Haiku L). That means that occupancy detection, smarter cooling/heating, and smart thermostat integration are not available with the Haiku L.
Senses When A Room Is Occupied
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 air conditioning bill. The wall control senses temperature and humidity and SenseMe can use this data to calculate the optimal fan speed to keep you cool. This will allow you to set your thermostat a couple degrees higher and still feel comfortable.
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.
What smarter heating does is keep the fan at a slow “no draft” speed while you are in the room in order to provide a slight mixing effect. Then it speeds up when you leave the room. This thoroughly mixes the air which helps save on heating costs.
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. There’s even a fancy Harvard study to back up their claims.
Works with ecobee smart thermostats
The SenseMe technology allows your Haiku fan to connect with ecobee smart thermostats. This integration allows you to automate the smarter heating and smarter cooling features mentioned above.
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. The fan will figure out the rest.
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.
Keeps You Comfortable At Night
Haiku’s sleep mode 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 fan will adjust its speed to keep it there.
Installing The Haiku Ceiling Fan
If you have installed a ceiling fan before, these fans 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 fans can be ordered for either indoor or outdoor use. The outdoor version 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 (for a 52″ fan). It can be installed on sloped ceilings up to 33-degree pitch.
The standard 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.
Don’t worry about the specifics right now. It’s easy to make sure you get all the necessary options for your installation by using the Fan Builder on the Big Ass Fans website.
Using The Haiku Fans
The fan has 8 different speeds and the light has 16 different brightness settings. There’s no pull-chain on this ceiling fan, so how do you operate it?
Big Ass Fans has included several ways to control your Haiku fans so you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.
Haiku by BAF App Control
The fan and light can be controlled using your mobile phone if you purchase a package that includes the WiFi module. The module connects your fan to your home WiFi router. The Haiku app is free and is available for Android or iOS. You will be able to use the app to:
- Turn the fan on/off and adjust the speed
- Turn the light on/off and adjust the brightness
- Use the Woosh feature
- Set up schedules to control these functions
I wouldn’t plan on using the app as your main fan controller. The purpose of the app is to program the necessary schedule and settings. Then use one of the other methods for the day to day to control.
Voice Control With Amazon Echo
The Haiku with the WiFi module can be paired with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control. You can control both the fan speed and light intensity with several simple voice commands.
Here are a few of the currently available commands:
“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.
The coolest way to control the fan is to do nothing at all.
The Haiku SenseMe technology uses a built-in motion sensor to automatically turn the fan and light on or off when you enter or leave the room. It can also interact with your ecobee thermostat using the built-in humidity and temperature sensors.
SenseMe is not available on the Haiku L. It is only available on the more expensive Haiku and i6 fans.
For more 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.
The Haiku fans are clearly luxury items and priced accordingly. A nice, but considerably more modest ceiling fan can be purchased for one-fourth the price of a Haiku. Considering some homes could have upwards of 5 ceiling fans, the extra cost can add up in a hurry.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, you may want to take a look at the Modern Forms line of smart fans. They have a wide variety of styles to choose from at about half the cost of the Haiku fans.
The blades and motor housing of the Haiku L are made of a hybrid resin (let’s be honest, it’s basically plastic). It’s lightweight and durable and it still looks nice. But, for some people, it’s not what they’re expecting when they buy a premium product like this.
Even though most people consider the Haiku L fans expensive, they are actually Haiku’s “economy” model. If you prefer the shine of polished aluminum or the charm of a wood grain finish you’ll have to look at the more expensive Haiku fans.
You can’t change the light bulb
If you buy a Haiku fan with a light, the light is actually an accessory kit. If you ever needed to replace the light, instead of changing a bulb, you replace the entire light kit. The light kit is a sealed LED unit that is designed to easily last for the lifetime of the fan, so you shouldn’t ever have to worry about replacing it due to failure.
However, I love color changing lights (or at the very least tunable white lights). The Haiku light kits are dimmable, but don’t change color or temperature. So, you are kind of “locked in” to the standard light color (2700K).
The Big Ass Fans i6 model can be ordered with an adjustable color temperature (2200K to 6500K) light kit. I hope at some point the light kits for Haiku fans will have the same option. But, for now, they don’t.
Where to buy Haiku fans?
I recommend buying from the manufacturer. Their website let’s you “build” your own fan. You can choose from multiple options for fan blade material and finish, housing, and hardware. You can also easily add accessories such as additional down-rods or remote controls to your order.
You can also purchase from Amazon. However, your options are limited to the specific models that vendors have available.
The hardware of the fan is outstanding. The motor, the blades, the look, and the sound (or lack thereof) are all top of the line and befitting of a luxury fan. Plus, they are made in the USA.
There is a certain amount of prestige associated with owning a Big Ass Fan. It’s the sort of thing when people see it, they take a step back and soak it in. They look at it as if they’re looking at a piece of artwork.
I don’t believe there’s anything else like it on the market right now. Therefore, if you like what you see, and you’re willing to fork over the cash, you can expect to get an amazing ceiling fan.
Do you have any experience with Haiku fans? Do you have any questions I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to respond!