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.



Overview

  • 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.

Shop for Haiku fans



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.

Smarter Cooling

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.

Smarter Heating

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.

Woosh

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.

outdoor install of haiku fan

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

Amazon Echo with Haiku fan

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.

Haiku SenseMe

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.

Conventional Control

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.


Drawbacks

It’s Expensive

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.

It’s Plastic

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.


Final Thoughts

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.

Haiku Fans|Design Your 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!

Eric Blank

Eric Blank blogs about smart homes and other connected technology here at thesmartcave.com. He enjoys technology, sports, outdoors, and dabbles in the dark realm of politics. He dreams of someday living in a castle on an island but for now will settle for smalltown, USA.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Carl - 3 years ago Reply

These are great, i am currently renovating my house, and these will look great. i like that you can have them connected via wifi, and the motion sensor capability. plus they carry a style and sophistication that you do not normally see in a ceiling fan. Cheers

Frederick B - 3 years ago Reply

I love Big Ass fans! The lowly ceiling fan was a long neglected item that needed some innovation. The Haiku seems like a really great model, I can’t afford one yet but it is definitely on my wish list.

Jamil - 3 years ago Reply

These big fans are so cool. I really like all the wi fi features. I have a friend that’s remodeling his home and I’ll definitely be turning him on to your website. Thanks for the great post! Do you think it’s better to order from the manufacturer or from Amazon?

    Eric Blank - 3 years ago Reply

    Well, if you are looking to buy both the fan and the wall control, it is currently cheaper to order it all from the manufacturer. However, if you just want to get the fan with the built-in WiFi unit, Amazon is a little cheaper right now.
    But, it’s probably best to check both places since prices do change especially on a product that is as new as this one.

Sharon Swanson - 3 years ago Reply

What a great review! These are such great looking fans. I love the idea of motion sensors. My family are always switching these on and forgetting to switch them off when they leave. How long do they remain ON for before switching themselves off?

Do they only come with 3 blades only or are there 4 blade models available also?

    Eric Blank - 3 years ago Reply

    Haiku fans are very energy efficient. They exceed energy efficiency standards by 450%. So even if you run your fan 100% of the time, the annual cost would only be $10-15. That said, the timer for the motion sensor is adjustable.
    The Haiku fans only come with 3 blades. If a blade is designed well aerodynamically, that is all that is needed.

Marian - 3 years ago Reply

The streamlined and fresh look of these fans is pretty impressive! But honestly, the fantastic features like being able to adjust humidity and temperature automatically with the wall unit is what sells them to me. We live in an area of the country where a ceiling fan in each room is the norm even with air conditioning. I see us investing in these in the very near future. Beautiful, functional, and life changing. Thanks for the in-depth review

    Eric Blank - 3 years ago Reply

    Keep in mind that the fan cannot actually adjust humidity or temperature. It does sense humidity and temperature if you have the wall control. It uses this information to adjust the fan speed. For example, if it senses that it is warmer or more humid than your preferred settings, it will increase the speed of the fan to cool you off. This wouldn’t change the air temperature or humidity but it would make you feel cooler.

maria - 3 years ago Reply

Beautiful fans with such options. Sense Me technology is quite innovative. I can see how this would save on both heating and cooling costs over time. I would put these fans in my house as they serve a good purpose and are great looking. Most ceiling fans seem inefficient and ugly. 3 blades is perfect for air flow and easier to keep clean.

Richard - 3 years ago Reply

How well does the L Series fan work on its lowest speed setting? My application is for the fan in a study where it is mounted close to my desk. I don’t want papers to be blowing around the desk.

    Eric Blank - 3 years ago Reply

    On its lowest speed, the L Series operates at 60 rpm. Assuming the surface of the desk is 4′-5′ below the fan, any draft should be barely noticeable.
    You may have heard that for winter operation, ceiling fans should be reversed during winter. The idea is that it’s the best way to mix the air without also causing a draft from the fan blowing directly on you. The makers of the L Series don’t recommend reversing it during winter because, at its lowest speeds, the Haiku is designed specifically to provide desirable air mixing effects without creating a draft.
    Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Rajiv Santiago - a couple of years ago Reply

great review! By far the most informative review of the Haiku 52L

Samk - a couple of years ago Reply

Love that someone has finally put effort into a fan. But it’s idiotic that they sell the fan with the wall switch as an option. Who in their right mind wants to use an app or find a remote to turn the light on every time you walk into a room. They need to include the wall switch as standard. Oh, and their website is a confusing mess. That’s all.

    Eric Blank - a couple of years ago Reply

    Sam, the fan comes with the remote and a remote holder that can be mounted on the wall. So if you want, you could mount the holder wherever you would normally have a wall switch. The separate (optional) wall control is required only if you want automated control of the fan. It includes sensors for motion and temperature which allow it automatically turn on/off when you enter/leave the room or control fan speed based on the temperature.

Raul Daza - a couple of years ago Reply

I am planning to place them in an outdoor porch. I live in south Florida where it’s hot and humid pretty much all year long. My concrrn is how much air can it move or how much cooler can a patio feel on it’s highest setting. I have gobe through 3 different fand already and they don’t seem to do the work, this is the reason to consider a higher price range. All fans talk aboul air movement in CFPM, I do not see Hauku mention this anywhere, how can I compare them?

Thank you for the informative review.

    Eric Blank - a couple of years ago Reply

    According to this link, the Haiku L Series puts out 5216 CFPM on its highest setting. How much you can feel the air movement will depend a lot on the height of the fan. If your porch ceiling is higher than 8 feet you may want to look into (if you haven’t already) using downrods.

Bill Blevins - a couple of years ago Reply

HI The fans look amazing and covering a range of worthwhile control options. Using with Amazon Echo might be my choice does this require a higher bandwidth of wifi to accommodate this new device?
How long is the warranty period?
Does the manufacturer offer trade deals and if so what is minimum order number for Haiku L series
What is delivery time?
Thanks Bill

    Eric Blank - a couple of years ago Reply

    Hi Bill,
    -This won’t require any significant amount of extra WiFi bandwidth. However, any time you add more devices to your WiFi network it slowly becomes more congested.
    -The L-series comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Go here for the specifics: http://guides.haikuhome.com/warranties/Warranty_HaikuCeilingFans.pdf?_ga=1.101330503.756728427.1474725401
    -I don’t know about any deals. You’d have to talk directly to the manufacturer about that.
    -If you order from Amazon, you can get free 2-day shipping with a subscription to Amazon Prime.

Bill Worden - a couple of years ago Reply

I installed three of these in my new home. Two of them had a high speed wobble. Haiku was great about assessing and fixing the problem. One was caused by furniture creating uneven air currents. The other was cause by a warped air foil. They replaced the fan immediately. The only down side was because they balance them as a unit, they won’t just replace the airfoils the whole unit will be replaced.
We love them

    Eric Blank - a couple of years ago Reply

    Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear BAF made it right.
    Did you purchase the wall control, too? What do you think of the Haiku Home app (here have been some complaints about the Android version)?

Teresa - a couple of years ago Reply

Hi Just wondering if I have 2 fans in different rooms do I have to buy 2 wall mounted controls? Couldnt find this anywhere. thanks

    Eric Blank - a couple of years ago Reply

    The system is mostly designed to have a wall control in each room. But it’s not 100% required.
    The motion sensor for the L series fans is inside the wall control. If you have 2 fans in separate rooms, but a wall control in only one room, you won’t get accurate motion sensing for each fan and light. Therefore, the automatic on/off control of the fan and lights would only work for the room with the wall control.

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