Question Can I make an inline bathroom fan smart?

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by stringsonfire, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. stringsonfire

    stringsonfire
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi

    I have an inline (duct) bathroom extractor fan in my flat. It looks like it's wired separately down to the light switch for the bathroom lights, so lights and fan come on at once.

    I've fitted Philips Hue Colour spotlights (which make for the most relaxing baths ever), but this means the light switch is permanently on, which in turn means the fan is always on.

    Is there a smart solution to turn the fan on/off when the lights are turned on/off by Hue Remote, so that it doesn't depend on the physical switch? Or an alternative remote that could do this?

    Alternatively, is there a reliable way of adding a humidity sensor + override to the mix so the fan is entirely independent?

    The bathroom definitely feels like one of the last parts of the home to get the Smart treatment!
     
  2. Blueacewe

    Blueacewe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +16
    A Smartthings hub and a fibaro light controller connected to the fan should work. Then you make a rule that turns the fan on/off when the light is on/Off.

    Additionally, you can also use a compatible humidity sensor and make the rule based on humidity levels.
     
  3. Markr123

    Markr123
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Uk
    Ratings:
    +49
    It’s actually far more simple than adding another hub or making a “dumb” product “smart”. I had a similar requirement in our downstairs bathroom. I replaced the existing (dying) extractor fan with this. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Bat...=1535313479&sr=8-3&keywords=vents+100+silenta They also do a humidity version I plan to use in the 3 upstairs bathrooms. I mixed this with hue bulbs, a sensor and hue switch. Works perfectly.

    Simply wire the fan behind the light switch into the permanent live.
     
  4. Chester

    Chester
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    3,768
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Location:
    Peterborough, Cambs, UK
    Ratings:
    +739
    Just something to keep in mind, you may need to wire such appliances to an isolator switch. Regardless whether it's a regulatory requirement, I'd still recommend it so it's easy to shut the fan off if it develops a fault. Same with the Hue lights, if they're still on the bathroom light switch, it's easy to break the circuit.

    If the fan is going into a bathroom with toilet, there might be other requirements for extraction than just humidity! I use a fan with a timer. A suitable movement detector for the switched side of the fan could be use to trigger it, and as previously mentioned doesn't need to be smart, although you could use this to trigger the Hue lights to come on very low in the small hours if it was smart.
     
  5. Markr123

    Markr123
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Uk
    Ratings:
    +49

    Yes, valid point to make Chester. I have 2 switches behind the 3D printed hue remote holder that can easily be accessed to isolate lights and fan. My current fan has PIR motion with timer and the more I think about it, the more I am inclined to use these again for upstairs rather then the humidity version.
     
  6. stringsonfire

    stringsonfire
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    The fan is inline in the duct, above an access panel in the airing cupboard, so removing it, patching the duct, replacing the bathroom ceiling vent with a surface mounted fan and getting power to it is not ideal. I'd definitely go for one of the simpler surface mount fansif I could though.

    The fan is isolated with a separate switch in the airing cupboard. Probably a legal requirement in newer builds, otherwise the developer wouldn't have spent for the materials.

    Good point on other reasons... I have a Hue motion sensor I could use in the bathroom to activate it in the day too.

    So Smartthings can trigger actions based on the Hue light on/off state or the Hue Remote button press? Does this effect the existing behaviour of the remote?

    Any cheaper single channel smart relays as an alternative to the Fibaro?

    I've also got a 3D printed Hue Remote holder to cover the light switch. I guess I could make this a double, one of the fan, and have a relay in parallel, adding a manual override if the smart stuff has any issues.
     
  7. Blueacewe

    Blueacewe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +16
    Smarthings uses the state of a hue light to trigger actions. My hue remotes don’t show on the Smarthings app so I guess they can’t be used as a trigger.

    You can use other z wave relays just make sure they work with Smarthings. It’s usually on the description/reviews. I don’t know if you’ll find any significantly cheaper than the fibaros.
     
  8. stringsonfire

    stringsonfire
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Could a Sonoff relay do the trick here? I'm sure it could turn on/off the fan if I fit it behind the switch, but I'm not so sure there's a way of setting up the required rules without Smartthings. I have Google Home, but I think you need to speak to it to trigger rules

    There's also a LightwaveRF wireless relay, but assuming you need a different hub for that too it's not a better solution than Fibaro - wouldn't want to buy and set up another smart hub for just one device.
     
  9. Blueacewe

    Blueacewe
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +16
    Sonoff doesn’t work with Smartthings so you would need to find another way to make the rule. Some models work with IFTTT so you could use that.
     
  10. stringsonfire

    stringsonfire
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    I looked into that recently. There were no triggers for Hue, so it wasn't possible to trigger the Sonoff based on the state of the Hue lights. I'll post on the Hue forums, but looks like I'll need to go for the Fibaro relay and then a Smartthings hub to connect the two.

    Thanks for the advice
     
  11. giffordpikes

    giffordpikes
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2017
    Messages:
    251
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Wiltshire, uk
    Ratings:
    +174
    If you don't already have a hub and are looking to get one there are other options. I think the Athom homey has a sonoff app and would do everything you are looking for and more.

    I personally have done exactly what you are doing with home assistant as my hub and sonoff basic and an ikea tradfri bulb and hue switch. I would recommend home assistant as another alternative to smartthings but its not a plug and play option.
     
  12. Jamie

    Jamie
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    5,395
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrogate
    Ratings:
    +1,405
    I struggled with a similar bathroom conundrum but went with a more brute force approach.

    I fitted 4 downlights in the main area of the bathroom and one downlight over the bath/shower on a separate circuit.
    The 4 main lights are left permanently on, I retained the pull cord switch but shortened the string so I can just reach it if needed. These are controlled through both a Hue Dimmer switch and also a Hue motion sensor.

    The single downlight over the bath has a traditional extractor fan with run on timer conbected to it and a pull cord next to the bath. I did add a cheaper hue compatible GU10 to the shower light so if necessary I can turn it off again or turn it down for a relaxing bath with the fan on.

    Works well for me and involves relatively simple physical wiring rather than an extra hub or smart devices.
     
  13. stringsonfire

    stringsonfire
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    The Homey has thrown me a bit - looks very capable, but so much more than I need (as is Smartthings) that I'm going to go low tech and install a double switch, one for lights (with a switch guard over it), one for fan, and put the Hue Remote next to it on the wall.

    If Philips ever bother to add Hue triggers to IFFFT, I'll use that + Sonoff. Seems the tech just isn't where it needs to be to do this sort of thing simply.
     

Share This Page

Loading...