Ceiling fans have remained relatively unchanged for the past 130 years. They feature flimsy blades, pull chains that sway as they wobble, and motors you can hear through the whole house. That’s something that Haiku Home has set out to change. And even if you're not familiar with Haiku Home you're probably familiar with their parent company. Let’s just say they make really big fans. This is the H Series smart fan by Haiku Home. Haiku was kind enough to send me this fan for review, and in this review we’ll cover all the features of this fan that make it the most advanced ceiling fan in the world.
Haiku has redesigned the ceiling fan improving on every single component from the inside out. The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful, propeller like airfoils. Instead of flimsy particle board, these airfoils are made from five layers of highly renewable bamboo which Haiku says has a tensile strength greater than steel! Or if you’d prefer you can also get them in aircraft-grade aluminum. The result is a fan blade that not only looks stunning but also won’t droop over time and can move a ton of air.
A lot of attention has been spent on the other critical part of the fan as well; the motor. Haiku fans are 8 times more efficient that your average ceiling fan, and they currently hold the top 19 spots on the Energy Star list of most efficient ceiling fans. Not to mention they are completely silent. Even on the highest setting there is no motor hum at all. Instead of the typical three speeds, Haiku fans have seven. Finding your perfect level of air movement has never been easier.
If you’d like, you can also purchase an optional LED light kit to go with your fan. I personally think the fans look better without the light kit, but most homes are wired for only one fixture in the room and having an optional light on your ceiling fan is a must. The LED light kit consists of 39 individual LED’s that have an operational lifetime of 50,000 hours. Even at eight hours a day that’s over 17 years! The light has 16 different brightness settings to accommodate almost any scenario. At it’s brightest setting it’s on par with a 75 watt incandescent bulb. I did find that the light was more directional than I’d like. The fan was installed in a very open room and the light kit didn’t provide enough light to cover the entire room like the previous traditional ceiling fan with two sockets did. This light would work best with additional floor lamps or additional can lights. In a perfect scenario I’d not have a light on the fan at all and would surround it with standalone lights from Haiku. These lights are more full featured and provide more light as well. Haiku sent me one of these to review and I’ll cover in a separate video. Click the i or look in the description below to see that video.
My favorite feature of the fan, and what makes it stand out the most from the crowd, is its smarts. Haiku fans feature SenseMe technology that once enabled will allow you to almost never interact with your fan. Let me elaborate. When I first installed the fan and connected the wiring I was bummed to find out that it only uses one set of wires. If your house is wired with two separate wall switches, one for the fan and one for the light, you’ll only be able to use one. However, once you understand the benefits of SenseMe technology you’ll realize that you don’t need either. I’ve had this fan installed for a little over two months and I haven’t had a situation once where I needed to use the wall switch. Haiku fan’s SenseMe technology along with smarter cooling and smarter heating, allow the fan to do exactly what you'd want it to be doing at all times without you ever giving it a second thought.
For example, when in smarter cooling mode I can set a minimum and maximum range for what fan speeds I'd like the fan to operate at. I can also set a desired temperature. The fan then uses its sensors to monitor the temperature and humidity in the room and decide what speed to run the fan at. If it's close to your set point it will run at the lowest speed. If the room warms up the fan will automatically speed up to help it feel more comfortable. You can even go a step farther and tie your Haiku fan to your smart thermostat to help make some of these decisions for you. I have an ecobee smart thermostat that can switch from heating and cooling automatically. Because the two devices are connected, the ecobee will let the fan know when it’s cooling versus heating so the fan can switch between smart cooling and smart heating. Ecobee and Haiku are working on using the fan’s sensors as remote sensors for the thermostat. However, that’s currently a work in progress and ecobee nor Haiku would comment on when that feature would be available. When in Smart Heating mode, the fan will reverse direction and slow the speed. It then will ramp up the speed when you’re asleep to help better distribute air in the room when the extra air movement won’t be felt.
You can also set the fan and the light to automatically turn off when no one is in the room. I chose to leave my fan running around the clock to improve air circulation for my hvac. Having the light automatically turn off when I leave the room and on again when I return it really nice though. You can even tie multiple lights together with no need for an extra hardware hub device. That way, when one light sees motion all the lights in that room will turn on at the same time.
Additionally there are scheduled tasks. It can be a little tricky to set up at first, but once enabled it works flawlessly. For instance, I have the light on my fan set to ¾ brightness during the day and ¼ brightness during the night. That way if I wake up in the middle of the night the light won’t blind me as it comes on. With the Haiku standalone lights, you can also change the color temperature and schedule that as well. So the light can be more blue during the day when you need to be more alert and more yellow and soft at night when you need to be more relaxed. This is a really nice feature and something that I definitely missed having on the fan light. Haiku did say this it’s something they’re working on for a future hardware release. Something worth noting is that if you manually adjust the light within the app or via the wireless remote control, it will keep this setting until the next scheduled task occurs. This only comes into play if you’ve scheduled an event to take place over a long period of time. For example, if I want my light to start at ¼ brightness at 5am and slowly ramp up to ¾ brightness by 7am, manually adjusting the light’s brightness during that time window will override that schedule.
The wireless remote I referenced has the basic controls for LED brightness and fan speed that you'd expect. It also can control whoosh mode, set a timer, or put the fan in sleep mode. Because of the infrared technology it uses it has to be pointed at the fan in relatively close proximity. I’ve definitely preferred controlling the fan using the smartphone app. Not only do you have better visibility into what settings the fan is currently at but you can also control it anywhere in and around your house where you have Wi-Fi coverage. The wireless remote is very handy for my kids or guests who do not have access to the smartphone app though.
One of the features that these fans are most well known for is whoosh mode. When in whoosh mode the fan will periodically ramp up the speed to simulate a gentle outdoor breeze. However, even though this sounds nice in theory, I found it more annoying when sitting around the living room in an already comfortable temperature. I could see where this would be really helpful if you keep your house warmer or if you’re using the fan outdoors.
With all this talk about smart features, what about Apple’s Homekit? Unfortunately Haiku said that’s something they currently’ don’t support but they are working on. However, HomeKit requires specialized hardware so that's not something Haiku can simply add with a firmware upgrade alone and they were unable to comment on what an upgrade program might look like for current owners. I did receive a couple of firmware upgrades in my time using the fan and it worked really well. The app notifies you when there’s an upgrade and it downloads and applies it whenever you choose. It’s nice to know that your fan and lights are somewhat future proof in that regard. Haiku’s fans and lights do currently work with Amazon Alexa so you can control them by voice. However that’s something I didn’t get to test.
Now for the elephant in the room, and that's the price. The H series fan that I've featured in this review retails for $1200. And Haiku’s less featured entry level models start at $450. Now before you dismiss that as ridiculous let's think about it for a few minutes. If you could design the perfect ceiling fan what would it contain. It would probably look very sleek and modern. Simple but efficient in design. It would feature premium materials that were extremely strong and beautiful. The motor would be the most energy efficient on the market and be silent. And the fan would use its sensors and intelligence to do exactly what you'd want it to do at all times with little to no interaction from you, and that's exactly what Haiku has made.
Now given that the average ceiling fan cost about $200, all these features are really nice, but we’re only about halfway to $1200. That's where Haiku’s business model comes into play. Each fan is rigorously tested and inspected before it ships to you. Each airfoil is inspected, weighed, and hand balanced to ensure there is no vibration. In fact, when you install your airfoils there are color coded stickers to make sure you install them in the precise location that they were in when they were hand balanced. Additionally, the fans are put into a sound chamber to measure the decibel level of the fan’s motor to make sure it’s below that of human hearing. When I said the motor was silent, I wasn’t exaggerating. Lastly, the fans are inspected for appearance quality multiple times throughout the process to ensure there are no defects or faults in the materials.
When you buy a Haiku fan you’re certainly paying for a premium product and a premium product is what you’re going to get. If that wasn’t enough, consider the future support you’ll receive from Haiku as well. The fan’s motor comes with a lifetime warranty. As long as it stays in its original location and you’re the original owner, you’ll receive support for any problems you should experience. Also, as Haiku continues to improve their fans with software updates you’ll receive those over the Internet for no additional charge.
A fan with a $1000 price tag can be a little hard to swallow. However, when you consider the craftsmanship that’s gone into making the product, the intelligence of the software, and how close they’ve come to a perfect design, I can’t imagine doing it for much less. If you have any questions I didn’t cover in this review please feel free to leave those in the comments.