Welcome to HomeKit 101, our guide to navigating the Home App, Creating Automations and More within the HomeKit Universe.
Now that Spring has arrived in the United States and temperatures are warming up, many people, myself included, turn to ceiling fans to help keep their cool. Prior to the recent release of Lutron’s Caseta Wireless Speed Control Switch, the only way to control HomeKit fan speeds was through the use of a ceiling fan that featured native support, which are not terribly common, and come with a higher price than the typical ceiling fan. Of course, there are simple on and off HomeKit enabled switches on the market, but they are limited to the speed that you have previously set for your ceiling fan, which is typically accomplished by pulling a physical chain attached to the fan, which is not always convenient.
Lutron’s solution, which retails for $59.99 is a great way to quickly enable fan speed control, but we found one glaring omission during our review that sometimes takes it out of the set it and forget it realm. This issue is how the default speed of the device cannot be set through HomeKit or through Lutron’s Caseta App, which is compounded by the fact that during installation of the Fan Speed Control Switch, you are specifically told to set your ceiling fan to the highest speed setting by pulling the aforementioned chains attached to your fan. This means that every time you turn on your ceiling fan, either via HomeKit or via the physical switch itself, it will always start at the highest speed setting, which is 100%, a speed that not everyone will want all the time. You can use Siri to get around this by using a phrase such as set the fan to 50% instead of saying turn on the fan, but for some Siri is not always at their disposal. Thankfully, there is a way to set a “default” speed using the power of automations, so lets get to it.
What You Will Need:
– Lutron Caseta Wireless Fan Speed Control Switch
– A Scene Set Up for The Desired Default Speed of Your Fan
– Open the iOS Home App
– Tap on “Automation” on the Bottom Navigation Bar
– Tap on the “+” Icon
– Tap on “An Accessory is Controlled”
– Tap on Your Ceiling Fan
– Tap “Next”
– Tap on “Turns On”
– Tap on “Next”
– Select Your Fan Speed Scene
– Tap on “Next”
– Confirm the Automation, Then Tap on “Done”
That’s it! Now every time your ceiling fan is turned on, either via the physical switch itself, via Siri, or via the Home App, it will immediately run your desired speed scene bringing it to your preferred speed. Technically, the fan will start to the default 100% when toggled, but since the fan takes a few moments to start up, the change to your desired speed scene is pretty much transparent. Further refinements can be made, such as creating additional scenes for different speeds, and using time conditions, making the default speed change based on the time of day. This example should also work for HomeKit enabled ceiling fans, but we cannot quite confirm this as we do not have one in the home, and these may have a default setting in their respective Apps. Eventually, the default speed will be just another option that can be set for Lutron’s switch, most likely through the manufacturer’s App, but in the mean time, automations can indeed come to the rescue.