I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: aside from drawing the blinds and embracing your inner-naturist, one of the most effective ways to drive down cooling-related electric bills is to give the air conditioning a rest — or a helping hand — by investing in a decent fan. While a fan won’t actually lower the temperature of a room, the feel of circulating air against your skin will make you feel cooler and, as a result, you may work up the courage to turn that AC thermostat up a notch or turn it off altogether.
The humble and hard-working ceiling fan is perhaps the most effective tool in lessening one’s dependence on air conditioning and combating sky-high energy bills. However, the ceiling fan is one of those relatively ubiquitous household staples that's been around forever but has yet to be treated to a dramatic overhaul, a pull chain-free redo.
And then along came the air movement gurus at Big Ass Fans.
When the Lexington, Kentucky-based company which initially specialized in plus-sized fans for factories, farms, and other industrial settings moved into the residential market and began offering small-ish ass ceiling fans in 2012, they upped the ante in the realm of ceiling fan efficiency.
Sleek, stylish, and powered by a near-silent, super-efficient DC motor instead of the clunky traditional AC motor found in most ceiling fans, Big Ass Fans’ signature Haiku fan, singled out as one of the top 10 green building products of 2013, is the most energy-efficient residential ceiling fan on the market, exceeding Energy Star requirements and then some. It consumes a staggering low 2 to 30 watts, depending on speed, where average Energy Star-rated ceiling fans consume 65W.
But while the made-in-the-U.S. Haiku sports remarkable beauty and brawn, brains have never played into the equation.
Marketed as the “world’s first smart ceiling fan,” the Haiku is now (optionally) equipped with the company’s SenseME technology, transforming it into an intuitive and intelligent comfort-maker — a real “smart ass” as the company points out.
Obviously pull chain-less, the Haiku with SenseME and its integrated LED light can be controlled — speeds changed, light adjusted, etc. — via smartphone. That’s a given.
It’s a series of integrated sensors that really helps the Haiku with SenseME to stand out from the increasingly crowded market for smart home gadgets and gizmos.
Not only does a motion sensor automatically set the fan a spinnin’ when you enter a room and shut it off when you exit (again, it’s not all that useful running a fan if you’re not near it to reap the body-cooling benefits), climate sensors continually monitor the conditions within the room including humidity and temperature.
If it’s a scorcher outside and you’ve left your blinds open with sunlight pouring into a room, the fan will automatically increase its speed. Or, if you're throwing a rager of a house party and more and more guests pack themselves into a room causing temperatures to rise, the fan will begin to pick up speed. Later that night, when your guests have decamped and you've opened the windows to air out the stuffiness and debauchery, the fan will decrease speed in accordance with the room’s falling temperature.
And, as mentioned, the Haiku with SenseME is highly intuitive — it wants to think for you. When you change speeds manually through the fan’s smartphone app, it will learn your preferences and habits by adjusting itself accordingly.
Last but not least, is Haiku with SenseME’s Gradual Awake feature. In addition to scheduling the fan to turn itself on and off at designated times, you can transform it into the world’s most pleasant alarm clock that gently increases both speed and light output as you struggle to pull yourself out of bed in the AM.
Handcrafted, innovative, and decidedly high-end, Haiku fans without SenseME technology are already significantly more costly ($895) than their counterparts boasting turn of the century pull chain technology and inferior efficiency. Just think of Big Ass Fans as the Dyson of air-moving mechanical objects suspended from your ceiling. Add an on-board computer and an array of sensors to the mix and the price jumps to $1,045. That’s a big ass amount to fork out for a ceiling fan, smart or dumb. But if you think about it, adding brains to the brawny and beautiful package in this case actually isn't that much of a stretch — a mere $150.
Any thoughts? The Haiku with SenseME truly does seem to have it all: comfort, convenience, and the ability to help you save big on cooling-related energy bills. Would you invest?
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