Hub vs. Smart By Bond remotes

Answer is probably obvious, but just in case I’m missing something…

I need to purchase 3 new fans for a rental property we’re setting up. Haven’t bought fans in a while; apparently at some point fans stopped coming with remotes and now you have to buy them separately. I want the fans to be controllable by Alexa, and possibly Smartthings or Hubitat.

Home Depot has a “Universal Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Ceiling Fan Remote” that is “Smart by Bond”. They’re pricey, at $60 each. Including the one existing fan we already have, that would be $240 just in remotes.

Or I could buy the Bond hub at $99 and just get 3 cheapo remotes for the new fans, for about $190.

The $50 savings is nice, but is there any advantage to the Smart By Bond remotes vs the Bond hub? I would think the hub would be preferable in a number of ways, but since I don’t have any personal experience with any Bond products, thought I would ask here in case there’s something I’m not aware of.

Related question, if I go with the hub & dumb remotes, is there any particular generic fan remote that works best with the hub (or any I should stay away from), or are they pretty much all the same?

Thanks in advance.

Smart by Bond (SBB) remotes / kits are smarter with smart home integrations and assistants, particularly with integrations that you would like to use in conjunction with physical remotes.

The Bridge (hub) is great if you want a quick solution, or if you have DC fans, or you want to preserve more than 4 speeds. But - in integrating with other smart home products / assistants, if you mix that with physical remotes which are not SBB, despite Bond team’s best efforts, there is in inherent limitation where if you verbally tell your assistant to turn off all lights in XYZ room, BOND will send a power toggle command to the fan light (for most fans which do not have a discrete off command) if it thinks the fan light was last on. If someone had used a non-SBB remote to turn off the light physically, though, the light will come back on instead.
There are some options Bond team has built to try to mitigate this, but nothing they do will turn your fan into a real-time status feedback system if it is not SBB.

What does this mean?
If you want to use voice / app control AND physical remotes, as long as the fans you’re considering are AC motor driven, I would recommend you get the SBB kits. I also then put little labels on the switch(es) for the fan/light to keep them on and only use the SBB remote.

If you want only voice / app control and are fine without physical remotes, or if you are considering DC motor fans, I would suggest you get the Bridge. You could still leave switches as a physical way to shut off power to fan/light.

Either the SBB kits or the Bridge work well with other smart home products and assistants, given the caveats above.

That was extremely helpful, thank you! This is going to be a vacation rental property, and we have to have physical remotes for guests who don’t want to use voice commands (or may even unplug the Echo devices completely). There aren’t any physical switches for the fans so that won’t be an issue.

I see how not having real-time state info could be a problem. If things end up being wonky, guests are going to end up calling us or worse, leave a poor review.

I probably would have gone with the Bridge had I not known about this issue. I’m going to spend the extra $ and get the SBB remotes instead.

Thanks again!

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