Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tips on choosing a fan and the Haiku Fan

Fans are one thing that a home in the tropical country will need, and you may even have a few of them, either table top ones, or floor standing.
They can be purely utilitarian, or they can come in fancy designs. Sometimes, you find a fan which combines both form and function, and to top it off, it is also energy efficient.
In choosing a fan, you will need to decide which of the above matters more, and also take into account your budget before making a decision.
The cheapest are table fans, which are simple, cheap and portable. The downside is a lack of power and may not suit your decor, and many come only in a standard design.
There are some retro options:
And some of the retro theme stores locally will also carry them. Ironically the price is higher for these, and if you compare to the 30-80$ for the basic ones, these usually cost 50-100% more.
As for floorstanding fans, they usually come with timers and are more powerful. Some even come with remote controls.
Bear in mind, the more fancy it is, and if it relies solely on the remote, losing that or if the touch pad spoils, then the fan is rendered useless. So if you just want a simple and reliable design, go mechanical and leave out all the frills.
The latest designs are bladeless, but these tend to be noisy and expensive. So check them out and see if it is what you want.
Ceiling fans are powerful, and they don't take up floor space, and some also come with remote controls. You can even install a light with the fan. There are a myriad of designs to suit different decors, and you can mix and match different designs and colors, with various types of lighting too.
Point to note:
Noise levels - this differs greatly and you should test the fan at all speeds to see if it is noisy, especially if you are using it in your bedroom.
Stability - will it shake violently - that's why it's important to see it in action
Lights - check if the control of the lights and fan include all the functions you want, and can you turn them on and off individually.
Mounting of the remote: you may want to have the mount near the door or entrance of the room or have the remote next to your bedside.
Energy consumption : this differs greatly so check again.
Ceiling height and the fan stem length - if you live in a flat with a low ceiling of < 2.8m, use the 40cm stem, but if you have a higher ceiling you can use either the 60cm or even longer stem.
Shadowing and blade clearance:
When you plan, make sure that the blades will not come into contact with any false ceiling, but you will need to avoid a situation where the blades are so long that it causes flickering due to the shadows it casts when it blocks off the light rays from adjacent ceiling or uplights.
If you are planning a home theatre system, make sure the fan is quiet and the stem of the fan does not block the light path of the projector. Also ensure that the string for changing fan speed does not get in the way, or shakes too much.
Some of the better brands include KDK (limited lighting options), Crester (Korean), Hitachi and many others.
Choose according to your budget, the type of design to suit the general theme of your home, and it can accentuate your home.

Haiku Fan

This fan is Kiwi in origin, and is currently owned by Big Ass Fan Company who have bought over the the Haiku but the origin of the fan is definitely NOT American despite their ads.

The key selling points for this fan, are it's design, which looks like a seagull in flight, the silent operation and the very low energy consumption.
It is capable of using less than 10% of the other fans, and yet remains quite powerful.
There is a remote, and an LED light and a beep on the fan indicate a response when you turn it on, but a nice touch is that the LED light turns off after a few seconds.
It comes in a few colors and even has a bamboo blade design.
The main issue is that the price locally has increased significantly from less than $600 last year to almost $1000 these days.
Buy this fan, because the design is sleek and it helps that it consumes less energy and is so silent in operation.
Do take note that the installation is not simple, there are four attachment points and you need to make sure your installer is familiar with this model and can do a good job without the fan shaking violently when it is in operation.

The blurb from the website:
Energy Efficiency
The average ENERGY STAR® residential fan utilizes 65 W of electrical input power. In contrast, Haiku fans only use 2 to 30 W, exceeding the ENERGY STAR requirements for watts per CFM by 450 to 750%. In a typical year, Haiku would use about 50kWh, for a cost of around $5.

See, it's not made in USA...


  1. I would like to correct erroneous assumptions you made in your post about the Haiku ceiling fan. The Haiku fan was designed by a New Zealand citizen, who won an award for his innovative and energy efficient motor design. Haiku is made in the USA by Big Ass Fan Company, which purchased the fan design & motor technology last year. These fans are now individually hand-balanced.

    1. see entry below. Haiku fans are NOT made in the USA. Totally misleading on their website as well.

    2. I got this from a forum, I am keen to hear what those chaps at Big Ass Fan have to say:
      I just emailed the Haiku guy I contacted in Malaysia about 2 1/2 years back... here is his reply to me about manufacture location, the company and prices.

      Yes, Haiku fans are still made in Malaysia but mainly for export.

      Haiku was acquired by Big Ass Fans of Lexington Kentucky in Nov 2011 and were released in the US market in 2011 at USD800 for composite models (plastic) & USD1000 for Bamboo.
      BAF maintain a "single global price" policy. Pricing in Malaysia & Singapore is effectively identical (RM2400/RM3000).

      I hope you have enjoyed your Haiku fan. It's probably the only appliance you'll ever buy that will double in value.


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    1. An update... Under the new management, it is very sad but the very same product - haiku fan, has trebled in price. It's going for close to $1800 now... Absolute profiteering IMO ....

  3. Hi Pete,
    Who do you purchase your Haiku fans from and where? I know that this is incorrect about the price jumping to $1800.00 and am curious where you got your information.

  4. Last price for a Bamboo unit: $1380... A far cry from the days it was $580, and there is no improvement or reason for this price increase, except profiteering...

  5. personally I like this fan but have banned myself from buying at such ridiculous price.

  6. Was looking at getting one, but with the price increase I'm going with the really gorgeous Minka Aire Flyte


    Gorgeous fan at much less...

    1. Armando, your right the Haiku fan is gorgeous but it is more than just good looks, the fan was voted by Energy Star as being the most efficient as well as the most silent fan. The fan is precision made and the blades as well as the motor unit are hand balanced, the motor is a DC motor which is the secret to its efficiency and extended wobble free life, DC motors run cold. It all comes down to preference in the end, looks or efficiency. I know I have a large LCD TV in my home ( which wasn't cheap) but there are a lot of good looking smaller Chinese models on the market

    2. Where in Australia are you getting the Minka Aire Flyte from?

      I see that Beacon have the Artemis range but nothing else.

  7. One very important thing you must consider when buying a fan is the size of your home or the room that it will need to cool down. If you have a small room and you don’t have enough space, a ceiling fan suit your room. It’s a fan that you can use even during winter. You just need to invert the blades of the fan so that it rotates clockwise. So you don’t have to worry about investing so much on your heating system just to warm yourself up. ->Brooklyn Fan & Blower Sales Company

    1. I doubt you could invert the blades on the Haiku fan. The base of each blade appears to have a concave curvature.

    2. The fan's default mode is to direct the airflow downward. However, with the remote control you can direct the airflow upward (which you might want to do while running an air conditioner).

  8. The current price on the Haiku website is about $1000. Adding LED lighting increases the price. Selecting composite (plastic) rather than bamboo lowers the cost. Strangely enough Haiku charges shipping on top of the extremely high price. Beautiful, but I would suffer guilt every time I looked at it. At $500 to $600 they could sell millions. North of $1000 only the 1% are in the market. Check out where Haiku advertises and you'll know the market they are catering to.

  9. What they don’t obviously tell you is that the Haiku fan is made in Malaysia. It seems like a great product but they are unreasonably pricing the ordinary folk out of the market. This is very sad for those who are trying to conserve energy and do the right thing for the environment and our health. I am looking for 6 energy efficient fans with lights, but cannot afford the price of the Haiku. Let’s hope there will be more energy efficient DC fans available in the near future. I am also disinclined to support a company that is so grossly profiteering.

    1. More on the history and manufacture of the fan here:

  10. Before you buy one of these fans you should know how terrible the customer service can be, they have no idea when they can delivery the actual fan and while it says 3-6 weeks they will then change it up every few days, from two months to six months, turned out to be about nine weeks. The remote that comes standard is just horrible, but optional wall mounted controller is another $175, for goodness sake! Really feel that it is not worth the hassle of dealing with this company or the price tag.

  11. Own 2 haiku fans, they are the worst investment I ever had.
    Lots of noise, was told that it was a design flaw. Worse, the local reps keep charging me for the servicing yet the noise problems are not solved.

    Don’t get it, you will regret!!!

  12. Have been looking at the Haiku and other BA fans for some time now. Everything you read tells you they would be the right fan to buy if it were just a tad more affordable, especially if you are in the market for more than one. In trying to determine which to get and price it out I have dealt with the most unpleasant sales rep at BA fans directly. It has been such a turn off so am looking to other brands to fill my needs.

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  14. Wow! What a turn-off. I was thinking of buying a haiku fan but not anymore. Thanks for the info. Bert Varela

  15. Thank you all for the valuable input/feedback on Haiku fan system! I, too, was intrigued by its low profile design and great energy efficiency. However, with Haiku's gross pricing and long shipment delays coupled with poor services, I will definitely remove my purchase interest and move to other brands. I am sure that the DC fan technology will be available to mass market in due time. Let's look forward to the day where daylight robbery ceases to exist.

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  17. I recently bought one of these fans and I think it is great. Looks great; very quiet; the LED lights great, too: very adjustable from mood lighting dim to garishly bright. Overpriced? Arguably, but I look at it this way: You can go 1,000 miles in a Fiat 500, or you can go 1,000 miles in a BMW. Either car gets you to the same place, but the Bimmer gets you there in style and it's quiet, too. The several hundred thousand folks who buy Bimmers each year don't whine about profiteering--they suck up the price and enjoy the car. The Haiku is definitely the BMW of fans. My Hunter fan which I replaced was worse than a Fiat 500; it was the Yugo of fans--noisy, wobbly and dim.

    By the way, the Haiku motor and electronics are made in Malaysia, the airfoils in Kentucky, USA. But they are made from bamboo, which obviously is imported to the States, as well.

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  18. I should add that shipping is only $35 to any point in the USA. And, I received my fan within a week--and during the Christmas season.

  19. For those keen on this fan, check out SPIN, another DC motor company with cheaper prices.

  20. Sounds Exactly like Dyson. Bunch of Hype for a Fan that isn't worth half the cost. You can pay for a lot of a/c for a thousand dollars. There is a high end market for everything but that doesn't make it better than a similar product from another company.

  21. Haiku is not the only DC ceiling fan...nor was it the first. Yes, it is somewhat unique in style compared to other DC fans, but it is way overpriced and there are many other DC ceiling fans that are around $500 or less. The article linked below was published by Hansen Wholesale 4/21/2011 (before the Haiku was introduced) has a link to about 250 choices for high efficiency residential ceiling fans with DC motors:


  22. THIS is what I'm going with, though it may not look as sleek. It looks to be even more energy efficient actually ;)


  23. Ceiling fans commonly come in two sizes: 52" for larger rooms and 42" for smaller rooms. Many companies offer 30-36" fans for exceptionally small rooms, and 56-60" fans for larger and/or commercial settings. The most common size by far is the 52" fan, which is typically appropriate for most rooms.

    ceiling fan supplier in singapore

  24. Good work!! Thanks for providing this informative blog post!!

    have a nice day!!