Modern Form Renegade Smart Ceiling Fan Review | PCMag

2021-11-24 05:02:21 By : Ms. Rose Peng

Abandon the zipper for voice control

Modern Forms Renegade is a powerful and quiet smart ceiling fan that can be used with multiple popular home automation platforms and can be controlled by phone, remote control or voice.

Modern Forms Renegade ($499.95) is a stylish indoor/outdoor smart ceiling fan that uses eight blades to cool the inside or outside of your home. It offers six fan speeds and is equipped with an LED light kit, and its built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radio allows you to control it via mobile apps or voice. It does not support Apple HomeKit or IFTTT applets, but its compatibility with a few popular smart home platforms and whisper-quiet operation earned it our Editors’ Choice Award. If you must support HomeKit, please consider our cheaper Editors' Choice for smart fans, Hunter Romulus for $349.99.

Renegade has a modern appearance and comes in four different finishes, including graphite weathered wood, matte black, matte white or oil polished bronze barn wood. It uses 8 52-inch fan blades. The aluminum motor housing and ABS plastic fan blades are weather resistant and can withstand outdoor factors. The fan is 14.8 inches high, 53 inches wide (from tip to tip), and has a hanging weight of 20 pounds (66-inch models are also available for an additional $100). It uses a six-speed reversible motor with a sound level of 15dB and a maximum airflow level of 7,445 cubic feet per minute. 

The LED light kit included in the box provides 1,600 lumens and has a white color temperature of 3,500K and a lifespan of 50,000 hours. The box also includes motor components; eight blades and eight blade mounting brackets; various canopy parts; lower pole components; various screws, mounting brackets and wire connectors; 4.5 with power supply, fan and light control buttons Inch remote control; receiving unit; LED light kit; and installation guide. 

The receiver module connects the fan to the wire and contains a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio for connecting to your home network and Bluetooth circuit for use with a remote control or optional Bluetooth wall switch. The fan works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and can be included in the routine to work with certain Alexa and Google devices. It is also suitable for Control4, Josh and SmartThings home automation platforms, and Ecobee thermostats. However, it does not support Apple HomeKit or IFTTT applets that allow it to interact with various third-party smart devices, and it lacks the temperature, humidity, and motion sensors obtained with the Big Ass Haiku fan.

The Modern Forms mobile app (available for Android and iOS) allows you to control the fan and the lighting level of the fan. It opens a dashboard screen with semi-circular sliders for lighting brightness and fan speed. The lighting slider allows you to increase/decrease the brightness (0-100%), and the fan speed slider provides six levels (six levels are the highest). There is also a power switch to turn off the fan and lights.

Below the slider are buttons for sleep off, leave, breeze, and reverse fan direction. The "Sleep Off" button allows you to set a timer to turn on or off the lights and fans after a set period of time, and the "Leave" button suspends all activity plans. The Breeze button can fluctuate the fan speed to create a feeling of natural breeze, and the Reverse button can change the direction of fan rotation.

At the very bottom of the screen are four additional buttons. The Fan button takes you back to the dashboard screen, and the Group button takes you to a screen where you can create groups that allow you to control multiple devices at once. The calendar button allows you to create a schedule for turning on and off the fans and lights, and more buttons open a screen where you can adjust settings, add users, and get routes integrated with Amazon Alexa, Ecobee, Google Assistant, and SmartThings. Here you can also enable the adaptive learning function, let the traitor learn your daily and weekly habits, and recommend a schedule based on this activity. 

Installing a Renegade fan is not difficult, but it requires handling wires and climbing a ladder to hang a 20-pound fan, so if you are not up to the task, it is best to hire a professional. If you are a do-it-yourself person, then an extra set of hands will make the job much easier. 

Following the installation instructions, I turned off the power to the existing ceiling fan on the circuit box and continued to remove the old fan. Before disconnecting the wires, I took photos for future reference. After the old fan was used up, I attached the new fan blade bracket to the motor assembly, and then attached the fan blade to the bracket. Next, I fixed the fan mounting bracket to the junction box and installed the drop ball, down rod and canopy assembly according to the instructions. I lifted the fan to the mounting bracket, installed the drop ball in the socket, and fixed the safety cable to the junction box.

I connected the fan wire to the receiver wire, and then connected the receiver to the hot wire (black), neutral wire (white) and ground wire (green) of my home. I installed the LED module using the included screws, inserted the LED wires, twisted the module into place, and restored power to the circuit. A quick test with the remote control confirmed that everything is in order.

Next, I downloaded the mobile app, created an account, confirmed that the fan was powered on, and connected to the fan’s SSID using my phone’s Wi-Fi settings. After the quick firmware update, I selected my home Wi-Fi SSID, entered my Wi-Fi password, and named the fan. I linked my Modern Forms account to my Alexa account, and when Alexa found the fan, the installation was complete.

Renegade performed perfectly in the test. The six-speed fan provides excellent air circulation and is very quiet even at the highest speed level. Both the fan and the lights respond quickly to commands issued using the remote control and application commands, and they can all respond to Alexa voice commands without any problems. In addition, when the ring floodlight cam detects movement, my Alexa routine works normally every time, no problem.

The Modern Forms Renegade smart fan is equipped with eight fan blades and a powerful six-speed motor, which can move large amounts of air and operate quietly. It provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, can be controlled via mobile applications, the included remote control or voice, and can be used in conjunction with multiple popular home automation platforms. Welcome to support the IFTTT applet and HomeKit, but any omission will not prevent Renegade from winning our Smart Ceiling Fan Editor’s Choice Award. In other words, if you need a smart fan compatible with HomeKit, Hunter Romulus may be more suitable.

Modern Forms Renegade is a powerful and quiet smart ceiling fan that can be used with multiple popular home automation platforms and can be controlled by phone, remote control or voice.

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As a contributing editor of PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networks and smart home devices, as well as various other hardware and peripherals for nearly 20 years. As a veteran who has worked in the PC Magazine laboratory for 13 years (most recently as the Director of Operations), John is responsible for the recruitment, training and management of laboratory technicians, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of laboratory testing machines and procedures. Before joining Ziff Davis, John worked in the retail business of Federated Stores, Inc. for 6 years, and then accepted a purchasing position at Morris Decision Systems, one of the first value-added resellers of the original IBM PC in New York. For the next five years, he was responsible for purchasing and configuring IBM PC, XT and AT desktops for many financial institutions in New York. Before joining PC Magazine in 1987, he worked for the now-defunct ComputerLand chain of PCs. is a leading technical authority, providing independent laboratory-based reviews of the latest products and services. Our professional industry analysis and practical solutions can help you make better purchasing decisions and get more benefits from technology.

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