Arlec 130cm Smart Ceiling Fan (Grid Connect) Review

arlec 130 cm ceiling fan

Our Rating:

Key Features:

ABS Plastic lightweight blades

Wifi connectivity and smart device app

DC motor for efficient operation

6 Speeds


A reasonable fan let down by poor design

When it comes to upgrading the ceiling fans in your house there is plenty of choices. And this makes that decision quite hard. Especially when you are upgrading multiple fans at a time like I was.

Which fan should you buy, and which brand? What features should you opt-in for?

Recently I had to make this choice, and I opted for the Arlec Grid Connect fans which were purchased from Bunnings.

We purchased a total of 5 of these fans and had them installed by a qualified electrician.

And installation is where the problems started – firstly the wireless/wifi receiver barely fits in the fan housing. It really made installing these fans a pain, the electrician had a lot of trouble getting the fan to mount and we were careful to follow the installation instructions exactly.

But that wasn’t the biggest problem, the main problem was that when the fans are on speed 2 – they cause the fan to vibrate, which in turn causes the light cover to vibrate VERY loudly. And this happened to ALL the fans.

To Arlec’s credit, they quickly responded to our support request and got new fans out to us ASAP. But the new fans had the same problem, which leads me to believe that it is a design problem.

Putting these problems aside, the fan works as a fan should, the Wifi connectivity works well and the smart device app is great. In the review below, I will go into these in a little more depth, so keep reading if this interests you.

Note: This review took place in Australia. As far as we know this product is only available in Australia.

Review Criteria Ratings

Ease of Installation2/5
Build Quality4/5
Usability2/5

Pros

  • Good air movement
  • Arlec support is quick to respond and help
  • Smart device app works well

Cons

  • Hard to install due to remote receiver size
  • Motor speed causes the fan to vibrate and cause noise at certain speeds

Should You Buy It?

Unfortunately with the continued problems we had with the fan causing a high level of vibration and noise from the light cover on speed 2 – we can’t recommend you buy these fans.

Arlec Smart Ceiling Fan Overview

Arlec is an Australian company that was founded way back in 1947, and since then they have grown to become Australia’s largest privately owned wholesaler of electronic and electrical products.

So it is easy to see how their products have found their way into Australia’s biggest hardware store – Bunnings.

Their fan range has grown over the last few years, and they now offer a full WiFi range called “Grid Connect”. These devices connect directly to your WiFi network and can be controlled from a smart device running the Grid Connect app.

How The Arlec Smart Ceiling Fan Performs

arlec smart ceiling fan

As a whole, the Arlect smart fan isn’t a bad product, unfortunately, it’s just let down by a seemingly small, but loud problem that seems to come from a design flaw.

Installation

Looking at the instructions, the installation seems simple enough – and even the electrician we used agreed. However upon getting to the point where you need to mount the remote control receiver into the mounting bracket, then slide the top canopy over it.

There is simply too much cabling and the top canopy is too small to do this easily, and it is VERY tight. I believe that this is what the problems with the noise all come back to.

Apart from that, the fan goes together well – the parts are sturdy and feel like a quality-built product.

Fan Functionality

arlec grid connect fan remote

As the intro mentioned, this fan works well until you set the speed to speed 2. Which for me, just so happens to be the ideal speed most of the time.

When you set the fan to speed 2, the motor seems to oscillate just the right amount to cause a vibration down the fan body and the light cover makes a loud buzzing sound.

This problem can be solved by taking the light cover off, but this is not a permanent fix and in some installations would be impossible to take on and off all the time.

And this problem was just a single occurrence, it happened across all the fans we purchased. I would also like to qualify that the installation was carried out correctly, onto a sturdy roof beam by a qualified contractor.

Grid Connect – Wifi Connectivity

arlec grid connect app

This is where the Arlec smart product really shines. The Wifi is easy to connect to your home system, and the app works well.

It’s very easy to set the speed of your fan, turn the light on and off and adjust a myriad of other settings.

The fan also comes with a remote control and a wall mount bracket. If I have one complaint about this, it’s the fact that it is not easy to find the light switch on the remote in the dark.

Conclusion

While I have always had good experiences with Arlec products in the past, this one has left a sour taste in my mouth. I’m going to get the contractor back to have another look and maybe try putting the receiver in the ceiling to see if the reduced pressure on the mount helps with the vibration issues.

I will update this review accordingly.

About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

3 thoughts on “Arlec 130cm Smart Ceiling Fan (Grid Connect) Review”

  1. I bought 5 from Bunnings in February, all work fine but are as noisy as hell. When contacted support all I got was “send a video”. Would have expected a bit more than that. Not real happy.

    Reply

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