Bond review: Bond smartens ceiling fans so you can lose that remote for good

Connecting your newly smart ceiling fan with Alexa requires downloading the Bond skill for Alexa and logging into your Bond account. The same is true for Google Home. Your fan should be recognized by the name you assigned it during the Bond setup. Voice control with both the Google Assistant and Alexa were responsive and easy to configure. You won't need to include a "tell Bond to…" phrase with either assistant. A simple "turn on the fan" phrase after the assistant's wake word is all you need.

Using the Bond app's remote control is also satisfyingly straightforward, and the app offers most major fan control options including power, multiple speeds, timers, reverse fan direction, and light control. You'll also be able to control your fan remotely, once the Bond is connected to your Wi-Fi network.

You can also incorporate your ceiling fan into schedules and scenes with Google and Alexa. The Bond also has an IFTTT service with applets like "Activate your fan when Nest says the room is too hot" or "Turn on a ceiling fan when SmartThings detects a presence."  

Yes, $99 is a lot to spend on smartening just one ceiling fan. Even though the Bond can control up to six devices, you could need more than one Bond device if multiple fans need a line of sight and are located in different rooms. Even so, it's likely much cheaper than purchasing a new smart fan. Last year, we took a look at whether or not a smart ceiling fan is really worth the splurge.


Once Bond is paired, you can ditch the original remote and use the Bond app exclusively to control your ceiling fan. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

I tested the Bond exclusively with a ceiling fan, since that's currently the only compatible device, but Olibra plans to turn on integration for devices such as garage door openers, air conditioner units and fireplaces in the near future. You can see some of those options grayed out in the current app. If those devices roll out in updates, your $99 could go a long way in creating Alexa or Google compatibility for six of your home's devices.

With the Bond, you'll get Alexa or Google control of your fan at a fraction of a smart fan's price. You might even get more, if future updates do indeed bring other types of home devices onto the Bond platform. Even if the Bond doesn't expand beyond ceiling fan control, it's a simple and straightforward way to incorporate your ceiling fans into your smart home.