Minka Aire wall remote without a blue light?
July 20, 2020 11:05 AM   Subscribe

We recently installed three Minka Aire Concept II fans in our bedrooms. I wanted to add wall remotes as well, but it appears the only one they sell has a bright blue LED on it that stays on when the fan is in use. Not good for sleeping! Are other remotes compatible? Are there any other options?

FWIW I emailed the company and they said all their remotes have this blue light, so it'd have to be something from another company or a hack I guess. Amazon reviews say covering it with electrical tape isn't a good option because of the light placement, plus it would look ugly!
posted by rouftop to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
It sounds like you are locked in to their remotes for direct control of the fan - usually these kinds of remotes aren't compatible with other devices unless they are integrated with some kind of smart system (Which your is not). In my experience, Fan remotes are terribly made, often break just by looking at them, frequently forget what fan they are supposed to talk to, and are not ideal in general. However, another definitely doable option is to install smart light switches, like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EZV35QU
I don't know the ins and outs of these switches perfectly, but there's no reason you can't replace a normal light switch with a smart one, then control it with your phone, alexa, or google home.

Options using their switch:

Reverse engineer the whole device and trying to replace the LED with a resistor of the same power demands.

3D print a piece to fit in the switch but that covers the switch.

Mask the device well with tape, and spray paint it with several coats. I would use black for maximum coverage. If you really wanted this to work well, you could also spray paint INSIDE of the switch, requiring some tinkering to get it apart and back together, but less likely to rub off over time.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2020

I've had success (with routers, speakers, monitor power lights, etc) combining bbqturtle's approach and your original electrical tape idea. I open up the device and put electrical tape on the inside surface. I can't speak to this specific remote, but you usually don't have to get deep into the electronics or wrap the bulb or anything. Just cover the little plastic window from the inside.
posted by Snijglau at 12:03 PM on July 20, 2020

You could install an entirely different remote system, but this will require going back up into the now-installed fans and changing out the receiver for something like this:

universal ceiling fan remote and receiver
posted by aramaic at 12:06 PM on July 20, 2020

Would LED dimmer stickers work in this situation?

posted by bondcliff at 12:52 PM on July 20, 2020

Your fan is compatible with a WCS212 wall control (which has the light) or their BD-1000 smart control which will let you control it with some sort of smart device (I assume Alexa, Google, etc).

The sticking point is that you need the factory-compatible (“full functional”) remote to get the fan to reverse, because you don’t have a physical reverse switch. Otherwise you could get a Lutron fan remote and run it that way.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:59 PM on July 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

If all else fails, you can color over the lights using a black wedge-tipped Magic Marker. You might need to let it dry and do another coat to get good coverage, but with a little care you can do a neat job of it and avoid obvious ugliness. My work desk is in my bedroom, so I've had to pretty aggressively cover up the umpteen-zillion (rarely-useful anyway) lights that are a standard part of modern technology, and it worked well.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:41 PM on July 20, 2020

Reverse engineer the whole device and trying to replace the LED with a resistor of the same power demands.

Can be tricky, as nearly all devices now have surface-mounted components, including LEDs. Which you can't disable by cutting a leg (which is nearly always all that's required anyway, there's rarely the need for replacing the LED with a resistor), and to remove the LED from the circuit board you need a bit of experience in SMD soldering else you're likely to damage more of the circuit than just the LED. But there's usually the option of using a hobby knife to cut one of the traces leading to the LED, or physically destroying the LED using needlenose pliers. Note that these actions are by and large irreversible.

But the other side of manufacturers using SMD components is that those LEDs nearly always have a 'light pipe' of some sort between the circuit board and the front panel. Which you can remove, then covering the actual LED with a piece of cardboard. No paint or tape on the outside, and reversible by putting the pipe back in.
posted by Stoneshop at 1:34 AM on July 21, 2020

From the images on Amazon, the bottom main power slide switch lights up blue whenever the wall control is turned on. This is a bit trickier than a little round light at the top.

I would caution you about opening the wall control up and trying to mess around with internal components, as there is 120V AC running around in there, at least around the switch location.

Your remote controls that came with the fan also come with wall cradles to allow you to install them either over or next to the switch; I think they're probably your best bet. I don't have a Minka, but I Velcro my remote to the wall next to the switch.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:25 AM on July 21, 2020

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