This review & giveaway is sponsored by Homewerks Worldwide. All opinions are, for better or worse, 100% my own.
Putting you guys on notice right away: if you play music often or sing in the shower like I do, you’re going to want this bath fan.
Yeah, I see your raised eyebrow. A bath fan? But hear me out.
When Homewerks first suggested trying out their Bluetooth Bath Fan with LED light and Speakers, I wasn’t quite sure I’d like it. It looked kind of difficult to install (spoiler: it was). It required getting up into my attic in the middle of the summer (spoiler: Georgia heat is hot). I don’t add a lot of smart home products to this house, mostly because I would rarely recoup the cost (this house is in an older neighborhood and just not at a price point where I think upgrades are necessary). But the overall verdict? This one was totally WORTH IT. Despite the frustration of installing it — and there definitely was some — this thing has been used every day since I put it in. I’ve been texting friends about it. I whined and moaned during, but I like it that much. Just like laser hair removal.
I suppose I should preface this whole thing by reminding some of you longtime readers (or admitting to you new readers for the first time) that I’m one of those weirdos who sings a lot. It’s not that I have a great voice (friends insist it’s ok, but I still feel like I need to apologize)… I just like singing. I find it relaxing. It puts me in a good mood. It motivates me when I work out. If the TV isn’t on in the background, one of my many Spotify playlists is. I also sing while I paint or work on projects, and I frequently refer to myself doing “car-aoke” when I go on long drives (Atlanta is a driving city, so being in the car for extended periods of time is common). In
other less rambling words, music is just part of my daily routine. I suppose it’s a good thing that Charlie doesn’t seem to mind my warbling along.
Naturally, I also sing in the shower. Loudly. Prior to installing this fan, I have usually just put my phone on its loudest volume setting, placed it in the sink for some added acoustics (see here for why), and hopped right into the shower. While that was a perfectly nice solution, it wasn’t really ideal, and the shower still drowned out most of the sound. So when this fan arrived in my mail a few weeks ago, the plan was to try it out as a new upgrade in my master bath and see if that helped motivate me to get the rest of the room done. After all, I still have a vanity and toilet taking up room in my newly upgraded garage.
Unfortunately, the placement of my exhaust fan in the master bathroom wasn’t really working to get this new fan installed. This new fan includes an LED light, which is much larger than the existing vent cover, and much too close to the wall to fit. The solution would have either been to move the entire exhaust fan over toward the middle of the bathroom ceiling (and move the electrical, of course) or try the fan out in the guest bath that had better placement… which has also had a lot of work completed already.
No surprise here: guest bath it is! I started by removing the old fan… which I quickly learned was a huge pain in the butt when it requires crawling through insulation… in my attic… in June… in Georgia. The roof pitch made this whole process a little more uncomfortable since I only had about a foot of workable space above it (and nails coming through the plywood above). But, with a few choice words, the old fan came out and I expanded the hole for the new one.
Unlike the existing fan that sat flush with the ceiling joists, the new fan would hang slightly lower to be flush with the ceiling’s drywall. I wish I had some pics in the attic, but with the heat making me cranky and the power turned off to hook this thing up, photos weren’t really a priority. I do, however, have this photo I took below so you guys can see how to make things a little easier. I used a leftover piece of cedar from the garden bed project to provide a means of temporarily sitting the fan flush with the drywall while I tried to install things above. File this under “things you learn when doing projects solo” (here’s another!).
It was about this point is where I realized that the new fan would require fishing new wiring to handle the light, the fan, and the new data connection of the Bluetooth setup going down to the wall switch. The neutral/hot/ground wires were easy enough thanks to some quick-connect ports that came with the fan (love those things), but the Bluetooth connection would require more work. The install instructions don’t really say much about this beforehand — just a quick blurb about connecting the “data connection” wires together, which don’t actually exist unless you knew to fish them through ahead of time.
Combining that with my increased snottiness of trying to figure this out in a hot attic in the dark, I threw in the towel and called in for some professional help. In truth, if you’ve got experience with electrical, this would be an intermediate (or advanced intermediate) DIY project, but I would highly recommend hiring a pro for the majority of DIYers. In the fall. I don’t like hiring pros for most things when I know I could eventually figure it out (I’m stubborn), but risking heat stroke because I’ve had to find missing pieces of the instructions is not really wise.
Another bit about the included instructions: a very crucial page is outdated. Even with the expertise I had helping me, we still had some issues getting the fan installed because the instructions in the box weren’t quite right. See this?
It should actually look like this, which I found on the Homewerks website (H/T also to Sawdust Girl). But the second we saw the new version, we both realized that it should have been a lot simpler to finish (and now you can avoid that same experience and just do it right the first time!).
So, you’d think that with all the drama I had to get it installed, I would have shrugged my shoulders and just said “Whelp, this was a completely failed DIY project.” And I was very close to thinking that. About 99%. Except then, the most beautiful thing happened: the friggin’ thing turned on, and this came out crystal clear:
Playing music in my bathroom… LIKE A BOSS.
Guys, you know I love a good aha moment, and prior to this beautiful noise, I thought I’d be emailing the nice folks at Homewerks back and telling them I wouldn’t be able to even look at this product without giving it the ol’ side-eye (because I don’t usually blog about things that make me tap my arsenal of swear words as it goes in… unless it’s really, really funny). But after I started playing around with it, I’m TOTALLY SOLD on this thing. It’s worth the trouble (and expense if you hire a pro) of installing. And I suppose I am just very, very forgiving when the end result is lots and lots of booty shaking.
One neat feature: the fan comes with a remote that lets me change the volume and track from the comfort of my bathtub (I placed this on the opposite wall from my shower nozzle to keep it dry).
I’ve found that the volume sometimes wants to be too helpful and thinks it’s the song forward button, though. Not really much of a problem since my phone is almost permanently attached to my hand, so I can control it that way too, but the sound quality is excellent and fills nearly every inch of this small house with sweet, sweet music.
The fan is much quieter than the old fan that was in here, and the added light is nice too. The wall switch has a dial that takes some getting used to (different positions combine the light, fan, Bluetooth & light, etc.), and there’s also a blue light option that adds a different mood to the room. I haven’t really used this setting yet since you can’t play Bluetooth with it, but I think that would be a good upgrade for future versions of this product (I’m picturing a couple’s bath scenario… or just someone who wants to pretend they’re in Blue Man Group #mybrainisweird).
Now that I’ve been using the “guest” bathroom for as long as I have, I discovered a few other projects I’d like to do to the room, one of which is adding some extra storage above the toilet for towels and baskets (I still love the vanity I put in, but the sink basin takes up a lot of space I would have otherwise used for makeup and cleaning products).
But here’s where we get to the fun part… the part where you guys tell me which song gets your blood pumping and qualifies you for winning this fan. Here are the giveaway rules:
- Prize: One (1) HomeNetWerks Bluetooth Bath Fan with LED light and Speakers
- Number of winners: One (1)
- Ships: U.S. only
- To enter: Leave a comment with your favorite song that gets you in a booty-shaking kind of mood (or favorite song to sing along to in the shower), and then confirm your entry in the Rafflecopter widget in this post.
- Giveaway ends: July 7, 11:59 PM
The post Sweet Sound Machine (Bluetooth Bath Fan + Giveaway!) appeared first on The Ugly Duckling House.