How to choose a controller for your sauna?
Oct 02, 2023
Apart from electric heater models that are equipped with manual dials for time and heating adjustments, an external control unit is required. All of our sauna heater suppliers have designed controllers for their electric heaters, some of which are also compatible with other manufacturer’s models. Whether you wish to control the sauna heater from a phone or would rather have a simple controlling system in close proximity to the sauna, there is a good deal to choose from. In this article we introduce controlling systems from HUUM, Narvi, Helo, Tulikivi and IKI to help you choose the best option for your sauna.
HUUM has a wide selection of modern controllers, all of which are compatible with other manufacturer’s electric heater models. Deciding between the HUUM control panels will depend on your electric heater model, power rating and how much flexibility you would like for setting the time and temperature of your sauna. Would you like to be able to switch the heating on from your phone when you are out and about or prefer a cost-effective and easy-to-use panel near the sauna?
HUUM has control panels and casings for a variety of tastes. The UKU Wood is a stylish panel that is best installed right outside the sauna. Image from HUUM.
All UKU controllers share similar functions. The entry- level option is UKU Local, which is made for on-the-spot-use. UKU Wi-Fi and UKU 4G can be controlled through the HUUM mobile app.
UKU Local is a great option if you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use controller for your sauna. It has the same features as the other UKU-range controllers, apart from mobile app compatibility. The available heating periods are 3, 8 and 12 hours.
With UKU Local, the heater is controlled from a wall-mounted panel. The panel has a minimalistic design with black, white or wood finish. The controller set includes the console, cable, main module, temperature sensor, door sensor and the sensor cable.
The UKU Local Black controller is compact and simple to use. Image from HUUM.
Main features of UKU Local
- Temperature range of +40-110ºC
- Suitable for heaters up to 18kW
- Supply voltage: 40A, 240V
- Heating period: 3h, 8h and 12h
You can find out more about the UKU Local here.
UKU Wi-Fi controls the sauna heater through a panel and the HUUM mobile app. In order to use your phone to control and adjust the time and heating functions, there needs to be a strong Wi-Fi network around the sauna area.
UKU Wi-Fi is a great option for remotely controlling a modern-day sauna. You can also use the controller on the spot, without the app. The UKU Wi-Fi panel has a sleek design with the choice of a classic, glass or wood finish. HUUM have designed a surface mounting frame as an addition for the UKU Wi-Fi panel.
You can read more about UKU Wi-Fi by clicking the link below:
You can control the UKU Wi-Fi from the HUUM app. Image from HUUM.
UKU GSM/4G enables time and heating adjustments of the sauna via the UKU control panel, HUUM mobile app and a 4G network. It is designed for areas without Wi-Fi, making it ideal for cottage and countryside saunas. The HUUM app allows you to set the time of heating and desired temperature conveniently from the phone. The app will notify you when the sauna is ready. You can also use the panel itself, similarly to the UKU Wi-Fi.
As with the UKU Local and Wi-Fi, UKU GSM/4G can be connected to the sauna lighting and ventilation. The panel casing options are classic black, glass or wood.
The black glass surface of the UKU control panel.
Main features of UKU sauna controllers
All UKU controllers are suitable for other manufacturer’s electric sauna heaters, providing the heater is designed to have an external control panel, has a temperature control function, and a maximum output of 18kW.
- Choose a target temperature between +40-110ºC
- Choose a heating period of 3, 6, 12 or 18 hours
- A timer function
- Connection to sauna lights and ventilation
- Safety features: Overheating protection, a door sensor and a child safety lock
Narvi has control units for home saunas, as well as larger commercial settings with high-power electric heaters.
The Narvi N2014E control panel can be installed outside the sauna area, or inside given it is a suitable distance away from the heater. The minimum required distances from the heater and floor level are specified in heater manuals.
Narvi N2014E comes as a standard controller for most of Narvi’s electric sauna heater models. It contains an external control unit, an external thermostat and a power card. The N2014E is multivoltage, so it can be connected to 400V 3N~, 230V 1N~or 230V 3~.
The maximum heater output N2014E can be connected is 10.5kW. It is also important to note that any electric heaters above 9kW must be installed on a 3-phase supply.
*Please note that all heaters and controllers should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Feautures of Narvi N2014E control unit
- Can be installed either inside or outside the sauna. Please refer to the heater and controller instructions for information regarding the required distances from the heater body and maximum distance from the sauna area
- 24 h pre-timing function
- Temperature range of +60 to +90ºC
- Overheat protector for the temperature sensor
You can find the N2014E here.
The updated square N2014E control panel cover on the external wall of the sauna.
Narvi B-2003 and T-2003 controllers for commercial electric heaters
The Narvi B and T-2003 controllers are commercial- grade options for larger electric heater model. The B- and T- controllers from Narvi are equipped with set-and-forget timers, which make them excellent controlling systems for health clubs and hotels that are open long hours, 7 days a week.
Narvi B-2003 (9-15kW)
Narvi B-2003 is a controller for 9-15kW electric Narvi heaters. The controller is designed for commercial use only.
The B-2003 consists of the control unit and power card, and the temperature sensor is external. The B-2003 is installed outside the sauna, maximum 20m distance from the room.
Features of Narvi B-2003
- Pre-timer with 7 memory slots
- Lighting switch that can be connected to the sauna lights
- *Compatible with most other manufacturer’s commercial grade electric heaters
Narvi T-2003 (9-15kW)
Narvi T-2003 is also suitable for 9-15kW commercial electric heaters. Similarly to the B-2003 controller, the control unit and power card are in one box, whereas the temperature sensor is external. The Narvi T-2003 has a 24-hour pre-timing function and the option to have the sauna lights connected to it.
Features of Narvi T-2003
- 24-hour pre-timer
- Lighting switch
- *Compatible with most other manufacturer’s commercial electric heaters.
*If you have an enquiry about a specific heater model and compatibility with commercial grade control units, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Larger commercial electric sauna heaters often require separate controllers and power units. The Narvi Peak Big electric heater is compatible with the Narvi C-2003 + F-2003 combination.
Narvi C-2003 + F-2003
The C-2003 controller and F-2003 power unit are designed for 18-33kW commercial sauna heaters in public settings, such as health clubs and spas. The controller has 14 memory slots, which allows for programming two daily sauna sessions. The controller should be installed outside the sauna into a technical room, office or a reception. The controller has an external temperature sensor and a light switch.
Features of Narvi C-2003 + F-2003
- Suitable for 18-33kW electric heaters
- 14 memory slots
- External temperature sensor
- Light switch
The Pure controller by Helo is a great choice if you are looking for simplicity. The Pure controller is mounted onto the sauna wall and works for the Helo range sauna heaters and steam generators. The controller is best placed right outside the sauna area but can be installed inside given that the top of the panel is placed maximum 80cm from floor level and at a minimum 30cm distance from the heater body. The maximum temperature at the level of the control panel should not exceed +80ºC.
You can read more about the Pure controller here.
Helo Elite Free
The Elite Free is Helo’s newest controller and provides an option to control the sauna from your phone, similarly to HUUM's UKU Wi-Fi. Elite Free has personalized settings that can be programmed to a specified schedule. You can also add control features such as auxiliary fans and lighting. Elite Free is controlled from the Helo Control (TM) app.
Elite Free is compatible with the following Helo electric heaters
- Himalaya 70 WT and 105 WT
- Rocher 70 and 105
- Roxx 60 and 90
- Wall mounted Helo electric D- models with WE40 contactor box
The controller can also be purchased with a separate contactor box WE40 or WE50 for the following models and combinations:
- Laava (Elite Free + WE40)
- Magma (Elite Free + WE50)
- SKLE (Elite Free + WE40 contactor box)
- SKLA (Elite Free + WE50 contactor box)
Helo Elite Free has a stylish appearance and is compatible with the most recent additions to the Helo electric heater range between 6kW-10.5kW. It can also power larger heaters with a suitable contactor box.
Helo WE 50 Contactor Box
The relay box WE 50 from Helo is designed for electric sauna heaters between 18kW to 26kW. It is developed as an add- on for the Pure and Elite Free controllers to make them work seamlessly with commercial heater models. The contactor box connects the electric heater and the control panel. WE 50 is compatible with Helo’s own commercial electric heater models, such as SKLA and the Magma.
You can find the WE 50 contactor box here.
Tulikivi Remote Control Touch Screen
Tulikivi touch screen controller is an easy-to-use panel with a minimalistic design. Tulikivi's controller is equipped with a feature that enables for setting specific temperatures within the heater’s stone compartment. The Tulikivi controller is available in a white or black finish.
The white Tulikivi Touch Screen in one of our bespoke indoor sauna installations.
The controller can be installed either outside the sauna or inside the sauna given it is placed at maximum 1m from the floor.
Features of Tulikivi Touch Screen Controller
- Compatible with Tulikivi heaters up to 10.5kW
- Heating time: Max. 6 hours
- Pre-set timer of 0-12 hours
- Maximum temperature: 110ºC
- Can be installed with heater models between 13.6kW with a Tulikivi PC Board – Contactor Box
You can read more about the Tulikivi controller and PC-Boards here.
The easy-to-use Tulikivi black touch screen complements darker interiors, such as the dark thermo alder in this installation.
The IKI- range has two main controllers. The Pro-B2 and and the Wave.
This controller is a standard option for the IKI- range electric sauna heaters up to 10.5kW. It can be connected to up to 30kW electric heater models with a contactor unit, which is the S2-30. The controller is IP 24- rated and should be installed outside the sauna room within a temperature range of –10ºC to +40ºC.
You can read more about the Pro-B2 controller here.
Wave Control Unit
IKI’s Wave control unit is also compatible with all IKI electric heaters up to 10kW with an option to be connected to more powerful heaters with the S2-30 contactor. The set includes the control panel and a power unit. Wave has three sleek wooden finish options, which are dark wood, light wood and black. The unit can be installed inside the sauna.
The Wave controller comes in three wood finishings.
- LED display
- Pre-run timer
- Control panel IP54
- Key-lock function
You can find out more about the Wave control unit here.
Ultimately, the choice of a sauna heater controller will depend on your heater model, the power rating, and your personal preference of controlling options. Many modern electric sauna heaters have the choice to be bought together with a recommended controller.
If you have any questions about the different controlling options for your sauna, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to enquire.
*Please refer to the manufacturer's instruction manuals for each controller and electric heater. Requirements may differ between controllers and heaters. All heaters and controllers must be installed by a qualified electrician.