Cost to automate 5 window treatments?

Hello! I’m looking to automate 5 windows 36"x44" on the south side of my house. Information is hard to find. I’m looking at Bali shades from the Costco website, and Graber blinds from ZebraBlinds. I haven’t been able to successfully navigate through the Bali website to get a price. ZebraBlinds is showing about $350 per window plus a z wave rts bridge. (It seems like they should integrate z wave into their motors.) I like that the Bali shades have z wave built into the motor, but they don’t have motorized blinds. I will figure all this out as I learn more. Right now, I have three questions.

Can I put a 12v dc transformer in a junction box and run wire through the wall and underneath the window casing?

Will I be able to automate these 5 windows for less than $2k?

Should I be looking for a different product?

Thanks in advance!

First, which blinds are you looking at. ZebraBlinds absolutely has a Graber (Springs/Bali/Somfy) blind that is ZWave.

Second you should expect between $200-500 per unit depending on options for fully custom blinds like on ZebraBlinds or 100-300 for semi custom like Ikea.

Yes, Bali/Somfy/Graeber have a power option available you can ask zebra about it. You beed to run at least 2 conductor wire toneach window you want to use that option.

Inuse rechargeable lipos on mine (an option if youborder custom form someone like Zebra and they last appropriately 6 months being opened / closed every day

Theres a ZebraBlinds rep Neal, who frequents the forums, Id suggest you look him up. @ZebraBlinds Neal?

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from what I understand:

  1. Lutron > uses proprietary RF to communicate from the blinds to the hub, the hub then uses the cloud to communicate with smartthings
  2. Graber and Co > these also use a proprietary RF to communicate to a hub which then communicates with smartthings via zwave
  3. iBlinds > I believe this is the only one with zwave built directly into the motor? but it’s exclusively for horizontal blinds

someone correct me if I’m wrong. I didn’t bother to list myblinds because these don’t integrate with smartthings at all.

here’s what I can tell you though, iblinds motors will NOT fit in a Graber headrail. if you buy a Graber family product, you are stuck using their motors.

you need to specify what kind of window covering you want, is this for shades or horizontal blinds? blinds will only motorize the tilt, I do not think there are any that can motorize the lift, so you will be stuck with a cord lift or cordless lift depending on the model you purchase.

the ikea roller shades seem kind of useless to me, because they are not offered in long enough lengths to cover many standard size North American windows, and you will end up with light leak if you use two or more together.

if you want to layer curtains as well and automate those, things will be even more complicated.

So you’ve got the Graber & Co bit wrong. They run on z-wave directly (they do have a non z-wave version as well). The Z-wave versions pair directly to SmartThings or any other z-wave hub and has full control.

@Dissonance You need to be looking at the following section on the site, they pair directly to SmartThings with no hub required: Smart Motorized Blinds & Shades Z-Wave Enabled | ZebraBlinds

The prices after discounts would be shown once you add an item to your cart. You’re looking at around $300 - 400 per shade depending on the fabric and options. If you are looking to hardwire, there is a power supply available for it, however, it’s meant to power up to 10 motors.

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I installed 6 shades last year (Bali/Costco and Bali/ As I recall, mine were about $600/window. Keep in mind that the size (several of mine were towards the largest they could make with a motor), controller/power and fabric all play into the price.

I did this in two phases, and thought that had more option selections so tried it for the second phase. In the end, the Costco site is hard to deal with, but ensures that you don’t order something they can’t make. The site works better, but they allow you to order things they can’t make, and then a rep tries to help you fix it. In the end, both were competitive (and both had “deals”) and had similar products, but Costco delivered faster. I did not try Zebra blinds.

As indicated in the other comments, Bali has Z wave built in, and it works with ST. Although I was forced to buy the default transformer, I sourced a separate high efficiency 12 VDC power supply (much cheaper than the ones sold with the blinds) and a separate USB connector that I used for each set of two blinds. These were plug in power supplies and I ran the 12 VDC outside the wall, until I have a better solution. There are several options for central power supplies that may cost as much as the blinds…

While the codes are typically less stringent for low voltage wiring, if you do run it in the wall, I think you need to use plenum rated cable. Code requirements will vary from place to place though, so I’d check ahead of time. Also make sure you size the wire properly.

You’ll only need plenum rated wire if its in an air handling space. (read: very rarely if ever in residential installs.).

This is all very helpful! (And, a lot of information.) I’m browsing the links you posted. I didn’t know that only the tilt of horizontal blinds could be motorized. There are so many options. I’m looking for horizontal blinds only. The curtains will not be motorized. I will continue reading the websites until I have a better idea about what I want.

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After viewing all the websites, it looks like is going to be the best place for my purchase.

@ZebraBlinds Neil, when I’m done painting, replacing the casing, and putting in 12v wire, I will reach out to you for assistance in customizing my order.

Where at the top of the window should the wire come out?

I guess the shades are available in zwave models but not the horizontal blinds, those require a zrtsi bridge?

If you are looking for horizontal blinds, it seems graber does not make those with zwave built in, they require a bridge to translate rf to zwave. The only motor for horizontal blinds with zwave built in as far as I know is the iblinds, but these do not fit graber headrails, I’ve tried. If your goal is smart horizontal blinds, you may want to just buy dumb blinds from someone other than graber and use an iblinds v3 motor. Since it has an optional solar panel, no wiring is required.

@mvevitsis–smart homes–motorized blinds shows “Integrate with Smart Home systems such as SmartThings”. It looks like they have no special category in their menu system.

Sure, you can integrate their motorized horizontal blinds with smartthings, BUT you need a separate bridge model ZRTSI RTS 16. They don’t have zwave built in like some of the shades do. I prefer zwave built directly into the unit, instead of another bridge.

I’m only saying this because you said you wanted horizontal blinds, not shades. If you want shades, zebrablinds has exactly what you want. But note that if you do go with horizontal blinds, no matter which option you go with, you will only get tilt control. Lift control is always manual.

You want the wire at the top right. Also, if your window is wider than 70" I would run enough wires for 2 motors just in case.

Yeah, if you are going with Horizontal Blinds, then you need the zrtsi bridge since atleast the ones we offer would be using Somfy RTS motors.

Horizontal blinds with motorization isn’t a high volume product so there really hasn’t been much effort in the window industry to focus on it too much.

For Z-wave it would be the shades I linked above.

I removed the casing, wall plates, and fixtures today in preparation for painting. Two of the five windows are definitely failing, so I need to replace them before measuring for blinds. Assuming the windows have flanges, the cedar siding on the outside is covering them, so the siding needs to come down. I was planning that painting and window treatments would be my March project, but now it looks like it’s going to be my summer 2021 project.

I will report back to this thread when I order my blinds.

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