DIY motorized shades - help me choose solution (in US)

After reading threads here about different solutions I decided I want to build motorized shades myself. However, before I order bunch of stuff, I wanted to summarize my findings and ask for your opinion.

First, my requirements:

  • I need a remote controller to open/close/set at %.
  • I need a way to control it from Alexa/Phone (basically get it on ST app) and also be able to open/close/set at the desired position. It could be combination of open + few seconds + stop call.
  • I have wiring done already, so I don’t need batteries based solutions.


  1. To connect with ST, I am planning to use:

Did anyone tried the MIMOLite and can confirm it’s fine to control shades? It opens garage door so I expect it should work.

  1. Motor for shades (also called tubular motor)
    This is the hardest and I am hoping you can advise. Smofy is tempting but very expensive. On Amazon I see many options like this one: On AliExpress it’s even cheaper but I don’t want to burn down the house. :wink: Unless someone have good recommendations.

There are also options with IR/RF signal like this: but then I need to invest in BroadLink New RM and it won’t be z-wave based.

  1. Power supply

  2. Z-wave remote controller
    This one looks awesome: but it’s not so intuitive for shades. This one looks like calculator: Are there any better options?

  3. Shades/material
    I am the least worried about it. I will probably get some stuff from HomeDepot or online.

So, if you think some of this stuff doesn’t make sense, please let me know. If you have better recommendations, also let me know. I will update the thread once I get first setup.

*I don’t have any connections to the products mentioned above. It’s just based on my research in the last few days.

Thanks in advance!

Are you expecting to be able to stop the shades partway down?

The Mimolite is not usually used in window covering operations. The garage door is a completely different situation, because when you start them the Motor runs until they are all The way open, and when you close them, the motor operates until they are all the way closed.

That’s very different than the way most people operate window coverings, which is in some ways more like a dimmer where you can stop at any point between zero and 100%.

Take a look at the project reports section of the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and you’ll be able to see what other people have done. Go all the way down that page to the project report section, then look for the list on “shades and other window coverings.”

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Oh, and you probably already know this, but don’t use a lighting controller for a motor of any kind. The physics are different. You need to look at the devices which are intended for the control of motors. They will say so in the specs.

As far as which handheld or tabletop controller to use, take a look at the following (this is a clickable link). This piece doesn’t have to be a Z wave device: the handheld remote will talk to the hub and the hum will talk to the motor control device, so they don’t have to use the same protocol.

Quibino makes a motor controller that is supposed to be pretty good. But of course, you still need the motorized shades themselves. This is just the controller.

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Thank you! I didn’t know there is such a choice for buttons!

@JDRoberts you are correct, I want to stop the shades partway down. Regarding MIMILite, I would expect I can start the motor and software would just stop in the middle if I want 50% or any other %.

Thanks @Ryan780