Hello, we’re looking to start purchasing some blinds and are wanting to motorize them to be compatible with Samsung Smartthings. Does anyone know what our options would be? We love Hunter Douglas which is compatible with Alexa, but it doesn’t look like they’d be compatible with Smartthings.
These shades have worked great for me.
I have 1 blind from Bali blinds, available at Lowes and Home Depot. They work great so far.
If you get the hunter Douglas powerview hub you can connect it to smartthings one of two ways. You can use the device handler posted in the forums or wig can be connected via IFTTT to trigger scenes.
I currently have mine set up with the device handler. They are the roller shades though.
( i’ve moved this to projects so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs and preferences.)
There are a number of different options, but they are very different from each other.
If you are using the new “smartthings (Samsung connect)” mobile app
1) Lutron Serena. (Official integration)
The first thing we should say is that if you are using the new “smartthings (Samsung connect)” mobile app, which was just released in March, at the present time you cannot use any custom device type handlers. So I believe your choices would be limited to the Lutron Serena shades, which have an official integration, or the zebra Blinds discussed in option 2, or any brand which uses IFTTT for its integration.
The Serena are very nice shades, come in a lot of different finishes, work well, but tend to be among the more expensive per window. They usually go on sale twice a year, typically June and December but sometimes other time, and that could save you 20 to 25%. These are intended for DIY installation, but come as a complete unit, so that part is nice.
2) Zebra Blinds zwave
The blinds from zebra blinds which @marktheknife already linked to our very popular in the community and are nice Z wave based shades. You can order custom finishes, so the price will vary depending on exactly what you choose. One of their employees, @ZebraBlinds is very active in the community and can answer any questions that you have. these also have an official integration and will work with the new Connect app.
options requiring the older “SmartThings classic” mobile app
3) Hunter Douglas power view models
As @GavinCampbell noted, there are two options with Hunter Douglas PowerView model lines. The IFTTT option is a less complete integration then the DTH option, but easier to set up. You should be able to use that one with the new Connect app.
Note that the IFTTT integration is for events only, not triggers. That means if someone in your home uses the PowerView remote to change the shades, smartthings would be unaware of that event. But you could set it up so that a SmartThings – controlled motion sensor recognizing motion would trigger a “scene” that you had created through the PowerView app. That will work for some households, but not others. I don’t know if using the DTH option gives you more integration or not.
Any other choice, including the Hunter Douglas power view “DTH” option, is going to require custom code, which is not a big deal if you are using the older “SmartThings classic” app but could mean you have to end up using two different apps for a while. Or maybe even three.
other options requiring buying parts from multiple companies
The main thing is that with the other options they don’t come all in one kit. You have to buy the blinds, buy the motors, and maybe buy the Z wave radio devices and put everything together yourself. You can do this in a somewhat less expensive fashion than the first three options, but it will be a lot more work. To find project reports on these options, look on the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, go to the bottom of that page for the project report section, and look for the list on “shades and other window coverings.”
Indiegogo, and other pre-release options
At this point, I would avoid putting any money into any smart blinds option which is in pre-release, even if they promised smartthings integration. There are a bunch of these, and they have collected a bunch of money so far. The problem is that about 15 months ago, a company called MySmartBlinds came to market with both a complete kit and a retrofit kit. They met all of the standard safety certifications and they hold over 50 patents on automated blinds. Many of the pre-release products seem unaware of the safety issues involved in automated blinds and very few of them have patent applications. The result is that many of them are going to find they can never come to market because they would be in patent violation.
MySmartBlinds looks like a well-engineered product, but they don’t have any integration with SmartThings at this time.
If it was me…
If it was for my house, I would look at the Lutron and zebra blinds offerings, but if you really need to trim the budget, there are other options as well.
I would also look at the Hunter Douglas PowerView models, but to be honest I don’t know very much about them.
@JDRoberts Just wanted to add, they will work with the new app. There is an official DH in ST now which should auto assign.
I did these and they were super easy. Only thing I found I had to change was the dimensions of the opening of the gear for my Home Depot horizontal blinds. I also redesigned it to motorize my vertical blinds. All the blinds in my house are now automated for less that $100.
@JDRoberts Great write up. I had to take some time to read it but pretty much sums up the state of the blinds right now. I have the powerview blinds and have worked on a few DH’s for them and they work pretty well. Unfortunately blinds are so expensive that its hard to get experience with them all.
@ZebraBlinds Quick question. Do you guys sell retrofit options for blinds. I just bought a few bali blinds for my bedroom and am looking for a solution where I can add automation to it if possible to do tilting.
Coming soon, I would say 2 - 6 months currently for release. But, it won’t be z-wave per say, more an affordable motor option with a 5 year warranty and a smart controller (a glorified remote which lets you set schedules as well as IFTTT).
Also I can say this fairly confidently, it will be way more affordable than all the current retrofit options.
Great news. Thanks for the reply. I’m going to keep an eye out for them.
Looking closely at the ZebraBlinds.
I will be controlling them with my smartthings hub/app.
However, for my family members who hate technology:
What do people recommend in terms of tabletop controllers for controlling groups of Zebra blinds?
I am looking for a way to make my regular blinds into smart blinds. The closest match is:
However it is my understanding that they went with Bluetooth which would likely require more than one hub to make all the binds work (unless the range is much better than I think). I do not consider using a Bluetooth product viable given it is yet another thing competing on the 2.4GHz ISM band. With 4 APs around the house (each on their own Ch), and 2 zigbee mesh networks at the very least, I do not want to add another 2.4GHz based device that doesn’t connect to my existing mesh networks.
Are there any zigbee or zwave alternatives that feature a retrofit motor, battery and solar panel? I think I saw one but it was a kickstarter which I believe was retracted.
hi u looked at these http://www.myiblinds.com/
I did but it was just a kickstarter with no proven track record. I was hoping for something already established… but I may have to go with them some time after release so they have time to work their inevitable bugs/issues out.
everything has to start somewhere. think i will wait also and buty in the new year
Has anyone found a Z-wave solar/roller shade that is solar powered? I have a window top of a two-story room I’d like to put a shade on. The Zebra shades have a Zwave version and a solar power module but support there said they were not compatible. thanks!
Yep I am looking for the same.
- Solar charging and battery powered
- Roller shades
- ST integration (preferably zwave or zigbee)
- Dependable functionality
Ikea is coming out with their own Smart blinds. I believe it needs a Hub from Ikea and I’m not sure if it will integrate with Smartthings but its about 50% cheaper than all the ones I’m seeing described here and much less the hassle of integrating one of these devices into non smart blinds to make them smart.
I’m waiting…and no I don’t work for Ikea.
From what I can tell, the write up is incorrectly using the term “blinds” and “shades” interchangeably.
Yes. I see that too. Still cheaper! Will they work with Smartthings?