Somfy Window Shades & SmartThings Integration Guide for the year 2020! (ZRTSI)

I recently purchased (May 2020) some Somfy Window Shades and embarked on integrating them with SmartThings. There is a bunch of information online about integrating Somfy with ST but the information is of varying vintage and scattered all over the place. This integration guide is an attempt to consolidate this content in a centralized spot to make easier on community members setting up this same integration. I found success with imnotbob’s somfy-shades community device handler but that’s not to say the other community device handler is not an option. A bunch of this information was gleamed from my own testing (trial & error) so your mileage might vary. Please note that this guide pertains to Somfy ZRTSI ( Somfy Z-Wave to Radio Technology Somfy Interface) integration. I only own Somfy Shades and not Somfy Blinds so I can’t comment on the window blind/ST experience.

Please note that this guide does not pertain to the Somfy MyLink RTS Smartphone and Tablet Interface nor Somfy myLink app.

Step-by-step guide

  1. In the new ST app, Add your ZRTSI hub in the SmartThings new app by clicking the + > Devices > then ‘Scan nearby’. It will add it as a generic “Z-Wave Controller” which is okay and desired.

  2. On the physical ZRTSI device, program the virtual nodes and conduct the RTS programming. It’s all described here but if programming is failing make sure you’re holding down the stupid select/OK which is not described well in the guide: https://service.somfy.com/downloads/nam_v4/zwaveto_rts_instructions.pdf

  3. After programming your virtual nodes (Vnodes), add them to the new ST app, by using ‘scan nearby’ (as described in step 1)

  4. Each Window Shade will appears as a generic “Dimmer Switch” in ST which is functional but not desirable as it only provides Open/Close functionally. (without the “Pause” function :cry:).

  5. If you don’t care about Window Shade “presets” and can’t be bothered to install a community Device Handler, then I would recommend that you login your Smartthings webGUI (https://account.smartthings.com/), navigate to the “Devices” screen > click on one of your Somfy Window Shades > press the Edit button > change the Type* field from “Dimmer Switch” to “Z-Wave Window Shade”. Press the update button and then repeat this step for all Somfy Window Shades. This will give your Open, Close and Pause functionally in the new ST app, Classic ST app and Action Tiles. If that’s your jam, you’re finished with this guide and your Somy Shades will be modeled as Window Shades in ST and not dimmer switches :slight_smile:

  6. If the notion of window shade presets appeal to you, then skip step 5 (above). A preset is a desired position where you automatically want your shade to physically stop at. For instance, I have a shade installed on a window that opens (from the bottom to the top) so I set the preset just above the window opening so I can physically open the window (to let some air into the room) yet still having the window shade covering the top / fixed portion of the window so the sun or moon is not beaming into the room. No longer do I have to close the blind with the remote and then wait to manually hit the stop button at the desired position.

  7. First, you need to program each window preset on your physical Somfy remote control. I have the Telis 4 remote with the “my” button on it. Using the remote, manually move the shade up/down to the desired preset level. Now hold down the “my” button until the shade jobs. You have successfully programmed the preset for this shade. Repeat this preset programming for all of your shades. Please note, presets are re-callable on your physical Somfy remote by selecting the desired shade and then pressing the “my” button twice. It’s not a double-click like on a computer mouse but two distinct presses with a little pause into between. In other words, don’t tap it too fast otherwise it won’t register the double press

  8. Install the “I’m not bob Somfy-Shades” community device handler from the following URL: https://github.com/imnotbob/somfy-shades/ . I won’t repeat the installation instructions as not-Bob has already documented them.

  9. Once you’ve install the DTH, go back to to SmartThings webGUI (https://account.smartthings.com/), navigate to the “Devices” screen > click on one of your Somfy Window Shades > press the Edit button > change the Type* field from “Dimmer Switch” to “somfy-shades”. Press the update button and then repeat this step for all Somfy Window Shades.

  10. Click on one of your Somfy Shades in the Device list. Under the Device screen that lists all the properties, click on the “edit” button under the Preferences section. Type in “shades” (without the double quotes) in the text box and this will set the shadeType enumeration to shades. I don’t own any Somfy blinds so your mileage will vary if you’re reading this guide and programming blinds. I needed to do this step otherwise the preset doesn’t work.

  11. Under the Classic ST app, your Somfy shades will register as window shades and you’ll have a beautiful looking “Preset/Stop” button in addition to Open and Close.

  12. Under the new ST app, things aren’t looking as pretty, at the time of this writing (May 2020). You get the Open/Close/Pause Control via a gear control which is fine but certainly not ideal. The “Preset” looks like the logical choice for setting your window preset but sadly it throws a “Network or server error occurred. Try again later." Instead you need to use the “Shade Level” slider control which is not intuitive by any stretch of the imagination but it works. Just slide it to any random percentage of your choosing other than the current value and this will trigger the shade to move to the preset that you physically set with your Somfy remote and remembered by your Somfy motor.

  13. Under ActionTiles, add them as “Window Shade” instead of “Switch” and they’ll be modeled as Shades in AT. If you click on the name of the tile, you’ll get the details window, where you get the same goofy slider control for navigating to your window preset but it works.

  14. Under Alexa, you can now create a new routine like so:

  • Name: Bedroom Shades - Open
  • When you say: Alexa, open Bedroom Shades
  • Add Action: + > Smart Home > All Devices
  • Select the desired Window Shade or Shades
  • Set the desired percentage:
  • 100% == Open
  • 0% == Close
  • 50% == Preset
  1. Under the new ST app, you can create “Scenes” that act as shortcuts for closing / opening / presenting single or multiple shades with a press of a single button. Click on the hamburger button at the top of the new ST app and then select Scenes. It’s the same programming as Alexa: 100% is to open the shades, 50% is to preset your shades and 0% to close your shades.

  2. Under the new ST app, you can do some neat programming under “Automation” that is accessible via the hamburger icon too. For instance, before bedtime (say at 9:30pm every night) fully close two of my shades but preset my third shade to my desired level so I can open the window at night without fiddling with the shade position. Additionally, I have the ecobee thermostat with a remote ecobee sensor in our bedroom. I created another automation to fully close all our master bedroom shades if the temperature in our bedroom reaches 27 degC / 80 degF and there has hasn’t been any motion in the room for the last ten minutes (as to not freak out my wife with the shades auto closing if she’s in the bedroom). The idea of this last automation is to prevent our master bedroom from cooking on a hot day if all the window shades were open.

Side note: If your Somfy motors are making a clunking noise when opening the shades, you most likely have the physical top limit of the shade set too high and you should lower it until it stops making this noise. This can be quite jarring on the motor and perhaps affect the longevity of the motor. I have the Somfy Shades with the rechargeable battery packs. To reset the memory on these shades, hold down the physical light/button on the shades for 10 seconds until the shade jogs three times. I point this out because it was difficult for me to find this reset procedure online as it varies depending if you have AC power or battteries. Once resetting the shade, follow Otto’s instructions to re-program the shade including physical stop limits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jmaGn1vs1I

I hope this helps!

cheers,
Hershey :slightly_smiling_face:

5 Likes

Great write up thanks for sharing! I was able to get the “imnotbob” DH set up however for some reason the stop/preset is mixed up with the close button, IE when I click close it goes to my preset location and when I click preset it closes the blinds all the way. Also when I tell Alexa to turn the shades off (no custom routine set up) it moves them to my preset location not closed. Anyone have any ideas on what I am doing wrong or how I could edit the code? I am also using this with outdoor Somfy RTS solar shades not window blinds.

Lastly since mine are the outdoor solar shades which are exposed to the elements, I did set up an automation using webcore and accuweather to roll the shades up in the event that the wind reaches a set MPH. Probably worth mentioning as an idea for others since now I feel comfortable leaving the house with the shades down or even leaving them down at night to help reduce light inside the house.

how much does the Somfy ZRTSI ( Somfy Z-Wave to Radio Technology Somfy Interface) cost?

My dealer will sell them new for $175. You can pm me for details if you want their contact info. They are ridiculously expensive if you buy on amazon or from anywhere selling near MSRP. Apparently Lowe’s sells them under Bali blinds for cheap but it’s a special order item and only some employees will help you order, in store at their window/blind centers.

This is great… but as with a lot of UK/European based ST users, I can’t seem to find any clear explanation of how to get Connexoon or one of our controllers to work with ST properly. Whilst the ZRTSI seems to be the best bet, we can’t get that to over this side of the pond :frowning:

Have you looked into the Bond IR smart bridge? I’ve heard of people over on the control4 forums using that to control somfy blinds. Quick google search says that it works with smartthings. I’ve never tried it but just something you might want to look into.

Thank you so much for this guide. I’m struggling through this process with my new shades and ST. I got the Base Node included, but I keep getting a “Fail” notice on VNode 01 inclusion. I did go back and try holding down the select/OK button, but I’m still getting the “Fail”. And I’m doing this standing next to my ST.

Any hints on what I may be doing wrong here? Thank you in advance.

UPDATE: I succeeded in including all four of my channels (I reset, and started from the beginning). Now when I go to ST, the shades are not responding. (It’s also not showing the battery level, which tells me that it’s not connecting to the shade, for some reason.) I’ll keep fiddling. And thanks for this guide as it’s gotten me this far.

Update#2 - I figured out the process for registering the four screens with the ZRTSI but, of course, I can’t get the ZRTSI to communicate with the screens. I set the remote to screen 1, press the program button on the back and the screen jogs, then press the select button for Virtual 01 and the screen doesn’t see the signal (i.e. it doesn’t jog as it should upon seeing the ZRTSI signal.). So this is where I’m stuck now. And so close! Ugh!

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Great Write-Up. I was able to add 10 Somfy outdoor roller shades and they work well. I have not had any luck trying to get the group commands to work for the ZRTSI but will tackle that later. I did install the DTH to enable presets. I have 1 (well more than 1) quirky thing in that regardless of which shade I move, all of the Somfy shade status icons in ST update to the shade I just moved. So the status icons never match reality. This was happening even before the new DTH. Does anyone else have this issue ?
Thanks

@Hershey , thanks for the great instructions.
I was also using the sync app from:

this was working fine with the old ST app. But now with the new ST app, I can’T make any change to this smart app.
is there any experience on this ?
why can’T we modify the smart app settings ?

edit: solved
I had forgotten that I modified the DTH to remove window shade feature.
of course like that it doesn’t find the shades.

but why did I removed the window-shade capability ?
because it doesn’T work fine on Alexa

This is wonderful, thank you - I’m about to install my ZRTSI-based Somfy system in the next week or two. I have a couple of questions @Hershey:

  1. If I want to use just slider controls to set the shade level, do I need the DTH from imnotbob? Or can I get away with just setting the device type to “z-wave shade”? I won’t really use presets, I want to use the smartthings automations to set the shade levels at different heights under different circumstances.

  2. Does the “z-wave shade” device type report battery levels for each Somfy motor? Or, again, do I need the iamnotbob DTH?

  3. I plan to use the shades as groups of shades, rather than individually addressable shades. Does this cause problems with any of your instructions?

Thanks in advance.

R

This is where I am now

Rob, I did manage to get it all going and working and life is pretty good. (It does seem a bit of a simple-minded implementation, but it’s okay for now.)

Thank you for your work in putting this together for newbies like me.

Bruce

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What gets left out of this conversation, and what I think tripped up a few of us, is the horrible manual for the ZRTSI and how it glosses over steps to pair the RTS connection between the motors and the ZRTSI bridge. A couple of points of note:

A) use the select button on the ZRTSI to get to:
RTS Options->RTS Programming->(channel #)
B) select the channel on the motors you want to program in using the telis remote
C) press the program button the back of the telis until the shades on that channel jog
D) press the SELECT button on the ZRTSI until the blinking S appears
E) THIS IS WHAT THE MANUAL LEAVES OUT release the SELECT button the press it again quickly until the shades on that channel jog again
F) THIS IS WHAT THE MANUAL LEAVES OUT press the programming button on the back of the telis to get the shade motors out of programming mode
G) proceed to the next channel on the Telis
H) repeat B-F until all your channels are programmed into the ZRTSI

Steps E & F are left out of literally every manual, video demo, user comments and writeups on the internet. If you do not do these two steps, you will will either never program a single channel on the ZRTSI, you will crowd multiple RTS channels I to a single ZRTSI channel, or (and this is the bad part) you will accidently reprogram the telis remote.

Also missing from the internet? How to delete a motor(s) from a ZRTSI channel. To do this:

A) use the select button to get to:
RTS Options->RTS Programming->(channel #)
of the channel that contains the motors or groups you want to remove
B) select the channel on the motors you want to program in using the telis remote
C) press the program button the back of the telis until the shades on that channel jog
D) press the SELECT button on the ZRTSI until the blinking S disappears
E) release the SELECT button the press it again quickly until the shades on that channel jog again
F) press the programming button on the back of the telis to get the shade motors out of programming mode

It will delete the motor or group from that ZRTSI channel.

It took me two days of several hours each day to stumble across this crap. Somfy needs to learn how to hire a documentation writer.

I too greatly appreciate the guide and this conversation. I just installed shades and am awaiting my ZRTSI to integrate it with ST, and so all this information will doubtless save me hours of frustration.

Of course, why this s all so frustrating is a whole other topic. On that note, does the fact that the ST App suggests that I could add a Somfy device to my system play any role (I am referrinf to the fact that when I hit + and look by Brand, there is a Somfy button)?

Thanks again,
Doug

Great guide here thanks. However where can you buy Somfy motors from in the UK. I am after 3 for some Venetian wooden blinds that I want to convert

Any guidance would be appreciated

Thanks

So I have this working under the classic ST app with ZRTSI & imnotbob. It continues to work post-ST migration.

Is there any way - perhaps with a different DH - to raise or lower part way? I mean like not using a preset, but if the slider is at 20%, the blinds open 20%… 30% slider moves blinds to 30% open… etc…
TIA

I have my Blinds working in Smartthings through the ZRTSI except they read 0% battery. Any way to get a battery reading for my shades? Or if I cannot, remove the battery indicator in Smartthings?

No, sorry. The Somfy motors contain almost no intelligence, and are modeless - adding to that communication is unidirectional, meaning that the ZRTSI maintains all the states of each channel and sends commands based off of its understanding of the world. (It’s like the old world of IR remotes for home entertainment products - if you do anything to get it put of sync, you’re in momentary pain.

The unidirectional nature of the RTS protocol means you cannot probe the motors for positioning or battery information.

You will know your batteries need replacing when the shades stop moving. Big time suckage, but that’s how it is.