SmartThings Community

Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #1

Cick the blue link: March 8, 2017 - New Product Announcement

I have been a part of the smartthings community for only about three months, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting ideas and devices. I would like to introduce one that we have been working on and seems to fill in a need for some people:

Full Disclaimer: We are dealers of Graber products, all our products are made to order at custom sizes and options.

Video with SmartThings v2 hub:

Controlling Multiple Shades (Solar Shade on the left and Cellular Shade on the right)

Graber’s virtual cord shades utilize Z-Wave+ to operate. This means it can be directly integrated with Samsung’s SmartThings and other home automation systems. In SmartThings, it works as a dimmer switch so using Smart Lighting it should be able to run locally.

Motorization is manufactured by Somfy, but the system is designed by Graber (Springs Window Fashions)

If you are in the United States, please go to https://www.zebrablinds.com/smart-homes/smart-motorized-electric-shades
If you are in Canada, please go to https://www.zebrablinds.ca/smart-homes/smart-motorized-electric-shades-canada

Types of shades available with Z-wave Motors:

  • Cellular Shades
  • Pleated Shades
  • Natural Shades
  • Roller Shades
  • Dual Roller/Solar Shades (one shade in front, and an indpendent shade in the back)
  • Roman Shades
  • Solar Shades
  • Sheer/Zebra Sheer Shades (BRAND NEW LAUNCH ON MARCH 8, 2017)

Ordering Dual Roller/Solar Shades: We do accept orders for dual shades with the z-wave motors, however it is a custom quote for the time being. If you need them please email us on our site, or PM me here for a quote. Dual shades are basically two roller shades in the same casing, one in the front and the other in the back. They are available either with no valance, or a large cassette valance only.

If you have any questions, please get in touch, will be more than happy to help. I’ll be putting up additional videos soon showing the inclusion and exclusion process.

Coupons can be found here (updated on Oct 24, 2017): Graber Virtual Cord Shades: Z-Wave+ (Coupons)

Adding & Removing from SmartThings (or other Z-Wave HA systems)
Adding the shades to SmartThings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mTF8uF7jnE&feature=youtu.be
Removing the shades from SmartThings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omuZdQ9gNFE&feature=youtu.be

Installing the Shades on a window
General installation and other info: https://youtu.be/7M7tYf3KGd4
Unboxing & Installing Roller/Solar Shades on a window: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcVVGHDOfKA

General how to videos
Replacing Batteries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1pOjMVThP8
Note: When replacing batteries make sure the battery is installed with the correct polarity on both sides. Please pay attention to the symbols on the battery case (special thanks to @ashutosh1982 for pointing this out)

Trouble Shooting

  1. Oh no! I have connected my shades to smartthings but now it won’t go up and down by more than 3 inches. What do I do?
    Ans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtuimePrstE
  2. Oh no! My shade is possessed! Pressing up makes it go down and pressing down makes it go up, What do I do?
    Ans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akyaRLQfrjQ&feature=youtu.be
  3. The shades pair as a regular switch and not a dimmer switch. What do I do?
    Ans: Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  4. I need to completely reset my shade and start over, what do I do?
    Ans: To reset the shade, press and hold the button on the headrail. The button will flash green and eventually flash red. Once it cycles through all the colors and stops, the shade is reset. To double check simply tap the button and the shade will only move around 3 inches up or down.
    Notes to consider: When resetting the shade, its recommended to have the shade in a halfway open/close position vs fully open or fully closed; this makes things a lot easier to trouble shoot. Also when resetting a shade, you will have to repair the remote to the shade and set the upper and lower limits again.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the difference between a roller & solar shade?
    Check the following: Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades & Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  2. What is the difference between Even and Fashion Pleat shades?
    Check the following: Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  3. What are the available power options?
    Ans: Battery (8 or 16 AA 1.5V batteries, depending on a single or dual battery case, battery power recommended for 10 shades or less), DC Transformer (plugs into any wall outlet), or a 10 Motor power supply that you can use for custom wiring in your home.
  4. Can I use my own wiring for power?
    Ans: You can while using the following multi motor power supply: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62Iui2hJtitcHhITzRVWEtJb1U/view?usp=sharing
    Only the specs for the 12v power supply is relevant. The other’s do not apply to the z-wave shades. The power supply can power normal somfy motors or the z-wave motors. For the z-wave motors each multi motor unit can power up to 10 roller/solar, natural and roman shades and up to 8 cellular or pleated shades.
  5. Can I connect these to Amazon’s Echo or Google Home?
    Ans: Yes, you can. Connect your Echo or Google Home to ST and enable access in ST for Echo or Google Home to control them. They work exactly like a dimmer switch, so turn on/off and set a specific percentage level.

Compatible DH and SmartApps: All Credit goes to @whoismoses for his wonderful work!

  1. ST-Z-Wave-Somfy-Remote: Lets you use your z-wave virtual cord remote as/like a 2 button minimote. You can use it to trigger things, routines, CoRE pistons, etc.
  2. ST-Z-Wave-Shade: Shows additional information such as current battery levels and has preset open positions and one customizable preset.
  3. Shady - Group your shades & blinds and control as a single device

Once again, all credit for the DH and SmartApps go to @whoismoses who did an amazing job with them. I had no role in their creation and am simply listing them here (with permission) so it’s easier to find.

SmartThings User Feedback/Reviews:

  1. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  2. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades (includes a video)
  3. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  4. Graber Virtual Cord Shades: Z-Wave+ (Coupons)
  5. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades
  6. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades (includes a video)
  7. Z-Wave + integrated blinds/shades: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Shades

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(Jason) #2

How are they powered?


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #3

Two ways to power them:

  1. Battery powered, usually lasts 6 - 12 months depending on use. Batteries are replaceable, and you can purchase them with lithium ion batteries from us.
  2. Using a regular power outlet. Technically they can work as a repeater, however, it seems to be disabled and we’re working on enabling it (not sure when, though)

(Jason) #4

What kind of battery? Rechargeable?

120v ?


(Jason) #5

Also the evenpleat that can go top down or bottom up, are both controllable?


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #6

The batteries we include are not rechargeable. You can purchase your own and use them (uses 8AA batteries). We sell the shades without batteries as well (you can choose it when customizing).

Yes a 120v outlet. Its plug and play, and once again its an option you can choose.

Top Down Bottom Up is currently not available. Only normal bottom up is currently available. TDBU brings in a few complications.


(Jason) #7

Is this with the “single battery case” or the “dual battery case” ?

Could you still hardwire the battery models by ordering the transformer later? could 12v or 24v be used if it’s already near the device?

Sorry for barraging you with questions :slight_smile:


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #8

No worries.

6-12 months will last on a single battery case for smaller shades; the larger shades would require the dual battery case for 6 - 12 months. Our system should disable the single battery case past recommended sizes. You can order the transformer later and plug it in. It’s once again completely plug and play, you simply unplug the battery case and plug in the transformer. I believe the transformer is a 12v unit since the motor is 12v as well.


(Eric) #9

I want to order right now!


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #10

You can! :grin:once again these are made to order so manufacturing will take 3 - 7 days and it ships through Fedex.


#11

Very nice! I appreciate your straightforward description and acknowledgement of your commercial interest. I personally don’t have any problem with manufacturers and dealers presenting their products in a straightforward manner. To my mind that’s much better than people who try to sneak around and say they are just customers.

BTW, I didn’t see a mention of this on your website, but if someone is using this with SmartThings, they should also be able to use it with echo for voice control since it does appear as a dimmer. They could just say “Alexa, set bedroom shades to 50%” or whatever and it should work. :sunglasses:


(Eric) #12

I’ll look to see what deal you are offering for us ST folks, as I was about to goto Lowes and get Somfy stuff. :slight_smile:


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #13

It would work really well. I am using Alexa through an app called Roger and it’s working well. Will have a video of it up soon, as well as one showing the inclusion and exclusion mode.

One more note, the included remote runs on Z-wave as well, more details to follow soon.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #14

Will have a new post up soon in the deals section and will put a link in the original post.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #15

You can find the coupons here: Graber Virtual Cord Shades: Z-Wave+ (Coupons)

One thing I can tell you right now is Lowes or any of the big chains won’t be able to beat our prices (Based on customer feedback over the past 7 years). Also if they do, just send me the quote and I will see what I can do.


(Marc) #16

FWIW, I use Alexa through Smartthings for my Somfy motorized blinds and it works excellent. “Alexa, open the blinds”, “Alexa, close the blinds” and “Alexa, turn on tilt blinds” all work great. It’s my favorite integration to date.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #17

I just realized I forgot to add. The motorized components are manufactured by Somfy, but the system is designed by Graber and won’t be available with other manufacturers for a while as far as I am aware. Thought I should mention this since you mentioned going to lowes specifically for Somfy stuff.


#18

Any love for EU frequency?


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #19

As of now, no. Sorry about that. Currently, our target market is North America and we simply aren’t large enough to distribute outside of the NA and provide the same level of service.


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #20

Updated in original post as well but here is the video how-to for adding the shade to SmartThings: