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

No, I have borh blinds integrated to ST and the individual remotes for each blind are working also. I have a larger remote that operated both shades together. That was my primary control before I integrated the blinds to ST. I’D like to continuing to use the big remote when nevessary but not sure how to mate it to the two blinds.

So the steps would be the same. First add the remote to the ST network, then simply pair the remote to each shade using the steps shown here: https://youtu.be/8mTF8uF7jnE?t=1m58s

Some orders are experiencing delays between 1 - 5 days from the provided Estimated Shipping Date. Emails will be sent out over the next day to those we know are affected as of now.

@ZebraBlinds, Thanks for all your info in your posts. What are the current commands that work with Amazon Echo?

From what I read above this is what I have gathered:

Alexa, …
Shades On - Fully closes blinds
Shades Off - Fully opens blinds
Shades to 50% - Moves shade to 50% closed. (Is this in increments of 10%?)

  1. Are there any commands for “Align Shades”?
  2. I am pretty sure I read somewhere you can group the shades so you can command one or more based on group names rather than specific shade names. Am I able to say “Turn off Kitchen Shade” or “Turn off main floor shades”

Thanks.

@theredmoose
Shades can usually be moved to any percent (+/- 1 - 2%). So basically if you tell it to go to 12% for example it will usually end up between 11 and 13%.

  1. There is the following smartapp by @whoismoses that lets you do it on ST’s mobile app: [Release] Shady - Group your shades & blinds and control as a single device
    It basically lets you add all your shades into one group and if you tell it to move to a certain position all of them will move there. Using it you can tell the group to go to a certain position through Alexa.
    One thing you need to note is that the limitations for commands are between ST and Alexa. The shades themselves simply pair as a switch or dimmer switch, and have their capabilities. The following DH by @whoismoses brings additional features: https://github.com/ericvitale/ST-Z-Wave-Shade/tree/master but I don’t think it offers an align shade command through Alexa. To overcome that you might have to use a custom Alexa integration for ST such as AskAlexa or Echoassistant.

  2. See point 1.

What are you guys using for AA batteries for these shades? Personally this is one area I find that brands like Lutron & Qmotion have a big advantage in that they use way less batteries (large D cells) and they last longer. On these z-wave shades by Bali & Graber if you have a larger window you have to use an extra battery bank so that is 16 AA batteries per shade. So with 2 larger windows that is 32 AA batteries total! A lot to deal with!

Also you need to use Lithium Batteries according to the manual which are much more expensive.

Are most of you guys using rechargeables or throwaways? What has your experience been?

Lithium ion is recommended since after extensive testing from the manufacturer they lasted the longest. Your regular Alkaline batteries will work as well, not sure how long they are expected to last however. At our office we use 2800mah Nickel Zinc Batteries and it lasts us a good 6 - 8 months before needing a recharge. The only issue we have had with these is some arriving DOA and having to be replaced.

Edit: 2800mah… the 4000mah ones are just coming in for testing.
Edit 2: Also the battereis should be 1.5 - 1.6v. Without atleast 1.5v per battery the motor really won’t function and will be erratic.

Thanks for the reply. I find that having to replace 32 AA batteries every 6-8 months is a lot. But I guess it is the price you pay for the savings you get over the Lutron and other higher priced battery powered motorized shades.

If I will look into the Nickel Zinc batteries. The other issue I see is charging. I can only find 4 bank chargers for NiZn batteries? an 8 or 16 bank would certainly be a lot easier due to having to use so many batteries.

Ya, that is a minor issue with those. We basically have 4 of them.

Neal where do you buy the batteries?

We got ours off of amazon, from a company called ultracell. We are looking for a more reliable source though, its almost always out of stock or over priced by third parties.

What does railrodable mean? Does it mean it can be put into a track to block out any light gap on the sides?

Nope, so what railroadable means is if the width you are ordering is wider than the width of the fabric itself, it can be flipped so that the height of the fabric becomes the width of the shade and the width of the fabric becomes the height. This won’t apply to the z-wave motors since none of the roller’s that go with the motor allow railroading.

Also if you are pricing these on our site remember to put the SmartThings coupon in your cart, or it will just give you 7% off rather than 12%.

Ordered a few for the bedroom last night as a trial. Excited to try them out, but the battery life seems disappointing and a poor design using AA cells. All in all seemed like a better option than the somfy bridge or whatever. I have some things on D cells that operate daily for years without changing batteries out. I’m thinking automatic kitchen trash can lid, automatic pet feeders, etc.

Not sure why, but Somfy only supports the AA or a plugin transformer on these. Depending on the batteries and use they should get through 6 - 12 months of use (manufacturer rating). I always suggest going for the dual battery cases or plugin transformer.

Do you offer arched blinds as well or only straight top blinds?

We currently don’t offer special shapes with the z-wave motors (or any motors), but depending on the window there might be options available. Can you PM me an image of the window?

This is quite interesting and I am looking forward to ordering a few of these shades. I read through all the posts in this thread and could not find an answer to these questions.

  1. Do the shades have clutch chain in addition to the motor? If not, what are the options to use this shade in case the motor fails or batteries run out and I don’t have time to recharge/replace them? Am I stuck with the last state of the shades until the motor is fixed?

  2. If the motor fails, does graber replace it and how much does that cost?

  3. Do you have any coupons for non-motorized shades too. I have a room with 8 windows. I would like to get 4 Z-wave blinds for windows facing the sun and matching non-motorized shades for the other 4 windows.

Thanks