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

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.


  1. No, they don’t. I am not aware of any motorized shades that do come with a clutch and chain (from the manufacturer). Usually, the motor directly replaces the clutch, so there simply isn’t enough room for it. If the motor fails or the batteries run out, the shade will stay in its last position until either is replaced.

  2. If the motor (or anything on the shade for that matter) fails during the warranty period Graber will either replace the shade or the motor (depending on how easy it is to replace the motor). The warranty period on the motor and fabric is 5 years. For any warranty claims all you really do is contact us at which point we will do some basic troubleshooting, sometimes over video (depending on if the problem seems unusual) and after verification, we take care of processing the claim with Graber. Generally speaking, their customer service is excellent and they stick by their products, they are also the second or third largest window covering manufacturer in North America so they have a pretty good rep (and from our experience, they are one of the best companies in this industry to deal with). Most motorized replacements for warranty will also generally include an RMA label so that the original motor or shade can be taken back for examination. The only time this is not done is usually if the reason for replacement is excessive damage from shipping (we had one case from the ST community where FedEx delivered what seemed like something that went to hell and back).

  3. For non-motorized products, we have priced them as low as possible and any discounts are auto applied by the site.

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We’re just about ready to do our low voltage wiring for our new home build, and I was wanting to obtain a bit more information on the home-run motor before we buy a few (we have 14 or so windows we’d like to run power to initially). For example, I’ve seen mentioned 2 conductor 12-18 AWG wire depending on the run length, but would in-wall speaker cable work for that since it comes in those gauges and # of wires in the cable? I’ve got more questions regarding the cable runs as well, but let’s start with that. Sorry also of this is the wrong place for questions like this.


Pmed (10 char)

Are the dual battery cases different than the single or are they ‘daisy chained’? i.e. Could you purchase a single battery case and then buy another one in the future to make it a dual?

Also I saw on the Graber site they have a solar power option? Does this work with the virtual cord blinds?

Daisy Chained. Solar is only for the RTS motors, won’t work with z-wave/virtual cord.

If they are Daisy chained then you can buy the single battery case and then buy an additional battery case later if you want longer between recharge periods?

Yep, you can add an additional battery case later on. For some sizes, we do force you to choose dual battery cases.

Got our first pair of blinds today. Installation was a snap and the sizing was perfect. They look really nice. Pairing with ST and changing from switch to dimmer wasn’t bad after watching one of the videos in the original post. Will likely be looking do do a lot more windows soon. It would be nice to save a few bucks and not get the remote included. I don’t see ever using them and most of the windows will be operated in sets of 2 or 4 so I will end up with dozens of those little remotes hah.

The batteries are still bothering me a bit. 30ish windows in the house so that’s like 500 AA batteries to keep up with, seems insane. I really wish our builder had put in hard wiring for motorized blinds.

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Which shades did you purchase? The batteries are an issue when you have that many windows (especially since Somfy only supports AA’s on these), do you have any outlets close to some of your windows? If you do you can change them to a plugin transformer. It comes with a 72" lead and a 96" extension so it can go quite far.

For the remote, there really isn’t an option to get it without the remote currently since these are also meant for users without a HA system; so Graber doesn’t give us the option to not include the remote. On the plus side using the DH by @whoismoses on the original post you can repurpose them to control lights etc.

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