Author Topic: Anyone using z-wave blinds  (Read 35554 times)

Offline akashk

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Anyone using z-wave blinds
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:34:44 am »
Guys, are any of you using any sort of motorized blinds with vera? I am thinking of getting some for my house. Any insight on what to get and where would be appreciated.
Thx....

Offline strangely

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 11:20:55 am »
cue @shady... :)
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Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2010, 07:53:06 pm »
see my post here:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=4846.msg26731#msg26731

There are a couple ways of doing this, did you want to buy the shades to have them installed or are you more of a DIY person?
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Offline akashk

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 07:49:41 am »
see my post here:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=4846.msg26731#msg26731

There are a couple ways of doing this, did you want to buy the shades to have them installed or are you more of a DIY person?

I am building a new home, so yes I would get them installed during construction.

Offline akashk

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 07:55:59 am »
BTW shady, I am looking at the cheaper version for the blinds. $1000 greenies /window is a but much for my initial budget. 8). Would you be kind enough to point me in the right direction for parts etc with links if possible. I need to let the contractor know in the next couple of days.

Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 11:41:04 am »
If you are building new, then I would recommend getting the pre-wire in now.  Normally I would recommend running 110VAC and a Cat5/5e/6 (one of those three choices) daisy-chained between each shade location and bringing the Cat5 back to an area that would be where your automation systems would go.  This would give you a lot of options and allow you to use AC or DC (low voltage) motors.

If you are sold on using low voltage shades (typically a smaller product profile and fits inside mount in a window, but has shade size limitations) , then home-run a 4-Conductor (each 16 guage) cable from each shade location, back to the central automation area.  You have to be careful with low voltage as it can suffer from voltage drop in long distances, but 16 gauge wire helps avoid voltage drop.  Try to keep runs under 100 ft. 

For the shades, you might give me some ideas what you wee looking at (rollers, romans, cellular, etc) and I can tell you what motors to use and how it will be wired.
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Offline akashk

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 10:39:25 am »
Hey shady...thanks much for the reply. Kind of lost this thread among other things I have going on.
As far as shades go, I am a complete novice so don't know where to start. To be honest, don't even know the difference between romans/cellular etc. ::).

I am going to try it out at a few hard to reach windows rather than the whole house. Somehow, I feel a bit hesitant about having power outlets on top of all my windows.
How about the battery operated shades? Any particular disadvantage vs the 110VAC? I am thinking maybe 4-6 battery operated shades with the appropriate z-wave controllers. I am leaning more towards the cellular shades (mostly due to price point). BTW, why do I need the ethernet runs to these locations?

@mbairhead, did you decide on your blinds setup?

Offline akashk

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 10:45:42 am »
BTW...here are some motorized shades options from an online store. Guess all this would need would be a controller eh!
http://www.shadesshuttersblinds.com/remote-control-window-blinds.asp

Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 01:16:16 pm »
Hey shady...thanks much for the reply. Kind of lost this thread among other things I have going on.
As far as shades go, I am a complete novice so don't know where to start. To be honest, don't even know the difference between romans/cellular etc. ::).

I am going to try it out at a few hard to reach windows rather than the whole house. Somehow, I feel a bit hesitant about having power outlets on top of all my windows.
How about the battery operated shades? Any particular disadvantage vs the 110VAC? I am thinking maybe 4-6 battery operated shades with the appropriate z-wave controllers. I am leaning more towards the cellular shades (mostly due to price point). BTW, why do I need the ethernet runs to these locations?

@mbairhead, did you decide on your blinds setup?


You'll want to stay away from battery solutions IMHO.  The battery motors typically won't work with Z-Wave controllers, and come with either an IR or Radio (RTS with Somfy) controller built-in.  Somfy (a major tubular motor manuf. in the industry) has announced that they'll be coming out with a Z-Wave to RTS bridge, but I am not sure it will support moving the shade to different percentages in the window (dimming, in a way).  RTS does support one intermediate stop in the window, a MY position which may work through the bridge.  That would be a way to have battery motors operated through Z-Wave.  If you can wire for low voltage motors, with a power supply, and Z-Wave motor controller I think that would give you the best performance and integration into Vera, and you won't be waiting on that Somfy part.
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Offline akashk

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 01:59:47 pm »

Quote
If you can wire for low voltage motors, with a power supply, and Z-Wave motor controller I think that would give you the best performance and integration into Vera, and you won't be waiting on that Somfy part.

OK then, low voltage motor with a power supply it is then. I think my electrician is going to throw a fit when he learns he has to provide power at each of the windows (bigger fit if has to install ethernet at each of those locations too) :P...oh well.

Now for the fun stuff into a bit more of the specifics...
- I assume the power outlets need to be above the window so it can sort of be hidden behind the shades? Regular power supply as the rest of the outlets I guess? Any one location better than the other?
- Do I still need cat 6 cables at each of these locations and if so why?
- I could use regular roller or cellular shades (say from Home Depot) and attach the motor and the controller and be good to go, or do I need some specific shades that will work with the motor?
- Say if I want to operate the shades on multiple windows at the same time, could I get by using one controller for those windows (I know...I know I am trying to be cheap here)
- Can I keep the cost below $500/window with all of this? If not, might as well get my lazy a** moving and work the shades manually ;D ;D

Lastly, thanks for all your input shady.....appreciate the help!!

Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 04:30:21 pm »
First, $500 per window may not work out including wiring, motors, power supplies, and controllers.  As far as the electrician goes, make sure you get a guy that is comfortable running low voltage.  For instance, alarm installers have no problem getting low voltage wire to every door and window with a minimal amount of dry wall holes. 

Cat5/6 wire would only be needed for wired control and I mentioned it only if you were having them run line voltage to every window, then it would make sense to pay a little more and add Cat5/6 to it as a back-up to using wireless control.  Just like for low voltage motors I recommend a 16-4 cable so you have 2 wires for DC power and 2 wires for communication (as a backup to radio).  That way you only pay the electrician once ;)

If you are OK without needing a backup wired solution, then for DC low voltage motors you'll only need a 16-2 going from wherever the power supply resides to the motor location in the window.  For example, you could get the low voltage from the window, down the wall, to run under the baseboard to a location where you could have a low voltage type "mud-ring" data plate in the wall to hide your controller behind a wall plate and have the power supply wire continue from there down the baseboard to the next available power outlet where a wire could come from behind the baseboard up to a wall-wart plug-in power supply.

It is possible to run several DC motors off of one DC controller, but you'll only get group operation.  You probably want to stick with 2 motors per controller to be safe as I'm not sure what the relays in the controller are rated to and motors and loads can vary.

By getting your own roller shades and adding a motor off of the internet you just need to be concerned with getting a motor crown and drive adapter that fit the tube profile you got with the Home Depot shades.  With an LT-30 Somfy battery motor for instance, the 30 is for the 30mm diameter of the tubular motor and at roughly 1 1/8" it would go typically be installed in a 1 1/2" tube with the adapters that match the tube profile and diameter.
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Offline snowhite

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 02:27:31 pm »
Hi Shady,

I have a condo that is just under renovation so any type of cables can be run. However there are like 9 separate windows on first floor and 9 more on second floor (it's a penthouse). Object is to try to keep costs to minimum as it's being sold but automate all the windows.

Please let me know the cabling option as I am allowed to run cat5e all the way to communication room and also 16 gauge power wire. Whatever keeps my costs low would be good. So, I need to know if I not using Z-Wave for shades then what am I am using at the control room to control the shades?

Below are pictures of the windows - This is all one window separated in 9 parts:
http://i48.tinypic.com/153pt3m.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/2ivbuj9.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/ofu8hf.jpg
http://i45.tinypic.com/kdsi14.jpg
http://i46.tinypic.com/nbp6ae.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/21o3tra.jpg
http://i46.tinypic.com/3325n46.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/2ag9pxi.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/34intra.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/2ynrnro.jpg

Your input is much appreciated.

Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 06:20:15 pm »
It helps to know what type of window treatment you want.  Roller shades, venetian blinds, romans, drapes etc.  Sometimes Somfy RTS motors are the best way to go since you'll have all of the accessories available and you can still control it through Vera (either with an URTSII or ZRTSI or relays controlling a Single Ch RTS Interface (aka Handheld Remote w wires attached)).
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Offline snowhite

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 12:33:20 pm »
Thanks a lot for the feedback Shady.

Roller shades are what we are going to use.
I am very new to all the technologies you mentioned in your post. Here is my understanding of controlling shades:

1- You can have a motor that has z-wave built in so no cables needed, just power and comes with all accessores to control the shade.
2- You get a manual motor which moves the shades when power is applied to it so it's power input has to be controlled by some control in electric room and then the controller somehwere "?" will connect to MicasaVerde.

Please help me understand both above scenarios. I really appreciate your thoughtful insights.


Thanks
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 03:20:12 pm by snowhite »

Offline shady

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Re: Anyone using z-wave blinds
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 11:19:16 am »
Sorry for the late reply.  You are correct that you can use a 50mm (motor diameter) motor with Zwave built-in so it just plugs into power.  Also you can use a standard AC 4wire motor (40mm-60mm) and add an external controller, or a DC motor (25mm-50mm) with an external Zwave DC motor controller.  Feel free to PM me questions.
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