Vera - Smarter Home Control Forum

General => Blinds & Window Covering Control => Topic started by: Aaron on February 04, 2016, 12:55:58 am

Title: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on February 04, 2016, 12:55:58 am
I'm looking at getting 16 cellular shades - 9 in one room and 7 in another.

If you have these, or have done comparisons I'm interested in your feedback / experience.

Control-ability?  (start/stop locations, presets, synchronizing multiples in same room, etc)
Noise level?
What works well with Vera?

etc.

thank you for the help!

Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: zwavemotors on February 05, 2016, 01:12:18 pm
QMotion motorizes cellular shades, if you can wait a little, they have Z-Wave native in the works
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on February 05, 2016, 04:37:39 pm
QMotion motorizes cellular shades, if you can wait a little, they have Z-Wave native in the works

I can wait but price is a huge factor. Legrand (who owns Qmotion) has always been the high-price leader (with average quality IMO) of sorts and Gen1 products are often still working out serious bugs (or lack features) ... so I have some early concerns that I realize may not be an issue but I'm not sure I want to be a 'beta tester' ;-) unless the prices are VERY favorable.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: zwavemotors on February 08, 2016, 07:51:31 am
Legrand has owned QMotion for less than 2 months, so not a factor
Features wise, QMotion is one of the most innovative motorization solution but they only sell through dealers and price is on high side (probably why Legrand bought them?)
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on February 14, 2016, 10:06:29 pm
Has no one compared Lutron with Somfy ?
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on April 27, 2016, 10:03:43 pm
Well, I'm going to post this here.  Through May 5th, Lutron Serena shades are on sale direct through their website, www.serenashades.com.  Orders of 3 or less shades are 20% off and free shipping  with coupon code Smartshades20.  Orders of 4 or more are 25% off with free shipping with a different code- Smartshades25.    This is the best deal I have seen for these in the last year.   I hope someone finds this helpful.  I used the code and got f4 shades for the price of 3.  The shipping would have been 60$, so I saved that as well. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on April 28, 2016, 10:49:32 am
I looked at the Serena Shades but found them to be much too bulky, specifically the bottom rail was 1 1/2" deep, even for a 3/8 cellular. Did you find out anything different? They would be my preferred units, but for this issue.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on April 28, 2016, 06:53:51 pm
I looked at the Serena Shades but found them to be much too bulky, specifically the bottom rail was 1 1/2" deep, even for a 3/8 cellular. Did you find out anything different? They would be my preferred units, but for this issue.

Here is what I can say about it.... I have had 1 battery version shade for a little over one year.  It has been paired with a staples hub, set to open about 80% at sunrise and close at sunset.  It is in a location I can only access by a ladder, with great difficulty.  It has operated without problem since the start.  I am very thankful for that.

As I look up at it now, the bottom rail does appear to be larger than other cellular shades I have. 
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on April 28, 2016, 07:06:55 pm
That's the problem, I have them running in a vertical track (actually 2 corner moldings) to guide them around the handle of the window and to do a better job of keeping air circulation away from the windows. If the bottom rail is that large the track has to be that much wider and then stick out from the window that much further. A design characteristic that does not appeal to my wife. So my search for motorized cellular shades goes on.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on April 28, 2016, 11:53:54 pm
That's the problem, I have them running in a vertical track (actually 2 corner moldings) to guide them around the handle of the window and to do a better job of keeping air circulation away from the windows. If the bottom rail is that large the track has to be that much wider and then stick out from the window that much further. A design characteristic that does not appeal to my wife. So my search for motorized cellular shades goes on.
Interested to see how you did this... Can you please post a pic?

I've been thinking about putting in some sort of plastic track for whatever I get.

These prices look pretty good with the sale
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on April 29, 2016, 08:25:40 am
Aaron, I'm leaving this morning for a week. when I get back I'll post the pictures for you.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on May 01, 2016, 06:30:18 pm
I'm going to call Lutron and ask about the size. I just priced 6 shades (4 different sizes) and they came to $350 each after discount for the light blocking cellulars. Seems like a good deal.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on May 13, 2016, 12:50:28 pm
Still looking for input.. can't decide.

Lutron vs Shades that integrate Somfy motors + Somfy ZRTSI RTS 16 Channel Z-Wave to RTS Plug-in Interface Wall Module  (the manufacturer doesnt offer the Zwave motor version).

With the Lutron...
Can you save one or more presets for open/closed height on the remotes?
Are you just create different scenes in the Vera for different heights?

<I'm wondering the same on the Somfy>


thanks!
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on May 13, 2016, 07:10:27 pm
What is your time line on the decision?  I have 4 lutron Serena on order.   Don't expect them to arrive before the end of the month.   I can try to assist you when the arrive and I get a chance to install.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on May 18, 2016, 09:36:29 am
Serena on Sale again through June 7th.

20% off your order of shades + free shipping, doesn't apply to the hub or light switches. 

From the website pop-up:

"SUMMERVACA coupon code expires end of day 6/7/16. 20% discounts do not apply to the Smart Bridge required for mobile control, Smart Bridge Kits or Caseta Wireless Light controls. Offers cannot be combined or applied to previously purchased product and are valid on Direct Consumer orders placed on SerenaShades.com only. Free Shipping offered on orders shipping to the 50 U.S. states. Shade Specialists are available seven days a week (M-F 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST, S-S 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.)."



If my prior order arrives in time for me to test it out, I will post answers to some of the questions here as best as I can. 
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on May 18, 2016, 12:59:39 pm
Aaron,
Got around to taking the pix of the tracks. I'm taking them down because I'm ordering the Hunter Douglas units. Let me know if you have any questions. They worked great, just be sure to allow enough "wiggle" room for the bottom rails to move smoothly.

Just for everyone's FYI, I went with HD because of the dimensions of the bottom rail, they were smaller by about 1/2 inch from the Lutron units.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on May 18, 2016, 07:12:21 pm
I have been looking at Lutron and alternatives - Bali and other companies that integrate Somfy

I don't have any shades in my house but here's what I found from my research - please feel free to correct or add info! Thx

LUTRON

Positives:
- good price
- reviews say this is a quiet & good quality motor
- battery integrated into the headrail
Negatives:
- Thin cell material
- Only Single Cell for Light Blocking
- thicker lower rail than normal?

BALI & similar Somfy integrated brands...

Positives:
- Materials look the same or better at similar cost as Lutron (with sales) or bulk discounts for ETailers
- Home Depot & Lowes to back them up
- Lowes has $99 flat install fee covers ALL purchased shades, no matter how many.
- Double Cell Light Blocking that provide much better thickness of material and better insulation value (R2 or so better)
Negatives:
- Batteries are separate, not integrated; will need to find a way to hide
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on May 18, 2016, 09:13:32 pm
I have been looking at Lutron and alternatives - Bali and other companies that integrate Somfy

I don't have any shades in my house but here's what I found from my research - please feel free to correct or add info! Thx

LUTRON

Positives:
- good price
- reviews say this is a quiet & good quality motor
- battery integrated into the headrail
Negatives:
- Thin cell material
- Only Single Cell for Light Blocking
- thicker lower rail than normal?

BALI & similar Somfy integrated brands...

Positives:
- Materials look the same or better at similar cost as Lutron (with sales) or bulk discounts for ETailers
- Home Depot & Lowes to back them up
- Lowes has $99 flat install fee covers ALL purchased shades, no matter how many.
- Double Cell Light Blocking that provide much better thickness of material and better insulation value (R2 or so better)
Negatives:
- Batteries are separate, not integrated; will need to find a way to hide
I will measure the lower rail when it arrives for you.   I only ordered single cell.   2 light blocking,  2 normal thin.   All are white.   I actually have one single cell light blocking one now,  but it it very hard to access.   Requires me to go on an extension ladder, which is difficult for me. It is also running on a Staples connect v2 hub,  and I am moving to the lutron hub.   

Did you know lutron now does roller shades?

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on May 20, 2016, 11:08:11 pm
I have been looking at Lutron and alternatives - Bali and other companies that integrate Somfy

I don't have any shades in my house but here's what I found from my research - please feel free to correct or add info! Thx

LUTRON

Positives:
- good price
- reviews say this is a quiet & good quality motor
- battery integrated into the headrail
Negatives:
- Thin cell material
- Only Single Cell for Light Blocking
- thicker lower rail than normal?

BALI & similar Somfy integrated brands...

Positives:
- Materials look the same or better at similar cost as Lutron (with sales) or bulk discounts for ETailers
- Home Depot & Lowes to back them up
- Lowes has $99 flat install fee covers ALL purchased shades, no matter how many.
- Double Cell Light Blocking that provide much better thickness of material and better insulation value (R2 or so better)
Negatives:
- Batteries are separate, not integrated; will need to find a way to hide

My shades arrived today.  I installed one of the shades so I could give you some feedback and information. 

1.  I have attached several pictures.  One picture is of part of the instructions concerning set points for a Pico remote.  You can set the max open and max close levels.  You can set a "favorite" position, i.e. 50% open.  I dont know yet if you can do more than one favorite, but you can make scenes in the lutron app which seem to allow you to set to whatever percentage you want (I have walked through the set up procedure for this, but not actually run  it).    Percentage increments are at 1%, so you have lots of control here.

2.  Size of the bottom rail.  It measures about 40 mm, or about 1 9/16th of an inch.  By way of comparison, what I replaced was 28mm, or about 1 1/8 inch thick. 

3.  Material size and quality.  See the photo for this.  I think the cells are large.   I choose the cheapest option of this shade -- light filtering and standard color/material single cell.  I dont know how to really evaluate the quality of it.  I am going to look at it again tomorrow and try to give an opinion, but my initial impression was that it was thin.

4.  Using lutron standard hub with caseta connect plugin to show up in Vera.  The Echo supports lutron lights, but apparently not the Serena shades yet.  As such, I then used the Echo bridge to Vera for voice control.     It works but is awkward so far -- i need to work on this more. 

Those are my first opinions and impressions. I am exhausted as I type this , so hopefully what I wrote is making sense.  Ask me whatever you like and I will try to test it for you if I can.


EDIT:  some files now attached
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: NickTheGreat on June 15, 2016, 12:17:46 pm
@Wekurtz74

How is your control end going on this?  I have new windows and am starting to look into shades.

My WAF isn't real high on this and won't be if it's some convoluted hodge-podge system. 

Just trying to figure out my options.  I'd really only have a couple shades around the house that could even justify it. 
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on June 15, 2016, 04:47:10 pm
@Wekurtz74

How is your control end going on this?  I have new windows and am starting to look into shades.

My WAF isn't real high on this and won't be if it's some convoluted hodge-podge system. 

Just trying to figure out my options.  I'd really only have a couple shades around the house that could even justify it.
I have been very busy with work the last 4 weeks, so I haven't had much time to do a lot with it.  I have installed the 4  shades, they are operational under the lutron hub, and with the caseta bridge, they show up under ui7 in my vera Plus.  I understand you question to mean that you don't want a system that is convoluted, non intuitive, and basically more trouble than it is worth.

I use the lutein app to set up automatic actions, like opening and closing at certain times, and certain times in relation to sunrise and sunset.  I figure this saves me wear and tear, so to speak, on the Vera. 

Lutein hub integrates with Amazon echo, but as of yet, the Serena shades are not controllable directly.  I have tried some limitedvcontrol through the echo bridge, but need to refine it more to see if this is viable. 


@Wekurtz74

How is your control end going on this?  I have new windows and am starting to look into shades.

My WAF isn't real high on this and won't be if it's some convoluted hodge-podge system. 

Just trying to figure out my options.  I'd really only have a couple shades around the house that could even justify it.


Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: zebrablinds on June 22, 2016, 09:02:27 am
Hey Guys,

New to the forum, I am an avid smartthings user and been using smartthings for 6 months. We've recently introduced z-wave integrated shades (so no hub or bridge required). It integrates as a dimmer switch and offers full control. The shades are manufactured by Graber and the Motors are by Somfy.

Here is a video showing how it works with smartthings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWK9w3aOb7k
Adding the shade to SmartThings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mTF8uF7jnE

The shades work with most z-wave home automation systems. not sure if I am allowed to post actual product links, if some one can point me to the forum rules on this I can put up an actual post. For additional info please check the following smartthings forum thread I am currently maintaining: https://community.smartthings.com/t/z-wave-integrated-blinds-shades-custom-graber-virtual-cord-shades/49886
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: lay3r3 on January 20, 2017, 10:45:12 pm
I'm reviving this thread from the dead... about to embark on new window treatments for several rooms.  Thought if there is a time to go with connected blinds or something, this is it. 

I'd love to hear what those of you on the fence did and how you feel... And for those who already had a decision, how has the product held up over the last handful of months?

Like someone else said, my wife won't be on board if it's unreliable.  But if I could tie it into scenes for automated function that may be the winner. 
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Wekurtz74 on January 21, 2017, 03:40:42 pm
I'm reviving this thread from the dead... about to embark on new window treatments for several rooms.  Thought if there is a time to go with connected blinds or something, this is it. 

I'd love to hear what those of you on the fence did and how you feel... And for those who already had a decision, how has the product held up over the last handful of months?

Like someone else said, my wife won't be on board if it's unreliable.  But if I could tie it into scenes for automated function that may be the winner.

Hey, I have 5 Lutron Serena battery operated shades in use.  In general I am pleased with them.  They are paired to the Lutron caseta hub, and then into Vera via the casetaconnect plugin.  Using the HAbridge, echo/Alexa control is possible (at present direct control via Alexa and the Lutron hub is not supported)

Some thoughts:  opening and closing is generally slow.  If you have to rush over to the window and move the shades up, you can do it a lot faster manually (edit, by this I mean on regular Manual shades].  I find the ones I am most pleased with are in low use rooms and areas which are inaccessible.  In the low use rooms, automated actions are useful.  In the inaccessible area, this is the only feasible way to regulate light from that window.

My Vera unit is a little temperamental with the plugin, although recent version are better.  Basically, the plugin would stop working.  I sometimes have to uninstall then reinstall.  This would require me to place the shades in the proper rooms again.   I would also need to reconfigure the HA bridge and Alexa.  For 5 shades, it's not a big deal. 

Ask me questions, I'll try to answer


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on January 23, 2017, 03:19:03 pm
I have the Hunter Douglas Powerview shades. In theory, and most of the time, they are great. I (with a large assist from this community) figured out how to get them to operate via VeraPlus, though that process has left residual stuff on my Vera that a tech and I are trying to clear out.

Had a major issue with them over the weekend (after about 6 months). Hunter Douglas is working the problem and will have a solution shortly (they say).

All in all, I think that the HD remote control system, alone, is pretty stable. The phone app, which is the only way to automate them, leaves something to be desired, not a lot of options for customizing actions other than timing. The vera system allows much more flexibility with a learning curve if you don't know LUUA coding.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: digital76 on February 01, 2017, 12:41:52 pm
Hey All... I'm glad to see this thread got revived. I have some related questions I'm hoping you all will have some experience with.

We are currently building a new home, and I'm trying to integrate as much Smart-Home functionality as I can, with the least amount of physical components. I don't want a big hodgepodge of different components and protocols to deal with. With that said, the basis of my home automation network will be based on Apple's HomeKit. Everything we have purchased so far, or plan to purchase, integrates perfectly with HomeKit and accomplishes what I want.

When it comes to Smart Shades, things get a little more complex. I have decided that I want to standardize on Lutron shades, because they have a Caseta Hub that is HomeKit enabled, so we'll be able to integrate blinds, lights, and now Hunter fans into our HomeKit enabled system.

My one issue is that in one of our rooms, we have a 12 foot wide (144") transom window. It's huge. The only motorized shade I can get that fits a window that big is Bali. As mentioned earlier, they are available and supported by Lowes and Home Depot, which is a major plus. Since Bali is powered by Somfy, I checked their webpage, and supposedly Somfy systems are compatible with Lutron Caseta, although multiple adapters are required.

Has anyone had any experience with getting a Bali/Somfy share to work correctly with a Lutron Caseta hub? Or does anyone have a better suggestion for a HomeKit compatible shade that will go up to 144"?

TIA.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: remodeling2017 on February 20, 2017, 12:49:59 pm
Hi,

We also have wide and tall spaces and are also remodeling our house. And, I'm wondering what decision you have made about your wide shades and what vendors you chose to use, as we also have some very wide areas.

I am weighting the higher price of Hunter Douglass and Powerview, as well as fabric choices for rollers shades, against ease of setting scenes and times lags (potentially) with hardwired solutions for Lutron, Somfy with Bali or Graber, or Q Motion. I would appreciate  any input you have on this issue.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on February 20, 2017, 10:33:11 pm
Remodeling2017 -

How wide is wide? I've got two HD powerview shades (duette honeycomb) that are about 60" wide and about the same in height. I can get the exact numbers if you need. I'm supplying the required 18v via hard wire to a central power supply rather than using their battery packs or bricks. Can't say that I've had any difficulties with the individual shades. Initially one of the large shades did not have the lower limits set properly, it would almost close, but not quite. Fixed it by resetting the limit via their clear instructions. I did have an issue with the hub, but that has been cleared up (I hope!) with a replacement hub that HD provided at no charge. Tech support was fine, though they never gave me a specific cause of my mysterious problems. They were more than happy to send the replacement hub and offered to hand hold the change over, but I didn't need it.

Make sure you have enough repeaters, that was the advice I got. You get one with the hub and I bought 2 more. I've got a hand-held pebble and two wall mounted controllers for 3 rooms of shades. I bought a scene controller, but I never used it. Once I got control via my VeraPlus I don't use the HD app, but you need the app to get the scenes set up via the hub. I don't believe you can get Vera to control the shades without the HD Hub.

I like the HD Powerview line because the header is very small, the width of the units is quite small. I was able to mount them in a home made track that is not intrusive at all. The track helps to keep the shade aligned, miss the window handles at the bottom, and when the window is open and the shade is part way down (during the summer) it keeps the shade from blowing around.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on February 21, 2017, 12:46:29 am
I like the HD Powerview line because the header is very small, the width of the units is quite small. I was able to mount them in a home made track that is not intrusive at all. The track helps to keep the shade aligned, miss the window handles at the bottom, and when the window is open and the shade is part way down (during the summer) it keeps the shade from blowing around.

Sounds cool, and what I may want to do... Can you post of photos of the track?
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on February 21, 2017, 11:06:03 am
Aaron, scroll to the top of this page, I posted pictures of the "track" a while ago. They are made out of 2 pcs of outside corner molding. What I did was put two pcs on one side of the window and the inside pc of the opposite side in, then mounted the shade, then added the final piece of track. Makes it tough to remove the shade if there's a problem, but makes a really nice finish to the installation.
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: Aaron on February 21, 2017, 11:10:29 am
I see it... looks good. My window wells are not as deep; 2x4 construction, not 2x6 :(

Did you do direct wire power or battery?  My concern is I have several windows in a row (2 sets of 4) and hiding the battery packs might be tough. Not sure how big the packs are
Title: Re: Somfy vs Lutron Serena?
Post by: XA44Owq26HxCq88 on February 21, 2017, 12:40:08 pm
I did a direct wire to an 18V power supply in another room, which is plugged into a UPS, so even if the power goes out, I can still operate the shades. I used 18ga wire from each shade to the power supply, which is more than adequate to run the shades. This wiring was done many years ago in anticipation of powered shades.

The "brick" that is supplied with the windows is larger than a laptop computer brick, but the shades also have the option of a battery pack (one per unit) that is clipped onto the shade top rail, on the glass side, so it's not seen. Very clever. They provide the initial batteries (plain AA, 12 each I believe). You must choose one or the other, I went with the battery packs and now have a lifetime supply of AA batteries. I don't use them so I can't speak to longevity.

My construction is 2x4, so the depth of the windows is normal. The inside of the track sticks out from the frame about 3/8 inch, but it matches up with the mouldings around the windows, so it appears to be seamless. My wife is pleased with the look.