Automatic Curtains

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  dhathaway 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #23293
     Urban says:

    Urban
    Participant

    Hi, over the past months I have been quick upgrading my home with smart home products e.g. Lightwaverf and Phillips Hue. However I have hit a problem, I would like to get automatic curtains. But I don’t know where to start without breaking the bank. I was heading in the direction of using a inline rely and mood switch. However that’s the best I have got, I need help on this please. I know my bedroom window is around 150cm to 200cm long. Any help would be appreciated, thanks Josh

    #23296
     Grunthos says:

    Grunthos
    Participant
    #23311
     ChrisThomas says:

    ChrisThomas
    Participant

    I to have been automating my new home over the last few months. At first it was just Hue / Hive bulbs and plugs, and a Nest Thermostat. Then I hit a snag. Our living room / dining room uses a combo of 14 or so spots. Same in our Kitchen, so for there I found LightwaveRF and I was so impressed, I bought the company (joke, I wish…)

    My home office has patio windows onto a garden, with the existing purple velvet curtains in place. These were cosy, but not my style. I wanted blinds, and automated ones (why not!).

    My first find was Controliss blinds https://controlissblinds.co.uk , these were affordable, but they had no automation option out of the box. My next call was Thomas Sanderson Blinds. They had no prices on their website (never a good sign), so a sales rep was dispatched, arrived a week later, and measured us up. She then delivered here quote of £3000 for a 2.4 meter wide window blind. We were not impressed, and the rep got shirty when I told her the blinds were pretty much a factor of 10x too expensive for us.

    So, back to Controliss. They use a system called Somfy, I think its a French company. They integrate their motors and remotes into various blinds. For my size windows, the only option was rollers. Im ok with that. A search on Google found a page on their site.

    https://controlissblinds.co.uk/news/tag/lightwaverf/

    I called their sales team, and spoke to Chris, I think he was the original articles author. He wals helpfull, and gave me the spec of blind I needed to use. Basically its their 240V AC 4-Core Power option. This is NOT integrated with a Somfy remote, wall switch or whatever. That integration is down to you.

    I ordered my blind, which cost approx £285, for a 1.37m x 2m unit. Dont forget, this is custom made to your measurements, and its motorised. It arrived about 7 days later. On inspecting the power cable, it seems it has changed to a 3 core cable, not 4 (no Earth now..). It is now

    Neutral – Blue
    Black – Switch 1
    Brown – Switch 2

    So, you can feed power to Switch 1 to raise the blind, or Switch 2 to lower it. To do this, I ordered one of these….

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/LightwaveRF-Wireless-Control-Inline-Switch/dp/B007KJH1HE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487846387&sr=8-1&keywords=lightwaverf+relay

    I actually ordered it from Maplins, it was the same price there, and delivery was faster. Besides, prices and delivery being equal, I like to NOT use Amazon. We need to spread the £££ love eh?

    This switch offers two live outs, controlled by the lightwave app, or a connected switch. I followed the provided wiring photo provided by Controliss, and it worked. It was backwards in that the App CLOSE opened the blind, so I swapped the Switch1 and 2 wires, and all was good.

    The good news is, it works, I can even use Amazon Alexa to raise/lower the blind, and of course I can automate it, to open at 9am, and close at Dusk :) . The Controliss blind itself seems to be well made, and the blind material is pretty robust. So I can recommend them right now. Mind you, the blind is only 2 days old..

    The bad news is. Im afraid this lies with LighwaveRF.

    The switch can be thought of as Switch 1 or Switch 2, but is also has a third position, which is Neither. In the App, these are labelled as OPEN, CLOSE and STOP. This makes sense. But in Alexa, these appear as OFF, ON, and there appears to be no equivalent of STOP. This makes working in Alexa to be un-intuitive, and you can only open or close the blind, not half open it, and then STOP. Drat ye Alexa…

    But then you think, ok, ill use the LightwaveRF switches. Now, they do a Wireless wall switch, for about £27 that features Up/DOWN, STOP buttons. This can be paired with the Relay, and should give a nice manual switch near the blind, hoorah. But if you order a LightwaveRF remote, its designed for lights, so it only features pairs of ON/OFF switches, so it can only really OPEN/CLOSE the blinds. No half way options here.

    This really needs to be fixed in a future remote. Its already a premium product, so updating the current remote with a third state per swtch set, Or possibly on half of them, would be ideal, and most flexible. Or, they could do a remote just for the relay, but that seems less optimal.

    Now, what does this have to do with Automated curtains. Well, either you find an out of the box solution. Or you look for curtain rails that are powered by something like, or ideall with a Somfy motor, and you can use this lightwave relay to do the rest.

    https://www.somfy.co.uk/products/interior-applications/curtain

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    #23313
     PhilC says:

    PhilC
    Participant

    I recently purchased two 2.2m ones, see attached photo. Very easy to connect to a lw relay as they have an rj45 connector.
    And I have the relay paired to a mood controller.
    They also come with their own remote.
    They can be linked together and can be pulled to Clive also. At £305 each, great valve for money too.

    Gone in at the deep end and learning with RPI, RFX, Conrad, WiFi link, 5 PIRs, 5 Door sensors, 18 light switches, 22 sockets and 4 Mood controllers all running on Domoticz. Normal comment I get is, whats wrong with just turning on a switch....
    #23314
     PhilC says:

    PhilC
    Participant

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electric-Curtain-Track-Motor-with-remote-and-Home-automation-interface-/221455771808

    Didn’t like the photo, so here’s a link.

    Gone in at the deep end and learning with RPI, RFX, Conrad, WiFi link, 5 PIRs, 5 Door sensors, 18 light switches, 22 sockets and 4 Mood controllers all running on Domoticz. Normal comment I get is, whats wrong with just turning on a switch....
    #23316
     Node Zero says:

    Node Zero
    Participant

    Re Alexa, if you create a new event in the LWRF app containing just the Stop command then she will oblige.

    #23327
     JeremyG says:

    JeremyG
    Participant

    Hi – how does the RJ45 help with the connection to LW relay?

    #23328
     PhilC says:

    PhilC
    Participant

    Use normally open contacts on relay, buy a lead, cut into it n connect it to relay…..

    Gone in at the deep end and learning with RPI, RFX, Conrad, WiFi link, 5 PIRs, 5 Door sensors, 18 light switches, 22 sockets and 4 Mood controllers all running on Domoticz. Normal comment I get is, whats wrong with just turning on a switch....
    #23555
     dhathaway says:

    dhathaway
    Participant

    I have just fitted a Raex curtain pole (http://www.raexmotors.co.uk/) with a LW821 relay and it all works fine! They’re a local firm (to me) and were very helpful, checking that the Lightwave spec would integrate with their motor. They supplied a “blind” RJ11 lead which plugs into their motor and wires into relay.
    Now just need to retrofit a control into existing Silent Gliss Metropole tracks!

    #23653
     crooksee says:

    crooksee
    Participant

    How much was the Raex curtain pole? They don’t seem to have prices on their site

    #23656
     dhathaway says:

    dhathaway
    Participant

    Probably because it depends on length, finish etc. I paid just under £500 for 3m, chrome finish pole. Not cheap but a lot less than Silent Gliss!
    I’ve also used motors in the past from Peter Henzell Ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/phenzell) and have successfully linked Lightwave transmitters in to the remote control on his current generation of motors, although I’ve not physically installed one yet. However, he only sporadically appears on EBay when he has stock!

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