We have been getting quite a few questions lately about integrating and controlling curtains and blinds with existing z-wave networks so today I decided to post an article I recently wrote for AVS Forums in response to a fellows questions about a z-wave solution to control his curtains using his Harmony 890 universal remote.
If I could digress just for a moment and talk briefly about Logitech and some of the recent happenings with them in the field…Logitech actually no longer makes the Harmony 890 remote however they recently announced that they are getting back into the home automation space with their new line of remotes and an HA hub which will once again allow us to use their Universal IR remotes to control many other devices, including Z-Wave. Here is the Gigaom article on that initial announcement last week, and a more detailed article on Digital Trends, and finally some more info regarding Logitech’s new partnership with Zuli.
Now back to z-wave curtains, here is some more info on z-wave curtain controls for you…
1. Aeon Labs has their Micro Motor Controller which is a low cost Z-Wave motor controller to control window covering motors. You just wire this into an existing motor (which you can get almost anywhere) and it will allow you to control it via your z-wave controller/system. These are only about $50-$60.
2. Add-A-Motor, Inc has a product that uses any plug-in module as a power supply so you can just buy a z-wave appliance module which will allow for z-wave remote control and then the add-a-motor plugs into that for direct control of your curtains. This would work for ANY HA module such as X-10, or Insteon as well. Note this only works with vertical drapes and blinds, rotating vertical blinds. They do have a more expensive controller for larger curtains, here is a link to that as well.
3. Enerwave has an motor controller which has z-wave built-in, here is a link to their site, but not much info I’m afraid.
5. Somfy has probably the best shade and curtain controls out there (in competition with Lutron, which I know very little about) in their Z-Wave to Motor Interface – ZDMI and the Z-Wave to RTS Interface – ZRTSI, both of which are excellent products. I would highly recommend Somfy for your shade/curtain/blind control needs.
If anybody has anything to add regarding Z-Wave curtain controls, or if I missed an important solution, please feel free to add your comments!