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Controlling Blinds with Samsung Smartthings

02
Jun

We're being asked rather a lot at the moment if it's possible to control our blinds using Smartthings by Samsung.

Smartthings is a low(ish) cost home control system that is possible to configure yourself to control a number of compatible devices within the home. It is exclusively distributed through Amazon and Currys/PC World. It uses z-wave technology, but doesn't appear to support a great number of other products "out of the box".

Therein lies the problem!

The only blind product that is listed on their website as being directly compatible is a Lutron Caseta blind, which according to AV Forums is not available in the UK, nor is it planned to be made available. 

In the electric blinds section of our own website, we have Somfy RTS (radio operated) blinds and 230v Relay operated blinds. I have carried out some initial research into how one might go about operating both of these types of blinds using Smartthings. I'll use this blog article as a working document and will update as I find out more. If anybody would like to contribute ideas or experience, please email me at tim.pendleton@newblinds.co.uk

Somfy RTS Electric Blinds
A common method of controlling RTS blinds (battery powered of 230vAC) with 3rd party home control devices (or even a laptop/PC) is by using the RFXtrx. The issue with Smart Things is that it doesn't have a usable USB port into which the RFX can be plugged. However, it does seem possible to use the Raspberry Pi as an interface between SmartThings and RFX. You can see this thread in the Smartthings support forum.

230v Relay Operated Electric Blinds
Lightwave RF have a LW821 500W relay that can control our 230v Relay Operated Blinds. This thread in the smart things community offers an explanation of how to control lightwaveRF dimmers using SmartThings. However the solution seems quite convoluted and technical. So I have asked SmartThings themselves if things have moved on since 2015 and whether there is now an out of the box solution. Watch this space.

Thats all for now, I'm afraid. Like I said, this is a working docuement, so I will update with more information as I receive it. Any suggestions, please let me know. And if you are looking for assistance with blinds for a smart home or smart building project, please contact us via our project enquiry form.

Best Wishes,
Tim


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