eggzlot

Blinds - what is the latest and greatest?

45 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, lippavisual said:

No idea about Bali.

However, the skinny I heard about all blind manufacturers, is that they all use the same few factories for fabrics.  One does not have exclusivity over the other.

Well it would make sense that a fabric manufacturer would sell to most all shade manufacturers.  The bigger brands tend to have their own fabrics.  HunterDouglas does not sell their "ette" line fabrics to any other fabricators and these fabrics are made in house.  Which does make them exclusive, the patent on the Silhouette ran out a few years ago, so there are knock off fabrics for the base colors but HunterDouglas offers more variety then any other manufacturer hands-down. 

They also have a hardwired product you can buy through dealers that are motorization specialists, which would be one of the more expensive solutions but it is rock solid.

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18 hours ago, Kevin L said:

Lutron Serena 

If you are only looking for basic window coverings such as honeycomb, or rollers, not a bad product. Very limited in fabric options compared to more dedicated window covering manufacturers. 

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I appreciate everyone's advice.  It is certainly a confusing landscape especially since we are looking at mostly a very basic blind - my wife likes simple clean roller shades in basic/neutral colors.  So it really comes down to cost/integration.  I noticed QMotion has a dual motor set up (Somfy has one on the way) and that may be nice for the master bedroom so we can have a sheer shade and a blackout shade so during the day we can have privacy but light coming in and at night we can have the blackout shades automatically lower down.

I would consider 100% wired (both power and control) but if wireless control is half the price and 90% reliable, it's fine by me.  could always add programming that after something executes, wait 5 seconds and re-execute to make sure its at the right % open or something.  or as others mentioned, just work on repeater placements.

I guess time to narrow it down to 2-3 lines and get some quotes.  I am sure I'll report back if I have any further questions.

 

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5 hours ago, THEORY said:

Powerview as a whole isn't noisy except for the Luminette.  Not sure what you are referring to as slow?  If you are talking battery operated and low on power sure.  Most all shades turn at a very similar speed when it comes to window coverings.  Its a balance between speed and lifting force.

As for missing signals a lot, sounds like you are lacking repeaters or proper repeater placement.  I have houses with platinum and powerview with upwards of 30 shades and signals rarely are missed.  Proper testing of repeater location is a key element of installation.

Are you sure you have Powerview and not the older Platinum?

 

Positive.  Powerview hub and the little antenna looking repeaters, not platinum bridge.  And I don't have Luminette yet it still is noisy. Slow as in response. 

I've dealt with my HD dealer several times about this issue.  I have enough repeaters, I have optimal placement of them.  HD is releasing a new hub that is supposed to be more wifi based rather than RF so we'll see if that makes a difference. But like I said, this has been my experience and I would never buy another HD shade product.  I have another home with wired Lutron shades and it works flawlessly.  I spent a lot more but if I were to do it all over again, the extra money is worth the silence and responsiveness. 

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I just called Somfy tech support.  Seems like the Bali/Somfy brand sold in HD or Lowes will work.  He said they are all RTS motors and different stores may have access to different motors but all should be RTS.  So I could buy https://www.somfysystems.com/products/1810872/universal-rts-interface and wire that into my HC-800 (or I/o device, etc) and control 16 channels (he said it can be more motors since motors can share a channel) and control it via C4.  I am assuming one would need proper C4 Drivers.

I priced some basic products online and for a 42x64 window with a basic roller fabric with battery motor and valance it comes to $283/window.  I could see doing this in a few rooms, then maybe spend more in the bedroom to get the dual motor set up maybe from QMotion.

Any danger in mixing blinds in a project with various drivers?

the drawback is people talking about signal issues with wireless ones and my HC800 is downstairs and of course these blinds are all upstairs. I guess I could run 1 wire (vs wires to power them all) to get the repeater upstairs, maybe even get two repeaters for both ends of my house.  its a long house.

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16 minutes ago, c44me said:

Hard wire them

for power and/or control?

Reading this thread obviously lots of mixed feedback and ideas.  I guess we'll start with some quotes.  Then look at the pros and cons.  I have not seen many specifics about hardwiring control other than maybe 1 Lutron option and everyone said its very expensive.  We are doing a fairly large renovation project so budget is a huge concern.

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1 hour ago, abovedeck said:

Positive.  Powerview hub and the little antenna looking repeaters, not platinum bridge.  And I don't have Luminette yet it still is noisy. Slow as in response. 

I've dealt with my HD dealer several times about this issue.  I have enough repeaters, I have optimal placement of them.  HD is releasing a new hub that is supposed to be more wifi based rather than RF so we'll see if that makes a difference. But like I said, this has been my experience and I would never buy another HD shade product.  I have another home with wired Lutron shades and it works flawlessly.  I spent a lot more but if I were to do it all over again, the extra money is worth the silence and responsiveness. 

My problems with PowerView have never been placement/communication but rather with the Hub itself inexplicably 'doing things'

I've had them randomly delete scenes and even blinds

I've had them start controlling a random blind in room 'b' when a scene in room 'a' was called (something you can't even do in the app)

I'm at one right now where it added a blind that's NOT EVEN SET ON THE BRIDGE (pebble remote control desired only) to do something across multiple scenes...

 

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It is kind of amazing that a hardwired blind motor is now a more expensive unicorn than the rf based blinds

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

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It's not that the motor is more expensive - far from it. The problem lies in that those motors require relays to trigger the direction. This can be done in many ways, some very expensive (ESI panels and R2D7 or similar setup) which work great (and are can be operated outside of other control systems if desired, and can be integrated by most automation companies) some not that bad at all (direct hookup to C4 relays be they controllers or some form of controlled relay like Houselogix' piece or a combination thereof). Which works very well too - but I've noticed very few dealers are willing to venture down that road, eventhough C4 has all the driver they need to make that work perfectly fine (especially now that they added a 3 relay blind driver...).

If all you're doing is that one very tall window, rf may be cheaper, if you're doing a whole house, wired is still cheaper to do - if you can find someone to do it.

 

Note that I'm talking a bout wired vs wireless control, not wired power/battery.

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It's not that the motor is more expensive - far from it. The problem lies in that those motors require relays to trigger the direction. This can be done in many ways, some very expensive (ESI panels and R2D7 or similar setup) which work great (and are can be operated outside of other control systems if desired, and can be integrated by most automation companies) some not that bad at all (direct hookup to C4 relays be they controllers or some form of controlled relay like Houselogix' piece or a combination thereof). Which works very well too - but I've noticed very few dealers are willing to venture down that road, eventhough C4 has all the driver they need to make that work perfectly fine (especially now that they added a 3 relay blind driver...).

If all you're doing is that one very tall window, rf may be cheaper, if you're doing a whole house, wired is still cheaper to do - if you can find someone to do it.

 

Note that I'm talking a bout wired vs wireless control, not wired power/battery.

Which motor do.you recommend in this scenario then.

I'm finding the fabric is the big cost though. 96 in drop x 48 wide windows does that though.

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

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7 minutes ago, SMHarman said:

Which motor do.you recommend in this scenario then.

I'm finding the fabric is the big cost though. 96 in drop x 48 wide windows does that though.

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

As mentioned, Somfy is the big guy. There LT series is your most common option. That said, I've connected cheap china 'specials' as well and control wise it works fine - generally speaking motors work in one of two ways, either they have two hots and a neutral, and you energize one or the other (AC/high voltage motors) or they operate by switching the DC direction, both of which can be done with two relays ( assuming COM/NC/NO relays).

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Does Somfy offer hard wired control and hard wired power or just one or the other?

@SMHarmanhttp://lowes.baliblinds.com/motorized_treatments/index.jsp - I just threw together a few mock ups given your size specs and they were all in the $400-$450 including the larger motor/dual battery and also a square valance.  Price will range depending on material type.  Its battery powered and a wireless signal, so not super ideal as some may think, but the price point is very competitive.  on that link scroll to the lower left.  Find the type of blind you want and you can run some orders online to see pricing.

if 5 out of 100 times 1 of 3 blinds in a room is not the idea height due to commands, i could likely write some programming to fix it automatically.  upon button press put shades to 50%, delay 3 seconds, put shades to 50%.  so if one missed it, that second program should automatically even them out.  this isnt a show case house so if there is a 3 second delay, life goes on :-)

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Does Somfy offer hard wired control and hard wired power or just one or the other?

 

@SMHarmanhttp://lowes.baliblinds.com/motorized_treatments/index.jsp - I just threw together a few mock ups given your size specs and they were all in the $400-$450 including the larger motor/dual battery and also a square valance.  Price will range depending on material type.  Its battery powered and a wireless signal, so not super ideal as some may think, but the price point is very competitive.  on that link scroll to the lower left.  Find the type of blind you want and you can run some orders online to see pricing.

 

if 5 out of 100 times 1 of 3 blinds in a room is not the idea height due to commands, i could likely write some programming to fix it automatically.  upon button press put shades to 50%, delay 3 seconds, put shades to 50%.  so if one missed it, that second program should automatically even them out.  this isnt a show case house so if there is a 3 second delay, life goes on :-)

 

 

 

I've built my own at the moment.

 

Amazon morningrising motors

 

Avoutlet for the fabric and the rollers tube in the adult room

 

And earthshade blackout fabric in the kids room.

 

 

They are powered by prewire at 12v. For control I destroyed the remotes and soldered cat to the contacts and connected that to C4 relays on the controller and an iox.

 

 

Works pretty well. Not perfect.

 

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, eggzlot said:

Does Somfy offer hard wired control and hard wired power or just one or the other?

@SMHarmanhttp://lowes.baliblinds.com/motorized_treatments/index.jsp - I just threw together a few mock ups given your size specs and they were all in the $400-$450 including the larger motor/dual battery and also a square valance.  Price will range depending on material type.  Its battery powered and a wireless signal, so not super ideal as some may think, but the price point is very competitive.  on that link scroll to the lower left.  Find the type of blind you want and you can run some orders online to see pricing.

if 5 out of 100 times 1 of 3 blinds in a room is not the idea height due to commands, i could likely write some programming to fix it automatically.  upon button press put shades to 50%, delay 3 seconds, put shades to 50%.  so if one missed it, that second program should automatically even them out.  this isnt a show case house so if there is a 3 second delay, life goes on :-)

Keep in mind that Shades controlled with relays cannot be set to a specific position. It's either open or close. For precise positioning you need two-way communication. 

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4 hours ago, abovedeck said:

Positive.  Powerview hub and the little antenna looking repeaters, not platinum bridge.  And I don't have Luminette yet it still is noisy. Slow as in response. 

I've dealt with my HD dealer several times about this issue.  I have enough repeaters, I have optimal placement of them.  HD is releasing a new hub that is supposed to be more wifi based rather than RF so we'll see if that makes a difference. But like I said, this has been my experience and I would never buy another HD shade product.  I have another home with wired Lutron shades and it works flawlessly.  I spent a lot more but if I were to do it all over again, the extra money is worth the silence and responsiveness. 

I integrated HD Shades for a customer over the phone once, and I could hear the Motor of the Shades in the background. It was pretty loud! Lutron Shades are silly quite. 

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Keep in mind that Shades controlled with relays cannot be set to a specific position. It's either open or close. For precise positioning you need two-way communication. 

The new 3 relay driver set up does this pretty well knowing time from top to bottom.

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

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5 minutes ago, SMHarman said:

The new 3 relay driver set up does this pretty well knowing time from top to bottom.

 

Sent from my E6603 using Tapatalk

 

 

I stand corrected. 

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2 hours ago, eddy.trochez said:

I stand corrected. 

So does the dual relay driver, the only one truly 'locked' into open/close only is the single.

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