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ILoveC4

Prewire for blinds/curtains

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I’m building now and while we don’t know what we want to do on the window treatment front, I do want to pre-wire for powered blinds/shades/curtains. What wiring do I want to get from the rack to the location where the powered shades would live?

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27 minutes ago, mstafford388 said:

Depends on the shades.  If you want to be safe I'd run a cat cable and also a "shade" cable that is a 4 conductor (18/2 for power, 2 wire for control).

agreed

I was in this boat and decided to pick a manufacture so I could pick the proper wire.  otherwise you need a few because there is no standard.

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59 minutes ago, mstafford388 said:

Depends on the shades.  If you want to be safe I'd run a cat cable and also a "shade" cable that is a 4 conductor (18/2 for power, 2 wire for control).

Ditto, good advice.  this is what we did.

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Exactly as above.  Don't let anyone convince you that you can repurpose CAT6 cable (by joining wires/pairs) to work for shades that take standard power / control.  Won't work.  Also make sure your installer tones out the wires AFTER drywall.  Worst is finding out you have a cable that has been hit by a drywall screw that you cannot get to.

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Somfy is a great option for wired. They have a specialized “SDN cable” for pre-wire. If you decide on Somfy, let me know. I have 1000-feet of SDN cable and will make you a great deal on it. 

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I'm in the same boat, can't decide on what to wire.  Running cat6 for sure, but don't know if I'll double up and run some 4 conductor wire.  Is this overkill for power? https://secure.libertycable.com/products/LUTRON-RED-500

 

One think I for sure don't know is how to wire either to the window.  Where do you leave the wire?  Do you drill through the window frame? 

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Check with the manufacturer of your window treatment.

For example, QMotion wants the Cat5/6 cable to come from the upper left corner because that is where the connector is.  If you put it in the upper right (like we did) you'll have to extend it across the header.

In retrospect, I probably would have also designed a better way to penetrate the wires for the shades in each one of our window frames.  Our wire just comes out of the upper corner of the window frame and is drywalled around.  If I had to do it again, I would have put some type of small junction box there to hold the wire and put any extra length in - as well, where we are undecided as to shades or want the wire for potential future use it would be nice to hide it there instead of it hanging like a string of spaghetti.  This is hard to do though when you are dealing with masonry walls and then framed/bucked with wood and contractors who really don't give a crap...

ALSO: Another KEY planning tip.  Try to figure out how much depth you need between the finished plane of drywall (interior side) and the window frame once installed to accommodate your shade such that it can be an inside mount (looks much better).  We lucked out and most of ours just worked out, but where we have some very large sliders we may have to top mount instead of inside mount as the depth of the window frame won't accommodate the depth of the roller shade.  All of the manufacturers have spec book that can tell you the depth of the roll depending on the height of the window and type of fabric you are using.

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On 5/10/2019 at 11:22 PM, slash007 said:

I'm in the same boat, can't decide on what to wire.  Running cat6 for sure, but don't know if I'll double up and run some 4 conductor wire.  Is this overkill for power? https://secure.libertycable.com/products/LUTRON-RED-500

 

One think I for sure don't know is how to wire either to the window.  Where do you leave the wire?  Do you drill through the window frame? 

Either drill through frame or put a box on side of frame and cover later with a valence or something.   Not an easy pre wire decision.   One of the reasons I went with batteries.

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12 hours ago, ejn1 said:

Either drill through frame or put a box on side of frame and cover later with a valence or something.   Not an easy pre wire decision.   One of the reasons I went with batteries.

Honestly I’m wondering if that isn’t the way to go. Do you have Somfy motors? How often do you need to change the batteries?

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Not 100% sure.

If you really want the option for both then you'll need an18 ga 4 conductor cable and a Cat 5 cable.  

Honestly, I would go with Lutron. They have the best motors in the industry and are the most reliable.

 

 

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Anyone know for sure?  Would be nice to be able to run one wire and then figure it out later so that I have time to make a proper decision.

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This is the cable I used for Somfy:

https://secure.libertycable.com/products/Liberty-Wire-and-Cable/9020126/Somfy-SDN-Non-Plenum-Control-Cable

It appears to me that the Lutron cable should work for Somfy, but not the other way around. The Lutron cable has only 16 GA for power, Somfy has 14 GA, but Somfy will probably run fine over 16 GA .

Qmotion uses a very different control scheme. I wouldn’t bet on either the Lutron or Somfy cables working for it. 

I recommend ruling out Qmotion now. You can’t go wrong with Lutron shades. Somfy is a great alternative because they only make the motors and sell them to numerous shade manufacturers, so more variety of fabrics and prices. Somfy sells more motors than Lutron does shades, just through numerous different brands. 

Lutron and Somfy are both great options. Lutron wiring will probably work for both Lutron and Somfy. 

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On 5/12/2019 at 8:44 PM, ILoveC4 said:

Honestly I’m wondering if that isn’t the way to go. Do you have Somfy motors? How often do you need to change the batteries?

Battery life is great. The somfy shade works well and the batteries last for a long time, I would say at least 6 months to a year. I have 1 somfy shade in the master bath. I literally don't have any shades or curtains anywhere else but in the bedrooms which are manageable manually. 

As far as the shades themselves are concerned, recently the cellular shades started stopping abruptly 1/4 of the way up. I changed all the batteries - 6 D-cells and the button in the remote - but it did not fix the issue. It probably needs to be re-calibrated.

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6 hours ago, WhyPhy said:

It appears to me that the Lutron cable should work for Somfy, but not the other way around. The Lutron cable has only 16 GA for power, Somfy has 14 GA, but Somfy will probably run fine over 16 GA .

Blind cables can use different gauges for power depending on the run distance. Lutron have a guide for their own blinds here http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocumentLibrary/045314 QS WP Guide.pdf (page 9 for the wire length chart).

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2 hours ago, Unsocialtoaster said:

Blind cables can use different gauges for power depending on the run distance. Lutron have a guide for their own blinds here http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocumentLibrary/045314 QS WP Guide.pdf (page 9 for the wire length chart).

Here's the Somfy equivalent showing wire gauge vs. run length: https://service.somfy.com/downloads/nam_v4/low-voltagemotor_range_databook.pdf

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On 5/15/2019 at 11:42 AM, achoudhary said:

Battery life is great. The somfy shade works well and the batteries last for a long time, I would say at least 6 months to a year. I have 1 somfy shade in the master bath. I literally don't have any shades or curtains anywhere else but in the bedrooms which are manageable manually. 

As far as the shades themselves are concerned, recently the cellular shades started stopping abruptly 1/4 of the way up. I changed all the batteries - 6 D-cells and the button in the remote - but it did not fix the issue. It probably needs to be re-calibrated.

Lutron states 5 years of battery life at 2 cycles per day for all of their cordless blinds. 

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