Want to automate your blinds without breaking the bank?
well now you can with rollertrol motors and ikea blinds.
these have been hands down my favorite automation project in the house and have really improved our quality of life.
Step 1: Bill of Materials (BOM)
What do you need to do it?
- RollerTrol Blind motor: I used the 6lb radio enabled one:Click Here - update only the 12lb motor is available now.
- RollerTrol remote $34.99 controls 8 channels: Click Here
- 12v 2a Power supply:$19 Click Here
- Or buy this kit (motor,remote and power supply):$129 Click Here
- 1-1/4" PVC for the blind motor:$5 for 10ft Click Here
- IKEA TUPPLUR Blind:$19.99 each Click Here
- OPTIONAL: 2x L Channel for blackout:$7.29 each Click Here
- OPTIONAL: 433mhz RFXCOM Transceiver for Homeseer/Vera control:$159.00 for all blinds Click here
- OPTIONAL: Trim Moulding to hide motors: $19 Click Here
- Wire 2 conductor at least 16 gauge (don't get solid as it is too hard to bend and work with)
Also shown in the picture is the Solar kit Click here $249, these motors have a built in LiPo battery and can be charged via a solar panel which is very useful if you can't run power to the location.
Cost per window basic (inc motor kit,remote,pvc and blind):$153.99
Add on window (motor,power supply,blind,50% pvc and blind): $130.5
Cost per window blackout (inc motor kit,remote,pvc,blind and L channel):$168.57
Cost per window for the solar is (inc motor kit,remote,pvc and blind):$274
Please note that the Remote can handle 8 channels so subsequent windows are cheaper.
I did a bank of 3 windows in this guide.
- Laser level
- Compound miter (or hand miter and saw)
- Drill and drill bits
- Duct Tape
- Tape Measure and or Ruler
- OPTIONAL:Hot glue gun (to mount wires and the L Channel)
Step 2: Mesure the Windows
This is the most important step of the whole process. Mistakes here can be corrected but getting the measurements correct is very important.
You can mount the blinds in 2 ways, inside the frame or outside the frame.
I prefer the inside the frame look so that is what I will cover here.
I simply measured the inside of the window frame. Don't assume it is perfectly square so check the top and bottom are the same width. ultimately measure the width of the window where the blind will be installed.
here is a link to an online blind ordering place suggests: http://www.blinds.com/control/infopage?page=measure_step1.html
Step 3: Cut and Test Fit the Pvc With the Motors
watch your fingers,
you can use a hand saw but i have a chop/miter saw so i used that. this is useful if you have several windows to do.
measure twice cut once!
Step 4: DEEP Breath, Cut the Blinds
This step was much harder and honestly a downside of the Ikea and Homedepot blinds,
i used a laser level and a pencil to mark it out then a pair of scissors to cut it out.
an alternative is lowes sell roller blinds and they will cut them to size for you. the only down side is that they let more light through
Step 5: Mount the Motors and Pvc to Window Casing
this is easy, just screw the end caps and brackets to the window casing making sure that the tube is level. offset it enough for the blinds to clear
a friend is useful here as 3 hands are needed,
Step 6: Attach Blinds
take the blind fabric and put a bit of tape (duct or painters take work) on each side, move it up and down until it is hanging level. once you are happy put a strip of tape across the whole top.
Step 7: Run Wiring
for the downstairs i ran the wire along the outside of the window trim and its nearly invisible.
for the upstairs i ran it up into the roof so there are no visible wires.
Step 8: Program Motors and Set Limits
Set the limits of the motors as per the instructions here:
Setting the UPPER and LOWER Travel Limits:
The travel limits of these RollerTrol™ motors can be set and changed at any time . The sequence is as follows: Activating the Programming Mode: Activate the motor in either direction with the UP or DOWN button of a switch or controller; we'll assume for these instructions that you will start with the UP button. While power is applied (the motor may not be running, if it has reached a travel limit), insert a screwdriver in the programming hole described in step 1 and hold the setting button down within six seconds of the power application start time. If you don't do it within 6 seconds, remove power, then re-apply power again (you'll have another 6 seconds to do it). Continue holding the setting button down until you hear a quick sequence of short beeps, then release the button. If the motor is running, it will stop, even though you are still applying power. REMOVE POWER FROM MOTOR. At this point, the motor has entered into its limit programming mode. Even though you have removed power, it will remember that it is in programming mode. You must complete the programming sequence or it will be permanently in programming mode. Apply power again for the UP direction, and it will continue running in that direction. Let it run until you are close to the desired UP position, then STOP it (do not let it go past the desired UPPER limit).Setting the UPPER Limit: At this point of the programming mode, and you have moved the motor so that it is close to the UPPER position limit (but not past). When you stopped it, you removed power from the motor, but it has an internal memory that 'remembers' that it is in settings mode. Activate the UP direction of the motor; the motor now enters the 'JOG' mode. You'll see the motor move in very short steps that are a small fraction of a full rotation. Alternate between UP and STOP modes until your motor is at the exact UPPER limit you desire.The UPPER limit has been reached at this point, and the motor is still in 'programming mode', even though it is stopped without any power applied. The next step will be to press the DOWN button, which will set the UPPER limit into memory (you'll hear a confirming beep sequence), and it will also start the shade moving in the opposite direction. Do not press STOP until it gets close (but not past) the LOWER travel limit.Setting the LOWER Limit: At this point you have stopped the motor, ready to enter JOG mode. Press the DOWN button and you will see it move slightly; you are now in JOG mode.Alternate between DOWN and STOP modes until your motor is at the exact LOWER limit you desire. Make sure it is stopped, with no power applied when you reach the desired LOWER limit.To confirm the LOWER setting and exit the programming mode, press the UP button; you will hear a beep sequence. At this point, the travel limits for the motor have been set and the motor is now back in normal running mode and you should be able to test the full excursion. Repeat the above steps if you need to reset the travel limits.
Step 9: OPTIONAL: Add L Channel for Blackout Blinds
I bought this:
and installed it along the sides of the blinds, angle it so that it is closer to the window at the bottom to help with light transfer.
Step 10: OPTIONAL: Add Valance Trim
Cut a bit of molding to hide everything. i found that 3.5-4.5inch trim worked really well.
I just held it in place using brad nails. a friend helps for this part.
be careful not to hit any wires and be sure to set the limit of the motor so that the blind is hidden when it is up.
Step 11: OPTIONAL: Solar and Battery Motors.
To make everything easier rollertrol has a solar motor with a battery, installation is the same with the exception of the solar panel on the inside of the window.
more info here: http://www.rollertrol.com/solar-shades-motor
i found that mine needs charging manually about every 6 months or so due to the big tree outside the window.
as these blinds are 12v they are perfect if you have a solar panel on the roof to tie into that.
my plan here is to get a 200w solar panel to charge a sealed lead acid battery which will then allow the blinds to work without being grid tied!
Step 12: Automate It
Due to these blinds supporting 433mhz you can add them to various home automation controllers such as homeseer.
i used this transceiver:
To add the blinds to homeseer you need the RFXCOM plugin.
Once that is installed, goto output devices, then create a new output device called blindsT0.
save that then navigate to that in the device explorer, put the blind in learn mode (how to here:http://www.rollertrol.com/instructions-index-R-ser...
then press the learn button on the homeseer device. remeber that the blind is leearning the remote not the other way round. this allows us to create more than one device if we have a bank of windows like i do. so i ahve 4 devices for 3 blinds left middle right and all. this gives me complete control.
once the blinds are in homeseer you can create events. my events close them automatically after sunset and then open the non bedroom ones at sunrise. i have also created a half open event to allow partial opening. this was down by using a delay in the event,.
Step 13: And Done!
That is all there is to it, once you get the process down it takes about an hour a window.
hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions
Runner Up in the
Automation Contest 2017