Need Shade Recommendation (Help Shady!)

I’ve been learning from all the Vera experts and have slowly created a fairly robust system, but now I’m ready to start planning my shade automation and wanted advice from the group on a couple items.

I’ve got a couple different plans on my first floor and basement windows on the west side of my house. Also looking at automating a couple of shades on my North side.

Project #1:
Description: My Basement that has two casement widows (36" wide by 24" tall) and a window in a walk out door with a window in it.

Additional Details:
I have access to run wires/power where I need to for the 2 windows. I assume I would use a battery operated shade for the window in the door. I’m looking at using roller shades or the cellular-type shades. My main goal would be to get a “blackout” when needed to create the best viewing experience for my projector TV.

After reading some of your previous posts, if I don’t use z-wave enabled motors…I won’t be able to control the % of the shade. In this project, I’m actually ok with that because the only time I will lower them will be in all or nothing situations.

I was leaning towards going with Somfy RTS motors and getting the Somfy ZRTSI. I could also re-use the ZRTSI functionality for Project 2 (see below)

What do you think and where would you recommend purchasing the RTS devices (if you agree with using RTS) with shades including a battery operated option? or whatever alternative you’d recommend? Since the blinds are smaller, I was leaning towards not running 110 to the windows and instead using the 16/4 wire you recommended in a couple threads. Is that the right way to go? Are there battery operated z-wave motors?

Project 2:

Description: Retrofit existing basswood blinds to enable the tilt option.

Additional Details:
Looking to automate existing blinds and automate the tilt option on days where west sunset gets a little too bright in my living room.

I was thinking about using the RTS Wirefree tilt motors and reuse the RTS to Z-Wave convertor from above. See link.


Good idea or bad idea?? Where would you recommend my buying these products from

Project 3:
Description: Looking at using a roller shade or equivalent for a 3 picture windows (3 different shades/motors)

Additional details:
I’d like to control them independently and as a group. I’d also like to be able to control the % up and down. Based on these requirements, I’m assuming I need to use a Z-Wave enabled motor, correct? Where can these be purchased from? Or will I need to use something like a ESI DBMZ? I would assume running a 16/4 wire to each location would be sufficient, correct? I’m also semi-tempted in pitching the notion of needing to adjust the % and sticking with RTS.

In any event, can you recommend a company to purchase these zwave enable motroized shades from?

Thanks for all your help, I’m interested in your feedback to continue to learn about home automation and your thoughts on the best approach to meet my needs while not getting to out of control from a budget standpoint (whatever, I don’t care about it…I just want to automate more stuff! ;D ). Also any suggestions for the individuals projects as well as the optimal solution if I took on all projects.

I’m also looking for your assessment best online or brick and motor locations to purchase the this hardware and any brands you’d recommend or advise against. I looked into Bali blinds that lowes sells…it looks like they use Somfy RTS motors.

Thanks in advance for your help

  1. There are no ZWave battery motors that I know of , so RTS seems like your best bet. Running 110vac has the benefit of not needing AC Adapters or a place to put them.

  2. For what you want to do it seems like RTS has the best options, and you can get the most out of your URTSI.

  3. You had better use 14/3 romex if you want to run Z-Wave motors using external Z-Wave controllers located away from the window. If you can fit the controller near the shade then just 14/2 can be used for power at the window.

Contact us:
We can help you in your 3 shade projects with a mix of standard motors with Z-Wave interface, dry contact Z-Wave motor module and Z-wave native motors.