On November 6, 2021 I published my first Smart blind video on my YouTube Channel. That video featured the Zemismart roller blind. Since then I have featured two other videos involving Zigbee blinds. I did a review on a SmartWings Zigbee roller blind in January of this year and more recently, I did a review on the ThirdReality Zigbee Smart Blind in June.
Since this article is about blind motor battery life, I’m going to comment about my experience with battery life in the three blinds which I have installed. The ThirdReality blind was only recently installed.
Like most blinds, it states that the batteries may last up to six months. What is unique about this blind is that it is powered by four AA batteries whereas the other two blinds that I have installed use a tubular motor that is powered by a lithium ion battery. The tubular motor batteries are sealed inside the tube containing the motor. Therefore, if the battery fails inside either of the tubular motors, I’m buying a new tubular motor at the tune of 60 to 80 dollars. If the batteries fail on the ThirdReality blind, I simply replace the four AA batteries for around five dollars.
Let me comment on battery performance between the three blinds. The ThirdReality blind in newly installed and has only been in operation for on month. Unfortunately, when the ThirdReality blind is installed in the SmartThings App, there is no battery status so I have no read on battery health.
As mentioned previously the SmartWings and Zemismart blinds have lithium ion batteries. Both blinds are automated to open in the morning and close just prior to sunset, so two cycles daily.
When making the Zemismart video, I noted that my SmartWings blind had been in operation for five months and the battery level was at 27%.
My Zemismart blind stopped working after three months. I’m unsure if I contributed to the battery’s demise or if I was just a defective battery. At one point I had place the blind on solar power and subsequently found that the battery had fully discharge. After I recharged the battery, the charge would only last about one week. Eventually the battery would not accept a charge so motor stopped working all together.
So I contacted Zemismart and they graciously agreed to send me a replacement tubular motor. They told me that this was an improved version of the motor. You may watch the following video to see how I installed the Zemismart replacement motor:
A Note About Edge Driver Support
At the beginning of this video I said I would comment about a response I received from Zemismart regarding their plan for converting their current Custom Device Handler to an Edge Driver. The Zemismart blind uses the Zemismart Zigbee Blind device handler which is a Custom Device Handler. According to SmartThings, is the responsibility of the device manufacture to convert Custom Device Handlers to the New SmartThings Edge Drivers if the device manufacturer wants to maintain product compatibility with SmartThings after the switch to Edge Drivers. An email I received from Zemismart on June 3rd stated that they currently do not plan to convert the custom device handler to a compatible edge driver. If they stick to this position, the blind will no longer connect with the SmartThings hub once the switch is turned off on the Groovy IDE.
The SmartWings blind and the ThirdReality blind both use a natively supported Device Type Handler. These Device Type Handlers are in the process of being converted Edge Drivers by the ST developers. So there is Edge Driver support for ThirdReality and SmartWings blinds. Support for the Zemismart Blinds in SmartThings is uncertain at this juncture.
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