Is it time to add motorized roller blinds to your SmartThings set-up? If so, are Zemismart blinds worth the investment? Are they compatible with SmartThings? I’ll be tackling these questions and more in today’s episode.
Hi. I’m Bud. Welcome to Bud’s Home Automation. I am a YouTube Creator who enjoys researching and installing smart home devices for the SmartThings and Alexa Apps. I also create automation solutions with a focus on products which are compatible with SmartThings and Alexa.
Today I’m reviewing the Zemismart Blackout Roller Shade. This is a Smart Window Blind that comes equipped with a rechargeable Zigbee Motor. Zemismart reached out to me to do this review and was kind enough to send me this unit. They also agreed to supply me with an optional solar panel. The blind is made of polyester fabric. It is a full blackout blind. It is offered in white, beige, grey and dark grey. The sample shade I received is dark grey. The shades are offered in widths between 60 and 150 centimeters, which translates to 24 to 59 inches. The length is standard at 178 cm, or 70 inches.
Content Received from Zemismart
Let’s look at the items I received from Zemismart…
Zemismart states that its smart blinds work with Google Home, Amazon Echo, Broadlink and other Zigbee capable hubs. The blind is equipped with wireless operated tubular motor that is powered by a rechargeable, built-in lithium ion battery. The battery is rated for over 500 up/down cycles on a single charge.
Charging the Blind Motor:
Before you begin installing your blind you must change the blind motor. The blind motor will receive a full charge in approximately 4 hours.
My blind was delivered with a 10 foot charging cord which has standard USB on one end and a micro USB on the other. Zemismart did not provide a power brick, so I used my camera’s USB power brick to charge my blind’s battery.
Installing the Blind Mounting Clips:
While the blind was charging, I anchored the provided blind mounts to my wall. I mounted my blind directly behind my existing curtain rod. I had intended to secure both of the rail mounting clips to my wall studs. However, due to the need to evenly space the clips, I was only able to secure the left clip to a stud. I used the provided drywall anchor to secure the right clip. There is ample clearance between the rod and the blind, when the blind is fully opened in the top position. The roller blind is fully concealed from view when the curtain is placed mounted on the curtain rod.
Installing the Custom DTH
With the mounting clips in place, let’s now login to the SmartThings Account where I’ll show you how to install the Custom Device Type Handler for the Zemismart Zigbee Blind…
Add the Blind to the SmartThings App
With the device handler installed, you can now add the blind to your ST App. First you must place the blind in pairing mode. To place the blind in paring mode you must tap the programming button rapidly four times and then hold the button down on the fifth tap. You’ll note that a red light flashes each time you tap the programming button. While holding the button down on the fifth tap, you’ll see a green light appear and begin to flash. Also, you will see the blind motor jog forward and back to confirm that the paring has started. You can release the programming button at this point and then tap the option to Scan for nearby devices within your SmartThings App. Shortly after you begin scanning, the green paring light will stop flashing and the blind will jog a second time as confirmation that the blind was paired successfully.
Now this is where I got stumped during the initial set-up. Although the blind motor was supposedly paired, my ST app stated that there were no devices found. So I signed into my ST Account to see if the blind was present under the Devices tab. I did not see my Zigbee Blind in the list, but I did find and a new device called Thing under the My Devices tab.
Assigning the DTH in the My Devices list
Once you have paired your blind, you need to log back into your SmartThings IDE at account.smartthings.com. Click on the My Devices tab. Find the new device called Thing in the device list. Click on the device called Thing, and click Edit. Change the Name of the device from Thing to Blind. Add the word Blind the field provided for the Label name. Leave the Zigbee ID and Device Network ID as is. Change the Device Type Handler to the Zemismart Zigbee Blind, which is the name of the Custom Device Handler we added. Assign the appropriate Hub and Group. I assigned my Blind to my Kitchen Group.
Once these device changes are saved in the ST IDE, you should get a confirmation message on your from your Amazon connected voice assistant that the Blind has been added. You may now go back into your SmartThings App to finish the blind setup.
Entering the Blind Settings in ST App
Before attempting to operate your blind with the ST App, you must first populate the settings section. Start with the settings that I give you, then if you discover the blind is working in reverse, meaning that the blind opens when you tap the close button, then you simply need to reverse the settings.
To access the blind settings, open you SmartThings App and Tap on the Blind device. Tap on the ellipsis in the upper right hand corner. Tap on Settings and enter the following values. Please note that the blind motor will jog after you save each setting value to confirm the setting change:
Set Preset position to 50. Please note that you must delete the set value and enter it again to enable the save button.
Set Direction Set to Forward
Set Replace Open and Close commands to Replace
Set App opening, closing Change to Forward. This changes the direction of the blind in the ST App.
Set RC opening, closing Change to Reverse. This changes the direction of the blind on the Remote Control.
Test you blind’s operation using the App and echo commands. Make necessary changes in your ST App settings.
Setting Blind Limits:
With the blind setup in your SmartThings and Alexa Apps, you may now set your blind’s upper and lower limits. Your blind can be programmed for up to six blind positions. All positions can be fine-tuned or deleted separately.
There is a program button on the back of the remote. To program the first limit, press the Down button on the front of the remote to move the roller motor to the lower limit position. Then press the programming button on the back of the remote for one second. The blind motor will jog once. Fine tune the lower limit position by tapping the up or down buttons. When you have the blind at the desired limit position, press the programming button on the back of the remote to save that limit position. The motor will jog once to confirm that the limit position is set.
Press the up button to position the roller motor in the top limit position and repeat the programming process for the upper limit.
While using the remote, if you find that the blind is operating in reverse, meaning it closes when you tap the Up button, you can correct the direction by holding the center stop button on the face of the remote for five seconds. The blind will jog. Then tap the down button. The blind will jog a second time to confirm the direction change.
Optional Solar Panel
As mentioned previously, the Zemismart folks were gracious enough to send me a solar panel. The document supplied with the solar panel stated that the panel will fully charge the roller motor following two days of full sunlight. However, when attempting to attach the panel’s power cord to the blind motor I realized that there was no way to connect it. The panel’s power cord is equipped with a Micro DC Power Adapter; however the roller motor has a Micro USB port. So I needed an adaptor to supply solar power to the motor. I purchased a Micro DC to Micro USB adapter on Amazon. This adapter enabled me to connect the solar panel power supply cable to the blind motor.
Since our kitchen window faces to the west, my wife requested to have the blinds set to close 30 minutes before sunset and then open again at sunrise. I made two separate automations to accomplish these actions, one for Sunrise and a second for Sunset. If there is interest expressed by an ample number of Subscribers I will do a brief video on how to set-up these automations.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Do I like this blind? Absolutely! I love this blind. My wife is extremely happy with the blind as well. It is attractive, reliable and very quiet while opening or closing. It can be controlled by the ST App; With my Echo devices; Or with the provided remote control.
Do I recommend this product? Absolutely!
Is this product for all smart home enthusiasts? It depends. If you are an experienced smart home owner with some extra cash then this is a must have in my book.
However, it you are a smart home beginner who is looking for an out-of-the-box plug and play solution then this product is probably not for you. This solution requires some knowledge for installing custom device handlers and may not be suitable to the faint in heart.
I also do not recommend this product for the cost conscious buyer. The cost of these blinds is still somewhat prohibitive for the average smart home owner, particularly if you are planning to equip more than a couple of windows.
You can save some cash by purchasing Zemismart roller blind motors and installing them into your existing roller blinds. If you intend to purchase blinds for this particular motor size, you’ll need to purchase 38 mm hollow aluminum roller blinds. Such roller blind will accommodate motor size found in the Zemismart model AM25-ZB-FB.
So that is a rap on the Zemismart Zigbee Roller blind. I trust you found today’s episode helpful. If you’d like to view or purchase these attractive blinds, just check out the links that accompany this video.
🟡 Smart devices featured in this article: