Hunter Douglas PowerView shades & blinds - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 184 Old 06-03-2016, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SkippyJustice View Post
We took the schedule and then copied every scheduled event adding 1 minute to the schedule time. So basically everything runs twice. So far it has been working.
Great short term solution! Thanks!
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post #62 of 184 Old 06-03-2016, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Ooooo! Thanks for that link, I've ordered one. I've been meaning to do some BLE development and that looks like it'll help!
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post #63 of 184 Old 06-03-2016, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what the hell is going on, but I've got two shades that intermittently fail to respond to the remote, the hub or both... randomly. The one in the master bedroom (the important room, as that's the one where the wife INSISTS the blackout shades actually, y'know, CLOSE? That one, I don't know, yesterday it just would not listen to the Pebble remote. Nada, nothing, the other two in the room worked ok. On a lark I pulled up the app on an Android table and gave the shade a jog... and it moved. Sent it the close command and it did nothing. Sent it again and it closed.

The hit-and-miss aspect here is infuriating. Not at ALL acceptable at this price point.
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post #64 of 184 Old 06-03-2016, 05:57 PM
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The hit-and-miss aspect here is infuriating. Not at ALL acceptable at this price point.
Agreed. So far my method of copying the schedule is also hit and miss. I tried copying it out by one minute. I have even tried triplicating it. It is still missing shades. It seems like the Hub misses more often than the remote. I am now going to try pushing it out every 5 minutes for 3 Cycles. I will report back
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post #65 of 184 Old 06-04-2016, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Ooooo! Thanks for that link, I've ordered one. I've been meaning to do some BLE development and that looks like it'll help!
Those Adafruit folks are quick, it just arrived here yesterday. I'm going to see about getting it set up on a laptop this weekend. I'm very interested to see if it'll hear any of the HD shade RF signals.
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post #66 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 09:10 AM
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[QUOTE=wkearney99;44496177 I'm very interested to see if it'll hear any of the HD shade RF signals.[/QUOTE]
Me, too. I do not own any HA BLE devices at this point, so I'd appreciate if you shared your experience. Assuming that HD indeed uses BLE.

We have a sunroom with 7 large windows and a sliding door that I am not sure what to do about. So, we are looking at various options, but have not come to a decision yet.
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post #67 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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As I tell anyone interested in window treatments, consider working with a designer/decorator that understands your goals.

Sliding doors are an adventure. There's something to be said for not automating them if they're going to be getting used a lot. Anything you put on an actively used sliding door is going to suffer from abuse; automated or not. People that don't understand how or aren't willing to use the mechanism properly are likely to cause breakage. It's one thing to have an inexpensive traverse rod setup get broken. It's another to have a pricey automated setup get wrecked. Me, I avoided sliding doors entirely when we built the new house. French doors instead and either no shades at all or frosted glass. That and they're placed such that there's no privacy issues to be overly concerned about. Not everyone has that option, of course. This is why I highly recommend spending some time (and perhaps money) working with someone that really understands window treatments and their impact on lifestyle.

As for large windows, do you mean height, width or both? Some treatment options are better than others when it comes to automating large sections. The bigger the spread, the more power necessary to move the material. Some situations can't be done effectively without going with hard-wired options for power. Control can still be wireless, but moving a lot of fabric just might not be practical (or even possible) with batteries. Here again is a reason to work with a local supplier.

Tried using the BLE gizmo but ran afoul of errors. Not sure what's going on. Drivers and whatnot are an adventure sometimes when Wireshark is involved...
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post #68 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

As for large windows, do you mean height, width or both?
...
Tried using the BLE gizmo but ran afoul of errors. Not sure what's going on. Drivers and whatnot are an adventure sometimes when Wireshark is involved...
The windows are about 70x42 (hxw) separated by about 9" columns. The arrangement: w - w -w - 90 degree corner- w - w -sliding door- w - w, or in other words, one 'panel' of three windows and two "panels of two windows with a sliding door in between. Saw a number of options, talked to several people loked nothing (aesthetically speaking).

Re. sniffer. Does Nordic's Windows utility show any traffic ? Or it does not see the USB hardware at this point ?
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post #69 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vc123 View Post
The windows are about 70x42 (hxw) separated by about 9" columns. The arrangement: w - w -w - 90 degree corner- w - w -sliding door- w - w, or in other words, one 'panel' of three windows and two "panels of two windows with a sliding door in between. Saw a number of options, talked to several people loked nothing (aesthetically speaking).

Re. sniffer. Does Nordic's Windows utility show any traffic ? Or it does not see the USB hardware at this point ?
The sniffer setup sort of worked but then Wireshark kept quitting, and then the sniffer wouldn't work. I didn't have time to be doing the reboot dance to figure it out. That and the laptop in question was running Windows 10, likely adding further complications.

An aspect to consider for window treatments is layering. What gets used to make the windows 'look pretty' is sometimes different than what you use for privacy. As in, there are sheers, drapes or other fancy kinds of things that make it look nice during the day, but at night the roller shades come down and close off the view. Or there's two sets of rollers, one for daytime privacy and another for blackout. There are dual rollers in one assembly mechanisms out there. Likewise roman shades, with their layers of material can pull double-duty of decoration and privacy/light management.

It really depends on what's going to fit your needs best and have a look that works. None of it will be cheap, so get over the hope of any kind of cost savings.
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post #70 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
have a look that works. None of it will be cheap, so get over the hope of any kind of cost savings.
The "look" is what's most problematic, I have reconciled myself to the cost. We are in no hurry, especially because the room looks not bad without any shades and the location is such that privacy concerns do not arise as much as they might have otherwise.
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post #71 of 184 Old 06-05-2016, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I deliberately did not get shades when we first moved into the house. Instead I just used some of the temporary stick-on fan-fold kind. A tip shared with me about those was NEVER put the adhesive part on any painted surface, just clear off enough backing to allow sticking it to the glass.

Yes, this wasn't pretty but it served to let us learn just how much light and privacy we did or didn't want across the various spaces. It likewise taught us which windows won't really EVER have their position changed, thus saving a fair bit of money not automating them. We went with the manual kind, that adjust via a grab handle on the shades themselves.
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post #72 of 184 Old 06-07-2016, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, did they lose their database of logins or something? I could have sworn that I'd already set up an account for the app. Nope, no login found for my e-mail... Oookay..

Set it up, try to login.... app crashes. SMH....

Restart, needs to register my hub.... hangs, endlessly spins busy icon on screen.... nothing.... Restart... and it's already registered?

Great...

All because I'm trying to use the app to set up a second schedule to overcome the failure the way the blinds fail to work in the first place!

Curiously IFTTT now seems to have an interface. Might use that as a belt-and-suspenders bit of coverage... I mean, hey, the blinds are already randomly operating, why not add IFTTT's inconsistencies to the mix as well!
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post #73 of 184 Old 06-08-2016, 10:26 PM
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did any one sync these with lutron or vivint and how
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post #74 of 184 Old 06-09-2016, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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did any one sync these with lutron or vivint and how
I addressed this in the Lutron thread: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/162-ho...l#post44610377

No, basically there's no way to tie PowerView and RA2 to each other, at least not without using a 3rd party automation system.

Vivint doesn't have that. Meanwhile their CEO's hobby seems to result in killing children: https://ksl.com/?sid=40088902&nid=148
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post #75 of 184 Old 06-09-2016, 06:39 AM
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The sniffer setup sort of worked but then Wireshark kept quitting, and then the sniffer wouldn't work. I didn't have time to be doing the reboot dance to figure it out. That and the laptop in question was running Windows 10, likely adding further complications.
I have a small project where I need to measure temperature at several points in my house.

So, I thought about using BLE beacons that provide temperature/humidity and got the other day the same sniffer as you did. Surprisingly, the easiest way to use it was on my my macbook pro. I just needed to install this piece (https://sourceforge.net/projects/nrf...e=typ_redirect ) referenced from the sniffer instructions and wireshark 1.12.12. Wireshark 1.12.12 requires Quartz (X11) which I already had. Wireshark 2.0.4 that does not require X11 may not work. I have not experienced any crashes and did not need to play with USB FTDI drivers -- the sniffer was immediately visible. On my Windows notebook I did experience some crashes.

Since I do not own any beacons (one is still on its way), I tested the setup with my ipad that can emulate an ibeacon by running an app. I just downloaded a random app from the appstore.

Here's a tshark verbose output for one frame (wireshark shows the same info in UI):

Frame 873: 62 bytes on wire (496 bits), 62 bytes captured (496 bits) on interface 0
Interface id: 0 (\\.\pipe\wireshark_nordic_ble)
Encapsulation type: USER 10 (55)
Arrival Time: Dec 31, 1969 19:00:44.285555000 EST
[Time shift for this packet: 0.000000000 seconds]
Epoch Time: 44.285555000 seconds
[Time delta from previous captured frame: 0.014118000 seconds]
[Time delta from previous displayed frame: 0.014118000 seconds]
[Time since reference or first frame: 14.535489000 seconds]
Frame Number: 873
Frame Length: 62 bytes (496 bits)
Capture Length: 62 bytes (496 bits)
[Frame is marked: False]
[Frame is ignored: False]
[Protocols in frame: nordic_ble:btle:btcommon]
Nordic BLE Sniffer Meta
Nordic BLE V2: 1c0637011913060a
Board number: 0x1c (28)
Header length: 0x06 (6)
Payload length: 0x37 (55)
Protocol Version: 1
UART Packet Count: 4889
Packet Type: Event Packet (0x06)
Event Header Length: 0x0a (10)
Flags: 0x01
.... .0.. = Encrypted: No (0)
.... ..0. = Direction: Slave -> Master (0)
.... ...1 = CRC: OK (1)
Channel: 38
RSSI: -62 dBm
Delta Time: 352
Bluetooth Low Energy Link Layer
Access Address: 0x8e89bed6
Packet Header: 0x2440 (PDU Type: ADV_IND, TxAdd=false, RxAdd=false)
..00 .... = RFU: 0
.1.. .... = Randomized Tx Address: True
...0 .... = Reserved: False
.... 0000 = PDU Type: ADV_IND (0x00)
00.. .... = RFU: 0
..10 0100 = Length: 36
Advertising Address: 49:17:8c:39:7e:bb (49:17:8c:39:7e:bb)
Advertising Data
Flags
Length: 2
Type: Flags (0x01)
000. .... = Reserved: 0x00
...1 .... = Simultaneous LE and BR/EDR to Same Device Capable (Host): true (0x01)
.... 1... = Simultaneous LE and BR/EDR to Same Device Capable (Controller): true (0x01)
.... .0.. = BR/EDR Not Supported: false (0x00)
.... ..1. = LE General Discoverable Mode: true (0x01)
.... ...0 = LE Limited Discoverable Mode: false (0x00)
Manufacturer Specific
Length: 26
Type: Manufacturer Specific (0xff)
Company ID: Apple, Inc. (0x004c)
Data: 0215ebf6ce32e303491fbde92afe07fa8d9a00010001c8
[Expert Info (Unknown (83886080)/Protocol): Undecoded]
[Undecoded]
[Severity level: Unknown]
[Group: Protocol]
CRC: 0x61ca94
[Expert Info (Chat/Protocol): correct]
[correct]
[Severity level: Chat]
[Group: Protocol]

The interesting metric is 'RSSI: -62 dBm', of course. That was captured at about 1 meter from the sniffer. RSSI jumps about a bit between -60 and -65 depending on how I hold the iPad in my hands. At 20', RSSI is about -75dbm. Interestingly, the ibeacon packet claims that the signal strength at 1 meter should be -55 (the last byte in the payload).

I'll see how it goes with a real beacon, and then, perhaps, will graduate to an HD wireless assuming it's a BLE one
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post #76 of 184 Old 06-09-2016, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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On my Windows notebook I did experience some crashes...

...perhaps, will graduate to an HD wireless assuming it's a BLE one
I just don't have free time at the moment to fight the usual driver nonsense with Wireshark. I'm sure there's some magic incantation or animal sacrifice necessary, but not right now...

I have a couple of AprilBrother beacons and did see packets from them while I had it running. I pulled their batteries, so as to avoid anything 'known' sending BLE traffic. Likewise shutdown any iOS devices. I had the Pebble remote handy and sent some commands but didn't see anything in the Wireshark dumps. I did not have a chance to try using the app to send shade movement commands via the hub.

That's as far as I was able to get.
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post #77 of 184 Old 06-09-2016, 10:28 AM
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Still having problems. Spoke to the seller and we are going to add repeaters in every room. My house is a two story, 2500 sq ft home. It is almost square. The maximum distance from the hub (which is almost in the center of the house) is probably 25-35 ft. I am now adding repeaters to shades that are maybe 15 ft away from the hub. I have a 75 MB down, 75 MB up Fiber Optic connection with a Nighthawk router so it isn't the network. It is absurd that HD cannot make a solution that has a range that extends beyond a few feet. It is not like wireless technology is brand new either. Even more hilarious, I have to pay for each of the repeaters so that the $10-11K system I bought can work. Great job HD. Your crack team of 1970s engineers is doing a wonderful job. Maybe your next automated solution can release a flock of carrier pigeons that can pull on the shade cord while crapping all over my house. $10K. This system should work...
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post #78 of 184 Old 06-12-2016, 04:26 AM
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Amazing

After reading this thread I am very happy to have gone with Somfy brand motors. That and the fact the HD quote was $5K more than what we went with, also, Somfy working well with home automation systems. Good luck!
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post #79 of 184 Old 06-13-2016, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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After reading this thread I am very happy...
Well, good for you. Unfortunately they don't offer a top-down/bottom-up option in the style, width and kinds of material I wanted. There's a lot more to automating window treatments than the majority of vendors offer. Mine happened to fall into a group where HD is pretty much the only supplier I could find. My advice to others is be sure your window treatment plan can actually be automated effectively.
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post #80 of 184 Old 06-13-2016, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Great short term solution! Thanks!
I can also offer that works for the one shade that bugs my wife. I setup a second scheduled event for the scene as a backup. The 1st one fires 10 minutes before sunset. This one fires 10 minutes after. There's not often anyone in that room during that time. But now it'll at least have a shot and making sure the damned shade is closed when she does get there.

I may try fiddling around to see just how closely together I can program the events. The shade motion typically takes less than a minute to complete, so I could in theory just set them back-to-back.

Since these are tied to an offset of sunset, the time is never the same day-to-day. And there's nothing else scheduled on anything else in the house at that same offset. But it's a suburban house and there are other houses potentially close enough for there to be other things that could potentially interfere. Nobody within 200' has HD shades, I checked. But there's plenty of other stuff on cordless phones, WiFi and Bluetooth bands.

Without tools to monitor, however, it's just guesswork.
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post #81 of 184 Old 06-13-2016, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by c-wolff View Post
After reading this thread I am very happy to have gone with Somfy brand motors. That and the fact the HD quote was $5K more than what we went with, also, Somfy working well with home automation systems. Good luck!
How has Somfy's Mylink app been working for you? I'm just curious to hear your personal experience so far.
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post #82 of 184 Old 06-13-2016, 02:22 PM
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this all sounds like complete hell (coming from someone who's just getting into the home automation game)
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post #83 of 184 Old 06-14-2016, 05:07 AM
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It might be useful to know that the RF output of all of the PowerView remote devices is the same strength, which is at FCC maximum level. In other words, the RF output of the Hub, the Pebble Remote, the Repeaters are all the same strength.

I would not expect the Hub (or any other of the other devices) to work in one hop for any great distance, such as 25 to 30 feet through walls.

Also to keep in mind, too many repeaters in one area can create issues. The preferred number is one per room.
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post #84 of 184 Old 06-14-2016, 09:52 AM
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It might be useful to know that the RF output of all of the PowerView remote devices is the same strength, which is at FCC maximum level. In other words, the RF output of the Hub, the Pebble Remote, the Repeaters are all the same strength.
We do not know whether the HD RF gadgets use maximum allowable power level, much less if they use the same level without measuring those levels.

From their FCC filing, it appears that they do just the opposite for whatever misguided reason(e.g. conserving batteries at the expense of communication reliability) : https://fccid.io/UXUSC4U1

I agree wrt too many repeaters. They may, in fact, make the situation worse by cluttering the already cluttered 2.4GHz band even more.
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post #85 of 184 Old 06-14-2016, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vc123 View Post
We do not know whether the HD RF gadgets use maximum allowable power level, much less if they use the same level without measuring those levels.

From their FCC filing, it appears that they do just the opposite for whatever misguided reason(e.g. conserving batteries at the expense of communication reliability) : https://fccid.io/UXUSC4U1

I agree wrt too many repeaters. They may, in fact, make the situation worse by cluttering the already cluttered 2.4GHz band even more.


I'm only passing along what Hunter has told me regarding power output of the remote devices.

I do know that they do everything possible to conserve battery usage.
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post #86 of 184 Old 06-29-2016, 10:22 AM
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Just a follow up from my earlier posts. The shades seem to be automating well now and following the schedule I have created. That being said, we had to purchase a bunch of repeaters. Almost every room in my house has one of those little repeaters plugged into an outlet. It's kind of ridiculous. The repeaters cost me $75 each. It also doesn't make a ton of sense that the reach of the hub is so short. I think HD went cheap on the hub.

It is nice to have the blinds on a schedule though. That being said, I cannot get my blinds to run off of the IFTTT.com app website. My log for IFTTT says it has run 17 times but I have never seen the shades respond accordingly. I cannot get the shades to run when I login remotely (when I am not in range of the hub, ex. I am at work). I have tried repeatedly (no pun intended on a mostly "repeater" post).

On the upside, it is cool to be standing outside your house, click a button on your phone and watch everything open or close.
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post #87 of 184 Old 06-29-2016, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Schedules are great. I have four main sets I use. Night, Daytime, Privacy and Open. I'm adding a weekday schedule for Privacy as I'd prefer some side windows were a little more closed while I'm working in the home office.

I'm looking forward to experimenting with some "light harvesting" options in the future. I've got some office and breakfast table windows that would benefit from being adjusted based on their south-facing exposure and amount of daylight and outside temperature conditions. I can't do that with anything in the Hunter Douglas gear, of course, but other automation systems might offer some ways to pull it all together. The trick is getting PowerView shade integration into them. Which shouldn't be hard, except for Hunter Douglas having no decent developer documentation.
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post #88 of 184 Old 06-29-2016, 02:27 PM
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Kind of hijacking the thread, but curious about how people are doing scheduling / integration with keypads. This isn't HD specific - but thought I'd ask it here as a continuation of the thread.

Specifically, I have keypads in the kids's rooms with 4 buttons, and I'm hoping to provide integration between the lighting and shades; I can also control the lighting/shades via scheduling, to some degree.

My thought was to do the following:
  • Keypad
    1. On - Lights On and Shades down
    2. Night time - Lights lower and Shades down
    3. Nite Lite - Lights low and Shades down
    4. Off - Lights Off and Shades down
  • Scheduling
    1. 9am - open shades

What I'm struggling with is that the kids are still napping, so even in the middle of the day, the shades have to go down. But, what do we do after the kid wakes up from their afternoon nap, which could be 1 or 5pm, to open the shades again from the keypad? How do people normally do this - what scenes do you label/program into the keypads and how do you link that to the shades?

I think I might be able to do this with the limited control I have on time of day scenes, where we open the shades when the lights go on - I just don't want that to always happen, like when we're putting the kids to sleep.
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post #89 of 184 Old 06-29-2016, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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It's probably worth it's own thread.

What you'd use would depend on what you have. You'd need an automation tool of some sort that spoke to both your lighting and your shade systems. Which do what is definitely beyond the scope of this particular thread.

For a situation like kids napping and their wakeup time I'm not sure I'd use schedules. Any time they're asleep is precious (to the parents). You don't want gizmos screwing that up. So I'd lean more toward schedules for known evening sleep time. I say schedules because with the range of winter/summer daylight hours it might be best to set two. One for X minutes before/after sunset and then another for a fixed 'bedtime'. This way you're covered for a 4:30pm sunset in Winter, but always for the 8:00pm bedtime in the Summer. Wake time isn't as easy, you'd like just want to use a fixed time.

One point of concern, kids and automated shades don't always mix well. Little ones fiddling with the hardware can lead to problems. I deliberately went with non-automated shades for our child's room for this reason. Better to avoid a $200 add-on to a shade being something that gets broken...
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post #90 of 184 Old 06-30-2016, 03:00 PM
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Out of curiosity, what problems have you seen with kids and automated shades? I was making an assumption that since we've been okay with the kids and non-automated shades so far, there wouldn't be a problem. Since all of the hardware is up above the window, what damage can they do?
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