Summer is near. In the UK, you cherish each sunny day, erect altars and shrines for the sun to shine all day. I just find creative ways to protect myself from direct sunshine like a technologically advanced vampire. I have Zemismart motorised curtains (review) in my bedroom, now it’s time to fit Zemismart motorised blinds in my office. Why? I have to keep the sun out, otherwise, I can’t see the screen of my PC.
Zemismart motorised blinds
It’s nice to have standards, as long as the standards apply to something meaningful. Windows in here are mostly made to the size of whatever was at hand at that time, so most blinds are ordered to size (this is why IKEA blinds won’t take off in the UK). These “standards” were the reason why adding Zemismart motorised blinds was more complicated than I thought.
Zemismart was kind enough to send me a sample that works with WiFi and Tuya ecosystem (hacking will happen eventually). The motorised shaft works with 37mm diameter rollers. While 37mm is considered a standard, just not for my window’s width.
My current blinds are made of paper (sic!). The roll is about 25mm in diameter, there was no way I’d fir the Zemismart shaft inside. I thought: “it’s OK”. I will spend extra £30 and treat myself to new blinds, but after going through 6 different UK suppliers, I had been told that my window isn’t wide enough for 37mm and I can have a 32mm diameter instead. Thankfully Zemismart came to rescue and sent me matching blinds too otherwise I’d be stuck with this forever.
To make things fun, FedEx lost the parcel and some random stranger turned up on my doorstep with my blinds – saying he found it on the street 3 miles away! FedEx had the cheek to invoice me as for that parcel too! One more headache to deal with.
Making a perfect fit
Blinds are easy to fit, providing your measurements are spot on. This won’t apply to the Zemismart roller kit, but here are tips to make a perfect fit:
- window cavities may look square, but may not be
- to measure the width of the cavity take a right triangle to check how close you can get to a corner, mark the position on both ends, then measure the distance between markings
- Zemismart roller will take up 10+14=28mm off your total width
- keep blinds close to the window, but consider handles
There is no point at looking at the shaft itself (unless you love looking at motorised shafts), all the electronics are hidden inside. It will be as pretty as the roller blinds you have. Just be super accurate with your fittings. It takes about 20 min providing you have all tools at hand to install Zemismart motorised blinds.
Zemismart roller in use
Before I could use Zemismart motorised blinds, I had to set the upper and lower limits, otherwise, the roller would spin like a cyclist at the Tour de France. The manual doesn’t mention which button is the “set” key After mashing all the buttons randomly, I finally found it. It’s the one at the bottom side of the remote. Once you know this, the manual does a decent enough job explaining how to set/reset roller’s limits.
Zemismart rollers I have are WiFi – so you don’t need Tuya hub to use it. You will need the Tuya app to operate it. I have used it before and the app is pretty decent in terms of what you can do with it. Timed controls and temperature-related automation are probably the best. If your window opens inwards, you could use door/window contacts to stop automatic schedules.
Sooner or later, I will hack these as I’m planning to add some fun automation scenarios. The ones that come to my mind are:
- Close blinds X min before sunset
- Open blinds in the morning (set time)
- Open blinds in the morning (Android Alarm Sync)
- Close blinds when TV/Projector is on
- Close blinds when the room temperature is too high
Expect to see the tutorials soon. I will hack 3 different devices from Zemismart: curtains, roller blinds and chain driver for verticals.
Zemismart roller integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa, however, I can’t use “open|close” commands – it responds to “on|off|percentage level”. I will set some routines to bypass this.
The biggest weakness is the noise level. The roller is louder than I would like. While Zemismart motorised curtains were very quiet in operation, this set up isn’t. I guess the motor is strong enough to lift big blinds and that comes at the cost of noise levels.
The new setup works very well. Blinds fit the window well, and the blackout material stops the sun from getting inside. The roller is louder than expected but the noise lasts a couple of seconds and it’s not the end of the world. What I’m going to do next, is to design a 3D conversion kit for 32mm shafts. The roller driver is small enough to fit inside so it shouldn’t be an issue! ant the price point of $40-50 is definitely attractive! Let me know what do you think in this Reddit thread.