iBlinds - first experience (pretty good)

In searching the HE forum, I didn't see much on this product. But, it looked good compared to the really inflated prices of automated window coverings. I don't think there is any thread dedicated to iBlinds, but there were a few comments:


It looked good enough for me to take a flyer. (To my surprise, I discovered that I had backed them with a $59 kickstarter pledge in 2015 that was never charged, so they must not have met their goal.) One kit cost me $142 shipped, no taxes.

Although probably not a wise choice for the first test, I put it on a 6' wide blind. The house is 25 years old, and my guess is that the blinds are also 25 years old. My first challenge was pulling the twist rod out of the mechanism. After sucking up the dust and soaking it with WD40, it finally came out fairly easily. The motor and battery all fit in nicely and the rod aligned well with the motor. There is a little plastic USB adapter that is designed to fit into the hole the houses the pull string, but mine was fractions of a millimeter too small so I had to slightly file it bigger; it then snapped into place securely.

Pairing was straightforward: Hubitat Z-Wave pairing mode, then push one button on the motor. It was discovered easily. The device handler is on the iBlinds site and I just changed the discovered generic device to the iBlinds device. RM treats it like a shade and is intuitive. Alexa will open/close. (I haven't yet turned it on for Google Home, but I don't expect any problem.)

When it began the auto-calibration, it cycled the tilt position endlessly. I'm not sure how I stopped it. The iBlinds knowledge base suggested raising the blinds 3/4 way to reduce the strain, which worked and permitted the calibration to finish in two cycles. Thereafter, the tilt has worked correctly with the blinds all the way down. I imagine a smaller set of blinds would not have this problem.

To answer @scottgu3 question: I do have concerns over losing the mechanical backup of the pull strings. As long as the motor works and Alexa sees it, this won't cause WAF issues for me, but if that fails I anticipate major issues. I'll probably get a couple more, but the lack of a manual over-ride will keep it off a few windows.

Notwithstanding WAF concerns, it's one of the few items I've implemented that elicited a "that's cool" comment from my better half.


Good to hear about your success!

I think...after some consideration, my concern over the tilt mechanism might be alleviated by avoiding motorized blinds in bedrooms.

Then if something didn't work, it's a minor annoyance rather than a full on "&@%###!!! I have to repair this $$*#@#$ thing" at 10pm at night so I can limit WAF meltdown!

I seriously like the idea though.


I have 4 of these installed and they went in easily. However, my WAF was in the negatives when she realized she couldn't control them manually. I quickly stuck Samsung buttons near the kitchen and the dining room ones with rules to allow her to cycle through 50%, 70% and closed.

Their support is quite responsive. They modified their Hubitat driver to allow closed to be either 0% or 99% (our bedroom window shades block more light when closed in the fully up position).
They have mentioned that they may modify their firmware in future versions to allow the external button to control opening and closing.

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Last I read, the current iBlinds hardware does not support OTA updates, so we're stuck with what we've got now, but future hardware revisions may either include OTA or on-board updated firmware, where they may consider implementing this feature. (I have no idea what was wrong with their beta testers' Z-Wave networks, but apparently they asked for the button on the charging block that replaces the tilt cord to be include/exclude rather than something useful day-to-day like physical control after you get it installed, but I digress.)

Excellent idea! If you have Caséta or RA2, Lutron Picos also work quite well for this. They make Picos labeled for shades or blinds, but on Hubitat, the cheap 5-button lights Pico works just as well (I did put P-Touch labels over most of mine to make the icons match, though :slight_smile: ).

I just finished install of an iblinds - my experience was NOT GOOD. I actually told support this felt like a bad kickstarter, which is funny being that it started out as a kickstarter! Didn't know that at the time.

  1. Pairing flaky and had to be done right next to my hub, the problem here is it goes through a calibration process when setup and I think part of my issues are it can't pair AND be installed a the same time.

I suppose I could drag my hub right next to it, but frankly for this money ($139) I just expect it to perform better, it's got a battery but usb hardwired - power is not an issue - especially for pairing.

  1. Got it installed and showing in hubitat, commands sometimes work and sometimes don't, but regardless it just moves a teeny tiny bit. I can't get it to calibrate again, even though I push the calibrate button. In fact since there are no lights on this thing I can't tell if button pushes work.

It's their driver and my favorite part is that there is a comment at the top that says "needs work" professional.

This thing looks good as far as fit and finish but it's not been great for me, there is NO way I'd fill my house with these.

I've sent a support ticket in, so I'll update if there is some kind of fix for the above and I can get these reliably working - I really wanted this to work, bummed.

I am enjoying using a Pico with my Graber (Somfy) shade in my office. Top (on) button is all the way open, #2 (up) button is 25% closed, middle (round) button is 50% closed, #4 (down) button is 75% closed, and the bottom (off) button is completely closed. I don't really have any need for more granularity than that.

You shouldn't need to do this. They are Z-Wave Plus and should be able to pair through the mesh. If they can't, you likely lack sufficient repeaters.

...which would also explain this problem. If a Z-Wave Plus device can't pair in place (with the exception of some secure devices that require proximity to the hub), they are unlikely to work in place for the same reason as above.

As stated in the manual, pressing the calibration button alone does nothing. What it will do is start calibration the next time you issue a command to the device, then execute that command. For example, if they are currently open, press the calibration button, then issue a close() command (open() again might work too, but I'm not sure I'd trust their driver at this point). They will calibrate first.

I saw that, too. At least they weren't lying when they said the driver needs work (it does). :slight_smile: (In there defense, they do not claim specific compatibility with Hubitat, and it's likely the generic shade driver would work, but I haven't tried.)

Hey @bertabcd1234 thanks for the thoughts. I agree it should pair in place, I also have two z wave wall switches ( repeaters) between the blinds and the hub, line of site I’m guessing < 10 feet between devices. Still no go.

Clicking open or close does Something ( the motor makes an attempt at moving) but it doesn’t move, the Hubitat device page does show the state change. Clicking calibrate then a command doesn’t do anything either.

I disagree with the statement they don’t support Hubitat, can you imagine nvidia releasing a windows driver for a graphics card but saying “windows is not supported”? They released a driver for hubitat, I’m expecting support.

They being whom?

The manufacturer, had a driver for smart things and Hubitat on their site.

Ok, so any questions regarding the driver functionality need to be directed to them since we haven't verified the product or their driver.

@mike.maxwell absolutely, the "they" who owe support is iblind, didn't mean to imply otherwise.

I don't think it's a hub issue (or even a driver issue), my product doesn't work at all like their docs, nothing happens pretty much at all the way they describe.

I just spent the last 2 hours trying to even get it to calibrate and it only ever closes - the calibration process per their site opens and closes several times. Perhaps a dud, but the whole experience with it has probably been the worst I've dealt with for smart products. From pairing to install etc.

30 times up and down the ladder trouble shooting and since it's clearly not working and it has no manual mode. I just had to rip it all out. It's my wife's favorite window to look out during the day, WAF plummeted when she realized it was stuck closed until the product is replaced/returned.

The only real way to tell is to have someone like us, join and test the device, sniff the frames ect...

Hi @rob121. Is it possible that main shaft in your blinds are not lined up with the iBlinds motor? It sounds like the motor is having difficulty turning the shaft.

@rob121 Any chance this is your problem calibrating?

I do have a spare iBlinds motor if you wanted one for testing. :slight_smile: You'd probably have to have spare 2" blinds to put them in to actually test. That being said, the driver they provided doesn't look that bad, and I'm not sure it supports anything they didn't (try to) implement...

FYI, I finally got around to fixing some things in their driver I didn't like (and leaving some things they had in there but I wasn't sure why just in case they know what they were doing...) and modifying the rest to be more Hubitat-like. See here:

My favorite thing is that the "Last Updated" field on the device now gets updated when the blinds are actually manipulated, so Device Watchdog is usable for them now. :slight_smile:


Still Rock solid? I'm about to order 1 to test. Wish it had a manual button. I plan on using double tap on light switches to run rules for them.

Mine are working well so far. I had one that had problems tilting but was able to fix it by re-seating the motor in the headrail, and on some I've had problems routing the lift cord under the motor like you're supposed to, which makes raising/lowering difficult, but I haven't wanted to do that much since I got these, so that's not a big deal for me (and undoubtedly depends on what blinds you have, and I was able to find a spot in the headrail that did work well enough for me). None of these are really related to Hubitat or Z-Wave, and all seems well in that regard for me as long as you're confident that you won't want manual control without your hub, since they didn't include that (I'm still shocked they made the button on the charging "nub" that sticks out where the tilt rod used to go do inclusion/exclusion--may have made sense for their beta testers but certainly not for us; it can be done from the button in the headrail unit).

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