Roller Shutter Control Australia (and intro)

Hi everyone,

Firstly, some back story.

I'm a Hubitat noob, still waiting for my hub to arrive to Australia, so please forgive my ignorance. I started out with a SmartThings V3 hub just 2 weeks ago, and although the ST UI is much more aesthetically pleasing, the automations and supported devices are quite limited without coding, and I want to make everything local and integrated.
I currently have a few Lifx globes, wifi smart plugs, Google home minis, Xiaomi vacuum and just began building a Sonos system. Coming this week is a Broadlink RM Pro+ for my ceiling fans, and an Alpha Neo hub for my roller blinds, as well as a ST button and Aeotec motion sensor to play with.

For now, I'm just planning out what can and can't be done in my home and buying a few bits to get started. My main area of focus and frustrations is automation of my existing roller shutters.

I have 9x external shutters that were installed when I bought the house. I visited the installers yesterday to discuss my options. As they are standard mains-powered motors without RF, and quite good, reliable quality, he said they are not worth replacing just yet.
Therefore, my options seem to be:

  1. install RF receivers in-line to each motor (electrician), then add their supplied RF blaster (Link), to hook up to the network. This option seems to venture well over $1000 for 9x shutters.
  2. install some sort of Z-wave/ZigBee/wifi switch or relay to each shutter control.

Option 2 seems more practical but still expensive.
What are my options in Australia?
I don't have a Z-wave or ZigBee network yet, but a device of each on their way to play with. However, my Ubiquiti network with Unifi Protect and 3xAPs is strong as an ox.

What do I need to automate shutters in a simplistic way? A relay? Switch? Both? New motors?
At $100ea for Fibaro or Aeotec in-wall switches, before installation, this is quite a costly exercise too, considering I don't yet have a Zigbee or Z-Wave mesh.

I found these wifi switches/relays (Link) and am wondering how reliable they would be with Hubitat, and if it's worth getting one to try? It saves me replacing switches too.
Does anyone have any experience with them?
What about these? (Link)
Are these the kind of controller I should be looking for?

I'm reasonably tech/AV/network savvy, so some tinkering shouldn't be an issue, but I'm not interested in coding or spending extended periods of time racking my brain or searching forums, I just want things to work. I mean, isn't that the whole idea of home automation? :smiley:
This is why I'm swapping to Philips Hue from Lifx, and currently considering taking back my TP-Link smart plugs (that I bought for ST, as Brilliant/Arlec isn't supported) and buying a bunch of ZigBee outlets.
I see that flashing firmware is an option and people are using Lifx and TP-Link successfully with Tasamoto(?), and reading this success is why I made the choice to switch to Hubitat, but the more I look at the forums, the more I see people having problems with non-native integrations.
I'm just chasing simple, reliable, local support on one interface, with minimal tinkering and failure/warranty/legal issues. Perhaps my simple needs are very specific and no system covers them yet. (open to suggestions :slight_smile:)

In saying this, I acknowledge that Hubitat is still in infant stages and there are a lot of people working very hard to make it as easy as possible. Thank you to those people. I also acknowledge that Australia is a bit behind in this world, also, and things are expensive and laws are different here.

If anyone can help me out, that would be greatly appreciated.
I don't think my needs are that drastic, but if I'm headed down the wrong path or system rabbit hole, let me know too!
I'm interested in learning from your frustrations and experiences.

TIA

Edit:
Side note: I'm also considering Brilliant wifi dimmer mechs (Link) for my lights too, as the LED downlights I've been replacing with are very bright, so need to get dimmers installed anyway. Open to feedback/experiences here.

Aeotec have zwave shutter controllers. I’ll be using these myself at some point.

https://www.smarthome.com.au/aeotec-z-wave-nano-shutter.html

Tasmota won't work on Lifx or TP-Link but there is a community integration for TP-Link that works.
It should however work on the Brilliant devices as these are Tuya based (as is Arlec/Genio/Kogan and more). You maybe able to do this over the air if they don't ship with the latest firmware otherwise you need to open them up and flash them via serial. The reliability should be fine once they are all set up. I have a bunch of stuff and it works without issue.

I'm not sure these would work with your roller shutters as AC motors work on a 4 wire system.
There are plenty of Tuya based roller shutter devices but the challenge is find one with AUS/NZ certification.
There is this which I found looking at your links that may work but you'll probably only find out by buying one but I don't think there is a built in driver that will work.

Another option may be the Shelly 2.5. It's not AUS/NZ certified but shelly have started doing this for there other devices so maybe email them and see if this is on their road map.

Welcome aboard.
Personally I’ve adopted a mix of Zigbee and Zwave devices and have purposefully chosen to stay away from WiFi devices.
Zigbee is what I’d be recommending if I was starting from scratch (1 world wide standard makes sourcing devices easier in Aus) but I also accept that you have to use what you can find. :blush::+1:t3:
I just grabbed an eBay offer of 10 x Ecolink contact sensors from the US, which landed in Aus, should be about $12-15 bucks each. Sweet !
For blinds though you’re most likely to need Zwave ( or WiFi ) Link

Thanks for the response.
This definitely looks like a good option for a solid system, but considering I have no existing Z-wave mesh, 9x Shutters @$89ea, would need to replace the switches in all, and require a sparky to put all this gear in, this is a fairly expensive option.
Perhaps it is the cheapest though. Thanks again

Thanks for the input. So I won't take the TP-Links back just yet!
I must say though, you lost me at "open them up". I want as close to plug-n-play as possible!

Do you mean just their Smart Plugs? Is it possible to do an easy integration with the Brilliant mechs? If they ship with the latest firmware, does that make them plug-n-play? I don't want to be opening up anything electrical, especially something in the wall that a sparky will be putting his name on.
EDIT: For clarity, this question refers to use of these mechs as a lighting dimmer, not shutter control.

Very true. Oh well, there goes that plan. Without the built-in driver options, I think I'm best leaning towards the Aeotec/Fibaro route ($$$), Shelly 2.5 as you mentioned (while still replacing switches), or just wait for some newer tech to come out, or for the old motors to die in another 10 years or so.

Thanks. Yeah I understand that. Although with a decent Unifi network over a large house, and with wifi devices being much more affordable, reliable and common these days, I'm wondering why more people aren't adopting them.

Not exactly starting from scratch, as I have an existing network in place. Its only ZigBee and Z-Wave that is from scratch.
Is wifi not also a worldwide standard (at least on 2.4GHz)?

Deal!

Any reason why not Zigbee?
Your link looks like a good option. I'm just looking for cheaper alternatives, considering a sparky and a mech will also be required x9.

Cheers :slight_smile:

The only reason is that there seems to be more “power” devices controlled via Zwave than Zigbee.
If you can find a Zigbee one, at the right price AND it’s supported in HE, then grab em :blush:

Regarding WiFi v Zigbee/ Zwave there’s loads of threads on this forum, mostly pointing to the higher possibility of interference and lack of integration of WiFi products. I found this one Interesting

Yeah, this home automation game IS a costly :rabbit2: hole.

I meant you need to remove the casing and flash the tasmota firmware via cables. This can sound confronting but is pretty simple and this process is done without mains connected.

All of Brilliants smart home devices are made by Tuya and rebadged. None of their items are plug-n-play and need the firmware replaced with Tasmota to work with HE. There is a process called Tuya convert that allows this to be done wireless that was patched with the latest firmware. Not all devices have it yet.

I fully get this but you don't impact the safety of the devices as this comes down to the physical relay and casing. The firmware only really can send a signal to either open or close the relay. If you think of the WiFi chip is just replacing a person flicking a switch. Any danger comes down to the physical switch itself not the person.
The flashing is all done without mains connected and uses 3.3v so no risk there.

With a lot of the home automation devices in AUS if you want plug and play it's going to cost you otherwise it involves what I've gone through above.

Apologies for my delay in responding here, I was waiting for my HE to arrive.
Although, it seems that, despite restrictions preventing me from travelling, my Hubitat is exploring the world without me: (response after image)

That is very interesting. I knew that there were 2.4Ghz conflicts with Wifi and Zigbee - that is a pretty impressive battle though. Makes you wonder how many devices are fighting for that bandwidth. I figured that in a non-commercial environment, there would be minimal issues.

Sure is. But it sounds like, from these responses, that doing it right the first time with quality Z-wave products could potentially save a lot in future re-work. Another cost factor is my time in flashing unsupported products or figuring out code issues etc.

Thanks for putting me at ease with those comments. Are there any warranty issues with flashing firmware on 240v gear? Is it like rooting a phone, where if anything happens, too bad?
Also, would the Brilliant in-wall switch that I linked above even be able to be flashed with different firmware? How would you even check that, I mean it needs to be powered up, I assume? If nothing works over the air, I'm not keen to be doing anything with mains exposed. All the while, a sparky is standing by.

I think the best route forward is to chip away at a few plug-n-play devices and build a z-wave and zigbee mesh over the house. I'll get one or two Aoetec/Fibaro dedicated shutter controllers to try out.
Then when cost is less of an issue, I'll get a few more and wire up the rest of them.

Thanks all :slight_smile:

Make sure you have a couple of each of the “Z radio” repeating devices nearby your hub to ensure your mesh forms with good roots.
Check out the multiple links regarding “building out your mesh” that turn up when searched.

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The TP-Link community integration works well and is local too.

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Yeah but you would need to power it own to see that the firmware had changed and if the device has failed then this wouldn't likley be possible.

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