Somfy, Hubitat and Alexa

I have transitioned all of my smart devices from Wink to Hubitat with the exception of my Somfy RTS motorized roller shade blinds. It was a bit of a pain for me to get the blinds to play well with Wink and Alexa using a ZRTSI II Z Wave to RTS bridge from Somfy. The Alexa integration uses a Wink shortcut to open/close the blinds and an IFTTT trigger that I can use with Alexa. Although the blinds are automated the great majority of the time, there are days that our family uses Alexa to open/close just one group of blinds.

The family acceptance factor is the only thing that has kept me paying the Wink monthly fee just for the Somfy blinds. Ironically, Wink has been down since June 30th and it is time for me to transition the blinds to Hubitat.

I only need the blinds to fully open/close and have seen that there are custom Somfy drivers available for Hubitat courtesy of some hard working folks.

Assuming that I can get the blinds up and running with Hubitat using the ZRTSI II bridge and the custom drivers, what is the process for opening/closing the blinds using Alexa? Are users experiencing any reliability issues using Alexa to control their blinds?

Many thanks!

There are two separate issues regarding reliability.

(1) the ZRTSI II is Z-Wave non-plus, which some don’t like on their Z-Wave mesh.

(2) the Somfy RTS radio transmitters are not terribly strong. The ZRTSI II has this issue, as does the Somfy myLink (WiFi) hub. The transmit distance is about 50 feet, not far enough for our home.

For issue (2), you can use Somfy RTS repeaters (part #1810791), regardless of whether you use the myLink hub or the ZRTSI II. I have two RTS repeaters.

There are a couple of ZRTSI II drivers for Hubitat that work fine. I used the driver by Justin Walker (@augoisms) and never had a problem with that driver. My ZRTSI II sits in the closet, unused, because I pulled off my Z-Wave mesh in order to get all non-plus devices off for mesh reliability.

There is also a driver for the myLink that works well with Hubitat, and is what I use. It’s a bit odd to configure, but that only happens once. I could give you a pointer to that if you want.

The way to control the Somfy devices with Hubitat from Alexa is to have a virtual auto-off switch exposed to Alexa from Hubitat, one for each button on each drape/shade (up, down, my position (stop)), then, have a separate Rule triggered for each virtual switch turning on, with an action to issue the appropriate command to the ZRTSI II driver (up, down, stop) for the desired drape/shade.

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I use the above referenced driver with the Somfy ZRTSII Controller and have had no problems whatsoever. The controller is about 30 feet from the hub. I have the shades on a schedule with rule machine and also control them with wind speed and wind direction attributes from the weather flow Tempest weather station. I also use Alexa to voice control if wanted giving the ability to open, close or preset which is set to 50%.

I likewise have the MyLink but found it to be woefully unreliable for my comfort.

Regarding a potential range problem I'd think a stand alone hub strategically placed for the controller would be an option.

If you are willing to buy some more hardware you could look at a Bond bridge, mine has worked very well and is now supported by Hubitat, though I still use the Community developed integration

Many thanks for the detailed reply. I'm going to give it a whirl when I have a bit of time. I'm confident that I can get the blinds paired and driver installed. Given the blinds/hub location (and the fact that they've been working flawlessly when Wink is online) I don't think that ZRTSI range will be an issue. Nevertheless, I may need some follow up assistance if I can't get the blinds or Alexa working.

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Thanks. I saw the Bond bridge option and have also learned that Somfy has a Somfy Tahoma RTS Zigbee module. This may also be another avenue.

No worries, I'd also expect the Bond bridge could integrate directly with Alexa, but you would need to double-check that. It also has it's own mobile app, so provides some good options.

Download the Hubitat app