Newbie Advice: Roller Shutter automation with Window Sensors

G’day,
After some advice on my first home automation project. I’ve got 6 AC roller shutters I’d like to automate the opening and closing based on time of day/sunrise/sunset (and maybe outside temperature). In addition, the roller shutters are all on windows which wind out away from the house, so could be in the way if the shutters auto close.
So essentially I’m after any tips or advice on:

  • shutter controllers (I see some good things about the fabaro ones, but as I’m looking at 6 windows the cost adds up pretty quick. Especially when I’m seeing wifi ones at the $30 mark).
  • window sensors (similar concerns to above, these aren’t for security. The worst thing that will happen if these break is the shutter not closing. I was looking at cheaper ones but concerned with compatibility after reading about the tuya ones)
  • how to actually do the automation (I understand I will need to use a particular plugin but the name escapes me, PLEG or something).
    I’ve already got a Vera plus setup but not doing anything yet (in Australia if that matters).
    Cheers Scott

I recommend Z-Wave over WiFi, if you plan to have more things in the future. WiFi is cheap for sure, but you’ll need to manage them. Z-Wave is more “setup and forget”, after all is set.

All that said, Fibaro is OK and should be available in Australia. The Roller Shutter 3 module is not 100% compatible, but it’ll work. I have 3 in my setup (with 12 between gen1 and gen2) and sometimes they’re slow to reply to commands, but overall it’s OK.

Since my windows are all opened in the inside, I don’t have door sensors deployed, besides a couple to check doors that are outside our normal routine during the day, so I’ll be sure to close them before going to bed, for security reasons.

I have a couple of lights and temperature sensors, so sunscreens (on the lower floor) and roller shutters (on the upper one) are automatically. We barely touch the controls, even if every window has one.

As for the automation, try Reactor. It’s a plug-in and you’d do a lot, and you’ll avoid to code.

If you go the WiFi route, try the Shelly. They’re 100% locally controllable (instead of Tuya, which are cloud based) and you easily integrate them with virtual devices into your installation (try my Virtual HTTP Devices plug-in). Since those are represented as virtual devices, you’d control them with Reactor as ZWave ones.

Thanks! That’s some great info.
What management on wifi do you mean? Just IP and subnet allocation?
Regarding your mix of fibaro’s, is there any point getting the gen 3 considering it has compatibility issues if I can find some Gen 2’s?
Reactor looks perfect, and those Shelly window switches have given me the idea to do the windows based on tilt position, rather than simple open/closed. Time for more research :slight_smile:

I was not able to source gen2 in March, but maybe in Australia you’ll be lucky.

WiFi devices need fw updates, your WiFi to be strong and are more subject to the quality of your network equipment.

I’d go Z-Wave for the simple fact that the automation is built into the controller.
It’s easy to add to Vera and you can use either PLEG or Reactor.

Z-Wave controllers do more than just select up/down, you can set the top/bottom stop, most importantly they allow intermediate locations (0-100%) to be selected.

There are other Blind/Shutter controllers available in Australia. Have a look at these Philio ones.

Philio Roller Shutter

WiFi has it’s uses but it isn’t proven for this type of control (as yet).

Thanks for the advise. I’ve gone with the Fibaro roller shutters and Aeotec window sensor. Wish me luck :slight_smile:

Hey (I’m also from Oz),

I have a VeraPlus with about 15 roller shutter modules (Fibaro v2). The automated setup for the fibaro shutters didnt work for me, so I had to set them up manually which was a massive PITA. Once they were setup they’ve been rock solid.

You dont need PLEG etc for basic automation - you can setup a scene from the vera controller which opens and closes the shutters as you want. For example, without PLEG you can programme the shutters to open at a specific time (eg 7am), you can programme them to open at sunrise, you can programme them to open with an offset from sunrise (eg 20 mins after sunrise, 30 mins before sunrise etc).

Without PLEG, my shutters also close automatically if it gets too hot, to keep the sun out. You can base this off the temperature in your suburb (vera knows where you are), or temperature sensors in specific rooms - eg there’s a Aoetec multisensor available which senses motion, light, temperature etc which you can use to trigger scenes in Vera.

For the window sensors, is your idea that the shutters wont roll down if the windows are open? So you have Vera programmed to close the shutters at sunset, but only if the windows are also closed? I think you need PLEG for that kind of conditional scene trigger.

You can also setup Alexa voice control for the shutters via triggering a scene with Vera (and presumably also Google / Siri, but I havent done that).

Feel free to ask me if you have questions about the roller shutters or basic scenes. I havent needed to use PLEG so others could help you out more with that.

Good luck!

Thanks angstrom. Spot on with your assumptions about my automation ideas. Some great advise too. I might hit you up if I have any issues setting them up but I should be fine.
I’m also considering a winter mode which closes the shutters on cold days.

Yep, so the winter mode would work exactly the same way - it’s just a scene that activates once the trigger is met (eg, the temperature is hot / cold).

Feel free to hit me up if needed, and good luck.

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