Easiest way to retrofit roller blinds / smartify your existing blinds

Hi everybody,

we have manual roller blinds on our windows (so not even “dumb, but electrically controlled” ones). Example pictures, not from our home:

So basically:

  • blinds are installed outside
  • belt take-up reel installed inside
  • nothing motorized
  • no electricity near the installation

We live in a two story house and the first roller blinds I would like to automate are the ones for the upstairs master bed room, so retrofitting a motor inside the case (which is installed on the outside of the house), such as the one below, might be difficult both due to the hight and the fact that I never dealt with this before.


I did some research and found so called “elektrische Gurtwickler” (= “electric belt take-up reels”). These can be installed in place of the manual reels we currently use. The are plugged into a regular outlet, which kinda sucks, but for now is better than running additional wire in our brick walls.

However! These all seem to need a hub, for example the Rademacher Start2Smart Bridge. That would be ~€76 or or the least expensice bridge, then ~€150 per reel. Or ~€460 for the more powerful bridge and two reels included. Pretty pricey!

Currently, we have an Ikea FYRTUR zigbee cover, which works, but

  1. is installed on the inside. So there are the regular blinds on the outside and now the Ikea thing on the inside
  2. works well for blocking light, but the outdoor blinds would work much better in summer to also block heat

Then there’s the cheapest, but imho most difficult solution: install blind motors inside each outside blind case, run the wires, and connect a Shelly (or perhaps even an ESPHome??). This would require running electrical wire, then replastering and repainting the walls, and figuring out how to even install the blind motors in the first place. Once that’d be done, it’d be my favorite solution, as there is no third party bridge and everything could run locally. But it is a lot of work which I might be able to do, but don’t have any experience in. And it’ll probably be very difficult on the second floor.

Do any of you know of WiFi controlled (local API or similar, no cloud) belt tale-up reels, or ones that run on zigbee2mqtt, or last resort, even zwave, that would allow me to keep the installation as is and just replace the indoors reels with motorized ones, yet not require a third party hub or bridge?

While the ikea fyrtur thing is nice, it is also pretty pricey (~€150 plus €39 shipping because why not) and the main disadvantage I see is that the are on the inside. Being able to control my regular blinds (that are on the outside) also add a layer of security when lowering them at night and/or when not home. They are no real protection, but breaking in would be louder and take more time with those in front of the windows.

Thank you for any suggestion you might have :slight_smile:

Did you find any solution?

I bought this:


and this:


Without wall switch, stick the remote to the wall or the window frame. Because the controller is zigbee AND rf433, can be controlled via home assistant, alexa integration, remote…


I can’t be more happy andif your blinds are relatively modern, the install process is really really easy, lots of youtube videos.

Tip: go for the zigbee version, rock solid, wifi version disconnects from time to time and have to cycle the power to reconnect.

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I went with these https://www.amazon.de/HOMEPILOT-Gurtwickler-RolloTron-Aufputz-Minigurt/dp/B0C5D1LJXT/ref=sr_1_8?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&crid=21JL8Y7YC7SAY&keywords=rademacher+gurtwickler+wifi&qid=1705048374&sprefix=rademacher+gurtwickler+wifi%2Caps%2C75&sr=8-8&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.d85e497d-ab66-4790-acf8-e520aaf28cd3

:white_check_mark: you just replace your existing roller with this one
:x: you need an outlet near the location of this device
:white_check_mark: no need to install / replace anything inside the wall
:x: makes quite loud noises

:x::x::x: But the biggest con is imho. that the company rebranded their “Rademacher” device, now called “Homepilot” and added 30-50 EUR (not sure, it’s been a while since I compared this) to the same device. They had already been rather expensive (130-150 EUR, now over 180 EUR).

If I were to remove these, I’d go with a solution like @Lainol suggested, this “motor de persiana lexman” thing. I assume it’d be much more quiet because it is inside the box containing the roller blind itself - instead of just on the wall like the devices I use.

But other than that, everything works fine this way as well. There is a locally controlled bridge that you add all blinds to once, then you can use Home Assistant to control them. So you can use battery powered zigbee buttons, for example, that you just stick to the wall, to control the blinds.

If you don’t mind the somewhat loud-ish noise and being ripped off quite a bit (by renaming and jacking up the price), I’d say these are an okay and simple to install solution.

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Yeah, I had been looking at the lexman motors too, except for 60mm axis.
I don’t think my blinds are “relatively modern”, they around 30 years old…
Any reason (besides price) why you went with the Aliexpress controller instead of the Lexman zigbee controller? The Rf control?

I have a few Lexman zigbee devices and they work fine.

I live in a rental house, so I want the cheapest solution possible, also something that when I move to my own house, I can leave there and a non-geek person can use It thru the RF remote.

The remote is nice to stop de blinds when you want, I’m still figuring out how to stop them with an Alexa command, for now I use a sonoff RF bridge to replicate the stop button thru Alexa, but you can give %, example: Alexa, blinds at 56%.