Electric Blinds Wiring Diagram

Electric Blinds Wiring Diagram – Pre-wiring for low voltage (12 or 24 volts DC) and mains voltage (110 volts AC) for motorized window treatments is an important process in the planning stages of a new construction project and should be considered before the walls are closed. Many builders are now using spray foam insulation instead of fiberglass batt. Fishing wire through foam insulation is very difficult, if not impossible.

The “structural wiring” for most motorized window shutter systems is via “Home Running” wires from each window to a central location where power will be distributed (power panel) to each window shutter motor as shown in the illustration below using a Somfy ST30 Sonesse RTS ( Radio Frequency Motor). The motor in the example below is controlled with an RF hand-held remote control or a wireless RF wall switch such as the Somfy DecoFlex.

Electric Blinds Wiring Diagram

Many window coverings can be powered by low voltage (12 or 24 V DC). Many low voltage motors are capable of lifting blinds up to 17+ pounds and moving through curtains up to 130+ pounds depending on the motor manufacturer. For large glass areas where the canopy will exceed this weight, an AC motor should be used or the canopy split into 2 or 3 parts to reduce the weight so that a DC motor can be used. DC wiring has fewer regulations than AC and can be done by homeowners in many states. Since there are many types of motors available and their wiring requirements are different, you need to decide a few things first.

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1) What type of window shades or coverings will I use? (Red roller, cellular, pleated, roman, drapery, etc…) 2) Can this type of window shade or cover be powered by low voltage? (In most cases…YES! It depends on the weight of the shade) 3) How do I want to control the window covering? (IR remote, RF remote, wall switch, touchpad, IPad, mobile phone, automation, etc.) 4) How much do I want to spend? (IR, RF and wall switches are the cheapest, automation controllers are more $$$) 5) New construction or existing? (Running wires in new construction is easier than existing)

Wiring for most low voltage projects can be accomplished using 16/4 or 18/4. The first number refers to the wire gauge and the second number refers to the number of wires. 16/4 for example is 4 wire wire and heavier than 18 gauge. A good “Rule of Thumb” is to use 18/4 for cable under 50Ft and 16/4 for cable up to 150Ft. These parameters should cover most typical housing situations. When 4 wires are used, for example 16/4, two wires are used to power the motor and two wires are used to communicate with the motor. Don’t be stingy or use cheap wires and never use light cords! Use quality wire rated CL2 or higher. “CL2” is a wire rating that allows the wire to be run inside the wall and will pass most low voltage residential inspections. For commercial installations, you need to check and use what the electrical specifications require. For residential applications, we typically use 16/4 “CMP” grade and drain screens. The “shield” is a foil wrap around the wire that helps prevent interference from other electrical sources that can interfere with power and communication with the motor. A “leakage” is a small wire wrapped in a wiring harness that can be routed to ground and conducts any harmful interference in the wire. If you want to run your own wires and save money, check with your local electrical inspector to find out what type of wire will pass an electrical inspection. For more information on cable specifications: [More information on cables]

Using a 16/4 or 18/4 will allow you to use motors and systems from Lutron and Somfy, which are two of the most widely used and recognized motorized window shutter systems available. Not only are these two systems scalable, but they can be easily integrated with many popular and well-known home automation systems including: Crestron, Control 4, HAI, SmartHome, Lutron HomeWorks, RadioRa2 and more!!! Many automation companies have built-in software drivers that allow control over almost any type of motor to be used. However, some automation companies have their own communication protocols that only allow their engines to be used.

New “SmartHome” systems or “hubs” (SmartThings, Wink, Iris, etc.) are available online and in stores at very affordable price points and communicate with ZWave/Zigbee protocols and can be set up by users and run with Android /iPlatforms. This is a user-friendly system that can control your entire home and is worth checking out. However, with any of the systems mentioned above, structural wiring needs to be done or you will be buying a lot of batteries!

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If you plan to install a skylight, just pre-wire it now!!! You’ll thank yourself when you sit there on a Sunday afternoon watching a football game on your brand new 63 inch plasma with the sun covering half the screen.

AC motors can lift up to hundreds of kilograms. AC motor wiring requires the use of an electrician in many countries. AC motors generally require the use of a 14/3 ground wire. 14 is the wire gauge and 3 is how many conductors or conductors are in the wire harness plus the ground wire, so there are basically 4 wires in the harness, counting the ground wire. Using 14/3, the wire for the “Dumb” AC motor is used as follows:

– White = Neutral – Black = Motor Direction 1 or UP – Red = Motor Direction 2 or DOWN – Ground = Ground

Since many AC motors are “dumb”, they require a separate control board to drive them. In addition to using the 14/3 wire to drive the motor, separate low voltage control wiring should also be used to control the motor. The control wiring is usually CAT 5 or equivalent and runs to the location of the control panel that will drive the motor.

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Using a “smart” AC motor would eliminate the control board and associated low voltage wiring. Smart motors have a control board built into the motor and are usually controlled with IR (infrared) or RF (radio frequency) modes of operation. The smart AC motor can be plugged in or connected directly to a standard 110V duplex outlet and requires 14/2 wire. Newer “smart” motors also require a control wire (usually CAT5) that runs to each motor and essentially creates a “data bus” and will allow communication between all the motors from one place. An example of this is developed by Somfy and is called “SDN” Somfy Digital Network. SDN systems are designed for large commercial buildings to control many, sometimes hundreds of window blinds. Today, however, some homes may be larger than some office buildings, and SDN may offer other control solutions. Many AV-Techs like wired solutions like SDN because of its known reliability.

For existing homes where the walls are closed, wires need to be “run” through the walls, under window casings and sills, and through the floor to the power source. It will take some creativity and effort to complete this task. It would be easier to use a DC motor at this stage. Many DC motors can be powered and controlled using 18/2 or 18/4 wire. 18/2 is a small diameter wire and easy to hide.

If you can’t or don’t want to hunt for wires, reducing your local home alarm, SecurityCompanyor Sound-Audiospecialist might be best. These guys run low voltage cables all day next to windows and doors, so they know the tricks and pitfalls of running this type of cable and can usually get the job done in no time.

Wiring for Existing Battery Operated Blinds (Retrofitting) Battery operated blinds have been available since 2002 and thousands of these are now installed in homes. When you buy your blinds, you may be told that the battery will last 2 years and more like 5 years or more. Now you might find this a bit confusing as you change batteries many times. Most battery-powered systems require 8-“AA” or “AAA” batteries and are 12V DC systems. Over time, these systems are quite expensive not only to buy batteries, but also the difficulty of changing them, because most of these systems are bought for hard-to-reach or tall windows that are not easily accessible.

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Most of these battery-operated window blind systems are manufactured by Hunter Douglas under the PowerRise* or Somfy Systems* brands. Somfy battery operated systems are made by various manufacturers such as Kirsch*, Graber*, Levolor*, Bali*, Nanik* and most of them are 12V DC systems. If you currently own such a battery-powered system and are wondering if it can be connected, the simple answer is Yes, it can! With little effort and expense, you will no longer need to change your color batteries. If you look at your window, there is usually a duplex outlet (a standard 110 V AC wall outlet) located near the window. Hard-wiring the shade involves connecting a low-voltage wire from the window shade to a transformer that can be placed on the inside wall

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