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Easy Home Automation - Control Your Draperies from Your Smartphone

Updated on December 11, 2016
Add-A-Motor 45/80 Motorized Drape Controller | image credit: Smarthome
Add-A-Motor 45/80 Motorized Drape Controller | image credit: Smarthome

Control Your Draperies from Your Smartphone

If your home has a large picture window with draperies, how many times have you had to get up from your easy chair, walk over and close the drapes by pulling the cord. Wouldn't it be more convenient to simply grab your smartphone, and with a few touchstrokes close the drapes automatically?

There are a wide variety of motorized drape control systems on the market today. If you are planning a complete remodel of your room with the picture window, including new drapes, you can spend a lot of money on very sophisticated remote drape control systems.

Motorized drapery control

Let's say you're satisfied with your drapes. But you would like to add a affordable motorized drapery control system. One solution available from Smarthome and Amazon is the Motorized Drape Controller for drapes that are controlled by a U-shaped continuous loop cord or chain. Simply follow the instructions and place the loop around the drive wheel, pull the unit down until the cord is slightly taught, and attach it to the wall. The unit comes with a power supply that plugs into a nearby wall outlet.

Now adjust the unit so that the drapes close and open following the instructions. You can now operate the motor manually. The next step is to make the unit a "smart motorized drape controller."

Smart motorized drape control

INSTEON-compatible home automation products are widely used because they are affordable, reliable and easy to install and use. Make your motorized drape controller "smart" with an ApplianceLinc - INSTEON Plug-in Appliance On/Off Module. Simply plug the drape controller power supply into the on/off module and place the module into the wall outlet. ApplianceLink will receive your commands and switch the drape controller on and off following your instructions.

Install a central controller

Next you need to set up a central controller that sends your commands throughout your home to be received by the drapery controller. For INSTEON compatibly, install the Hub that comes with the Insteon Starter Kit. Use an Ethernet cable to connect your router to the Hub and plug it into a convenient wall outlet. Following the instructions, link the central controller to the ApplianceLink.

Finally, download a compatible home automation app to your smartphone. Or use Smarthome's web site to create the settings for your INSTEON central controller.

While you're setting up your drape control setup, you can easily add modules to control home lights via Internet with the SmartLinc - INSTEON Plug-In Starter Kit. You get the central controller plus two lamp control modules and a small appliance module.

Use your web-enabled smartphone to control your drapes

The next time you want to open or close the drapes, use your web-enabled smartphone -- from your couch, from anywhere in your house, or even while you're away from home

The beauty of this setup is that you can expand it whenever you are ready to automate other household tasks

How does INSTEON home automation work?.

With a few touchstrokes on your smartphone you sent commands over the Internet through your modem and router, and then they are broadcast by the central controller.

INSTEON commands are sent throughout your home through existing house wiring and over a designated radio frequency (RF). Other INSTEON devices pick up the commands and repeat them. The dual method of communication makes INSTEON very flexible and reliable.

What household tasks do you think should be automated?

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    • John Dove profile image

      John Dove 6 years ago

      Hey Phil Plasma -- You're right on! But there are some tasks like folding laundry the stretch the limits of home automation. But 20 years from now??? Maybe a flat surface and an organized assembly-line approach to folding might save some time. Cheers!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      If folding laundry could be automated, that would be awesome!