Automated Window Blinds Using MQTT And Home Assistant

Picture of the automatic blind controller and three servo motors, all in their enclosures, displayed on a table.

Finnish software engineer [Toni] is on a quest to modernize his 1991 house, and his latest project was to automate the window blinds and control them using Home Assistant. Unless your blinds have built-in motors, most of the effort of such a project centers around how to integrate and attach the motor — and as [Toni] points out, there are tons of different blinds with all kinds of operating mechanisms. But once you solve that issue, half the battle is over.

These particular blinds require less than one turn of the control rod to go from fully open to fully closed, and [Toni] selects a 270-degree range-of-motion, 20 kg*cm torque servo motor to drive them. He really wanted to install the motor inside the window, but it just wouldn’t fit. Instead, each servo motor is mounted in a custom 3D-printed case installed on the window frame just below the operating rod. An ESP8266-based controller box is installed above the window, hidden behind curtains, and operates all three servos.

On the software side of things, the project is coded in C++ and uploaded using the Ardiono IDE. The blinds communicate to [Toni]’s Home Assistant network using MQTT. All the software is available on the project’s GitHub repository, and the 3D-printed case design is posted on Thingiverse. Even though your blinds may be of a completely different design, we think many parts of [Toni]’s project are still useful — do check out this project if you’re thinking about doing something similar. The notion of motorized window blinds has been around for a some time — we covered one project way back in 2013 and another in 2016. If you have added automation to your window blinds, let us know how it went down in the comments section.


14 thoughts on “Automated Window Blinds Using MQTT And Home Assistant

  1. This was so ridiculous It made me laugh, having been in the blinds trade for over 20 years I’m just glad I know what I know.
    I thought hacks were meant to be clever and useful, my alternative hack would be to consult a professional and pretty soon you could be asking Alexa to “open my blinds” quite inexpensively these days and certainly without the ugly fittings and wiring that he had to hide behind his curtains

    1. Sadly, this is why I 180ed my self out of a couple window dressing stores. No one was aware of the home automation scene outside of the products that one can buy at a big box store for half the price.

      It is easier see what people are doing with with the many open home automation projects. Then hit the big box stores, internet retail and make your home automation project what you want it to be.

    2. While that is true these days, none of those solutions will offer the speed of my 12V (driven with 24V) wormgeared motors – they open/close those IKEA blinds in just about 3 seconds :-)

    3. This is hackaday, not buyaday. The site is for showing cool things people built, and this qualifies. Going to a fancy blind showroom and buying something expensive does not fit the purpose of the site.

  2. I feel like I’ve seen a few different variations of this already. The part that im currently working is how to motorize the raising and lower of the blinds (in place of, or in addition to open/close). In my case I have cordless blinds, and the challenge is interfacing with the internal spring motor. Im also working on utilizing knock-off 12v power tool batteries instead of relying on wall power.

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