Integrating Somfy RTS Blinds with KNX
When controlling blinds or curtains it is always advisable to use wired solutions as this provides the most flexibility and reliability. There is a KNX solution for any type of wired motor from basic 230v motors all the way up to digital control solutions, such as SMI or Somfy Digital Networks.
However, sometimes the blinds are installed after the building works are completed, or it’s just not possible to run cables to the windows. For these instances, Somfy have a proven wireless solution that uses battery-powered motors. The RTS solution can also be used where power is available but there aren’t enough cables for control.
Thankfully it is possible to integrate Wireless RTS Motors with KNX using devices from Somfy that convert inputs or RS485 Commands to wireless RTS commands. These can be used to control single blinds/curtains or groups, meaning only one interface may be needed to control all the blinds or curtains on a Façade. The interface will need to be in range of the motors (approx. 20m), so this may influence how many are needed.
There are two interface models from Somfy. The first is a single channel device that can easily be mounted discretely near the motors. View online here The second is larger so will need more planning on its location. It offers 5 inputs and the option to use RS485 to control up to 16 motors. View online here
From the KNX side, you will need two standard relay outputs for each motor or group you are looking to control. To use the RS485 input a KNX-RS485 interface is required, though this is a more advanced method of control and thus is only recommended for integrators experienced with serial control.
User Interface Options
Now the motors can be controlled it’s time to consider the user interface options from KNX. If you already have keypads in the room configuring the buttons for blind control is straight forward, though as its not native KNX motor control you may need to use two buttons to achieve the desired level of functionality.
If you are looking to add keypads, such as an additional one next to the windows specifically for blind control, then KNX RF presents a simple solution. Able to be mounted directly to the wall, and available in a range of styles from different manufacturers, KNX RF keypads can easily be added to an existing KNX installation with the use of a Media Coupler. With the recent update of ETS6, it is possible to install the media coupler anywhere on a line making it the perfect solution for adding extra keypads into an area.
JUNG KNX RF Keypad Pictured Below
For more information on the Somfy RTS solution, as well as examples of the types of blinds or curtains that can be controlled, Umbra have KNX – RTS Integration in their digital showroom and are even using KNX RF Keypads from JUNG. This showroom highlights some different shading solutions, control from designer keypads and sockets, and USB outlets in a matching design making it a great example of what can be achieved.
Umbra Showroom Pictured Below
Don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like to be introduced to the Umbra team or would like more information on the benefits of integrating shading control on your next project.