Home Office Refit - More tech required!

Hi all,

I’ve had a bit of a leak in my home office so I’m having to rip it out and start again with carpet, curtains, paint etc so I thought I’d use th e opportunity to add a bit more tech to it.

I’m looking at a basic motion detector for presence trigger and I’m thinking about things like auto window blinds and the like.

Can anyone give me any recommendations for a cheap and easy sensor, what blinds to get that OH can control, (or a way to automate normal blinds), and anything else that you couldn’t live without in your own home office / cave?

Would you use Shelly or Sonof Mini to control the lights? Has anyone installed one within the light switch box, do they fit?

I have no recommendations though am interested in the blinds suggestions too.

I have installed a Shelly1. There was plenty of room. It’s worth noting I’m in the U.S.A… Different parts of the world have different electrical standards. But a typical builder’s grade box in the US has plenty of room behind it unless you’ve a ton of wires joined in the same box.

Agree on the location point, I’m in the UK, I think our standards are a little different from the US. Space is a priority here so I believe the light switch back box is a little thinner over here.

Regarding the blinds, I’ve no preference between roller or slatted really…I’m guessing that the process is the same for an automation method but open to any ideas.

I’ve looked at Soma which is just a little gadget that opens / closes standard blinds - has anyone had any experience?

Not at that price!! £198…

I have 6 of these. Thoughts:

  • Rollerblinds = fast, roman blinds=slow (1.7m drop takes 5 minutes to open) Not bothered by speed though.
  • They use BLE which does not integrate well with OH BLE as it disconnects. I use a different http script which works - albeit with some problems.
  • Support from the company is brilliant. After 9 months one unit made a funny noise - they sent out a replacement without question. I’ve been on the phone a number of times with the software guys to try diagnose problems. Very helpful.
  • No wires! They’re solar powered which, other than the darkest days of winter, work brilliantly.
  • Challenge that they do present, BLE range. I have to have multiple RPis hidden around the house to manage them all.

The HTTP API I use is based on this (with some customisation):


That is for two. Yes, it’s not the cheapest but £100 per unit is the upper band of acceptable I feel.

Would I buy more? Yes.

If you wanted a DIY option -

I’ve bought and printed all parts - just not got around to assembling and testing yet. To many other toys :slight_smile:

Inside or outside ones ? Many choices for outside.
There’s a smallish Shelly 2.5 rollershutter device to include calibration available now, too.
Motorized inside blinds are rare. Ikea recently released a set that should work with the Tadfri system and eventually directly with an OH ZigBee stick.

The key with venetian (roman) blinds is you can quickly and gradually open/close them to adjust shading - assuming the right controller. But bluetooth is a no-go.

I’m looking for inside blinds…I’ll take a look at Ikea, I didn’t even give them a thought.

Hmmm, there may be an inconsistency in terminology, perhaps it’s regional. For me:


Venetian Blinds

Roman Shades

Personally, I have a large (~1.5 M wide) roman shade that I sewed and built myself that I’d like to automate, hence my interest in this thread. But I’m not certain that my terms are the same as everyone else’s.

Your terminology is as mine is. Roman are cloth.

What’s roman blinds then you mentioned ?

Roman shades / Roman Blinds :slight_smile: