Recently, Sonoff has released a new Zigbee product – called ZBCurtain – that turns your ordinary curtains into smart curtains. With this product, you can experience new benefits when using your curtains, such as automatic opening/closing, remote control through your mobile device, or setting up advanced automation to control your curtains based on factors such as temperature, humidity, or even using input from the other sensors. These smart capabilities provide benefits for your home or workplace, such as increased safety, energy savings, and convenience.
The Sonoff Zigbee Curtain Motor (or ZBCurtain for shorts) can be integrated with your existing ordinary curtains, transforming them into smart curtains that can be controlled remotely via your smartphone, your voice commands, or even from a traditional remote controller.
Within the package, we can find a wireless remote control, main motor units with a 3.5-meter long cable, and mounting brackets to attach the motor units with the curtain rack at both sides. As usual, the installation guide with a QR code came with the package to make the installation process easier.
In addition to the ZBCurtain set, to make it work, you will need a Zigbee Bridge (sold separately). This is because the ZBCurtain motor unit uses Zigbee signals. Sonoff offers their own Zigbee Bridge product called the Sonoff Zigbee Bridge Pro (orange box in the above picture) or the stylish wall-mounted Sonoff NSPanel Pro. Other options are also available for the ZBCurtain, such as an additional remote control and a small solar panel for charging the ZBCurtain motor unit’s battery. This option is particularly useful when the ZBCurtain is installed on a window or door that receives direct sunlight, so you don’t have to run a charging cable to an electrical outlet. The ZBCurtain motor unit also includes a built-in battery, and we will discuss its battery life next.
The Sonoff Zigbee Curtain Motor has a compact design that doesn’t take up much space, and it is easy to operate with a couple of buttons to on/off and sync with the application.
Before purchasing the ZBCurtain, it is very important to check the type of curtain rack, the length of the curtains, and the overall weight of the curtains. The provided curtain cable is 3.5 meters long, so please make sure that the length of the curtains rack does not exceed this distance, and that the overall weight of the curtains does not exceed 8 kilograms, as the motor inside of the ZBCurtain will work best within these specifications.
The type of curtain rack must be the type shown in the image below.
The ZBCurtain motor comes with a 4,000mAh battery that can last up to three months with two open-close operations per day after being fully charged. However, it is recommended to always charge the device to ensure it is ready to use at all times. SONOFF also tested the solar panel charging in a laboratory with a brightness of 6,037 LUX for one day, and it can provide enough energy to power the ZBCurtain for three days. From what we observed, 6,037 LUX is equivalent to gentle sunlight at around 4 pm with a clear sky.
The ZBCurtain motor unit also comes with a USB-C port for power from a USB-C adapter or a solar panel.
It is recommended to watch this YouTube video created by SONOFF and/or read the user manual for an easier installation process. The installation should take no more than 30 minutes if everything goes according to plan. Tools needed include a ladder to mount the motor control to the curtain rack and a clip to the curtain. Once the installation is completed, there is an additional tuning process to set how far the curtain is to be completely opened or closed. This step requires the provided remote control and the instruction video illustrates how to do this.
After successfully installing the ZBCurtain to the curtains, the next step is to add it to the eWeLink app, which is the main software used by SONOFF devices. Before adding it, the ZigBee Bridge must be installed first (see installation video). After adding the SONOFF ZB Bridge follow the steps to add ZBCurtain to eWelink app for Android or iOS.
Once ZBCurtain is added to eWeLink, we can control the opening and closing of the curtains from our mobile device, either by fully opening or closing them or by adjusting them to a certain percentage. See short video demo below.
We can also set them to open or close at specific times, for example, close the curtains at noon and open them in the evening. It’s very convenient.
In addition, we can also set up automation using scenes in eWeLink to open and close the curtains according to the rules we specify. For example, we can use triggers based on time or other sensors such as temperature, humidity, or door sensors. Below are some examples.
For those who like to use Voice Assistant to control devices in their home, the good news is that SONOFF has created a feature that allows you to control the ZBCurtain device with your voice. You can use Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Siri to control it.
We have tested controlling the device through Apple Siri on the iPhone by simply creating a Siri shortcut in the eWeLink app, and it worked as expected, as shown in the picture below.
The installation is neither easy nor difficult, it may take some time to install the motor onto the existing curtain rail, subject to the on-site environment and curtain design. That’s why we recommend watching the installation video before actually installing it. However, the installation steps in the app are quite straightforward. One thing to take note of is that, after installing ZBCurtain, it is still possible to manually open and close the curtains. The motor will keep track of how much the curtains are pulled, and it will update the app to ensure that the control is consistent between the app and reality. This is good because it allows for both manual and automatic control via remote control and mobile phone.
Overall, this product was interesting to review, and it’s especially the case for those who have never used an automatic curtain before. Before purchasing, it is important to check the specification of your curtain and curtain rack as mentioned above. The benefits of this product are worth it because it upgrades old curtains to be smarter for enhanced comfort, energy-saving, and improved safety. The ZBCurtain offers multiple options for control such as the eWelink mobile app, the remote control, and voice assistants. The behavior of the Zigbee curtain can be controlled through schedules, and scenes based on temperature and/or humidity, or other sensors.
One thing to note is that the overall appearance may not be very sleek as the device and cables are still visible. However, SONOFF has a small suggestion to hide the device by turning it towards the left and attaching it to the inside of the rail, depending on the space availability. Considering the reasonable price to pay to upgrade the existing curtain to be smarter, it’s worth trying especially compared to the price you’d pay for brand-new Smart curtains. So time to upgrade and make your home or workplace curtains smarter and more efficient!
We would like to thank ITEAD for sending us the SONOFF Zigbee Smart Curtain Motor for review. The ZBCurtain can be purchased for $79.90 plus shipping including one remote control. You may also add options such as an extra remote control ($7.99), the Solar Panel ($14.90), and Zigbee Bridge Pro ($24.90). You can also get a 10% discount with CNXSOFTSONOFF coupon code and shipping is free if your order is over $89.
Computer Engineering who previously worked with multinational IT company, rich experience in IT infrastructure, has a passion on Internet Of Thing i.e., Smart Home, Smart Farm as well as interested on Sustainability such as renewable energy, organic farming