We mentioned it very recently, Lumi United Technology Co. had just launched in Europe its Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1. Already available in the United Kingdom, we were waiting for its availability in France to present it to you. Since this is now done, let's see what this automation device for roller or venetian blinds can bring us in our connected homes.
Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1: modernize your roller or venetian blinds
If you are familiar with the brand, you will not be surprised by the packaging of this Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 which takes up the brand's standards in all respects. Sobriety and quality are always essential and we learn, on the front side, that this device obviously requires an Aqara Hub.
Better yet, a short sentence informs us of the possibility of controlling the device for opening blinds by voice with Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant… And others.
At the opening, we discover a rather compact object. Measuring 4.2 cm x 3.7 cm x 16.5 cm , the motorization for awning Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 is made of quality plastic with a satin appearance. You will tell us that it is not surprising knowing the brand, and you are right, Aqara always makes beautiful connected objects. Moreover, the Driver E1 is connected thanks to the ZigBee 3.0 protocol, excellent news that promises to be able to use it in the long term with the new Matter home automation standard.
Le Roller Shade Driver E1 surprises with its weight. Indeed, it contains a lithium battery (not replaceable) of which autonomy is estimated at 2 months on the basis of a 1.80 mx 1.80 m roller blind which would only be opened and closed once a day. Everything will therefore depend on the weight of your awning, the motor torque showing Nm, but also on the frequency of use.
Finally, this motor for connected blinds is delivered with a USB-C to USB-A cable for recharge or power it directly, four decks with different shapes allowing it to be adapted to a large number of blinds (cord or chain, we have tested both types with success), a double-sided adhesive to fix it, as well as two screws and as many dowels.
In short, all that remains is to mount it after a quick review of its technical sheet ...
- Brand: Aqara
- Model: Roller Shade Driver E1
- reference: RSD-M01 / ZNJLBL01LM
- Protocol: ZigBee 3.0
- Engine couple : 0.45 Nm
- Supply : non-replaceable battery
- Consumption: 5W
- Autonomy: 2 months (based on a 1.80 mx 1.80 m awning open and closed once a day)
- Dimensions: 42 x 37 x 165 mm
- Accessories : adhesive x 1, screws x 2, wall plugs x 2, 4 mounting plates, quick start guide
Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1: Bring Your Windows to Life!
Mise en Place
Le Roller Shade Driver E1 Aqara is intended for two main types of blinds: roller blinds and venetian blinds.
The installation of the system is done very simply and, as we opted for the self-adhesive fixing system, it took us less than a minute.
It suffices, in fact, to make sure that the chain is correctly placed on the most suitable plate, then sufficiently tensioned so that it can turn without difficulty. To facilitate its circulation, you must also break the plastic studs. This is done very simply since it is designed for. Do not be afraid, but keep in mind that the operation is not reversible.
With that done, you can have fun checking that everything is working fine by manually activating the up / down / pause buttons. There you go, your Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 is operational!
“It's easy and fun to use. "
Okay, that's fine, but isn't it a connected object?
Installation on Aqara Home
- Press the "+" top right,
- Go to "Curtain Control" or "Curtain control" in French,
- Select "Roller Shade Driver E1",
- Choose your Aqara Hub prefer,
- Press the button for 5 seconds,
- Wait, it's done!
It remains to configure the beast, which is not very complicated since it suffices toadjust strokes manually so that the device retains the positions:
- Open until high limit switch,
- Close until low limit switch.
You can now use your PLC to connected blind.
The Aqara Home app allows you to open, close and pause. A cursor, located on the right, allows you to select a opening percentage. It's easy and fun to use.
But, of course, the whole point of such a device lies in its automation capabilities. the Roller Shade Driver E1 becomes particularly interesting when combined with a Aqara Motion Sensor which, in addition to motion detection, allows you to measure brightness. So you can automatically open or close your blinds depending on the ambient light.
Here are some products with which you can imagine automations:
- Aqara motion detector : as explained above, it is its measurement of the luminosity which is particularly interesting.
- Aqara Door Sensor : to open the blinds when you arrive in your office, for example.
- Aqara H1 wireless : These wireless remote controls can allow you to manually control your blinds.
- The Xiaomi light detector : it is Aqara compatible, so no problem ...
Obviously, you can control this motorization for roller and venetian blinds by voice with the main voice assistants on the market: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant.
From there you may as well ask « Alexa, opens the window at 25% " what to imagine routines with other connected objects… Reactivity is excellent, as always with Aqara and its use of the ZigBee protocol.
Home automation box
Unfortunately, at the time of our testing, the (too) new Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 was still unknown to the battalion of most ZigBee gateways. Although it goes up as a "generic device", impossible to control its course for the moment, it only behaves like a simple switch ... Unless you use Zigbee2MQTT.
Our opinion on the Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1
To be fair, this is not a type of device that we were very tempted by at first glance. Why? Quite simply because we had a bad experience with a very similar Tuya product, but using the Bluetooth LE protocol. Fortunately, the ZigBee is a clear game-changer!
Firstly automation possibilities are numerous due to the richness of the Aqara ecosystem, on the other hand the latency is almost zero and the device has always responded present during our month of testing. Where the Bluetooth LE was capricious, unstable, here you can completely trust your awning operator. It is important.
Moreover, compatibility with voice assistants is obviously a big game-changer. Instead of just controlling with an app, the Aqara Roller Shade Driver E1 offers us the possibility of controlling it by voice. On a daily basis, it is of real use and it must be recognized that we had great pleasure in using it for a month.
This is even more true if you are scripting comfort automations such as a partial closure at certain times when the sun can bother you, using a light sensor, or even with a routine of arriving at the office.
The application Aqara Home allows many things and makes the use of this awning motor very efficient, but we still look forward to its integration with other home automation gateways. To do this, you have to be a little patient and allow time for the developers, often volunteers, to work on its support.