Roller-shutter Automations in Python


All my roller shutters work with electrical motors, so it made sense to hook them up to my z-wave gateway that I had set up in a previous project. This provides me with remote control but also other features like metering (kWh).


This is cool and all, but I'm pretty much a lazy guy. If I can avoid having to press a button 2 times a day, then hell, I don't want to press that button anymore. Even if it requires me a couple of weeks hacking.


Instead of me having to actively instruct the house to close the roller-shutters, it would be better if the house could automatically do this for me, depending on my user state.That is, I want the roller-shutters to open when I have woken up and they need to close again, in the evening at TV-time, or a little before if it's too dark outside.

User state detection

For this project, we are still going to manually determine these user-states and how they are detected. So, I will decide when/how the system knows that I have woken up and when it's evening time (compared to an AI that would learn this from behavior).

So, for detecting ‘wake-up', I decided to use the motion sensor eye that we installed in a previous project. This sensor is triggered whenever I go up or down the stairs. It is the second sensor that gets activated in the morning (the first being the light button in the bedroom, but that can be used before actually getting up) . So the motion sensor is a prime candidate as a trigger to open the roller-shutters.

The evening is a bit harder. I decided to use one of the lights that's always turned on in the evening as the signal to close the roller-shutters.This is still a simplistic approach. There isn't much intelligence behind it. But at least the roller-shutters are now already more dynamic compared to a clock that would do it's thing every day at the same time (no matter what the season or type of day).

Hardware setup

Most of the hardware has already been set up in previous projects: the light button is attached to the Controllino and the motion eye has already been used in a previous automation. Only the roller-shutters are new.

So to set up your hardware:

  • Add the motion eye to the z-wave gateway. Just put the pygate in inclusion mode and press 3 times on the button inside the eye.
  • Add the roller-shutters to the z-wave gateway. These things usually jump into inclusion mode, when they are turned on for the first time. So just set the pygate in inclusion mode and the roller-shutters will appear automatically when powered on.

The code

This project was written in python, using the (alpha version of the) event library from AllThingsTalk. It allows you to declare functions as rules that get executed when a certain condition has arrived. This is a far more flexible system compared to the rules wizard that only supports basic if-then-else constructs (see this project for an example). To get you started, just take the template project included with the source code. It contains:

  • A module called ‘ ‘. This is where you put all your code.
  • ‘: change this for your own username and password.

This is my (without the imports):

controllino = Device(id='123') 
btnLivingAllOn = Sensor(device=controllino, name='59') 
lightGangBoven = Actuator(id='123') 
TVLighstOnScene = Actuator(id='123') 
gateway = Gateway(id='123') 
gangAchterBeweging = Device(gateway=gateway, name='zwave_17') 
gangBovenBewegingSensor = Sensor(device=gangBovenBeweging, name='48_0_1') 
_last_time_rollers_closed = None          # don't open them 2 times a day. 
_last_time_rollers_opened = None
@When([btnLivingAllOn], lambda: btnLivingAllOn.value == True) 
def livinAllLightOn(): 
   global _last_time_rollers_closed 
   TVLighstOnScene.value = True 
   now = 
   if now.hour > 14 and (_last_time_rollers_closed == None or !=                        
       _last_time_rollers_closed = now 
def gangBoven(): 
   global _last_time_rollers_opened 
   value = iot.trigger.value   #iot.trigger = gangBovenBewegingSensor, small temp hack
   lightGangBoven.value = value 
   now = 
   if now.hour > 6 and now.hour < 14 
                   and (_last_time_rollers_opened == None 
                        or != 
       _last_time_rollers_opened = now 
# declare global so that they get loaded 1 time and keep required data in mem (id) 
rol_Living = Actuator(id='123') 
rol_bed1 = Actuator(id='123') 
rol_bed2 = Actuator(id='123') 
rol_dres = Actuator(id='123') 
rol_door = Actuator(id='123') 
def close_rollers_for_evening(): 
   rol_Living.value = 15 #need to recalibrate this thing correctly
   rol_bed1.value = 0 
   rol_bed2.value = 0 
   rol_dres.value = 0 
   rol_door.value = 0 
def open_rollers(): 
   rol_Living.value = 99 
   rol_bed1.value = 99 
   rol_bed2.value = 99 
   rol_dres.value = 99 
   rol_door.value = 99 

Read More:  Roller-shutter Automations in Python

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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