IKEA Fyrtur – a great DIY solution for smart blinds?
Finding a great integrated blind control solution for a DIY smart home is hard. The IKEA Fyrtur and Kadrijl blinds are cheap compared to established producers and work better than most full DIY solutions. I bought one and tested it with my Home Assistant setup.
The Fyrtur smart blinds
The Fyrtur blinds have a case of silvery material and dark grey fabric. While I do like the looks unfortunately IKEA only offers them in this one color. Really a wasted chance here I think.
Still they do look reasonably well and maybe more important are fully integrated. A battery and the motor are included so no need to hide any ugly wires here.
Beside the blinds themselves you also buy a Tradfri repeater and a small remote. The repeater doubles as a USB power adapter which you can use to load the included battery for the blinds.
The blinds are available in different length and width. I had to buy the biggest one to cover some old dual windows but they are easily long enough to fully cover them.
The Fyrtur blinds are fully opaque, not letting any light through. They can definitely be used to black out a (bed)room. IKEA also offers the Kadrijl which is partly see-through. A combination of both seems to not be available.
The blinds are reasonable fast, they take around 35 seconds to fully close the around 180cm high window. They work pretty quiet but you can still hear the motor. It is quiet enough to not be a nuisance during the day but you might not want to move them while someone is still sleeping in the room.
If you are looking to buy a Fyrtur blind for your (smart) home consider doing it via my affiliate link to support this blog:
IKEA Fyrtur blinds
Overall I wish they were a little bit faster and quieter but all of this is totally offset by the fact that they run on battery. I bought mine at the end of 2020 and now around 3 months later they sit at 65% battery capacity while being used at least twice a day.
Mounting the blinds
Mounting the blinds was a pleasant surprise. They have two small mounting brackets that you can freely move left to right on the blinds. It took me a moment to measure exactly where I need to place the mounts but the rest was done in minutes.
The two mounts are screwed into the wall and the blinds themselves just click into those mounts. This makes it very easy to remove the blinds if you ever need to. I have personally not needed to do that yet as removing the batteries can be done easily while mounted.
Using the blinds with IKEA control
The blinds come pre-paired with the included remote. I simply had to load the batteries via the included repeater that doubles as a USB outlet. Then there is a small lid on the left side of the blinds which you can open. Inserting the batteries and closing it again was pretty easy although the mechanism could be a little bit smoother.
After waiting for a couple of seconds I was instantly able to use the blinds with the included remote. There are also two buttons directly on the blinds which you can use in an emergency when the remote stops working.
Those two buttons can also be used to calibrate the blinds by setting the maximum length. The process is pretty simple: use the remote or the buttons to lower the blinds to the desired length, then click the down button on the blinds twice (you need to be fast here). Done!
I have not personally used the blinds with the IKEA gateway but using some LED bulbs with it has been smooth sailing in the past for me.
Adding the Fyrtur smart blinds to Home Assistant via ZHA
Maybe the most important factor for me when buying the Fyrtur blinds was the fact that they use Zigbee for control. It is a protocol I am already heavily using and that allows me to directly control all devices without the manufacturers hub. I used both Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA for that but currently I am using ZHA with Home Assistant.
The Fyrtur blinds, as well as pretty much all IKEA Tradfri products, are well supported by those systems, even allowing for firmware updates that way. While IKEA uses these devices in some directly linked mode we can add all three (blinds, remote and repeater) separately to ZHA.
To start the process go to the ZHA Zigbee Integration and press the add device button at the bottom right of the screen. Now you have two minutes to add new devices.
You can find information on how to add each device type to the network online but for these three it is pretty easy. For the remote you need to unscrew the one screw at the back, open it, and press the small button 4 times within 5 seconds. It will start blinking red and should show up in Home Assistant shortly afterwards.
The repeater has a small hole in the front. Use a paperclip or something similar to push the button inside for 5 seconds. A white LED will start blinking and the it should pair. For some reason this took me a couple of tries.
To pair the blinds you need to press both buttons beside the battery for 5 seconds until the white light is turned on and starts blinking. It should now also pair.
Using the repeater
The repeater is basically just a USB power brick that can be put into any socket. If you need to get a stronger Zigbee network go ahead and use it. I personally have lots of bulbs already which act as repeaters so I removed the IKEA repeater.
Everything still seems to be working pretty well although possible the remote looses connection sometimes now. In the usual IKEA setup you are supposed to keep it though. I see that the blinds themselves also connect to other Zigbee devices on my network though.
Using the remote
The remote can also be used with the ZHA setup. After connecting it as described above it shows up in my setup. It does not seem to be updating any states after a button click though but instead sends events to
zha_event. Once you know that it can easily be used in automations.
Using the blinds
Of course the blinds are also supported by ZHA. They show up as a new item in the overview which can manually set the position as well as sending “up”, “down” and “stop” commands.
I used a blueprint I found on the forum’s exchange to link the remote to the blinds. You can find it here. I had to manually change the remote input manufacturer to IKEA like this to get it to work:
description: IKEA open/close remote to use
manufacturer: "IKEA of Sweden"
model: TRADFRI open/close remote
Afterwards you just need to create a new automation from the blueprint and provide the remote and the blinds. It works perfectly well for me.
Using the Fyrtur blinds
Using automated blinds it not really necessary but pretty cool. I personally have a button beside my bed which can change the lights to a reading mode, close the blinds and turn off the lights in the rest of the apartment in the evening. If pressed in the morning it will open the blinds and slowly fade on a light.
Really the great thing about controlling the blinds from Home Assistant is that I can link them to anything. Once it gets hotter during the summer I plan on experimenting with automatically (partially) closing the blinds to keep the room temperature low(er). But really you can do anything and everything here.
Overall the blinds have been a good buy for me. While definitely more expensive than simple “dumb” blinds they offer two great advantages compared to my other DIY solutions: no wires because of the included battery and simple integration into Home Assistant via Zigbee and ZHA.