Automate Your Window Shades with HomeKit Compatibility Using RYSE SmartShade: HomeKit Weekly

Cupertino, May 3, 2024

Automating your blinds is one of the easiest ways to feel like you're living in the future, as the Jetsons predicted. If you already have existing shades, you might want to look into the RYSE SmartShade, which lets you convert existing shades to HomeKit-compatible shades with minimal installation. HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple's smart home framework. The RYSE SmartShade offers a cost-effective and simple solution for automating sun protection. The bridge and blind controls can be installed in less than 20 minutes, transforming bead chain blinds into motorized and smart home versions. Users can control their blinds through our mobile application or directly through the controls on the device (a big bonus in my opinion).

With the Smart Bridge you can:

  • Set up routines or schedules that automatically open the blinds at sunrise and close at sunset to ensure privacy.
  • Works with smart home ecosystems such as HomeKit, Google Home or Amazon Alexa for voice control.
  • Operate multiple sun blinds simultaneously (group function) via the application.

Why on-device control is necessary – even with HomeKit

I've been a devout HomeKit user for over five years now. I have bought, tried and used hundreds of devices. That said, the devices that end up being my favorite are the ones where HomeKit is an option. When I don't have my iPhone with me, I like to use physical controls. The RYSE SmartShade contains buttons on the hardware that allow you to open and close your blinds without using HomeKit.

Installing the SmartShade

Here you will find the tools you need to install the RYSE SmartShade. One thing you should check is to make sure there are no objects attached to your bead chain that could block the device (e.g. ball stoppers, oversized bead connectors, and cord tensioners).

SmartShade device

Power adapter or battery

Mounting bracket


Optional: Drill, Screwdriver, Pen or pencil

Installation process:

  1. Remove any ball stops by applying force.
  2. Replace the oversized bead connectors with the connectors supplied by RYSE using force pliers or a flat-head screwdriver to remove them.
  3. Unscrew the cord tensioners from the wall and remove the chain from the tensioner.
  4. Remove the back cover of the SmartShade by squeezing the sides.
  5. Lower the guide rail, wrap the bead chain around the sprocket, then push the guide rail back up and replace the tailgate.
  6. Place the SmartShade on the bracket and make sure it clicks firmly into place.
  7. If adjustment is necessary, use the release button on the bottom of the SmartShade.
  8. Place the SmartShade in the desired location on the window and sketch the placement of the bracket with a pen or pencil.
  9. Make sure that the chain does not rotate and that the sun blind does not collide with the device.
  10. If you are using a battery, attach it first to make sure there is enough space in the window frame.
  11. Remove the SmartShade from the bracket to mark the screw holes on the wall.
  12. Pre-drill holes or install anchors if necessary, then screw the mounting bracket into the wall, paying attention to the correct orientation.
  13. Reattach the SmartShade to the assembled bracket, making sure the bead chain is taut.
  14. Connect the power adapter to the SmartShade and plug it into the wall socket, or attach the battery pack.
  15. Add the SmartShade to the RYSE app for control.

Add to HomeKit

If you haven't already done so, you will need to add the SmartBridge to HomeKit. I would start with the RYSE app so you can handle future firmware and software updates. You'll want to connect it to ethernet and power, add it to the app, and then scan the HomeKit code at the bottom of the bridge.

Wrapping Up

The RYSE ecosystem is a great example of the benefits of converting an existing home product into a HomeKit-compatible product without having to completely replace anything. As long as you have a plastic bead or metal chain-based lampshade, you can easily convert it into a HomeKit-enabled one. To complete the full installation you will need RYSE Smart Bridge and the SmartShade with battery. Both can be purchased from Amazon or directly from RYSE.

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