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Review of the SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.

The SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

The SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

For lazy types like myself, the concept of an automated home is enticing. My first tentative step toward automation was the purchase of several Echo speakers, which I connected to Amazon Alexa. Then I picked up six smart lightbulbs, linking their controlling application to Alexa. Since my new A1 system worked flawlessly, I added a Wi-Fi and camera-connected doorbell to the mix.

During this period, I was busy reviewing a selection of robotic vacuums that, over time, were becoming increasingly sophisticated, user-friendly, and capable. My latest robot washes its mop and empties its dustbin every time it completes its vacuuming and mopping duties.

Today I am examining another device designed to automate my home. While offbeat and not quite as useful as my vacuum, an automated curtain puller is undoubtedly a cool item.

The arms clamp onto the curtain rod.

The arms clamp onto the curtain rod.

This side faces the window.

This side faces the window.

The Mini Smart Hub

The heart of any SwitchBot system is its hub. This mini hub functions as an all-in-one infrared remote, controlling a wide variety of smart appliances. It works with my Wi-Fi and SwitchBot application and is a vital component when using third-party applications such as Amazon Alexa.

The SwitchBot Curtain Motor

Although a U-rail version is available, I chose a pair of rod-capable curtain motors. They can be used with grommet, ring, back tap, or tab top curtains.

Since my dining room curtains are fitted with grommets, I secured the curtain motors on the rod, centering them between the last two grommets of my drapes. Then, when this system closes my curtains, the motors will move toward the center of the window, pulling the drapes with them. When opening the drapes, both motors will retreat to their side of the window, pushing the drapes open.

The curtain motor consists of two parts. The battery pack is fitted with a spring-loaded arm equipped with rollers that will clamp it tightly against the curtain rod.

The larger component houses the electric motor that turns a rubber roller, pulling the device along the curtain rod. Also incorporated into this module are a pushbutton control, LED indicator, light sensor, USB-C charging port, and a second spring-loaded arm.

Once these two components were clamped to the curtain rod, I tugged the smaller module downward, stretching its spring until its battery pack was parallel with the opening in the larger component. Then I snapped the two pieces together.

The physical labor would have been complete if my window had been fitted with ring-type curtains. My grommet-fitted drapes, however, require using a set of clips joined together by a string of plastic beads. The clips fit snugly to each grommet. Then, as my drapes close, the length of beads between each clip constricts movement, resulting in properly formed pleats.

The Solar Panels

I tested a pair of SwitchBot solar panel chargers in conjunction with the curtain motors. Installation was easy. I pushed the solar panel’s plastic extensions into the recesses from which the curtain motor’s arms protruded. Then I shoved its USB-C plug into the motor’s charging port.

How effectively the solar panels function depends on the amount of sun that reaches the window and whether the curtains are opened or closed.

The optional solar panel

The optional solar panel

The Remote

This tiny device may be paired to the curtain motors using the SwitchBot application. Its buttons can be programmed to open and close the associated set of curtains.

Optional remote control

Optional remote control

Battery compartment of remote control

Battery compartment of remote control

The SwitchBot Application

This application is utilized in conjunction with the mini hub, setting up and controlling a variety of compatible devices.

In this case, I used the application to configure the operation of the curtain motors and set up both the mini hub and a remote.

This application can be used to configure SwitchBot products to function under the control of third-party systems such as Alexa and Google Home.

Overall Impression

Perhaps because I reviewed a similar set of curtain motors last month, I found the setup and configuration of this system to be a simple task.

I’d initially felt the clips and beads I attached to the grommets would prove to be an eyesore. In fact, the beads are barely noticeable and not unattractive.

The motors, while not particularly quiet, run smoothly. I usually control this system using Alexa voice commands, but they can also be operated by my remote control or the smartphone application. The SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor is recommended.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Walter Shillington