The clever blinds of Ikea Fyrtur and Kadrilj are much cheaper than those of the competition, which is attractive. However, in my first review of the Ikea Smart Blinds on activejr.com I was critical about their design and performance. I’ve been using it for over 4 months now, and during this time Ikea has released firmware updates and the latest HomeKit support.
At the first meeting I installed two FRYTUR blackout curtains on a window in my house and four KADRILJ blinds on the double doors in the kitchen. Since then I have installed 5 more FRYTURs upstairs and there were 11 at my home.
Has there been any improvement? Well, read on for my long-term assessment, including the installation process, applications and support for the smart home. But before I start, it is useful to understand some details of my installation and the software I use.
Ikea has released several firmware updates in the last 4 months. Below you will find the firmware that will be available at the end of this check on the 4th day of the month. January 2020 was used.
- The current version: 1.10.28
FYRTUR & KADRILJ Intelligent blinds and shutters
- The current version: 2.2.009
Opening/closing the remote control
- The current version: 2.2.008
- The current version: 2.2.005
Ikea Home Smart App
- The current version: 1.11.1
Finally an overview of the Ikea Smart blinds: That’s how I decorated everything in my house;
- 7 IKEA FYRTUR blinds 80 cm
- 4 colours Ikea CADRILGE 80 cm wide
- 6 remote controls
- 2 signal amplifiers, one on the lower stage and one on the upper stage.
- 1 Tradfri Gateway
- Ikea Home smart app and Apple Home application via HomeKit
Before we go into a complete review of Ikea’s intelligent blinds, I would like to give you some information about specifications, sizes and prices.
- Prices start at £90 for $129.
- FYRTUR, a blackout curtain available in the US, Kanda, the EU and the UK.
- KADRILJ, a colour version, is not available in the United States and Canada.
- The battery’s on.
- The Zigby protocol
- EU dimensions 100x195cm, 120x195cm, 140x195cm, 60x195cm and 80x195cm.
- US sizes 23×76 3⁄4, 27×76 3⁄4, 30×76 3⁄4, 32×76 3⁄4, 34×76 3⁄4, 36×76 3⁄4, 38×76 3⁄4 and 48×76 3⁄4.
In a box
- Ikea Fürthur darkens the blind or Ikea CADRIL shadow version
- Mounting brackets
- USB charging cable
- Signal amplifier
- Remote control with magnetic mounting plate.
Electrical connection for the load and the signal amplifier
An overview of Ikea’s intelligent blinds: Design and construction
- Power failure in Fürthurs
- Colour version FRAMEWORK
- Curtain 100% polyester, 100% polyethylene
- Battery power
Both FYRTUR and KADRILJ blinds have the same design, with the exception of the different materials used for the window coverings. Both have an aluminium housing in which the blind shaft and the motor are housed. At the front of the smart blinds there is a battery compartment and two buttons to which they can be connected and used.
At the top of the housing there is a mounting rail to which the mounting brackets are attached during installation.
The Fyrtur model offers more privacy and better light control by switching the light off, while the KADRILJ lets the light in and is less private but cheaper. In addition, the two intelligent blinds are also identical in construction.
Although grey seems to be an entry point at the moment, Ikea should produce a wider colour palette to suit the style of the space.
An intelligent, blind look at Ikea: Installation and adjustment
- The physical construction is simple
- Implementing an intelligent IKEA application for the home is still a challenge.
- Mounting screws are not included in the scope of delivery.
As I said when installing the FYRTUR blinds for the practical overview, adjusting the KADRILJ blinds is just as easy. First two mounting brackets are installed, but you have to take care of the screws yourself. Even if it is experienced as unpleasant by some people, I think it makes sense, because other screw connections have to be used. For example, I used high-strength cavity expansion screws to ensure a strong and safe fastening to my plasterboard.
After mounting the brackets, the next step is to mount the smart curtains on the brackets. To do this, simply press the button in brackets and press it upwards. It’s so easy to install.
Then comes the installation of the remote control, you first have to fix the magnetic backside to the wall with screws (not included). When you have everything in place, install the battery, connect the signal amplifier and continue if you do not want to connect it to the application.
However, if you want to use the application, you will need a Tradfri gateway and will need to perform some additional configuration steps.
First of all, you need to connect a signal amplifier 5 meters away from the smart curtains. Because I had already linked 2 FYRTUR blinds to an application and a portal, I used an existing repeater. Ikea says you can connect 10 blinds to a signal amplifier, I connected 6 at the bottom and 5 at the top to a second signal amplifier.
Each blind person needs a remote control connection and you can connect up to 4 blinds per remote control. The connection of the intelligent blinds to the Tradfri Gateway is done in 3 steps. Connect the remote control to the Gateway, connect the remote control to the repeater and then reconnect the remote control to the blinds and shutters.
However, if you connect several blinds with a single remote control, you only need to perform the last step after the first one for the next blinds.
When I installed the FYRTUR blinds for the first time, the installation of the application and the gateway was painful, as my first impressions show. However, the implementation process has improved, but it is not perfect. The first time I installed a FRYTUR curtain, it took me over an hour and a half and a few tries. The installation of the 5 blinds on the floor was faster, took about 45 minutes and included the physical installation.
However, the configuration process could have been improved, and I waited about 5 minutes for the blind to insert themselves into the application, while the application said it would take up to 60 seconds.
The last step in setting up the blinds is to place a drop. It took several attempts to restore the final position. This is due to the slight delay in pressing the control buttons on the blinds and shutters. With a little patience, however, the problem cannot be solved.
As for my first Smart Blind Review, I still had a few spare parts. That’s because I installed 5 blinds, each with its own remote control, charger, cable and repeater.
Although this is only the case with my installation and not when the signal is installed. To improve the situation, Ikea can sell blinds in a modular unit. Blinds, remote control and signal are repeated separately. This will reduce waste and make life easier for customers.
- HomeKit is now supported
- Google Home and Alexa are also supported.
- Control via the blinds, the remote control, the application or Siri
If you look at the Tradfri application on the homepage, you will see a presentation that divides the connected devices into rooms. But since I’ve already set up other Tradfri devices, I’ve already made several rooms. But despite several attempts, I was unable to install the remote control and the blinds in the existing room. This meant that I had to create double rooms in order to use the blinds in my facility. So if you use the Ikea Home smart application as your main control, it can get a little dirty.
To operate the blinds, use the up and down arrows to open or close them, but for more precise operation, use a slider to set the desired position. If you have several blinds connected, as shown in this overview. You can click on the arrow to expand the control window and display the individual controls for each blind.
If the blinds are working, the application has a good animation that shows the progress of the blind as they go up or down. The cursor also has a percentage display indicating how far the blinds will fall, depending on the position of the cursor.
In the left menu you can set timers for Ikea Smart Blinds. On the right side there is another menu for adding add-ons, updates and various help menus for Ikea Tradfri.
Speaking of timers, they are time based only, so you can choose any day and any time, set the desired position, and that’s it. Although most people prefer to open and close them at certain times, it would be good to be able to open them at sunrise, for example.
As mentioned above, the intelligent blinds come with a remote control to operate the blinds. When I was working with the remote control, I found it useful and it worked especially with the blinds and shutters. If you remove the remote control from the wall plate, the extra benefit is that you can take it with you.
How do they open and close? The KADRILJ Shadows closed in 29 seconds and opened in 31 seconds with a total fall of 195 cm height. The FYRTUR blinds close in 17 seconds and open in 19 seconds for a fall of 123 cm.
When you open the battery pack, charge it via a USB port on the signal amplifier or a USB charger. But because Ikea designed the battery with the charging connector and the power contacts in one place. You cannot charge the battery while it is in the awning and there is no way to run it continuously or on solar energy.
During the operation I discharged the battery of one of the blind men and he warned me that the battery was almost empty. However, this message was hidden in the settings menu. It would be nice if the application would click on a notification or display it under blind people in the main part of the application.
In my opinion, the battery took two hours from the moment it was discharged to charge, and when it reached its charging capacity, the light went out.
I’ve been using smart blinds since 25 August 2019 (just over 4 months) and find out I have to recharge the batteries every 2 months. Used for opening and closing at least once a day and, upon request, for normal use throughout the day.
When FYRTUR & KADRILJ smart blinds were first announced, Ikea said they would support Google Assistant, HomeKit and Alexa. However, the support for the HomeKit had just arrived and was not available when I first looked at it. But now that HomeKit has arrived, let’s see how it works.
Adding smart blinds to HomeKit is like adding another device. They scan the HomeKit code and follow the installation process and I had no problems with the installation.
Once you have added the HomeKit, you can control the blinds and shutters via the Home application, Siri voice control and automation. You can also group the blinds like any other accessory in the HomeKit. This is useful if you have multiple blinds that close a window, or in my case at my double doors.
If you use the Home application to control Ikea’s intelligent blinds, you can open and close them with one switch. With this method, the blinds are fully opened or closed. However, if you want a more precise control, you can also set the distance for opening or closing the blinds and shutters, e.g. only 50% if you want.
Intelligent blinds and shutters
Using the Siri Voice Wizard to access from an iOS device or HomePod also works well. You can use controls such as Ai Siri, which opens the blinds in the kitchen, or Ai Siri, which opens the blinds in the studio up to 75%. Both teams worked as planned.
When I arrived at HomeKit Automation, I had maximum control over HomeKit. That’s because I can integrate Ikea’s intelligent blinds into my existing HomeKit system. This allowed me to open and close the blinds at certain times of the day and to include them in my automatic closing system at night.
The last four months something has changed with the beautiful Ikea curtains. In the previous review you already had a good idea of the conclusion to the end. I also said that I believe Ikea will solve the problems like the other Tradfri products. How did that change? Yeah, but they’re not perfect yet, and Ikea still has a way to solve problems.
Overall, I am always impressed by the quality of the meeting at a price. I expected them to feel and look cheap and they have been doing well for the last four months. FYRTUR blackout curtains block the light well when they are closed, and the KADRILJ shade allows sufficient light through while providing privacy.
I have already reported that the chassis doesn’t shake or move when they rotate and that the engine is quite quiet. That hasn’t changed since I made it and moved in.
The speed with which they open and close is excellent, and I like the fact that if you have several blinds connected, you can operate them independently. I also appreciate the fact that Ikea has a remote control for the blinds and shutters, because it gives you an extra option besides the control by the visitors.
The latest addition to HomeKit support is a great addition that gives users of the Apple Smart Home platform extra control. It is a great joy that Siri has closed the blinds.
But in my experience with IKEA Intelligent Blinds, they are always connected to software. The configuration process is still not perfect, despite the firmware update. I also found the request awkward and unpleasant.
This concludes our long term review of Ikea Smart blinds and I hope you now have a good insight into the performance of FYRTUR & KADRILJ and how they work. Don’t forget to log in to be the first to know when other smart home ratings go down. If you have a question or comment, please leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Summary of the study
When I first looked at the clever blinds, I couldn’t recommend them. However, after more than 4 months of use and various firmware updates. Everything has improved a bit, and with the support of HomeKit I can recommend this product. Read the overview Promises
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