I got the idea to upgrade my old manual blinds in the apartment to the new IKEA motorized ones so I could control them using “Home Assistant”.
There were some practical problems to solve because three of the windows had a width of more than 140 cm which is the longest version of KADRILJ and I thought it would be expensive to change all (16 windows) since the cheapest one of KADRILJ (60 cm) costs about €100 in Sweden.
Why not extend a 60 cm KADRILJ to cover one long or two windows?
Independent of the KADRILJ length it has the same motor module/battery module and it is very strong.
I have tested an 80 cm KADRILJ extended with two more blinds, 170 + 90 mm width and it works. E.g. balcony door and two wide windows but is was another type of installation than the one described in this guide. I later split it so I used two KADRILJ because I wanted to control the door separately.
It finally took 2 – 3 hours to extend a KADRILJ and get the whole tube into place at the windows. It required several prototypes/retries before it worked as intended.
Finding the correct screws to fasten everything due to different wall materials at the windows was a problem. KADRILJ, especially the ones I extended, weight a lot.
One or two standard blinds with the desired width for the window(s). I already had white “black out” from Kirsch in the apartment so I wanted to reuse the blinds and their metal tubes.
Plastic tube 1 or 2 m length, 40 mm outside diameter (preferably exactly the same diameter as the KADRILJ metal tube which is 43 mm but I only found 40 mm in the shops here). Metal/aluminium tubes can probably also be used here but I like plastic since it is easy to handle and the weight is low.
Wooden, or metal broom stick, 1.4 – 2 m, with a smaller diameter than the inside of the KADRILJ metal tube. I used a 23 mm version.
Now it is time to calculate the complete width of the blind(s) you want. The KADRILJ motor unit builds about 2 cm from the motor to the left side.
Adding a rod
To get a good mechanical connection between the KADRILJ tube and the plastic tube/original blind metal tube it is important the broom stick fills the gap between the motor and original blind tube.
If two plastic tubes are used, ensure the gap between them is on the middle of the broom stick or original blind tube so it doesn’t become a weak spot where it could break or bend.
Broom stick – KADRILJ end
electrical tape so the end of the broom stick has the same diameter as the
inside the KADRILJ metal tube. Reuse the small plastic ring from the KADRILJ
removed end piece and add electrical tape to a diameter to hold the ring in
place where the KADRILJ metal tube meets the plastic tube. If everything is
correct, the broom stick shall fit inside the KADRILJ metal tube locked in
place by the ring and electrical tape. If it still feels a little flexible, add
some more tape in the end.
Broom stick in KADRILJ tube
Now it is time to add some material to the broom stick so it gets the same diameter as the inner diameter of the plastic tube. One way is to reuse the blind from the KADRILJ because it is easy to cut with a scissor.
Measure the diameter
A caliper can be used to compare the inner diameter of the plastic tube (in my case about 35.7 mm) and the material on the broom stick. Electrical tape can be used to fix the material to the broom stick at start and fix it once it reaches the correct diameter.
Inside of plastic tube
important parts here is the end of the stick and where the stick meets the
KADRILJ tube so the plastic tube does not flex when placed on the broom stick
and its material. Now the plastic tube can be placed on the broom stick and
locked in place against the KADRILJ metal tube using some electrical tape (this
tape it is good for a lot of things here).
original blind tube must now be cut so it can be placed between the end of the
broom stick and it extends about 10 mm from the plastic tube. If there are any
free space between the stick and tube, it is possible from the original blind
tube to move into the plastic tube so the end piece will fall out from the
holder of the blinds – not good, I’ve tested it.
Adding material to stick
Plastic tube with added material
Material must also be added to the original blind tube so it reaches the same diameter as the inside of the plastic tube. Same method can be used as for the broom stick. I have also tested O-Rings (locked in place and increased in diameter with electrical tape) or used some old unused blinds. Important places are the end of the tube where it meets the broom stick and at the end of the plastic tube.
When the original blind tube is pushed into the plastic tube it should not flex at all. The end between the plastic tube and original blind tube can be locked with some more electrical tape or a small screw. A screw is better since it prevents the metal tube from moving inside the plastic tube.
If everything is correct now, you should have a very long tube for the blinds. A problem here is the diameter of the KADRILJ metal tube (44.3 mm) is a little bigger than the plastic tube. More material must be added to the plastic tube (40 mm) until it reaches the same diameter as the KADRILJ.
Here it is not possible to leave any gaps except between two blinds because otherwise the blind will buckle when moving. Here I also used some more old blinds fixed with guess what.. electrical tape. Once the correct diameter (easy to check with a caliper) has been reached, fix the material with some more tape. Fix the tubes against the KADRILJ tube with tape. If the friction between KADRILJ tube/broom stick/plastic tube is to low, the plastic tube will not rotate with the KADRILJ at all.
Plastic tube on original blind tube
Plastic tube on broom
Mount the extended IKEA motorized blinds
Last step is to mount the blind(s) you want on the long roll. If adding more than one they must have the same total length in order to reach the same position once the blind is in bottom position.
There must also be some space between them to be able to hold the tube from roof/wall. The easiest way is probably to use dual sided tape to fasten the blind(s) to the roll or perhaps thin small screws.
I used electrical tape but had to be careful since it peeled off easy because of the surface of the blinds. Ensure the rotational direction of the KADRILJ and tube. The KADRILJ tube must be on the left side and the tube will roll up clockwise.
Roll up the blind manually and hopefully the blinds will end at the same length and straight. I had to retry a couple of times here. Another warning – the original blinds can be used to their full length but when mounted on the plastic tube they can fall down if rolled out to long, which I already tested at least once.
3D printed endpiece
Now it is time to mount the holders for the KADRILJ and an endpiece from the old original blind. This long tube weights a lot more than just a KADRILJ so everything must be carefully mounted.
The endpiece does not work as before because the centre of the KADRILJ tube are a lot further from the wall/ceiling. One way is to 3D-print a new end piece or use wood or other material to get the original endpiece to correct position.
If two blinds are used, a strap in a hook must be used to hold the tube between the blinds to release some weight from KADRILJ and the endpiece. At least it worked for me.
3d-printed endpiece compared to original
Get the right wall fixings – it’s heavy!
Mounting the whole tube is a work for two or more people because the KADRILJ must be connected to the complete tube during the whole routine.
One holds the KADRILJ in position and another ensures the endpiece connects to the tube correctly. When this is done, KADRILJ can be locked into position.
Ensure it cannot move sideways so the endpiece and tube gets disconnected, otherwise the whole tube/KADRILJ can fall down! Add a strap between if there are more than one blind and check the tube is horizontal.
Fix with strap
When the battery is inserted into the KADRILJ, it will move up to top position. Because the original endpiece has been removed from KADRILJ of the extension process, this can be a little tricky.
Bedroom window with 120 + 120 cm extended IKEA KADRILJ motorized blinds
kitchen with 150cm extended IKEA KADRILJ motorized blinds
I got movement of the frame on one extended KADRILJ in the kitchen because of the tension every time it moved to top position and had to add a script in “Home Assistant“ so the KADRILJ closed a few percent afterwards.
Living room with 170 + 90 cm extended IKEA KADRILJ motorized blinds
For the two widest windows in the living room, this was not a problem.
Our extended IKEA motorized blinds works
Now, finally, all windows are controlled using 9 KADRILJ blinds. If I didn’t want to control one window and the balcony door separately, 7 KADRILJ had been enough.
The total material needed was probably €150 – €200 not including the cost of the IKEA KADRILJ motorized blinds.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.