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smart motorized blinds

Complete Buying Guide to Smart Blinds and Motorized Shades

Smart home technology is getting better by the day. From smart lighting to furniture and entertainment devices to appliances; it has become a part of our life in every way. When everything in our homes is becoming smart, how could blinds remain dumb? This is how smart blinds and motorized shades have come into being.

They ensure convenience and safety while also helping maintain energy efficiency at home. They are easy to use, require less effort, and come with various customization options to match different tastes.

These smart and motorized window coverings are a modern way of maintaining privacy while also letting in the desired amount of natural light. They can be scheduled to raise or lower individually or as a group at selected times during sunrise or sunset or whenever you want.

Before buying any blind for your windows, you must be aware of the cost and size, installation process, and other available power and customization options. Some of them are controlled using a smartphone app and some come with remote control, but it is reassuring that they can be controlled at the push of a button. There are even some accessories that can let you turn your existing window blinds into smart or motorized.

Below is a list of the finest smart blinds and motorized shades on the market. Head below to see which one fits the bill.

Somfy Smart Blinds and Shades

Somfy is one of the most popular and trusted brands for smart blinds. It is a specialist in making motors and control systems for retractable window coverings. Somfy offers different options to choose from – you can keep the simple motorized blinds or one that can be controlled with a remote control or a companion mobile app.

The company uses different technologies including Z-Wave, ZigBee, Radio technology Somfy, etc. for connectivity, which makes them useful for a wide range of homeowners. Powered by Sonesse motor, these window blinds are designed to generate low noise during operation. There are other installation options like including a battery, plug-in, or the hard-wired installation.

Furthermore, the company also offers additional accessories to make its motorized blinds and shades more convenient, like a sun sensor or a small hub-like device that allows connecting the RTS motor-powered blinds to Amazon Alexa and IFTTT. All their products are designed and manufactured in Haute-Savoie, France.

Graber’s Somfy smart blinds

Image: Somfy

Graber’s Somfy smart blinds

Image: Somfy

tilt’s MySmartBlinds

Utah-based tilt by Smarterhome also offers smart blinds and shades, as well as blinds automation kits. tilt’s MySmartBlinds are solar-powered window blinds that are available in two shades: white and walnut. Easy tool-free installation, automated tilting, simple scheduling, mobile app control, and sunrise/sunset automation are some of its cool features.

Using the additional tilt bridge the blinds can also support Alexa and Google Assistant connectivity. There are options to choose color, sizing, mount type, and all other customizations.

Pricing: $270

tilt's MySmartBlinds smart blinds and motorized shades

Image: tilt by Smarterhome

tilt's MySmartBlinds smart blinds and motorized shades

Image: tilt by Smarterhome

Serena Smart Shades from Lutron

Serena motorized shades by Lutron are a great pick for you if you want shades for the window that’s pretty effortless to install. These battery-powered shades are installed without any wires, perfect for a retrofitting project.

In addition, these can also be controlled using the companion mobile app, voice commands to Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa but you will need Lutron Caseta smart bridge to ensure it. Serena shades are available in three styles that come in a wide variety of fabrics, colors, and finishes. From fabric and power to mount, Serena Shades presents customers with different customization options to choose from.

Serena smart shade from Lutron

Image: Serena Shades

Serena smart shade from Lutron

Image: Lutron

IKEA’s FYRTUR and KADRILJ Smart Blinds

Swedish furniture maker IKEA launched the new FYRTUR and KADRILJ battery-powered smart blinds earlier this year. These blinds can be operated remotely with the included remote control or smartphone app, however, with the additional TRÅDFRI gateway.

The FYRTUR and KADRILJ smart blinds can also be controlled using voice commands to Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Home. While KADRILJ blinds are made of a sheer that allows a small amount of sunlight to pass through, FYRTUR roller blinds are made of dense fabric that blocks out light completely. The blinds are available five different sizes in the US, UK, parts of the EU, and Canada.

Pricing: Starts at $115

Ikea’s Smart Window Blinds Support Amazon Alexa

Image: Ikea

Also Read: Reasons You Should Adopt Smart Home Automation Trends in 2020

Link Shades Wi-Fi Automated Window Shades

The affordable and easy to use Link Shades can be controlled to raise or close on schedule through a dedicated app or smart home devices including Amazon Alexa and Google Home through IFTTT – no hub needed. You can also manually control them with the included detachable wand.

The motor unit plugs into a standard wall outlet. The shades use 100-percent blackout fabric coated on both sides with white thermal acrylic. There are different sizes to choose from. Multiple shades can be synched together via apps to open and close simultaneously.

Pricing: $140

Link Shades Wi-Fi automated window shades

Image: Link Shades

Link Shades Wi-Fi automated window shades

Image: Link Shades

PowerView Motorization by Hunter Douglas

Recipient of Red Dot Design Award, PowerView Motorization is a wireless system by Hunter Douglas used to control window shades. You can control the Hunter Douglas window treatments with the PowerView Automation system through Pebble remote control.

It can also be operated using a companion mobile app or via voice commands over Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, as well as connect to platforms like IFTTT. The PowerView hub will be the only requirement. These connected shades operate independently and can be scheduled for specific times of the day. Hunter Douglas PowerView motorized shades are a great addition to a smart home.

Pricing: Available on request

PowerView Motorization by Hunter Douglas

Image: Hunter Douglas

Yoolax Smart Home-Compatible Motorized Blinds

These window blinds are made from polyester fabric that blocks maximum amount of sunlight. In combination with the included remote control and Broadlink or BOND’s hub, you can control the Yoolax blinds from a smartphone app and Amazon Alexa. There are different choices of colors and valance options, which makes them more interesting.

Each unit is powered by an internal battery that lasts for about 6 months. There is a USB plug with a 2-meter cord to charge the blinds. The company also offers a multi-feature remote that can control a maximum of 15 separate shades in an area within a distance of 20-meters.

Pricing: Starts at $179

Yoolax smart home-compatible motorized blinds

Image: Amazon

Yoolax smart home-compatible motorized blinds

Image: Amazon

Smart Window Blind Alternatives

Smart blinds and motorized shades are pretty expensive but if you are interested in motorizing windows on a budget, keep scrolling down to look at other innovative accessories to turn your existing blinds into motorized or smart blinds. They are comparatively cheaper and not very complicated to install.

SOMA Window Shading Kit

It is a perfect alternative if you don’t want to buy new smart blinds just because they can be controlled effortlessly. Soma shading kit comes with just an adapter that attaches to existing blinds. Each unit is a combo of the window shading kit, solar panel, and a USB charging cable. There are two types of shades – beaded chain and endless loop cord.

Install it using the double-sided tape or screws and you’re ready to control your ordinary window blinds with a smartphone. You can even control it through Amazon Alexa and HomeKit with the additional Soma Connect.

Pricing: $119

Soma smart shades

Image: Soma

Soma smart shades

Image: Soma

Axis Gear

It is a compact and good-looking contraption to add automation to your window shades. Axis Gear easily attaches to window shades and makes them smart. It uses Bluetooth and ZigBee technology for communication and can support approximately 9 ft x 9 ft or a maximum of 10 lbs weight.

There is a built-in lithium polymer rechargeable battery that is charged via a separate solar bar. The device will make it easy and convenient for you to control temperature and glare by deciding the amount of natural sunlight entering in with the use of companion Android and iOS apps.

Pricing: $179

AXIS Gear

Image: Axis Gear

AXIS Gear

Image: Axis Gear

Brunt Blind Engine

A Kickstarter-funded product, Brunt Blind Engine can transform dumb windows smart. This DC-powered blind motor offers remote controlling and scheduling of blinds anytime, from anywhere through a smartphone. No hub required, it has a built-in Wi-Fi chip. The blind automation device is designed to be compatible with most roll-type blinds and can work with blinds of varying shapes and sizes. With Brunt Blind Engine, you will also be able to control blinds with voice commands to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Pricing: $120

Brunt Blind Engine

Image: Amazon

Brunt Blind Engine

Image: Amazon

MOVEZ by Teptron

MOVEZ by Teptron is a motor unit that can be attached to existing blinds and shades that have a bead chain, cord loop, or cord control. Once attached, the unit will transform the ordinary blinds smart so that they can be controlled via a mobile app conveniently. The device also has built-in sunshine and temperature sensor that can automate blinds based on time, temperature, and sunlight. The company has plans to launch the newer model with improved features, so this can also be a great deal in the near future.

Pre-0rder: €95 (~$155)

Move by Teptron

Image: Teptron

Move by Teptron

Image: Teptron

Frequently Asked Questions

The above-listed products would have given you a glimpse of what kinds of smart blinds and motorized shades are available in the market. Here are some frequently asked questions before buying smart blinds and motorized shades:

Why choose smart window blinds and motorized shades for home (benefits of smart and motorized blinds)?

Smart and motorized shades have many different benefits in comparison to standard window treatments. They are stylish, simple to use, safe, and also preserve privacy. You can automate window blinds to close automatically during the hottest times of the day to keep heat out and keep temperatures down, which will help you maintain energy efficiency.

The automated window blinds also move throughout the day, which makes your house appear as if someone is at home. You can also customize these blinds to fit the sizes of windows at your home.

How smart and motorized window coverings work?

There are mainly three types of power sources for window blinds – built-in battery, plug-in power source, and solar power. Each device has a built-in motor that takes gives motion to the blinds. In case of smart binds, there is an essential role of a wireless connectivity platform like RF, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. They can be opened and closed simply by touching a button, a remote control, or an app on a smartphone.

What is the difference between motorized and automated window blinds?

You can control a motorized window with the push of a button; however, an automated window treatment is controlled automatically by using a timer, a sensor, a smartphone app, etc.

How do I measure the window size accurately?

When taking measurements of your window for blinds, the first thing to consider is whether you want to mount the blind on the inside or outside of the window frame.

On an inside mount, the headrail will sit back in the window casing so that it will emphasize the actual size of the window and it allows your window molding to be visible. Alternatively, on an outside mount, a blind can be mounted either on the window molding itself or above and beyond the window molding (source).

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