Smart blinds or smart shades are completely automated window coverings that can be managed by remote, mobile app or, voice assistant devices such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Home.
They are a great way to upgrade your home with the latest technology and can make your life much more convenient. With smart blinds, you can set schedules for when they open and close and create routines so you never have to worry about forgetting to open/close the blinds before you leave the house.
It is worth noting that people will use “smart blinds”, “smart shades”, “motorized blinds” and “motorized shades” interchangeably, however they are almost always referring to the same thing – a blind or shade that is not controlled manually.
Why Should I Get Smart Blinds?
There are a number of advantages of this new technology.
Convenience – Automated blinds allow you to modify them from the comfort of your bed or chair – with no need to get up and walk over to the window! Even if you are not at home, you have the option to set a timer or control them directly from your mobile device. Many of the latest models also have a light sensor as part of its smart features.
Safety – Dangling cords are a common worry for parents and pet owners, however, replacing your existing shades with smart shades can alleviate this worry thanks to their cordless design.
Security – Motorized smart blinds are useful for home security thanks to the option to use a timer for opening and closing, it will seem like you are at home even when you are on holiday. This will hopefully help deter burglars from breaking in.
Protect Your Interior Design – Direct sunlight can damage furniture and paintwork in the home so having the option to set your blinds to close during the times of the day with maximum light intensity will help reduce the fading of your interior.
Aesthetics – Smart blinds are the same as traditional blinds, only with the modern features that allow you to control them, which means there is a huge range of designs and styles to choose from, with the added benefit of being smart.
Are There Any Downsides To Motorized Blinds?
Despite all the pros of getting motorized blinds, there are some cons as well.
Cost – Motorized or smart blinds are somewhat more expensive compared to traditional models. Yet, in the long term, they will likely help reduce your energy bills and add value to your home.
Complicated Installation – People tend to worry about the complicated installation of smart blinds and professional installation can be expensive. However, if you are good at DIY you can buy them and install them yourself which will save you quite a bit of money.
What Materials Are Available For Smart Blinds:
The material of your motorized window coverings will depend on whether they are blinds, shades, or curtains.
Curtains and shades are made from fabric, while blinds are usually crafted from wood, PVC, vinyl, aluminum, or metal.
How will you know which material to pick? It all depends on the setup of the room and your taste.
Wood is a common solution. The main benefit is obviously the natural appearance. Besides, it comes in various themes and shades. However, if there is humidity and moisture in your room, you should not choose wood. Due to being a natural product, wood can get damaged, including cracks.
Faux wood has the same kind of appearance to genuine wood. Yet, it is a synthetic and thus cheaper option. The good news about faux wood is that you can install it in rooms with humidity such as a bathroom.
PVC is another economical choice and they are also resistant to moisture. PVC blinds are available in a wide range of colors and sizes.
Unfortunately, the downside is that PVC will not give you the same luxurious look to your home that, for example, natural wood does.
Out of all of the plastic materials, vinyl is the most durable. It is also affordable and resistant to moisture. It is also available in many colors, and can also be transparent, too.
When it comes to plastic, people usually worry if it is environmentally friendly. So, it is good to know that vinyl is completely recyclable.
Not all metal has the same water resistance, so care should be taken if they are intended for bathrooms. Metal blinds can be quite loud, which can be irritating to some people.
Aluminum is light, corrosion-immune, and also 100% recyclable. Blinds made of aluminum are available in a variety of colors so you will not be stuck for options.
Types of Smart Blinds
When it comes to smart blinds – there is quite a lot of choice. Not all models look the same, cost the same, or function in the same way. However, before purchasing smart blinds it is worth understanding some of the options.
There are around 10 types of motorized blinds/shades on the market:
Smart Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds have two styles: one that opens from side to side and another that splits in the center.
The advantage of vertical blinds is that they can be used on larger windows such as patio doors and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Smart Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds (an umbrella term for horizontal blinds) are probably the most popular solution. The reason is likely the fact they suit almost all windows they are added to. That means you can use them for any windows, including arched windows.
Smart Panel Blinds
Panel blinds are sort of vertical blinds but more modern. The concept is similar: you have a number of panels that you can move from side to side.
The main difference, however, is in materials and colors. Panel blinds are available in fabric and wood, which gives them a more luxurious appearance than vertical blinds.
You can also find them in many different colors and shades to match your home decor.
Smart Honeycomb Blinds
Honeycomb blinds are also known as cellular shades and honeycomb shades. You can compare them to pleated shades both by look and material. Although, they are crafted of two different materials, not just one like pleated shades.
Smart Roman Blinds
Roman blinds are a traditional solution, often referred to as Roman shades. They are made of a single piece of fabric that is folded into pleats. Roman blinds will give your windows a very elegant look.
Smart Pleated Blinds
Pleated blinds are sometimes referred to as pleated shades. Their look is somewhat similar to Venetian blinds. However, instead of horizontal slats, these blinds have fabric pleats.
Just like Roman shades, they give a very elegant look to your windows. If you want to add a touch of luxury to your home – these are the blinds for you.
Smart Roller Shades
Roller blinds or shades are a popular window treatment. The concept is very simple: a piece of fabric is rolled around a tube.
You can find roller shades in many different colors, textures, and patterns. They are also available in light-filtering and blackout options.
Smart Solar Shades
Solar and roller shades are very similar, but they offer a better barrier against UV radiation.
These are perfect for south-facing windows that get a lot of sun exposure. If you live in a sunny area – solar shades will keep your home much cooler during the summer months.
Smart Skylight Shades
Skylight shades are perfect for covering hard-to-reach skylights. You can get them in various styles, such as roller, pleated and cellular. However, cellular blinds are the most popular due to their insulating effects.
Smart Outdoor Shades
If you need a blind for a patio door, consider outdoor blinds. As you can assume by the name, the blind will be set outside the window or glass, not inside your home. Although, some internal blinds may also be used for similar purposes – such as solar or perfect-fit blinds.
Adding Value To Your Home With Smart Blinds
Smart blinds, one of the premium type of blinds can be a great selling point if you ever decide to put your house on the market, people love modern technology, and who doesn’t like pressing buttons?
Secondly, they can help you save money on energy bills. If you live in a hot climate, shades can keep your home cooler during the summer months. And if you live in a cold climate, they can help you insulate your home and reduce heat loss.
In both cases, you will be able to save money on energy bills which is great for you, and for any potential buyer in the future.
The Price Range
As we have already established, there is a huge range of variables that affect a smart blind’s price so bear in mind that the total price will depend on the material, the number of windows, etc.
In terms of material, vinyl is the cheapest option, while wood is the most expensive.
You can expect your new internal smart shades to cost anywhere between $400 to $600 each.
The outdoor versions are more, costing around $1,000, so they are definitely not a budget-friendly option!
We have covered a lot in this article but we wanted to add a frequently asked question section to answer any more specific questions that often pop up.
Are Motorized Shades Worth It?
Smart shades are a great investment, not only will you love the convenience of automation, comfort, and efficiency, but you will also save some money on your energy bills. Plus, they are a perfect window covering for windows that you cannot easily reach due to being so high.
How Much Does A Motorized Blind Cost?
The price of smart blinds varies depending on many factors. Things like style, size, and the material of the blind can cause huge fluctuations in price.
As a basic rule, from the products we have seen, the cost is anywhere from $300 and $1,000 per blind. So, if you are looking at getting multiple blinds installed it can get very expensive, a lot more than traditional models.
It is worth noting that as with any technology, as it becomes more widely available the prices of the products do come down in price, so it is well worth checking the current prices and seeing if they are within budget.
Which Motorized Shades Are Recommended?
Which type of blind will be great for you depends on your needs. However, for 2022, in our opinion, the great smart shade at a reasonable price is the Yoolax Motorized Shade for Window. And the excellent remote-controlled blind is the ZY Blinds Motorized Blackout Window Shades.
Do Motorized Shades Need An Outlet?
Powering smart blinds is obviously a challenge that does not exist with traditional window coverings.
The good news is, if your window is difficult to reach, you can opt for battery-powered smart blinds so there is not always a need to install a plug socket next to the unit.
If a power source is nearby, then you have a choice of power options to choose from.
Can I Make My Existing Blinds Smart?
Some people love the look of their blinds but have problems with the lack of functionality. The good news is that you can upgrade your existing blinds to smart blinds. It’s relatively simple to do, you would just need to buy the correct motors and connect them to the tip of blinds or as per the instructions from the manufacturer.
Can You Get Alexa Blinds?
Alexa works perfectly with motorized blinds, letting you relax at maximum at your home. As well as Alexa, you can use Siri and Google Assistant. Similar to modern smart speakers, most smart shades come with the most common voice assistants pre-installed.
What Are The Great Smart Blinds For Privacy?
For the highest level of privacy, we recommend you go for motorized blackout blinds. With them, you can keep your room darkened at any time of day and the material is thick, avoiding the chance of your neighbors seeing your pale bits.
How Many Remote Controls Do You Get With A Smart Blind?
Most smart window coverings come with one remote, however, it is normally fairly inexpensive to add a second. You likely won’t need more than one, because the beauty is if you do accidentally misplace the remote you can switch to voice commands or use a smartphone app (assuming your device supports it). Many of the state-of-the-art smart blinds do not even come with remote control, they are purely controlled by mobile app or voice.
What Are The Different Types of Power Options – Can You Get Solar-Powered Smart Blinds?
There are various options to power smart shades from hardwired smart blinds, to solar power.
Solar-powered smart blinds are perfect for high, hard-to-reach windows. Normally, they come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that has an additional feature from solar power. What this means is, the rechargeable battery is constantly being recharged by the power of the sun.
What is Soma Smart Shades?
Soma smart shades are currently a very popular choice, they not only supply smart blinds but also have a huge range of other smart devices for the modern home.
The Bottom Line
Ok so let’s wrap this up, do smart blinds work, and are they worth it?
Smart blinds work great, they are incredibly convenient and look really cool too. If you like the thought of adding more devices to your “smart home” and controlling your blinds with a voice command then it’s safe to say that smart blinds are a great idea.
If, however, you are on a tight budget, you might be better off sticking to regular blinds and saving money.
We hope that our guide helped you become a bit more informed. Now that you know everything about the newest smart window treatment technology, it is time to make a decision!