Smart Blind Buyer’s Guide
160 views | October 11, 2020

Smart Blinds Buyer’s Guide

Read how smart blinds can help add convenience while working to reduce your household energy bills.

The luxury of automatically opening the blinds before rolling out of bed is no longer a dream; welcome to smart blinds. Yes, motorized shades have been around for a while, but light-blocking treatments have had a smart update.

It has become less labor-intensive to manage a home in today's modern world. Smart homes with internet-connected devices capable of being automated and controlled remotely are now the norm.

The following sections review all the ins-and-outs of smart blinds.

What Are Smart Blinds?

Similar to regular window treatments, smart window blinds provide more privacy, the ability to control outdoor light within the home, and may offer relief to your monthly energy bills by allowing or blocking the heat from the sun.

Smart blinds come in a wide range of fabrics, styles, and designs. The central aspect that sets smart blinds apart from traditional shades is automation, which automatically opens and closes the blinds.

There's no need to twirl the wand or pull on a cord to open and close the blinds. Smart shades can be voice-activated through a voice assistant, controlled from a mobile device, or managed on an automated schedule. Several companies provide smart blinds that easily integrate with a smart home system. Most smart blinds are compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit.

How Do Smart Blinds Work?

Smart blinds operate in one to two ways. There's the option to purchase motorized smart blinds or choose to retrofit the current window treatments and transform them into smart blinds. For the latter, battery-operated devices connect to the existing window treatments' chain or cord. It's as simple as that. Some smart blind systems come with a remote that can operate window coverings for added convenience.

There are affordable smart shade home kits that allow homeowners to self-install smart shades, most of which are controllable through a smartphone or tablet

For motorized smart blinds, an interesting feature to have is geofencing technology. This technology allows the shades to adjust automatically based on the user's location. Additionally, some smart home systems can automatically alter the smart blinds according to the user's set preferences.

There are also between-the-glass blinds and shades which are controllable on an app from a mobile device. This a good option for those that hate dusting mini blinds or have small children that yank on cords. Many other brands offer automated DIY smart blinds.

Benefits of Smart Blinds

Homeowners considering purchasing motorized smart blinds as window treatments may initially balk at the price. However, these smart shade benefits may show that they're worth the cost.

Convenience

Smart homes are all about convenience, and smart blinds are no different. Motorized blinds can operate through a touch of a smartphone or remote control. In general, window coverings are a great way to prevent heat loss.

Motorized window treatments deliver convenience through automation, especially to hard-to-reach windows. The ability to place smart blinds on a set schedule is the ultimate smart home convenience.

Energy Efficiency

Smart shades might be the perfect way to maximize a home's energy efficiency.1 Opening and closing blinds are more than just blocking or letting the sunlight into a room. Let the blinds work in favor of the home, and it'll be an eye-opener when the energy bill arrives.

Smart automatic blinds connected to a smart home hub can help relieve the HVAC system. It may reduce the amount of energy the unit uses by enabling the blinds to act independently with sunlight sensors to automate the process.

Smart Home Integration

Many smart shades can integrate with voice assistants for simple voice control, but some smart shades can even integrate with other smart home devices like smart thermostats and smart lights. The motorized shades can work with smart thermostats to automatically adjust when the thermostat senses the homeowner is away from home. And because of the data smart thermostats collect, they can automate the shades to open or close based on the weather, time of day, and temperature inside the house to provide the ultimate convenience.

The smart thermostat can sense if the house is getting too hot and close the shades, rather than turning on the air conditioning or vice versa when it feels the house is too cold.

Smart light integration works in much the same way. The blinds can automatically open when the smart lights turn off and close when they turn on.

Security

Leaving the house can be worrisome for many, whether it's going to work or on vacation. Smart blinds can be an excellent way to make it appear that someone is home, acting as a deterrent for potential burglars.

Create a schedule for the blinds or operate them from a mobile device. Smart blinds can be an inexpensive home security feature.

Smart Blinds Features

Smart blinds come in various types, colors, and sizes, with different technology. These are standard features found in smart blinds:

Built-in motor: Smart homes are all about convenience, and smart blinds are no different. Motorized blinds can operate through a touch of a smartphone or remote control. In general, window coverings are a great way to prevent heat loss.

Mobile app functionality or remote control: This allows the user to operate the blinds hands-free. Some smart blinds also include automated scheduling.

Native light sensor:This feature is available in more advanced smart blinds and automatically controls the blinds depending on the lighting outside. Program the settings to detect dawn or dusk or various times of the day.

Integration with other smart devices and apps: There are smart blinds that integrate with virtual assistants, such as Google Home, and allows for voice-commanded control.

How Much Do Smart Blinds Cost?

One factor to consider when determining whether smart blinds are the right choice is its cost. Motorized smart blinds can be pricey and cost a few hundred dollars for each window panel.

The shade's cost is generally according to the window's size. Typically, the more features included the higher the price.

However, for those opting to retrofit existing treatments, DIY installation could save money. Many manufacturers recommend professional installation, which could add to the cost. Also, keep in mind that a hub or bridge, which enables the smart features, may be required for some smart window treatments, which will add an extra cost to the project.

Are Smart Blinds Worth It?

Anyone that wants to add convenience to daily chores will love smart blinds. It's the ability to control the blinds without any physical activity. There are countless scenarios where voice control will make this task much more comfortable.

As mentioned, smart blinds can be set to an automated schedule. This feature comes in handy for travelers who want to show as if someone's home by automatically opening and closing the blinds every so often. If the smart shades don't include an automated feature, control the shades from a mobile device just as quickly. The blinds control direct sunlight through windows; convenient control allows homeowners to add or reduce the sunlight's heat.2

Smart blinds are a perfect option for homeowners looking to add convenience, privacy, security, and energy efficiency.

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The Final Word

Pairing smart blinds with smart lighting will maximize the amount of daylight allowed into the house and reduce electricity usage. Pairing smart blinds with a smart thermostat will help reduce the HVAC system's energy.

Like all smart home devices, the ability to control smart blinds from anywhere is the main feature. From adding convenience to saving on energy costs, smart blinds are an excellent smart home device decision.

FAQs

How much do smart blinds cost?

It's tough to answer cost-related questions for smart blinds because the cost is impacted by many variables, especially window size. However, an online search showed an average price ranging between $150 to $600.

What are smart blinds?

Smart blinds are also called automatic blinds. Smart blinds are window coverings with a built-in motor that works on a schedule to raise and lower them.

Where is the best place to buy window blinds?

The best place to purchase window blinds will be any place that can customize the blinds to your window size. A hardware store, like Lowes or Home Depot, sell and customize window blinds. As do some stores that specialize in window installation. It’s probably best to call the store to find out if they sell and customize window treatments to specific window dimensions.

How do you buy blinds for your home?

Buying window blinds for your home will require you to measure any window receiving a window treatment. After which, you can shop based on style and window measurements. Other questions to ask yourself prior to purchasing the blinds:

  • How much light do you want to filter through the blind?
  • Can they be easily cleaned?
  • If you have kids or pets, should you choose a cordless option?
  • Does the design fit the décor and aesthetic of your room?

© 2021 FirstEnergy Home


1Department of Energy. Energy Efficient Window Attachments. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/energy-efficient-window-attachments
2Energy Star. Low- and no-cost energy-efficiency measures. Retrieved from https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/save-energy/stamp-out-energy-waste

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