Motorized Blinds and Other Automated Window Coverings
You’ve likely seen smart blinds or other motorized window coverings in action before. But maybe you’re just now thinking about automating your window coverings. If that sounds like you, read on to discover all the benefits of smart window coverings.
As you consider your options, you may be wondering just how motorized blinds can make your life a little simpler and whether they could pair up with your chosen digital voice assistant.
What are Motorized Blinds?
In terms of appearance, motorized blinds are virtually identical to standard roll-up blinds. They come in the same variety of styles, including accordion, slat, sheet rollup and so on. The difference is that with motorized blinds, there is a small motor hidden in the aluminum spindle to which the blind is attached.
When it comes to the motorization of window coverings, there are four main categories:
- Wired motor. These come prewired for a licensed electrician to attach to an electrical box.
- Motorized wand. The wand is attached directly to the blind, so you need only press a button to make the blind move.
- Battery motor. This tends to be the most popular category. Battery-operated blinds typically require that their batteries be recharged to keep working properly.
- Solar recharged battery motor. This is similar to a battery-operated motor, with the exception that it also requires the installation of a solar panel to capture sunlight and charge the battery. If there doesn’t happen to be enough light when the battery fails, you can use an electric battery charger.
What are Smart Blinds?
Smart blinds are essentially motorized blinds that have the bonus of being automated. Most of the time, owners of motorized blinds use an on-deck set of buttons, or a remote, to adjust their blinds.
Smart blinds take that ability to control remotely a step further by letting you open and close the blinds using your smartphone and a home automation app. The blinds can also be programmed to automatically adjust at specific times of the day.
An automation option that is growing in popularity is the smart home controller, which not only allows you to program your blinds but is also compatible with voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Buying Smart Blinds
When it comes to buying smart blinds, the most important decision is of course choosing the right style.
Since motorized blinds have such a wide variety of styles and designs to pick from, choosing one is all about your personal taste and inspiration, and how the blinds work with your décor. Beyond the aesthetic aspect, you will need to consider the power source and your budget.
Blinds can be hardwired to your homes main electrical box, or they can be solar-powered, battery-powered or corded. If you rent your home, rather than owning it, the hardwired option might not work for you.
If your place doesn’t get much light, you might choose something other than the solar-powered option. No matter what you choose, the power source is an important consideration when you are buying motorized blinds.
The next most important consideration when buying motorized blinds is your budget. With motorized blinds averaging between $300 and $600 per blind, there is enough variety to find automatic blinds that fit your budget.
Can I Add Automation To My Existing Blinds?
The quick answer to this is yes! There are DIY automation kits on the market that allow you to automate particular parts of your blinds, such as the chain that controls the roller, or the wand that opens the slats.
Be aware, these kits don’t offer full automation the way that customized powered blinds do and they may not look as good as those a window covering specialist such as Ruffell & Brown can supply.
Pros and Cons of Motorized Blinds
There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing automated blinds and shades:
Pros of Smart Blinds:
- Convenience. Remote control blinds give you back the time you would spend adjusting the blinds to get the right amount of sunlight.
- Efficiency. Many types of smart blinds can be programmed to open and close at certain times, using a home automation app and your smartphone.
- Safety. Motorized shades cancel out the cords and dangling chains used by standard blinds. This prevents damage to the blinds and possible accidents from happening to pets and small children.
- Security. Since many smart blinds can be pre-programmed or operated from a distance, the moving blinds can give would-be intruders the impression that someone is home even when they aren’t.
- Less wear and tear. Pulling cords the wrong way, or not grabbing a rollup blind in the middle, can result in undue wear and tear. Motorized blinds remove the need for physical touch, which results in less damage.
- Wide range of options. Smart window coverings come in a great variety of power types and styles and in a cost range that ensures you’ll be able to find something to fit your budget.
Cons of Smart Blinds:
- Power source needed. Even battery-operated motorized blinds require electricity at some point. If your home’s power fails, you may not be able to open your blinds to let light in from outside.
- Cost. Even though you can choose a lower-cost motorized blind, or go with a DIY automation kit, every available option will still cost more than manually operated blinds.
- Technology. Since home automation is still relatively new, there may be people who are not comfortable with using an app to control any aspect of their home. In addition, if the app experiences technical difficulties, you may be forced to find another way to control your blinds.
- Repairs. When motorized blinds aren’t functioning right, they often require a professional to repair them.
Committing to Motorized Blinds
Motorized and smart blinds are a good investment as they are durable and long-lasting. When window coverings are installed by an experienced company and used correctly, you can expect them to last for many, many years.
Motorized blinds are not subjected to the same kinds of stress as manual blinds, so they do not wear out as fast.
Ruffell & Brown window covering centre in Victoria, BC offers many motorized window coverings that can be fully customized to your preferred style.
If you want to add smart or motorized blinds to your home, drop into our showroom on Bridge Street, or contact us today. Our expert staff will help you find the best motorized blinds for your needs.