Smart home motorized window blinds and blinds: Best options for 2024
Options range from add-on motors, to bespoke blinds fitted in-between two panes of glass and smart switches.
Motorized window blinds that raise and lower with a push of a button - or automatically at a certain time - may sound like the stuff of luxury hotels and multi-million dollar mansions. But it doesn't have to be like this.
Just a few years ago, motorized blinds were expensive to install, and with few options available to even the most well-heeled property owners looking for their next smart device. But there is now a range of more affordable alternatives
Some fit to the wall next to your window, then use a motor to pull on the blind cord, raising or lowering as you see fit. Then there is Ikea, which entered the smart bling industry in 2019 after a short delay.
Below are some of the most popular options available to property owners today.
Serena by Lutron offers a wide range of smart home connectivityLutron
Serena Smart Shade by Lutron offers a complete online service for ordering bespoke motorized blinds for your home. You can pick the shade style, up to 200 fabric options and sizes, types of remote control - everything. You can also order a range of swatches for free to see how the materials look and feel before proceeding with your purchase.
These blinds can be controlled via the Lutron smartphone app or Apple HomeKit (including speaking to Siri and using the Apple Watch app). They can also be raised or lowered by speaking to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa or via the Samsung SmartThings and Wink 2 hubs.
The blinds also tap into the Nest ecosystem, automatically raising when the Nest Protect alarm detects smoke or CO2, and there is support for IFTTT (If This, That That) for further smart home automation.
(For a full, in-depth review of Lutron Serena, visit Lutron Serena Review: Rewarding Smart Shade Control After a Strenuous Install.)
Pell Insynctive blinds are fitted between the glass of your windows
Pella is a high-end solution that fits a motorized blind between the two panes of glass in each of your windows. These can be controlled via a companion smartphone app, but out of the box, there is no further smart home integration - so you can't use Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, or IFTTT to control the blinds.
Instead, you can buy the Pella Bridge, which includes Z-Wave and means the blinds can be controlled by the Wink 2 smart home hub and other Z-Wave systems.
There are also Pella Insynctive products, including a garage door, bolt lock, door and window sensors that round out its smart home system. Pella also appeals to the smart energy homeowner: Its Designer Series wireless aluminum blinds and cellular shades are battery-powered and can be recharged by a thin horizontal solar panel.
Ikea smart blinds will be on sale in August 2019
Ikea Fyrtur Smart Blinds are wireless and cordless smart blinds that offer seamless control over your bedroom's lighting. With just a push on the remote control, you can darken your space to ensure an uninterrupted night's sleep, shielding you from moonlight or early morning sun.
When connected to the DIRIGERA hub, a Wi-Fi hub, these blinds unlock even more functionality, allowing you to control them alongside other smart products through the IKEA Home smart app. The blinds come pre-paired with the remote control and a signal repeater for optimal performance. Plug the signal repeater into a nearby power socket within 32 feet of the blind to enable its wireless functions.
Designed with child safety in mind, these blinds are cordless. Powered by the BRAUNIT battery pack, they offer a convenient and energy-efficient solution for your home. Plus, with included wall/ceiling brackets suitable for TRETUR, FYRTUR, and KADRILJ roller blinds, there's no need to modify fittings or drill new holes when updating your window treatments.
As ever with Ikea, the selling points of these blinds will likely be their simplicity, a design that fits in almost everywhere, and their price. Finally, they are expected to start at around $150 per window.
Somfy produces a wide range of motorized blinds, awnings and shutters for inside and out
Somfy is a big name for the motors that power blinds, outdoor awnings and shutters, and an increasing range of smart home devices - like flood lights, cameras, and alarm systems.
Somfy produces innovative, motorized systems for window shades, curtains, and projector screens inside the home. These can all be controlled via the Somfy smartphone app.
When connected to the myLink bridge, Somfy's motors can be controlled via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, making adding them to your existing smart home automation systems easy.
This $149 motor operates most ball chain window blind mechanismsSoma
A more straightforward (and potentially cheaper) option for making your blinds smart is to install a motor. The Soma Tilt 2 Smart Blind Motor Kit is a hassle-free solution for upgrading your existing horizontal blinds with automation. With easy installation and seamless control, this DIY tilt blind motorization kit allows you to manage indoor light, glare, heat, and privacy effortlessly. By incorporating the Soma Tilt 2 motor, you can efficiently regulate your blinds to maintain optimal room temperature and energy savings.
Soma Tilt 2 is available on the company website for $149.
Control via Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Apple HomeKit is also possible, but this requires the $69 Soma Connect hub (SOMA Connect U1), which is powered by USB and connects to your router.
The RYSE SmartShade is another affordable and effortless solution to motorize your window shades. With its sleek design and quick installation of less than 10 minutes, the RYSE SmartShade transforms your beaded-chained window shades into motorized wonders. Enjoy the convenience of effortlessly opening and closing your shades via our intuitive mobile app or on-device buttons.
For an enhanced experience, you must get Ryse SmartBridge (available for additional purchase or bundled with the SmartShade). With the SmartBridge, you can create personalized routines or schedules to automatically open your shades at sunrise and close them at night for added privacy. Seamlessly integrate your RYSE SmartShade with Apple HomeKit, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa for convenient voice control. Plus, with the ability to control multiple shades simultaneously through group settings in the app, you can effortlessly manage your entire home's ambiance.
Today, you can pick up the Ryse SmartShade on the company site and Amazon for $149.99. It retails for $189.99. The Ryse SmartBridge has an MSRP of $79.99 but is on sale for $49.99 on the company site.
Move is a battery-powered motor which controls most types of manual window blind
Finally, another retro-fit motor option is the Move by Teptron. Currently priced at $49 (half price), the Move represents very good value for money compared to some other options, and can be controlled via a smartphone app for iOS and Android.
The motor is powered by rechargeable batteries or a micro USB cable connected to a wall outlet. Unfortunately, beyond the company's own app there is no other way to control the Move - so Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit and IFTTT are all off limits for now. Bur at this price, budget-conscious readers may still be interested in fitting the Move to their blinds.
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