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It seems like smart shades are all the rage these days — from residential to commercial builds, they’re fast becoming the popular choice when it comes to upgrading into a smarter space. This is especially true for homes with tall windows that are difficult to reach, or ones with lots of windows that need to be opened and closed at regular intervals.
Regardless of the reasoning, motorized blinds are a worthwhile investment for both convenience and overall efficiency. But first, let’s talk about what a smart shade is exactly.
Defining Smart Shades
Smart shades or smart blinds, also often referred to as motorized blinds or automated shades, are window coverings that come with built-in motors that allow you to remotely control without the need for manual operation. Depending on the type of smart shade you’re using, you may even be able to extend, retract, or tilt the blinds automatically on a pre-set schedule.
As we already mentioned, automatic shades come with a lot of benefits — here are just a few to note!
Top Benefits of Smart Shades
Obviously, motorized blinds are extremely convenient. No more getting up and straining to reach that pesky shade cord to raise or lower your electric shades for windows. You may even want to utilize electric shades for your patio space! Now, with just the tap of a button on your smart device, you can control exactly how the shades sit on your window at any point in the day, making your home accessible for all.
This means keeping your home or commercial space nice and cool on those hot days, or warmed up with sunlight when the colder weather moves in. Regardless of the season, smart shades can help to optimize the environment’s temperature and ambiance, making it the most comfortable place to be around the clock.
And because smart blinds work so hard to optimize the temperature in your home or commercial space, you can expect to see an increase in your home’s overall energy efficiency! That means more energy savings in your pocket in the end.
Last, but certainly not least, automatic shades are a great way to deter prying eyes from noticing an empty home or office space for an extended period of time. Those automated schedules of raising and lowering blinds will make it appear as though the space is occupied, even if you’re away! It’s an extra level of home or office security that will set your mind at ease.
Finding the Right Smart Solution for You
You might be asking yourself right now, “But what kind of smart shade do I need?” There is a lot on the market, so it’s important to find the perfect solution to fit all of your needs and criteria.
First, let’s determine if blinds or shades are what you’re looking for — because there is a difference between the two despite being used interchangeably.
Blinds are typically hard window coverings made up of horizontal slats whereas shades are window coverings, made of one or more pieces of fabric.
Blinds allow some light to come through them when partially open, while shades are only able to let light in when pulled up.
Now, it’s time to ask yourself some of these questions to determine if blinds or shades will work better for you:
- How important is privacy in your home or office space?
- Do you want to allow any light in when these coverings are not fully closed?
- How will you be cleaning these coverings?
- Do these need to withstand a significant amount of wear and tear where they will be installed?
- Is there a particular look you wanted?
- How insulated do these need to be?
- Is child or pet safety a concern?
- What is your budget?
Based on your answers to these questions, it should be easy to determine whether electric shades or blinds are going to work best in your space.
Working With Your Smart Tech
Another thing you’ll need to consider is what types of motorized shades or blinds will work with your existing smart tech. If you don’t have a home automation system in place in your home already, then you can of course skip this part.
But if you’re already using a system (like an AI voice assistant like Google Home or Amazon Alexa), you’ll want to find a smart shade solution that will seamlessly integrate with the tech you’re already using!
Smart Shading & Motorized Blind Systems to Consider
If you Google “smart shades and motorized blinds”, the results that come back can at first be a little overwhelming. That’s why it’s always important to get clear on what exactly will work in your space, and then find a solution that checks all of the boxes.
We here at Eco Smart Home Pros are proud to work with some of the best electric smart shade manufacturers in the business. Currently, our top partners are Lutron and Insolroll, but here is a comprehensive list of other impressive window shading system manufacturers as shown in the latest edition of CEPro that you should also consider.
As NYTimes’ top pick for their Best Smart Window Shades and Blinds list earlier this year, Lutron’s Serena Shades were noted to work flawlessly, as the fastest and quietest electric shades for windows that were tested. These are also compatible with all the popular smart home systems — plus, they look incredible. What more could you want?
Insolroll Window Shading Systems does it all: custom interior shades, A/V blackout shades, decorative roller shades, patio shades, and retractable insect screens! Starting in 1980, the company has always maintained a focus on motorization and high-performance shading systems — which is evident in their final products you can find on the market today! Check out their awesome electric shades for the outdoors.
No one wants a noisy motor ruining the peace and quiet in their home or productivity in their office — that’s why Crestron products feature exclusive Quiet Motor Technology™. You can expect silent operation and convenient, one-touch control that adds beauty, convenience, and comfort all throughout your home!
Legrand Shading Systems
Shading is no longer an afterthought, thanks to Legrand’s blend of innovative technology and exquisite aesthetics. These smart shades are highly customizable and sustainable, striking the perfect balance between natural and electric light. Install the right look and feel in your home or office — Legrand has something for everyone and every style.
J Geiger Shading
If minimalism is more your style, you’re going to love what J Geiger has to offer. These modern, sleek, and minimalist shading systems hide those unsightly wires and screws so your electric blinds blend in with the design of your space. Is technology not your strong suit, either? These systems are adaptable, integrating universally with a variety of smart home automation technology systems!
Eco Smart Home Pros is Here to Help
Don’t let overwhelm keep you from finding the perfect smart shade solution for your space! With more than thirty years in the smart technology industry, Eco Smart Home Pros has experience testing and trying a variety of home automation tech in different situations, and understands how to hone in on the right solution for you! Let’s talk — send us an email, give us a call at 231-683-2127, or schedule a video chat with us to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do electric shades cost?
Although the exact pricing will vary depending on a few things such as type of system, level of durability, and installation, typical prices range from $300 for budget-friendly options to up to $1,000+ for high-quality window treatments with the best level of technology.
Are motorized shades worth it?
Motorized shades offer a lot of benefits, including convenience, energy efficiency and savings, home security, and total accessibility. This is especially important for those who need to remotely control their home’s natural lighting without needing to manually handle individual shades or blinds, making the space that much more accessible for all. Plus, without those pesky strings to worry about, your space is that much safer for both young children and pets alike!
Can Alexa control the blinds?
Depending on the type of motorized blinds or shades you decide to install, voice AI assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home can act as the remote device that controls your electric shades. If you’re already utilizing Amazon Alexa, make sure the type of shades you’re interested in using will work seamlessly with this system to avoid issues down the road.
Which electric blinds are best?
While this answer will be subjective, there are different levels of smart shades to consider — and many times, this level of quality will correlate with the price. The best electric blinds for you will meet all of your requirements and will fall within your budget, which is why it’s important to do your research and ask questions about the different options available on the market before making a final decision. When in doubt, talk with a smart home tech professional like Eco Smart Home Pros for further direction!