The use of smart blinds harkens back to the days of high-end home automation, but there are now fashionable and easy alternatives that are not prohibitively expensive.
If you’re wanting to operate your blinds and shades remotely, there are now a plethora of solutions available – with the most recent smart speakers and voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri through Apple HomeKit being the most popular of the bunch.
Choosing and installing the finest smart blinds, on the other hand, isn’t always a straightforward process.
As part of the process, you’ll need to chat with some of the businesses listed below in order to achieve an entirely customised solution – and we’re not just talking about color and size, or whether it fits within your window frame or over the top.
Many of the major companies are still stuck in the past when it comes to technology – so bear with us while we attempt to figure out what we’re talking about. Furthermore, in many situations, pricing are dependent on a plethora of circumstances, so you’ll need to delve in and investigate.
What are your options when it comes to smart blinds?
You can go out and get custom-made electronic blinds and roller shades from companies such as Lutron and Somfy, but this is a more costly choice. There will always be boutique alternatives for home automation, but older, analogue, motorized blinds are becoming more capable of being reverse engineered into smart blinds, which is becoming more common.
Generally, having a roller blind with a chain mechanism is required in order to take use of this. The procedure can be automated using a few motors now available on the market, which you can then start connecting with your smart home technology.
Ikea has also lately joined the market, although with a delayed roll-out of its Trdfri linked smart blinds, which are now in limited supply.
Then there’s the option of doing it from the beginning. Making your own smart blinds is a simple weekend project that can be completed with a motor, a handful of sensors, and a controller.
In the meanwhile, here are your top smart blind recommendations to keep you entertained.
Lutron Serena Smart Wood Blinds
Compared to the other smart blinds we investigated and tested, the Lutron Serena Smart Wood Blinds are both smarter and more appealing to the eyes. They are among the most expensive window coverings we’ve tested, with prices ranging from $599 to $699 (plus the cost of a Lutron bridge of $80 and a Pico remote control of $25). But this is largely due to the fact that they are custom-made to fit your windows and are available in four painted colors or four stains, as well as their custom-fitting nature.
Serena Smart Wood Blinds are compatible with the dependable smart-home ecosystem provided by Lutron. Once they’ve been associated with the Lutron bridge, you can use the Lutron app to manage the blinds remotely, schedule them, and integrate them with Amazon Alexa or Google Home for voice control (at this time, there is no compatibility for Apple HomeKit). Also enabled is the “Natural Light Optimization” function, which dynamically adjusts the blinds to the sunlight depending on your position, so that the blinds are constantly angled to provide the optimum light with the least amount of glare and solar gain. This feature is available on all of our products. During our testing, we discovered that this was quite handy, as it allowed us to always maintain the space naturally light without too much glare and without the need to continually deal with the blinds (manually or through an app). Furthermore, other from flicking a switch in the app and granting it access to your location, there is essentially no setup required on your part (so it can determine which way your window is facing).
The Natural Light function assists you in keeping the appearance of all of your blinds consistent. When it comes to blinds, appearance is crucial; even if you can get wooden blinds from any home improvement shop, if you don’t take adequate care of them, they can wind up appearing like a jumble of strings and misaligned slats. The Lutron blinds do away with the need for extraneous cables; instead, you just push them up and draw them down. In addition, they do not have a plastic wand hanging from the top; although this means you can’t manually tilt them, you can couple a Pico remote with them for $25, which works without the bridge. The blinds move automatically with the light throughout the day, and if you have many blinds, they will all appear consistent without your having to do anything with them at any point. It’s really rather clever.
Our tests revealed that the Lutron Serena Smart Wood Blinds are among the quietest smart blinds available, and they are simple to integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for both voice control and adding to Routines. In addition to the Natural Light function, the Lutron app allows you to arrange the blinds to open, shut, or partly tilt depending on the time of day or the sunrise and sunset. Blinds may be added to Lutron Scenes so that they can be controlled in sync with your Lutron lights, and you can program them to shut or open depending on your position. As used in conjunction with a temperature sensor connected to Amazon Alexa, they may be programmed to shut when the temperature in the room rises.
Blinds powered by four D-cell batteries (extremely tiny shades may use AA batteries), and there is no rechargeable alternative available; however, you may get variants that are either connected in or hardwired to your home. Because the Lutron blinds needed drilling, the installation process was significantly more difficult than it was for our budget selection, MySmartBlinds. However, it was easy, and the instructions that came with it were clear. The installation procedure was fairly similar to that of the Lutron smart shades, as was the ordering process, which can be completed totally online in this case.
The use of smart blinds harkens back to the days of high-end home automation. But there are now fashionable and easy alternatives that are not prohibitively expensive. Choosing and installing a smart blind isn’t always a straightforward process, so we’ve put you through the paces below. Lutron Serena Smart Wood Blinds are among the most expensive window coverings we’ve tested. Custom-made to fit your windows, they come in four painted colors or four stains.
The Lutron app can manage the blinds remotely, schedule them, and integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Lutron Serena Smart Wood Blinds are among the quietest smart blinds available. Built-in app allows you to arrange the blinds to open, shut, or partly tilt depending on the time of day. Easy to integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control.