What You Need to Know About Smart Blinds

Control the light and privacy in a room no matter where you are with these smart home-compatible blinds.

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Imagine opening your window blinds every morning without getting out of bed, or watching all your home’s blinds close automatically when the sun sets. These conveniences are possible when you install smart blinds in your home. Here’s everything you need to know about these innovative window treatments.

What Are Smart Blinds?

Smart blinds are window coverings with a gearbox and a “brain.” They connect to an app on your phone or a remote control through WiFi or Bluetooth. With a tap of the finger or a voice command, you can open or close the blinds no matter where you are.

You can also use the app to schedule when your blinds open or close throughout the day. For example, if your East-facing windows get blinding sun in the morning, you can time it so they close in the mornings and open up in the afternoon.

Smart blinds come in several styles. You can get cloth roller blinds, blinds with wooden slats or heat trapping honeycomb-style blinds. Like with regular blinds, you can purchase smart blinds in a various colors, fabrics and finishes to match your decor.

Smart Blind Features

There are three major features to look for when purchasing smart blinds. First, decide the type of light filtering you need. Do you need blinds that are just thick enough to block some light, or blackout shades that can turn a room completely dark?

Second, for voice automation, go with a blind that works with your favorite assistant. For example, Ikea’s Fyrtur ($149) shades work with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Finally, see if the shades can be hardwired into your electrical system, run on batteries, or are solar powered like the MySmartRollerShades ($399). Hardwired shades are handy because you never need to worry about the batteries dying. On the other hand, solar- or battery-powered shades will work during a power outage.

Smart Blinds Cost and Installation

Smart shades are typically purchased at home centers such as The Home Depot or Lowes, or on the manufacturer’s website. No matter what brand you choose, you’ll find these shades are an investment. Expect to pay from $150 to $600 per shade.

Prices vary depending on the size of the shade and its features. Smart blackout shades, for instance, cost more than conventional smart blinds. We’ve also noticed the more expensive blinds are available in more colors. Serena by Lutron shades cost around $566 each and come in almost 30 colors.

For solar- and battery-powered smart blinds, installation is simple and won’t take any longer to install than typical blinds. Hardwired smart blinds, however, should be installed by a professional. This is one smart device that will completely transform your windows.