Motorized blinds and shades are an excellent modern evolution for most types of home. They add a great level of convenience that is helpful to the whole household. Not only does it add relaxation to a household, as no one has to get up to adjust their window covering, it is also helpful to those who are disabled and unable to get up to adjust the covering. You might be interested in purchasing motorised blinds or shades but not sure where to start, so hopefully, this guide will prove helpful. This is a technology that is going to get even better in the future but it is already worth getting on board with so your household can begin enjoying the benefits.
- All products shown on this page can be motorized (There will be an additional charge for motorization)
- Motorized blinds can tilt open or closed at the touch of a button, while motorized shades can completely raise or lower
- Ideal for hard-to-reach windows, skylights, child and pet safety, media rooms and bedrooms
How are they powered and how do they work?
So, how do motorised blinds and shades work? It takes just a touch of a button from a remote control, and this upgrade to regular blinds and shades means you can raise or lower shades and tilt blinds with ease. One of the key benefits of motorised blinds and shades is the safety aspect. This method eliminates dangling cords removing the risk for pets and small children. With these kinds of blinds and shades there are no cords, tilt wands or chains to worry about.
Different Types of Motorised Blinds & Shades
Battery Powered Blinds & Shades
Probably the most straight forward option, instead of being connected to a string, motorised binds contain a tube installed at the top that lifts the blind or shade upwards. It is above that area where the battery sits and connects to the motor to give it power. The battery-powered option is a good one from a style perspective as the placement of the battery is not noticeable. It is nice to not have to stare at the unsightly feature of a battery pack when looking over to your window coverings.
They are also nice and easy to install and will not take up any of your household power outlet space. And if you have windows that are in a high up, hard-to-reach place, batteries are great because you cancel the need to have a long wire trailing unattractively and potentially dangerously, especially if you have small children or pets. It also helps eliminate a trip hazard that can be just as dangerous for adults as it can for the kids!
These kinds of battery-operated products will probably run on AA batteries, but if you buy just the standard ones you can expect to replace them often. Look into lithium batteries which have a much longer life, but overall it is worth considering the extra cost that going down the battery route will cause-which leads us on to our next option.
So, if constantly replacing and buying new batteries doesn’t sound like the option for you, consider hardwiring. There are several different types of motors that can operate using different voltages-just make sure they have reach of a wall outlet. This should end up a more reasonable option then batteries if you work out what you will pay in energy costs.
Note that the installation on certain units won’t be as easy so an electrician will need to complete the task. It depends on the unit in question as some are easier to install. More then likely, if you want to operate the blinds and shades from a power distribution panel which centralise power control and distributes it to multiple blinds throughout the home.
Solar Powered Motorized Blinds
If you think about it, blinds and shades spend their time sitting next to a natural power source-so it would be a shame not to use it! We are of course talking about sunlight and its thanks to this natural source solar-powered blinds and shades are a viable and increasingly popular option. Your blinds or shades would need to have a solar panel system mounted behind the blind or shade facing outwards so that it can catch the sunlight, powering the motor. This of course leads to one of the most environmentally friendly options possible.
One thing to be mindful of is that not all windows receive the same amount of sunlight so different rooms that receive more sunlight will naturally be a lot more successful. Also, remember if you are using this option, your windows can’t be covered by roof overhangs, trees or awnings.
Cost of Motorized Blinds Or Shades
The cost of motorized blinds and shades will vary just with the alternative version, dispensing on fabric and size. Of course, motorised blinds and shades will cost more than regular ones, but for many, the extra cost will be worth it and pay for itself in effect in the long run. Don't forget in many cases you can automate your existing blinds.
Motorised blinds and shades are ideal for those windows that are hard-to-reach, for example, skylights. Another reason for motorised blinds and shades is to support those with mobility issues, as they can be operated without having to directly access the blinds or shades in question.
Essentially, blinds or shades offer the ultimate in convenience. After all, if you are cosy and snug, maybe on your own relaxing, or with a loved one, do you want to get up if you don’t have to?! Perhaps you have a media room set up, and will want to be able to alter your blinds or shades as needed to have the best viewing experience.
And in terms of design, just like regular shades and blinds, these motorised options are available in many different colours and fabrics.
You have probably noticed that smarthome systems have become increasingly popular in the last few years you may already have a system in place yourself. If so you will be pleased to know that motorised blinds and shades can be easily integrated into the average smarthome system so you can easily activate a pair of blinds or shades from the touch of your smartphone. If you don’t already have a smarthome system set up you might want to consider it, and having motorised blinds and shades is one step to future-proofing your home to a certain level.
Don’t forget its not just about the cost of the blinds or shades, you will likely have a cost to pay for the installation process too. Check carefully with your chosen retailer before you go ahead with the process. But as mentioned throughout this article, you can reduce your energy costs this way, so you might find yourself still saving in the long run!
Great Control Over Light & Privacy
With automated blinds and shades, you do have full control over the amount of light that enters your home and the amount of privacy restored for your household. Remember, you can open and close your blinds and adjust your shades from any room within your household to adjust as needed throughout the day. It makes it easy to close your blinds before you enter a room, getting to settle in quicker and not disturbed by any bright light or lack of privacy from nosey passers-by!
Certain automated coverings let you place your blinds and shades on a timer. The good thing about this is that you can keep your blinds closed during the day (for example if you are at work) and then open them just before you get home. This will help save you energy during the hot summer months when the sunlight filters in and quickly heats the home and trigger air conditioning to run unnecessarily when no one is at home to benefit from it.
Additionally, having motorised blinds and shades also means you can control the atmosphere of your home that bit easier. So, whether you are hoping for a quiet night in with a book, or a few friends round for some lively chat,
Technology Behind Motorized Blinds
Is the technology behind motorised blinds and shades effective? In general, yes. Most households operate them without any difficulty. Of course, with any technology, there is room for something to fail. There is a chance that a complication could occur due to the technology used, but this is not too likely. This is still a relatively new technology so there is some extra potential for issues.
If any element with modern smart curtains, blinds or shades is going to fail, typically it isn’t with the motorised mechanical element itself but rather connectivity to a smart home system-where there is a chance it can disconnect for one reason or another. Whilst annoying, and meaning the blinds or shades would have to be operated manually until its fixed, at least it is not a fault with the actual product itself. And it is something that usually fixes itself or you’ll be able to fix fairly quickly. If the motorisation was to fail, it would mean your blinds get stuck in place which would be very annoying. Then the bet cause of action would be to contact a professional to have them repair your system. There will likely be a fee for this unless you are still within warranty and the fault is not one of your households.
Helpful Things to Look Out For
- Consider how noisy the motor is. Before you buy a motorised solution you should be given the chance to see the motor working. Listen to the sound and make sure it is at a level you are happy with. After all, if you were to be installing a motorised covering in a bedroom it is especially important the motor is not too loud! In fairness, these days, most coverings should be fitted with a motor that is practically silent thanks to technology being what it is-but check to be on the safe side,
- Also, have a look to see what apps can be integrated with the coverings. For example, if you especially like the idea of operating the window treatment via your phone, make sure the covering you are interested is able to do so-not all will be.
- Check which types of remote controls can be used. Did you know that some coverings are compatible with remotes that just control one set of window treatments, others are compatible with a hub-like remote that controls every covering in the house.
Can You Motorise Existing Blinds and Shades?
Perhaps you have decided that, yes, the motorised option is right for you. But hold on, you already have coverings that you are fond of, can’t you just add a motoring system to them?
It is possible, but like with anything you should make sure you know what you are doing before embarking on the task as you wouldn’t want to ruin your favourite coverings! You could make the upgrade using the services of a skilled professional.
You may save money going down this path over buying the motorised blinds or shades outright but look at costs for conversions-including any required kit-carefully. This method may not always end up cheaper and it may be decided that in the long run you would rather save the time and effort the project would require.
If you do decide to go ahead with this method you must make sure you have coverings that would be viable to be turned into a motorised version, this can easily be found out with a helpful online guide or using the advice of a professional.
Overall, motorised shades and blinds have lots of benefits. Just weigh those benefits with your budget and decide if they would be a worthwhile investment for your household. It is important that you do your research thoroughly and finds a retailer that has a good reputation for selling high-quality branded motorised blinds and shade. Not only is it important that the product is of a high standard, but customer service should be too. Because if anything is to go wrong with your blinds or shades you will need a good line in after-sale customer care.