April 25, 2023
I’m following up my post from last week on robot vacuums with another lesser known smart home technology — smart blinds. Like robot vacuums, there are a multitude of options for automating the opening and closing of your window coverings. But why go to all the trouble? And how do you pick the best ones for your smart home?
Smart blinds work by connecting via WiFi or Bluetooth with your smart devices. Once connected, smart blinds allow you to control your blinds easily using a companion app or smart home hub. You can set a schedule so your blinds open and close automatically or control them with the app or your voice assistant.
Smart blinds can make your home more energy efficient too. By integrating smart blinds with your smart thermostat you can trigger the blinds to react to rising temperatures and close to prevent direct sunlight into your home. They can also be triggered by light sensors to open and close depending on ambient light or your preferences. This is a big factor for Debbie and I as the back of our house will face due west — meaning during the hot months we’d have a significant amount of afternoon sun through our windows heating up our home.
Smart blinds can either entirely replace your existing blinds, be installed in a new home or accessorize your existing blinds by using a smart blind kit. These are usually small devices that attach to your normal blinds and have a wireless connection built-in to them.
Smart blinds tend not to be very different from normal blinds when it comes to installation. Like traditional blinds, some smart blinds will be cut to size, whereas others will come with set dimensions. Once installed, your smart blinds will need to connect to another WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled device like your smartphone in order to use the smart features.
Smart blinds may seem a little extravagant but they’re worth the investment, and not just for the convenience. Being able to control your blinds from anywhere, even when you aren’t home, helps a lot if you need to open or close them at specific times — whether for children or pets, or in combination with smart lights to give the illusion of occupancy to deter thieves.
When looking for smart blinds, there are some things you need to keep in mind. The first and most important is the style of the blind you’re purchasing. Smart blinds come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. This includes roller blinds, slatted blinds, honeycomb-style blinds, vertical blinds, and more. Before narrowing the feature list, you should ensure the blinds you purchase are the right size and style for your home.
Once you.ve determined shapes, sizes, and type, there are other smart blind features to consider. Do you need blackout filtering to completely darken a room so you can sleep when it’s light out? Are you looking to make life easier by purchasing smart blinds with voice assistant support? Do you prefer your blinds to be hardwired, battery-powered or solar-powered?
As Debbie and I are building a new home, we’re opting for hard-wired smart blinds. These type blinds work by using low voltage wiring run to the top of the window frame that connect to the smart blinds for power. The other end of the low voltage wiring terminates at a power unit, usually installed in a closet or smart home rack that controls all of your smart home devices. By hardwiring, we won’t have to worry about changing batteries or installing solar panels on the inside of windows that impacts aesthetics from outside.
Depending on the brand, you may have to sacrifice some features to prioritize others. It’s also worth considering whether you need to make additional purchases for certain features to work. Many smart blinds will allow you to use voice assistants but will require a bridge or hub to integrate them into your overall smart home plan, which are sold separately.
The final aspect of smart blinds to ponder is installation. If you’re retrofitting existing blinds or curtains with a smart blind kit, you can install it yourself. However, hardwired or smart blinds that cover large areas may require additional assistance or even professional installation, which will be an additional charge.
To get more detail on smart home window covering solutions, brands and integrations, see my previous 3-part series:
- Home Window Shades Get Smart
- Home Window Shades Get Smart — Part 2
- Home Window Shades Get Smart — Part 3
As you can see, lots of options to consider here. A major consideration may be where you currently are in your smart home journey. If you’re just starting out you may be satisfied with adding a smart blind kit to your existing blinds. On the other hand, you may already have smart blinds installed. I’d love to hear your feedback if you already have smart blinds integrated into your smart home. Which ones did you opt for and why? How do you like them? How easy were they to install?
Let Debbie and I know in the comments, DMs and emails what you think. Thanks again to all those following Debbie and I through our home building journey. It’s great to hear your success stories and suggestions as we move through the process. And if you like the content I’m posting each week, don’t forget to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow.’
In full disclosure, I’m not an affiliate marketer with links to any online retailer on my website. When people read what I’ve written about a particular product and then click on those links and buy something from the retailer, I earn nothing from the retailer. The links are strictly a convenience for my readers.