In recent years, home automation has made massive strides. More and more people are flocking to smart home technology in order to provide more comfort, convenience, and security to their homes. In fact, smart home devices are expected to be installed in over 57% of homes by 2025.
This digital revolution taking place in our homes comes in many forms, from smart home devices such as automated lights, thermostats, speakers, and security cameras to personal home assistants like Amazon Alexa. But in this piece, we’re going to introduce you to another key actor in the home automation space: smart window shades.
What are smart shades?
When people refer to the “smart home” technology, they are simply talking about interconnected home devices that can be controlled remotely. For example, the owner of an automated home could potentially be able to do things like order an item online via voice command, adjust the brightness of their lights via smartphone, or check the cameras in their home without even being home.
That same idea applies to smart window shades and other smart sun control options like motorized blinds and awnings. Since they are motorized and interconnected (aka smart), they can be rolled up or down using a simple voice command, remote control, or by whipping out your mobile phone and clicking a button.
Gone are the days of tugging on cords or rotating a wand to roll up or roll down your window blinds and shades.
Are smart window shades worth it?
Obviously, this is a very subjective question. While smart shades and blinds undoubtedly add comfort and convenience to a home, they might not be for everyone—at least at the time being. Other people, on the other hand, might be chomping at the bit for the opportunity to modernize their home in yet another way.
At the end of the day, it largely comes down to personal preference. Are you willing to spend a little bit more money for smart motorized window shades in exchange for their ease-of-use, modern appeal, and wow factor? Or are you fine with traditional window shades and blinds?
Buy new smart shades or retrofit your old ones?
If you decide to go down the smart home window shade route, then you need to ask yourself whether you want brand-new smart shades or if you want to retrofit your old ones so they become smart overnight.
When it comes to purchasing new smart motorized shades, you know what you’re going to get—assuming you buy from a reputable window shade seller. And on top of getting a high-quality product, you will get professional installment to go along with it. The only problem with this avenue, however, is that it’s more costly than retrofitting your existing window treatments.
With retrofitting, your traditional window shades are fitted with a battery and motor, turning them into de facto smart shades. Many DIY smart window kits exist on the market and cost much less than buying full-on smart home shades, but both quality and functionality will suffer.
In this case, “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true.
How to control your motorize smart shades—Alexa and Google integration
As we mentioned earlier, windows shades and blinds with smart features can be controlled by remote control, voice command, or mobile phone. Better yet, most smart shades on the market can be fully integrated with your Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices.
These smart shades come with a bridge device that can connect to your home’s wifi. Once the bridge and Amazon Alexa are connected to the same network, all you need to do is navigate to the Alexa app and find the Smart Home tab and ask it to Discover Devices.
Finally, pair the devices and you should be able to say “Alexa, open the blinds” to let some sunshine in your home. Pairing the bridge to Google Home is a similar process.
Need help picking window shades?