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Here Comes the Sun: Make Your Home a Little Bit Smarter With Smart Blinds

SPY logo SPY 20/1/2020 Sarah Morlock
a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers next to a window: ikea-smart-blinds © Courtesy of IKEA ikea-smart-blinds

In our modern world, it’s becoming less labor-intensive to run your own home. At one point, regular chores would have included doing the dishes, washing your clothes (at one point by hand! in a river!), vacuuming the floors and a whole lot more. However, as technology has evolved, so shrinks the list of household activities that require your physical input. And, it’s time to add opening and closing your blinds to that list by adding smart blinds to your home.

Smart homes, which are full of smart devices capable of being controlled remotely and performing tasks on-demand or at scheduled times, are now the norm. From a robot vacuum to your heating system, if you can’t control it with a remote control or your smartphone, you’re getting left behind. Now the list of smart home devices can include your blinds as well, which begs the question, what are the best smart blinds to install in your home?

Smart blinds, like normal blinds, perform a number of handy functions. In addition to letting in or blocking out light, they can prevent the loss of heat, block UV rays and provide privacy from the outside world. Throw in smart technology, and your blinds will open and close when you tell them to or, in some cases, when the temperature in your home falls outside a desired range.

However, there are a lot of low quality motorized shades and blinds for sale right now. A lot of so-called smart blinds are anything but. We know that picking the right smart home solution can be a challenge, so we went looking for the best products you can install on your own. Below, you’ll find 10 of the best smart blinds available for your home. These include complete sets as well as kits to turn your existing blinds into smart ones.

  

1. Yoolax Motorized Blinds

BEST OVERALL

The Yoolax Motorized Blinds are well-reviewed by users and create an effective barrier for your doors and windows to keep light out and temperatures in. Each blind is custom made to the exact size you specify and comes with a mounting kit and full instructions on how the blinds work. The polyester fabric blinds deliver 100% blackout conditions and come in a range of different colors, including dark grey, white and lake blue, ensuring there’s a color to suit your home interiors. In addition, these high-quality blinds can be controlled using your voice through smart home devices, with the remote control or through the smartphone app.

Buy: Yoolax Motorized Blinds $179.00   

2. IKEA FYRTUR

RUNNER UP

With these IKEA FYRTUR smart blinds installed in your home, you’ll be able to control the light in your room with the touch of a button. Each blind is capable of blocking out external light to create a dark and private environment for you to enjoy. If you install more than one blind, it’s possible to use the TRADFRI gateway and IKEA Home smart app to create groups for your blinds and control them all at once. The gray-color blinds are available in a range of different sizes and come with a rechargeable battery, a charger and a remote control.

If you’re looking for the best smart blinds that come from a trusted brand, then IKEA’s line of FYRTUR blinds are the right product for you. Right now, these blinds can only be controlled via the remote control or with Google Home, although IKEA plans to add integration for Apple and Amazon smart home setups soon. The installation for these smart blinds aren’t too complicated, but you will need a moderate level of DIY skill.

  

3. MySmartBlinds Automation Kit

MOST ECO-FRIENDLY

The MySmartBlinds Automation Kit offers a way to turn your existing blinds into fully automated ones in only a few minutes. Once installed, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to control your blinds. The MySmartBlinds app lets you set daily and weekly schedules and also includes an Energy Saver mode which uses the built-in temperature sensors to close or open your blinds when your desired temperature is achieved. Furthermore, these eco-friendly blinds can be powered by the sun using the included solar panel which attaches to the backside of the blinds.

Buy: MySmartBlinds Automation Kit $216.06   

4. Somfy Motor Sonesse 30

BEST FOR ROLLING BLINDS

Requiring minimal maintenance and offering quick and easy installation, the Somfy Motor Sonesse 30 is a solid choice for turning roller blinds, roman blinds and sheer blinds into remote-controlled ones. The design includes near-silent motors and uses a built-in, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery to power the process. You can also use the available smartphone app to control your blinds, and as the the myLink works with Amazon Alexa, it’s also possible to configure your blinds to respond to your voice for a truly hands-free experience.

Buy: Somfy Motor Sonesse 30 $189.99   

5. Graywind Motorized Zebra Sheer Shade

BEST FOR ZEBRA BLINDS

With several customizable elements, you know you’re getting the product you want when you order a Graywind Motorized Zebra Sheer Shade. You can pick the width, height, inside or outside mount and the number of remotes required. The shades are made from a double-layer polyester that provides privacy, blocks UV rays, keeps heat in and ensures light stays out. The accompanying Smart Life app lets you control your shades from anywhere, set up timers and schedule opening and closing times.

Buy: Graywind Motorized Zebra Sheer Shade $198.99   

6. Springblinds Blackout Roller Shades

EASIEST TO INSTALL

If complicated installation isn’t really your thing and you just want a quick and easy way to black out your bedroom, then the Springblinds Blackout Roller Shades are definitely the answer for you. Installing this simple device only requires two brackets and a quick push. These battery-operated smart blinds are controlled via a remote control, so they don’t have as many smart home features as some other options. However, they come in a huge range of sizes and colors so they can be matched to your home decor. If you’re looking for cordless blackout shades, then this is a solid pick.

Buy: Springblinds Blackout Roller Shades $276.26   

7. American Homesupplier Smart Curtain Rod

BEST FOR CURTAINS

The American Homesupplier Smart Curtain Rod shows it’s not just blinds which can be automated. This mains-powered curtain rod is constructed from metal and plastic to deliver a durable and attractive home fixture. It’s easily assembled and comes in three different rod sizes, depending on the size of your window. The rod then provides numerous ways to control your curtains, including the remote control, the accompanying smartphone app or with any number of smart home devices. In addition, should you ever wish to close your curtains manually, a small tug will start the automatic closing process.

Buy: American Homesupplier Smart Curtain Rod $259.00   

8. Soma Smart Home

BEST FOR EXISTING BLINDS

The Soma Home Smart Shades can connect with Alexa, Apple Home Kit and Google Home. Unfortunately, a separate controller is needed for full smart home integration. However, if you want to turn existing window treatments into smart shades, this is a great option. Soma Smart Shades connect to any window shades with a beaded chain or cord. The cord feeds through the Soma Smart Shades device, which will automatically open and close the shades at your command. The discreet smart shades device attaches to the wall and blends in unobtrusively with your home decor.

  

9. VELUX Solar Power Skylight Blinds

BEST FOR SKYLIGHTS

Home Depot has a huge selection of motorized skylight blinds from VELUX. These skylight blinds come in a wide range of both sizes and colors to better match your home’s decor. A remote control is included so that your skylight blinds can easily be retracted with the push of a button. And with the VELUX Climate Control Kit, you can fully automate your home’s smart blinds and skylight shades to get precision control over the temperature and light inside your home. The Climate Control kit features sensors that automatically adjust to changing light and weather, helping you save energy. This isn’t a particularly budget-friendly option, but if you want to fully automate your smart blinds, this is a fantastic full-home system. Plus, VELUX is one of the only brands with smart shades for skylights. Their solar-powered smart shades for skylights are an elegant smart home solution.

  

10. Serena Smart Shades by Lutron

BEST SPLURGE

The Serena Smart Shades by Lutron are available in a range of different widths and have a maximum height of 60 inches. They can be controlled using the Pico remote (included in the pack), your smartphone (with the accompanying Caseta app) or with your voice through your smart home device. These blinds come in a choice of white or shell and provide an easy way to cover hard-to-reach windows. Furthermore, they can help save energy by adding a layer of insulation while blocking out the sun. The design is also cordless for safety reasons, and as these shades run on regular, store-bought batteries, you don’t need to worry about plugging them in. These smart blinds don’t have any reviews listed on Amazon, which may give you pause, but they’re a well-reviewed product at a reasonable price. These shades often show up on lists of the best smart blinds, and they feature a user-friendly design and a host of smart home capabilities.

Buy: Serena Smart Shades by Lutron $489.00   

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