Slowly but surely, more and more of our home operations are becoming automatic—and, with each advancement, life becomes a little easier. These advancements also extend to the blinds that cover our windows. The best smart blinds automate both the amount of light that is allowed into the home and when that light is let in.
Instead of having to walk to every window in the home to raise and lower the blinds, smart blinds save time by making it convenient to let in the exact amount of light chosen at any time of the day. Not only can smart blinds save time, but they are also an excellent option for individuals who have difficulty repeatedly standing and sitting or who find it hard to raise their arms above their head to lift and lower shades throughout the day.
In this guide, homeowners can learn about the different types of smart blinds, weigh the features to consider when shopping for smart blinds, and review the selections for some of the best smart blinds on the market for their connected home’s windows.
- BEST OVERALL: Yoolax Motorized Blind Shade for Window
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Zshine Motorized Blackout Window Blinds
- UPGRADE PICK: Graywind Motorized Thermal Insulated Roller Shades
- BEST REMOTE CONTROL: ZY Blinds Motorized Blackout Window Shades
- BEST HARDWIRED: Graywind Motorized 100% Blackout Roller Shade
- BEST BLACKOUT BLINDS: Yoolax Motorized Smart Blind for Window
- BEST CELLULAR: Levolor Room Darkening Cellular Shades
Before You Buy Smart Blinds and Shades
Smart blinds offer a number of benefits, particularly for those in the process of creating a fully integrated smart home. Even for those not taking the complete smart-home route, having the opportunity to control blinds from a handheld remote control is certainly convenient.
However, the most advanced smart blinds often need to be wired into the home’s electrical system, and this can entail considerable work and expense. Battery-powered alternatives are more affordable and less disruptive, but batteries need to be recharged every few months.
It’s also fair to say that the range of styles isn’t as great as it is for traditional blinds. For all the advantages that the best smart blinds offer, the drawbacks should also be considered before committing to a purchase.
How We Chose the Best Smart Blinds and Shades
Many hours of research went into putting together a selection of what we believe to be the best smart blinds currently available. Adding power and control systems to the mix meant technical aspects needed to be considered, not just styles and colors. We looked into several dozen manufacturers, the various models they produce, the materials available, and the technologies employed.
Our aim was not just to compare similar types of smart blinds, but to make sure we offered potential buyers comprehensive choices. In addition to normal considerations like size and color, we also included the various drive options.
Price is always important, and we tried to cover all budgets. However, we avoided some cheap smart blinds that didn’t have the reputation for reliability we expected.
Our Top Picks
In addition to keeping in mind the above considerations, these top picks feature high-quality selections of smart blinds. Read on to discover some of the best smart blinds on the market for any home’s windows.
These smart blinds by Yoolax can be operated via three options: a remote control, a smart bridge that directly connects to Amazon Alexa, and a smartphone app that directly connects to both Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The remote control is multichanneled and operates up to 16 blinds individually or all at once. It’s possible to have two remotes for the same blind for users who want the ability to control it from different parts of the room. Although not included, it is straightforward to add the remote control to the purchase.
The outside-facing side of each smart blind is white and will reflect the sunlight that hits it, which reduces the amount of warmth that enters the home and creates a relaxing indoor space that isn’t too bright. The room-facing side of each smart blind is available in either polyester or vinyl with 14 color options, ranging from bright white to navy blue.
Via the use of smart technology, the timing and the positioning of these smart blinds are entirely customizable. They are powered by a rechargeable battery that will last up to 6 months. When the battery life is low, the blinds will beep to indicate they need to be charged. Buyers can also elect to purchase a solar panel to power the blinds. Yoolax can craft smart blinds for any indoor or outdoor window size up to 97 inches wide. Installing and setting up these smart blinds is not overly complicated but could be time-consuming if many blinds are being used throughout the home.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 97 inches wide by 100 inches high
- Color options: 14
- Comprehensive smart and remote-control options
- Good variety of colors and materials offered to match a current space
- Solar-panel option (extra cost)
- Not compatible with 5G Wi-Fi
Get the Yoolax motorized blind shade on Amazon.
The Zshine motorized blackout blinds offer those on a budget a convenient set of features at an affordable price. The standard model comes with a remote control that can manage up to 7 blinds independently, or 999 blinds simultaneously. It also has a useful timer function to open and close blinds when desired. The polyester material is waterproof and easy to wipe clean.
Blinds can be up to 95 inches wide and are powered by battery. Charging is via a 118-inch-long USB cable, with a single charge providing up to 300 operations. A solar-power option is available at extra cost, which is common.
However, if compatibility with Alexa or Google is wanted, this requires the purchase of an additional hub. We also found the ordering process somewhat confusing, and it’s a little unclear how many color and material combinations are available.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 95 inches wide by 118 inches high
- Color options: 14
- Multifunction remote with timer for added adjustability
- Control 7 blinds independently, or 999 simultaneously
- Competitive price compared to similar options
- Any smart-home compatibility requires extra hub
Get the Zshine smart blinds on Amazon.
Featuring UV protection, these smart blinds from Graywind not only look attractive in the home but also keep out skin-damaging rays. They could also help reduce energy bills by blocking out the warm sun in the summer and holding in heat in the winter. The blinds are powered with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 6 months on a full charge. The motor is silent and won’t disrupt any nappers in the area while in operation.
Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Siri via a smart bridge, owners can customize the functionality of these smart blinds to suit their exact needs. If a remote control is preferred, it can be purchased separately. The remotes are multichanneled and operate up to 16 blinds individually or all at once.
These smart blinds are made of a triple-weave polyester fabric available in 11 colors, ranging from passion red to pure white. The colors are fade-resistant, and the material is durable and easy to clean.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 99 inches wide by 120 inches high
- Color options: 11
- 100 percent blackout with UV shielding for full darkness
- Thermal insulation and noise reduction; keeps heat in and noise out
- Virtually silent motor does not disturb the household
- Smart bridge compatibility costs extra
Get the Graywind thermal insulated smart blinds on Amazon.
For those looking for simple remote control-operated blinds without fussing with smart hubs, these smart blinds by ZY Blinds are an excellent option. They can be customized by including a remote that can control up to 15 blinds; there is also the option to purchase a single remote for a single blind at no extra cost. These blinds are powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 3 months, and the motor is silent to ensure minimal interruptions.
These smart blinds are available in a range of eight colors and two fabric options that offer either 50 percent blackout or 100 percent blackout of outside light. There is also the option to choose a blind with a valance.
Installation is relatively simple regardless of whether an inside or outside mount is chosen, although it might require two people to make the task easier and less time intensive when installing a large number of blinds.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 85 inches wide by 118 inches high
- Color options: 8
- Controls up to 15 blinds independently
- Shades and insulates to save energy and keep heat in
- Up to 800 operations per charge; requires charging less frequently than comparable picks
- No smart-home compatibility
Get the ZY smart blinds on Amazon.
Graywind makes another smart blind that protects the home from UV rays and helps maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature by blocking the heat in the summer months and holding it inside in the winter months.
These smart blinds are hardwired into the home’s electrical framework so people don’t have to recharge batteries continually. This does make the installation process more complicated, meaning it might require the services of an electrical professional to hardwire the blinds. Since these blinds are operated via a smartphone app or either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, a remote control is unnecessary. However, there is still the option to purchase a nine-channel remote control, if preferred.
Customize the size of these smart blinds to fit any window, whether buyers opt for an inside or an outside mount. Made with a polyester-and-linen blend, they are durable and easy to clean. These blinds are available in eight fade-resistant colors, ranging from black to coffee to light gray.
- Power source: Mains
- Maximum size: 99 inches wide by 120 inches high
- Color options: 19
- No need to recharge batteries; just fit and forget
Works with 2.4G and 5G Wi-Fi
Wide range of size and color options to suit any space
- Installation could be costly
Get the Graywind motorized blackout smart blinds on Amazon.
These blackout smart blinds, also from Yoolax, are ideal for darkening a room for daytime naps or ensuring no light bothers sleepers during the night. These smart blinds are powered with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 6 months. However, there is also the option to purchase a solar panel. The motor is quiet and won’t disturb sleepers with loud whirring noises.
Like the Best Overall selection, these smart blinds also function via three options: a remote control, a smart bridge that directly connects to Amazon Alexa, and a smartphone app that directly connects to both Amazon Alexa and Google Home. While a remote isn’t needed to control these blinds, one can be purchased that controls up to 16 blinds at once or individually.
Available in 25 colors ranging from purple to white to dark gray to light blue, these blinds can suit almost any style of home while providing privacy and shade from the sun. Installation is inside mounting only and relatively easy, especially given that the manufacturer provides a video tutorial.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 97 inches wide by 110 inches high
- Color options: 25
- 100 percent blackout; waterproof, easy-clean material
- Comprehensive control functions, including timer
- Solar-panel option (extra cost)
- Most voice-control options require additional smart bridge
Get the Yoolax motorized smart blinds on Amazon.
Many smart blinds feature a somewhat plain style of a single roll of fabric that is raised and lowered. The folds of Levolor’s cellular shades not only offer more interesting visual contrasts, but they also have a practical benefit. Air is trapped within the honeycomblike structure, reducing heat transfer. That means the room stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter, thus helping to save on energy bills. They also offer UV protection.
There are three motorization-control options. A handheld remote can handle 15 blinds independently. Alternatively, the Levolor hub can be used to integrate the blinds with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, or Siri. The included app offers room-by-room control, timer, scheduled opening and closing, and can even raise and lower the blinds by precisely specified amounts.
While a huge range of colors is available for the inside of the blinds, all outside surfaces are white. Levolor says this is for a uniform appearance, but it may not be to everyone’s taste.
- Power source: Battery
- Maximum size: 120 inches wide by 144 inches high
- Color options: More than 60
- Highly versatile control functions
- Works with many smart-home systems for automated use
- Heat transfer reduced by up to 72 percent
- Enormous range of colors
- Maximum 90 percent dark rather than full blackout
Get the Levolor smart blinds at The Home Depot.
What to Consider When Choosing Smart Blinds
In addition to considering the type of smart blinds to purchase, there are six additional key features to look for when shopping for the best smart blinds for a connected home’s windows. These features include the size of the windows, compatibility with smart devices, the level of functionality, installation options, style and appearance choices, and remote-control options.
Type of Blinds
For the abovementioned smart-tech-operated and remote-control-operated smart blinds, there are two subtypes: a rechargeable-battery option and a hardwired option.
Smart blinds powered by a rechargeable battery can last a long time on one charge. Extra rechargeable batteries can be purchased, so while one battery is charging, the other can still power the smart blinds. If this seems like too much of an inconvenience, consider hardwired smart blinds.
Hardwired smart blinds are powered by the existing electricity in the home. The installation of this type of smart blinds is more complicated and requires a more significant investment. Hardwired smart blinds might require a professional to install; however, there is no worry about them losing battery power.
A quick note: Blinds are not curtains. Curtains stay on either side of a window, while blinds move up and down.
Size of the Window
Most of the available options for smart blinds are customizable to window size. Before beginning to shop, measure all the windows for which the blinds will be purchased and have those dimensions ready when ordering. Manufacturers can cut and craft smart blinds to an individual’s specific needs and specifications, so make sure the measurements are accurate, or there is a risk of ending up with a blind that can’t be used and potentially can’t be returned.
Directions can usually be found on the manufacturers’ websites for how to measure the windows accurately. The most common measurement is the width and height of the inside of the window frame.
Not all smart blinds are compatible with every smart device. Some smart blinds are made to pair specifically with Amazon Alexa, while others work only with Apple products or other companies’ smart technologies. Some options can work with a variety of smart devices, but it’s essential to ensure the smart blinds being considered will pair with the smart devices already installed within the home—or with smart devices that are about to be purchased.
Keep in mind that remote-control-operated smart blinds will not work with any of those smart devices, as they only respond to the remote control explicitly made for those particular blinds.
One of the primary functions of blinds is to block out some of the light that comes through the windows. They can also serve as a decorative item or to provide privacy. Blackout blinds block out all sunlight and create a dark and cozy space for individuals who need to rest during the day. Other kinds of smart blinds can filter sunlight and only allow a specific amount through even when fully closed. This is an excellent option for windows that flood hot afternoon sunlight into the home.
Installation of smart blinds can be time-consuming and somewhat complicated. While it might be easier to hire a professional to install these blinds, especially the hardwired variety, manufacturers will include step-by-step instructions to guide buyers through installing them and setting up the paired remote control or smartphone app.
Keep in mind that installation can be a lengthy process and may take hours or days, depending on how many smart blinds need to be installed. It is almost always recommended that two people take on this type of project.
Style and Appearance
As with most products for our homes, there is an aesthetic aspect to shopping for smart blinds. Some shoppers may find that the number of style options for smart blinds is limited, and they all seem quite similar. However, some manufacturers offer a wide range of colors and fabric types. Consider the fabric or color that would fit the aesthetic of each room in which the smart blinds will be installed. Those looking for a white or transparent smart blind are likely to find a plethora of options. Colors like reds or purples are less common and may be hard to find.
For remote-control-operated smart blinds, there are several factors to consider when making a purchase. Many remote controls can operate multiple blinds at once; this type of remote control may be included with the purchase. However, check to confirm whether the remote control needs to be purchased separately when buying smart blinds.
Types of Smart Blinds
Smart blinds are motorized blinds that operate via remote control or smart technology. Either way, smart blinds can be raised and lowered with just the touch of a button.
These easy-to-use blinds are either powered with rechargeable batteries or hardwired into the home’s electrical framework. While hardwired options won’t require the time to recharge the batteries, they are a more considerable investment.
Smart-tech-operated blinds are controlled with either a home hub or a smartphone app. Many of these blinds are compatible with Amazon Alexa and can be controlled with voice commands. This is the most convenient smart-blind option because they can be customized to almost any lifestyle. Some of the most popular customizations include timing the opening and closing of the blinds to coincide with sunrise and sunset and programming the blinds to turn off the lights and open the blinds simultaneously. However, smart-tech-operated blinds can be more complicated to install and set up. They are also, typically, a more costly option.
Remote-control-operated blinds are similar to smart-tech-operated blinds, but they don’t offer the same level of customization. While some available options feature more complete customization that allows buyers to start and stop the movement of the blinds wherever they like, other options only allow a select number of blind positions. Some products are set up so that one remote control can operate up to 15 blinds at once.
Remote-control-operated blinds are usually a more affordable option because they include less built-in technology.
Tips for Buying and Using Smart Blinds
The best smart blinds are a significant purchase, and it can feel overwhelming when trying to make the right choice. One of the most critical aspects to ensuring shoppers select the best smart blinds for their needs is to spend a week or so paying attention to how and when they are likely to be used in the home. Notice the moments during the day (and evening) that customizable blinds would be an improvement and how smart blinds could benefit everyday quality of life. Is it when family members are trying to take a nap but there’s too much sun pouring in? Do some feel exposed when getting ready for the day in front of a large open window? Or, perhaps the desire is a simple wish to automate the blinds with the rest of the smart-home operations. Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions will provide a better understanding of the key features to look for in smart blinds.
Another key factor in ensuring a successful purchase of smart blinds is having all the necessary information ready, including:
- the number of windows that need blinds
- the windows’ measurements
- the desired color scheme for the blinds
- the budget for purchasing smart blinds
How smart blinds are used in the home primarily depends on the type of smart blinds purchased and their level of customization. Regardless, these blinds will add a level of convenience and ease to allowing light into the home, from sunrise to sunset, as well as offering exactly the amount of privacy that individuals desire.
After diving into all the ins and outs of buying the best smart blinds for your home, you might have a few questions. Check out some of the most frequently asked questions about smart blinds and their answers below.
Q. Are automated blinds the same as smart blinds?
Not all automated blinds are smart blinds, but all smart blinds can be automated. Blinds become automated when you connect a device that can raise and lower them at set times without you having to do anything after setting up the automation. Strictly automated blinds can have this functionality with simply a timer. Automated blinds become smart blinds when you pair them with a higher level of intelligent customization via a paired remote control, a smart hub, or a smartphone app.
Q. Can you motorize Roman shades?
Although there is less choice, it is possible to motorize Roman shades. The Bali range available at The Home Depot is a good example. However, the motor has to be purchased separately rather than as a package, which complicates both ordering and installation. Another option is to buy standard Roman shades and fit a powered headrail.
While remote control is a possibility, we have been unable to find any motorized Roman blinds that offer smart features or control via apps.
Q. How long do smart blinds last?
As long as they are properly cared for and broken or worn out parts are replaced, smart blinds can last up to 5 years.
Q. How do you install smart blinds?
Installation can vary among different smart blinds; however, they all feature the same basic hanging structure. Most smart blinds have a bracket that attaches to the inside or outside of the window frame, and the blind clicks into the bracket.
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