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Home Automation: Choosing Motorized Window Treatments

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

It's 7 a.m. and you blink away the stickiness of sleep as the sun hits your face. You forgot to pull your shade down last night after falling into bed. If only these things could operate themselves - but actually, they can. No more sun alarm clock at forsaken hours of the morning (especially in the summer).

Home automation has been on the rise, and according to Statista, a leading organization in business data and research, the market will see over 300 million smart homes by 2023. Motorized window treatments are included in this category.

Photo courtesy of Hunter Douglas

Which window treatments can be motorized?

Generally, all window treatments can be motorized. The type of window covering you choose will be a determining factor in other features, like the motor and power source.

The following brands offer automation on some or all of their window treatments:

Hunter Douglas Through its PowerView Automation technology, Hunter Douglas gives you the ability to control your window treatments from your phone and various smart home systems, including Siri (Apple), Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. There is also the Pebble Remote Control, a sleek, streamlined remote that allows you to control up to six window treatments. With the PowerView app, you can set the position of your window coverings and schedule them to move on their own. Automation is available for blinds, shades, and drapery.

Graber Graber offers automated solutions for blinds and shades through its Virtual Cord app. Program your window coverings to move at certain times of the day and control them via remote, voice control, and your mobile device.

With Norman, you can find motorized shades and shutters controllable by their app or remote. Norman is the only brand on this list that does motorized shutters.

Comfortex specializes in motorized shades. If you download their ColorLux app, you can control your window coverings through your phone. The app will inform you on battery levels and shade positions. You can also control up to five shades simultaneously. If you want a remote control, the Simplicity remote is available and ideal for large windows. Additionally, Comfortex offers a power wand as their most budget-friendly option.

Rollease's technology, Automate, is a leader in shade motorization and automation. Its technology integrates with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. Additionally, you can centralize control with other smart home products like lighting, thermostats, and home entertainment through one of the many systems Rollease supports, including Elan, AMX by Harman, Savant, and HomeSeer.

Somfy is exclusively in the home automation space. It manufactures solely motors, remotes, interfaces, and other related products. Most of the above mentioned companies use Somfy motors in their motorization. You can control multiple window coverings and different treatments by a single remote, or via Amazon Alexa and/or your smartphone using their plug-and-play adapter, Somfy MyLink.

Things you should consider about motorized window treatments:

Cell and roller shades are the most commonly motorized window treatments. However, as noted above, it is possible to automate every type of treatment, depending on the brand you shop with. Without automation, blinds are the least expensive window treatment, and Roman shades and drapery are the most costly.

However, in terms of motorization, honeycomb and roller shades are the least expensive to motorize.

That being said, you really only need to know two things about motorization. The first is how do you want to power your window treatments? By battery, rechargeable battery, outlet, direct hardwire, solar? If you want something rechargeable or by battery, another thing to think about is the accessibility of your windows. You don't want to get on a ladder to charge or swap batteries every so often.

The second thing you should know is how do you want to control your window treatments? Do you want to connect it to your smart home system or voice assistant? Via phone or just a remote?

With those two questions answered, you and your designer will have a much more efficient, productive consultation, and they'll be able to make the most relevant recommendations for your home.

Window-ology is a local, Diamond Certified business in downtown Pleasanton, CA. We specialize in custom blinds, shades, shutters, drapery, and motorized, retractable awnings. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

We are the exclusive Northern California dealer for SunSetter Awnings, the number one manufacturer in the United States. We are an authorized dealer for Hunter Douglas, Norman Window Fashions, KE, and others.

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