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From sprinkler systems and thermostats to dishwashers and refrigerators, many household appliances and accessories these days can be operated remotely. Whether or not you already have these conveniences in your home, you may be interested in the newest technology in the world of smart homes — motorized window coverings. Discover how they work, the benefits they offer and the many ways these treatments can be used below.
How Do Motorized Window Coverings Work?As the name suggests, motorized window shades open and close using a motor, meaning you won’t have to worry about chains, cords or cordless solutions. All you have to do is push a button, and one, two, three or even four rows of shades will open or close in seconds — no need to climb over furniture or up a ladder to operate them. If you think about it, this convenience was just a matter of time. After all, if you can operate all your light switches, appliances, computers and televisions in your home from one place, why shouldn’t you be able to operate your shades in the same way? Every day, more and more homeowners are enjoying the benefits of smart technology. Although it was first limited to science fiction stories, homes partially or fully controlled by machines, computers and remotes are now a reality for many households. If you have manually operated shades and want to upgrade to motorized window treatments, you won’t have any trouble, as they can be custom-made to fit any window. The power source for motorized window treatments will depend on the product — whereas some use an electrical outlet, others are powered by a rechargeable battery.
11 Benefits of Motorized Window ShadesMotorized window coverings are an ideal choice for any homeowner and for a multitude of reasons. Those benefits of motorized window treatments include:
1. Convenience and PracticalityHomes with large windows require large coverings. And to achieve the lighting you want, you may have to manually adjust these large shades several times a day. To access your windows, you may have to step around or over furniture, and in some cases, you might even be using a ladder. Motorized shades, however, don’t need to be lowered or raised by hand — just press a button to operate them. Installing motorized shades is an especially great idea for homes with lots of windows. Adjusting dozens of shades every day by hand is extremely time-consuming, and your energy and time could be better spent. Motorized shades come with remotes you can program to operate many separate shades at once, making it much quicker and simpler to open or close various window coverings. Manually opening and closing shades doesn’t just take more time — it can also be difficult to lower or raise the shades to the exact position you want. If you motorized them, however, your shades will move to the exact spot you want them to in one fluid movement.
2. AmbianceLighting is critical for creating certain moods, so if you want to create a particular atmosphere, it helps to be able to control the amount of light coming in. With the press of a button, you can easily make a room brighter for a more invigorating mood, or dimmer for a more romantic atmosphere.
3. Integration With Existing Smart Home SystemsSmart home technology isn’t only about individual devices — it’s also about how devices work with each other to improve your home’s efficiency and comfort. Motorized window shades, unlike standard window coverings, can work seamlessly with other smart home systems. The ability to integrate with third-party control systems means you can program your motorized coverings to function alongside thermostat controls, automated lights and other smart home features.
4. Security and SafetyYou can program motorized shades to lower or raise during certain times of the day. You’ll never need to worry about leaving the shades raised when you’re away from home or when your children are home. Programming your shades is also a great idea for when you’re away for days or weeks, as it will make your home appear more “lived in,” which helps deter any potential intruders. As for safety, motorized shades eliminate certain components you’d find in traditional window coverings. Cords and strings attract babies and pets, and those accessories can be hazardous. By upgrading to motorized window coverings, you won’t have any of these dangling cords around the house, which is a great relief for parents and pet owners.
5. PrivacySimilar to security and safety, motorized shades can make your home more private. When it grows dark outside and you turn on your lights indoors, any uncovered windows give passersby a clear view right into your home, turning it into a fishbowl. If you have motorized shades and put them on a timer, you can ensure certain windows are covered right when night comes. Depending on the material and opacity you pick, your window coverings can offer privacy while still letting some light shine through.
6. Uniqueness and CustomizabilityIf you’re looking for a good conversation starter at home, this is yet another reason to have motorized shades. These automated window treatments are the newest advancement in the smart home world, and they’re made from high-quality materials featuring fashionable designs. Motorized shades are also highly customizable, and you can choose from a variety of colors and styles. You can even order room darkening shades for rooms where you want complete darkness, such as in a bedroom or movie room. That customizability means you can find motorized window coverings to suit rooms throughout your house.
7. Energy EfficiencyAny energy your house manages to conserve will add up over the course of a year — and especially over five or 10 years. Window treatments influence cooling loss and play a significant role in the energy efficiency of your home. With almost three-quarters of sunlight hitting your windows turning into heat and compromising your home’s cooling, covering windows helps save on cooling costs. Balance your home’s energy consumption by insulating and blocking light with motorized shades.
8. Improved Home ValueIn addition to the overall aesthetic improvement that motorized window shades will bring to your home, they’ll also boost your home’s value. You’ll be increasing your home’s functionality, and making your house smarter with home automation features is becoming more and more popular. By installing motorized window coverings, your home will have a competitive edge over others on the market.
9. Maximized Indoor and Outdoor ComfortIndoor comforts from automated shades come in many forms. One of those comforts most homeowners appreciate is an improved sleeping experience. Motorized shades or drapes let you sleep in complete darkness, which boosts melatonin and enhances your circadian rhythms. They can also serve as an alarm clock of sorts — just program them to open at the time you want to wake up. Waking up to natural sunlight is a much more pleasant way to start your day than an alarm. Your first experiences when you wake up can help set the tone for the rest of the day — why not start off the most relaxing, serene way possible? Automated window coverings weren’t just designed for indoor applications, either — they can also improve outside lounge areas in many ways. There are outdoor coverings designed to keep out bugs, serve as a buffer against wind gusts, offer sun protection and provide other benefits. There are also coverings made of specialized UV materials to make your time under the sun safer and more comfortable.
10. Versatile UsesMotorized shades are suitable for various rooms in your house, including sunrooms and California rooms. At first, you might think installing window coverings in sunrooms would defeat the purpose, but they’re actually a great way to make this space more comfortable during peak summer months. Motorized awnings and shades will let you control the amount of sunlight coming in, so these rooms can be comfortable any time of year. As for versatile indoor applications, you can also use these shades in home theaters. With motorized roller shades, you can darken your room and also use them to project movies onto. If you own a big-screen TV, you can also mount motorized shades in front of it, which creates a great home theater experience when they open and close.
11. Protection From FadingWith automated window coverings, you won’t have to worry anymore about sun damage to your carpet, upholstery or art. Installing window treatments that allow in filtered, soft light will slow fading and discoloration of your possessions. Choose the style of covering you like best and set them to close during times of the day when you know the sun’s rays are the strongest.
How to Operate Motorized ShadesMotorized window treatments are controlled remotely, and you can adjust them using a variety of different devices:
RemoteMotorized window treatment products come with a remote that allows you to operate them within a certain range. This functionality is perfect if you want to operate your windows while at home or within close range of the coverings.
Smart Home AIIf you don’t have smart home AI, you’re probably at least familiar with how it’s used. Homeowners give voice commands to devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, asking these devices to dim the lights, turn up the AC, play a song and a variety of other functions. You can also link your motorized window coverings to these devices, providing you with another convenient way to operate them remotely.
Smart PhonesYou can also control your window treatments using apps on smartphones and a variety of other devices with an internet connection. Just note that compatibility will depend on the specific product. Apps often provide several useful features, including options to:
- Control multiple motorized window coverings or multiple groups of motorized coverings
- Mix and match motorized coverings to close or open in unison
- Create and manage control zones in your home
- Check on the status of your shades to find out whether they’re open or closed
Ideas for How to Utilize Motorized ShadesAs you know by now, motorized window treatments come with lots of convenient features, such as controlling the windows while you’re away or setting them to open or close at a certain time. There are a variety of ways to use this technology, including programming them to:
- Open in the morning to wake you up: You can program your window shades to open when you want to wake up in the morning, which is an effective and more relaxing alternative to an alarm clock. By waking up to sunshine and the outdoors, you may even find it’s easier to begin your day.
- Close when the sun is the strongest: UV rays can cause furniture and carpeting to fade over time. By programming your coverings to close when direct sunlight is coming through, you’ll reduce the amount of fading and discoloration in your home.
- Close when the sun goes down: When night falls, you don’t want all the neighbors and passersby to be able to peer into your lit home. Instead of going around the house and manually closing all the shades when it becomes dark, choose motorized shades and program them to close at this time.
- Close when you leave for work: You may also choose to have your shades down when you’re at work, but closing all your shades manually is time-consuming. By programming your window treatments to close automatically when you leave for work, you can spend more time preparing for your commute.
- Open and close regularly while you’re on vacation: If you’re planning to be away from home for days or weeks at a time, it’s often a good idea to program your coverings to open and close regularly. This operation will give the impression that your home is still lived in and may help to discourage anyone thinking about breaking in.