Providing batteries that are built to last is industry’s primary selling point. There is the Energizer bunny that never quits, Duracell’s famous slogan and countless other brands promising to provide a product that offers lasting and superior performance. However, the longevity of any battery varies according to what it is used to power. Some uses require a higher quality battery than others.
Concerning battery-powered motorized shades, several factors determine their overall life span, and they generally require a more powerful battery than your average alkaline cylinder. We have compiled the following guide to give you a better understanding of how long motorized shade batteries last and why motorized shades are worth the investment in the first place.
What Are the Benefits of Using Motorized Shades?
Motorized shades provide a wealth of benefits to homeowners, from increased safety and convenience to optimized energy efficiency. If you already own motorized shades, you are likely familiar with those benefits. However, for those unfamiliar with the benefits of motorized shades, here are some ways they can enhance your life at home.
1. Increased Safety
Motorized shades provide parents and pet-owners alike with the bolstered assurance that their children and pets will be safer when playing around the window. The absence of looped, dangling cords provides an obstacle-free environment, so your pets and children can enjoy looking out the window and you can appreciate peace of mind. Accordingly, they are an excellent option for kids’ rooms, living areas and recreational rooms.
2. Minimalist Aesthetic
The lack of any looped cord on motorized shades increases their safety profile and contributes to a more minimalist aesthetic. There is minimal need for auxiliary items on a motorized shade, and any such items can easily be hidden. Enjoy open vistas free from the disruption of pull cords.
3. Highly Convenient to Use
For window shades in hard-to-reach areas, motorized shades forgo the acrobatics required to let light in or keep it out. Rather than reaching over a counter, using a chair or step ladder or moving furniture to access the window covering, you can easily operate motorized shades using a remote control wherever you are in your home.
This feature can also come in handy when sunlight obstructs your view while watching a movie or show. Instead of pressing pause or waiting for a commercial break, remotely adjust the shade so you don’t miss a moment.
4. Added Security Through Automation Settings
Not only can you remotely adjust motorized shades wherever you are in your home, but many options also offer automation features that enable you to manipulate the position of the shades while you are away from home. Consequently, if you are away on vacation or at work with nobody at home, you can schedule the shades to operate at certain times of each day, so it appears the house is occupied and hopefully deters any would-be burglars from breaking and entering.
5. Limits Sun Damage to Furniture and Decor
The automated feature is also useful for limiting sun damage in your home. Extended exposure to sunlight can cause the colors to fade on your furniture, decor, floors and walls. However, a motorized shade with an automation feature can allow you to preset times when the shades open and close to strike the perfect balance between taking advantage of natural light and reducing exposure to direct sunlight without requiring extra effort on your part.
The strategic use of natural light that automated motorized shades allow homeowners to employ can also enable you to maintain a highly energy-efficient household. By devising the automation settings on your motorized shade to open and close at strategic times of the day, you can limit indoor lighting usage and take advantage of natural light while minimizing air-conditioning use. Some manufacturers even provide sensors mounted to the roof that detect the sun’s position, so direct sunlight never peers through your windows.
7. Simple Integration With Smart Homes
You can easily integrate motorized shades with other smart home devices like smart thermostats to further optimize your household’s energy efficiency. When paired with a smart thermostat, the thermostat collects data that determines when the shades should be open or closed and when to initiate or disable window treatments.
Depending on your smart home technology, you can also schedule the shades in your bedroom to ascend with the sunrise for a natural start to your day, rather than being jolted awake by a raucous alarm. On the other hand, you can set the shades to rise with your alarm for a boosted reminder that it is time to wake up.
What Are the Different Types of Motorized Shades?
Motorized shades come in several types, varying according to the power source, control options, fabrics and styles, although the latter factors apply to any shade, motorized or not. In that light, here are some of the different kinds of features unique to motorized shades.
Below are the most common power sources for motorized shades:
- Battery-Powered: A battery-powered shade involves a battery tube on the shade itself, in the remote control or both, depending on the control option used to operate the motorized shade. One benefit of battery-powered shades is that they are wireless, providing a sleek design without the need for hiding cords or wires. Moreover, a battery-powered shade will still work in a power outage, as the only power-related concern you will need to account for is maintaining battery life.
- Solar-Powered: Solar-powered shades are the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly option for motorized shades, as the power supply is stored on a solar battery that absorbs solar energy from the sun. As such, they are ideal for windows that receive direct sunlight. Power your shades with solely on energy from the sun with this innovative design.
- DC-Power Adapter or Central Control System (Wired): The benefit of a wired motorized shade is that the power source is unlimited, unlike battery-powered shades. This system is wired for consistent operation, without the need for you to worry about regularly charging it or strategically placing it near natural light sources. For wired motorized shades, options include a DC-Power adapter that plugs into a nearby outlet or a more advanced central control system that powers several shades at once.
- Wireless Network: In addition to battery-powered and solar-powered motorized shades, another wireless option is a system that connects the motor to a wireless network. This is a more advanced option and is an ideal solution for those who want to go wire-free without the use of batteries or solar-powered devices. Choose this option for seamless connectivity.
Additionally, some motorized shades come with manual operation options in case the batteries run dry, or a power outage occurs.
The control options for motorized shades include remote controls or wall switches. A remote control allows you to open or close shades from anywhere in the room, while wall switches are well-suited to large areas and function similarly to a light switch. Both remote controls and wall switches come in single channel or five-channel options, with options ranging up to 16 channels.
A single channel motorized shade remote operates all connected windows in unison, while a five-channel remote allows you to choose which window treatment to operate. Single-channel options are ideal for a home office or bedroom, while five channels are better suited for open areas.
Other control options for motorized shades include programmed timers and smart shade apps. With programmed timers, homeowners can preset when and how much the shade will close or open for each day, which is helpful if you are away from home for any length of time.
A smart shade is one that is integrated into a smart home system where homeowners can use an app on their phone to control the position of the shades. As mentioned, some smart shades can be linked with other smart products in your home, like a thermostat, so they will open or close according to how toasty or cool the room is.
How Long Does One Charge Last?
The battery life span for motorized shades is often the first concern that comes to a homeowner’s mind when they hear of these battery-powered shades. However, when you use high-quality batteries with your motorized shade, their longevity may surprise you. A motorized shade’s batter life span can last anywhere from a few months to one year, while the life span for the remote control has general longevity of up to five years. With that being said, various factors can affect the battery life of motorized shades.
What Factors Can Affect the Battery Charge?
Some of the factors that can affect the battery charge for your motorized shade include the quality of the battery, the weight of the shade, the size of the window and how frequently you adjust the position of shades. With that in mind, read more deals below about how each factor affects the life span of motorized shades.
The quality of your batteries can make all of the difference in how often you need to change them. Traditional batteries may disappoint you and require frequent change, primarily if they are used in the shade itself, as they tend to diminish when exposed to sunlight for extended periods. In contrast, a high-quality lithium battery can perform with increased longevity for a longer-lasting power solution.
Weight of the Shade
One reason batteries in the remote control will last longer than those in the shades is that they do not expend any energy holding up the shade. With that in mind, the heavier the shade is, the faster the battery will drain. As such, an effective way to ensure optimal longevity for your battery is by investing in lightweight shades. Keep in mind, you will want to find a fabric that strikes a practical balance between being lightweight and effectively keeping out the sunlight.
The size of the shade will affect its weight, and the size of the window will determine how large the shade is to be. As such, the battery for a motorized shade on a large bay window may drain faster than those on smaller bedroom or bathroom windows.
How Frequently You Adjust the Shades
This factor affects the battery life span on the shades as well as the remote control. In fact, the only factors that will affect the battery life span on your remote control are the quality of the batteries used along with how frequently you adjust the shades. When used two times a day with a high-quality battery, the battery life span for a remote control should last approximately five years.
In the same way, frequent adjustments of the motorized shades will expend more energy from the battery. You will want to make a plan to use the shades efficiently by minimizing unnecessary adjustments. Having a programmable timer installed with the shades is a great strategy for accomplishing an efficient usage of your motorized shades.
Are There Any Rechargeable Alternatives?
When it comes to battery options for motorized shades, there are rechargeable options. For any type of battery-powered mechanism, a rechargeable motorized shades option is often superior to single-use batteries. They can save you money and are less wasteful and therefore more environmentally friendly. Lithium rechargeable batteries remain the optimal choice, while rechargeable alkaline batteries are at least superior to regular alkaline batteries.
However, all rechargeable batteries have a shelf life, and constantly needing to recharge the batteries in your shade can be inconvenient, so it is still worthwhile to invest in a high-quality rechargeable battery option. If you are looking for a high-quality rechargeable battery, Hunter Douglas has several options to consider, including their rechargeable battery wand ideally suited for operating smart shades. You can find high-quality Hunter Douglas products, such as their rechargeable battery wand and others at Shutter & Shade Shoppe.
Find All of Your Motorized Shade and Battery Needs at Shutter & Shade Shoppe!
Shutter & Shade Shoppe serves Orange County as well as areas like Fontana, Jurupa Valley, Norco, Ontario, or Riverside in San Bernardino County and Pasadena and Los Angeles in LA County with cutting-edge shade products and accessories. We are grateful for the opportunity to play a part in helping homeowners succeed in designing their dream home all these years and are excited for the next chapter, both yours and ours!
We would love to assist you with whatever you need at Shutter & Shade Shoppe, whether you have motorized shades already installed and are looking for advice on optimizing your battery life span or want to start the motorized shade journey.
We welcome you to take a tour of our showroom, either virtually or in-person, to see what we have to offer. You can partner with our custom interior design specialists to find out what shades and batteries will work best for your needs or simply contact us for a free consultation or more information about battery-powered motorized shades at Shutter & Shade Shoppe!