Motorized Shades vs. Manual Shades

Motorized Shades vs. Manual Shades

Window shades are essential to protect your home’s interior from the sun. They come in various styles and colors, so you can personalize them to showcase your unique taste and style. Besides the aesthetics, motorized shades’ functionality adds value and convenience. 

Here, we’ll explore the differences between motorized blinds vs. manual and why choosing motorized blinds may be the better option. 

Table of Contents

Features of Motorized Shades

You’ll enjoy motorized shades because of their numerous benefits, including the following.

  • Convenience: Motorized shades are the epitome of comfort and style. They open and close at the push of a button. 
  • Smart home integration: You can integrate motorized blinds into your smart home system by setting a timer. Your blinds will automatically open or close in response to changing indoor temperatures.
  • Battery- and electricity-operated: Most motorized shades are battery-operated, but some also have a rechargeable motor that connects to an electricity source. 
  • Durable material: The shades come in various materials and fabrics that are durable enough to withstand the sun’s heat and constant movement when opening and closing. 

Features of Manual Shades

Manual shades have unique features that differentiate them from motorized shades. Consider some of these below. 

  • Durable materials: Roller shades usually consist of vinyl, plastic or PVC and have strings or a hand-operated clutch on either or both sides that you can pull or adjust to control them. 
  • Retractable cords: Safety is a significant concern for homeowners. Luckily, some shade styles have retractable cords and cord restraints to minimize the risk with children around.

Motorized Shades vs. Manual Shades

A few more distinctions set these shades apart.


While several variables make motorized shades pricier than manual shades, you may still find the investment worthwhile. 

Average Cost of Motorized Blinds

Cost-effective motorized blinds have numerous benefits but are more expensive than manual shades, especially if they are hardwired and motorized. Batteries are less expensive but need frequent replacement, which can accumulate over time. Installation costs more, too, as you need professional window treatment installers to do the job. 

What you pay also depends on the size of the window covering, the material used and the labor costs involved. Some shades save energy through smart home integration, which may cost more. These features and the initial installation cost may be pricey, but will save you money in the long run through reduced energy bills. 

Average Cost of Manual Shades

While manual shades are a cost-effective alternative, they don’t offer the same benefits as motorized shades. They use strings or a rotating clutch to operate, making them more prone to damage when mishandled. If you roll the shades improperly, they will likely degrade, and you may need to replace the winding mechanisms. 

Additionally, manual shades can’t open and close automatically, so you won’t have control over how much light enters your home if you’re not there to do it yourself during the day. 

Energy Efficiency

Motorized shades are an energy-efficient solution. Here’s why. 

Motorized Shades

Many motorized shades offer the option of retracting and opening at specific times of the day, based on your preference. This automated feature allows you to control how much sunlight enters your home during the day, so you welcome sunlight during the winter and keep the heat out in summer. 

Studies have found that you may recover some installation costs over three to five years by installing motorized insulated windows that reduce year-round energy consumption by roughly 25%. Considering how much that converts to monetary value over the years, this is a significant figure. It includes all seasons, maximizing the capacity to save. 

Motorized Shades

Through smart home integration, you can control your motorized shades with your thermostat or a smartphone app to regulate the temperature in your home. The shades will close when it gets too hot, and vice versa when it’s cooler outside. You can rely less on your air conditioning, saving on energy bills. 

These shades also require little energy to operate. They are often lithium-battery-operated, and if they have a power source, it doesn’t consume much electricity. 

Manual Shades

Manual shades can be energy-efficient if you physically open and close them in response to changing temperatures throughout the day. Though it has the same effect as motorized shades, you might not have time or be home to do it every day. 

One additional way to encourage energy efficiency is by installing insulated windows. These may help block the UV rays that would otherwise filter through when the shades are open. 


Though installing motorized window treatments can be costly, professional installation is worth the upfront cost. You can enjoy motorized shades’ quality, convenience and comfort for years. 

If you’re handy around the house and comfortable with DIY projects, you can install manual shades yourself to save money. However, your shades may break more easily if not installed by experts.

Safety Features

Safety is vital when installing shades, especially considering the potential hazards. Here’s more on the safety features of each option.

Motorized Shades

The lack of cords makes motorized shades a safer option. Since you can control the times they open and close through a smart device, you can create the illusion that someone is home, deterring potential intruders. Geofencing enables you to close the shades when you leave and open them upon your return, another beneficial feature made possible with smart home integration. 

One more helpful safety feature is that some motorized shades have built-in smoke detectors that open when they sense smoke in the home. 

Manual Shades

The cords on manual shades pose a choking threat to children who play with them, which can pose a safety hazard. Use a cord restraint to keep the cord out of little ones’ reach when not in use. 

Install Your Window Shades With Shutter & Shade Shoppe

Your preference may vary, but we’ve explained why we believe motorized shades are better. Shutter & Shade Shoppe will cover all your shade requirements so you can be confident in whichever type of shade you install. We have the best designs in dual, blackout, sunscreen and woven and Roman shades to complement any home’s interior. 

Trust us with your next window treatment installation. Call us at 949-600-9880 or submit a request form with more details. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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