02 Aug 10 Best Smart Blinds, Kits and Motorized Shades in 2022
Smart gadgets can make life a lot easier for a homeowner. Connect an electronic, computerized device to a mobile app – or maybe a home hub – and we can save a lot of time an energy. The rise of assistive technology from Google and Alexa means that many homes now have smarter homes. The internet of things is expanding so that we can lock the door, turn on lights and use entertainment systems with voice controls. There are now companies that claim to have created systems for smart blinds. Just how smart are these blinds and what benefits can buyers actually achieve? These smart blind kits come in a range of styles and functions.
Before we look more closely at their features and review some of the products, we need to make one thing clear. Some of these devices are much smarter than others. On one end of the scale, we have the kits and motorized products that connect with mobile apps and voice commands. This is where the blinds really do get smart. Then there are other motorized blinds on the other end of the scale that simply have an old-fashioned remote control. They are helpful, but not as clever as an app-controlled system. Also, beware that there are some products that make claims about connectivity and features that they can’t fulfill.
Other considerations when choosing a smart, or smarter blind system for the home
The intelligence of a smart blind is an important starting point when choosing a product. It has to have the control and features for the job. But, there are other considerations to keep in mind before buying a device. Think about the ease of installation. Some devices take a matter of minutes and attach to the wall with ease. Others require more hassle and adaptations to the current blind.
Then there is the impact of the new device on the look of the blinds. Some motorized wands and hidden features don’t have that big a visual impact. Other wall-mounted smart devices are much more noticeable.
Of course there is also the cost. Some of the smarter kits can be quite expensive compared to a simpler, motorized option. Think about the value for money offered with the features and smart controls. Some are overpriced.
There are three main types of blinds to consider here
Below are 8 products that fall into three categories. First, we have a smart kit that promises great connections and features in a more comprehensive kit. Then we have four devices that you can use to make an existing blind a little bit smarter. They differ in style and intelligence to show the breadth of the range. Then we have three motorized roller blinds that can replace your current blind. All the reviews are as honest as possible and consider the pros and cons of each solution. At the end, we will offer our final verdict to help you make the right choice.
Smart Blind Kits
1) MySmartBlinds Automation Kit Bundle + Solar Panel
This first option is one that promises everything you need to convert a blind into a smart device. Users get the automation kit and the solar panel as a bundle. It is built to convert a set of 2-2.5 inch horizontal blinds into a smarter system. There is also a temperature sensor to control the temperature of the room. With the right tech, this is also compatible with Alexa and Google. This then brings in the opportunity for voice commands. Users can also set schedules so that the blinds work as need when you aren’t in range.
- Lots of features to use with the right tech
- The solar panel – which is a rarity
- The connectivity to mobile tech and Alexa
- This isn’t really the full kit
- Some software bugs
The first issue here is that that this system needs the MySmartBlinds Smart Bridge in order to get this connectivity to a home hub. For some reason. This is not included in this full kit. That bridge is another $90. There are also complaints about the lack of customer services and some bugs with the Android app. Some say that the experience for iOS users is much smoother, so this could be a dealbreaker for an Android-loving household. For a complete kit, there is a lot missing. So, this leads to an important question with the recommendation.
Is it recommendable?
Is this product worth this extra money for those extra features? It depends how important home hub connections and voice controls are – and also how much you are prepared to pay on your blinds. Many see this as a bit of a scam, and this is an understandable viewpoint. If you have the money to spend on this product, it could prove to be the smartest, most eco-friendly option around.
Systems to Make Dumb Blinds Smart
2) Brunt Smart Motorized Blind
This is a little device for the wall that creates a pulley system for your blinds via electronic controls. The idea is that you can connect the system a smartphone to activate the mechanism remotely. The mobile controls allow for raising and shutting the blinds. There is also voice control with Alexa – soon to have Google Assistant capabilities. Another benefit is the potential for multiple blinds via one mobile device with geolocation software. The company promises that it is easy to install simply by attaching it to a wall. It is a small and discrete device that doesn’t make too much noise when in operation.
- smaller than other wall-mounted options
- multiple blinds on one remote
- the potential for helpful controls with Alexa and mobile apps
- A few too many bugs with the system and notifications
- A weakness in the motor that leads to compatibility issues.
The basic idea of this device is great. The software and features are all heading in the right direction – even if some elements aren’t quite right yet. For instance, there have been some issues with the system overloading and being unable to handle the commands. There is an idea here that it works better on beaded cords instead of ropes because of the grips. It is, therefore, a weaker system than some others in this guide. There is also a weird bug that the push notifications on the app are all in Korean. This may have been fixed by the time you read this but it is worth keeping in mind.
Is it recommendable?
It all depends on the type of blind you have. If this system is compatible, you could find that this simple, discrete device is a helpful tool. However, there is that sense that the device is a work in progress. Eventually, the software and compatible systems will catch up with the sales promises. When that happens, this will be a great choice.
3) AXIS Gear – Smart Blinds
The company claim that this model is “compatible with any window shade/blind that has a cord loop or beaded chain”. So, there are hopes that this one is stronger than the one above. There are two ways to control this product. The first is the touch strip control on the device itself. This can raise and lower the blinds as needed. The other is to use the controls on the free mobile app. There is also the chance to add a new schedule on a weekly or monthly basis. There is also a promise of a 5-minute installation process. Overall, most users seem happy with the performance. This one handles more weight and doesn’t have as much complex tech to confuse matters.
- the reliable system, especially with the scheduling
- the choice in ways of controlling the blinds
- the simple installation process
- The look of the product on the wall
- the high cost
One issue here is the size of the device. There have been complaints that it looks big and bulky on a wall. This is a matter of opinion, but some buyers have had negative comments from visitors. There are also those that question the cost of the system. We criticised MySmartBlinds for charging $90 more for an add-on to their kit. But, the combined price of the two pieces still isn’t too far off the list price of this system.
Is it recommendable?
The cost of this system is a big deal. It seems like a lot to pay for what is a pretty simple idea. If you really want to go smart, and have the money to spend, there are better options. Still, there is a nice blend of features here and the product is easy to use. There is no real fault in the performance. Therefore, this option is still recommendable if you can get it at a bargain price.
4) EzWands Motorised Easy Wand
This next option does things completely differently. Instead of focusing on a pulley system for the cord, this one replaces the wand at the top to the blind. Some consumers will prefer this because it hides the mechanism – no more ugly boxes on the wall. Users use the remote control to raise and lower the blinds as needed. The idea of using radio frequency technology sounds pretty outdated these days. The models above are high-tech in comparison with the voice controls and apps. But, simplicity can pay off if it means a more reliable system. The connectivity between the two elements is still reliable – more so than some apps in smarter systems.
- The simplicity of the system for complete novices
- The ease of use in the remote control
- A simple installation process
- Some issues with the movement of the blinds
- radio frequency technology
Despite the look of the kit in the box in the sales photos, this isn’t difficult to install. Comments are pretty mixed. Some struggled with this because of issues with the movement and the clutch in the wand. There is an expectation that a motorized system will create a smooth movement and raise the blind in one go. This isn’t a guarantee here. Those that don’t expect much and aren’t tech-savvy seem to do OK and can handle little hiccups.
Is it recommendable?
A recommendation here does depend on exactly what you expect from a smart blind. When we compare this to the smart kit at the beginning of the guide, this is pretty outdated. Some will see this as a waste of time if it stutters and doesn’t come close to mobile-friendly tech. Others will say that this is precisely as smart as they need. Go into this with low expectations.
5) Rollerhouse Rechargeable Wireless Tubular Roller Shade Motor Kit
There is a lot more positivity in the comments for this kit. Again, users can add a motorized tube to an existing blind to turn it into a smarter, motorized option. There is a choice of kits with tubes of different lengths, so make sure to measure your blind to get the best fit. The want has a rechargeable battery with a simple charging point on the side. The wand can open and close traditional blinds or roller shades with ease.
- Lots of different sizes to fit different blinds
- The choice of a remote or app controls
- Easier to install than other blinds in this guide
- Doesn’t suit all renovation needs
- Still a simplistic solution compared to other options
The main selling point with this wand, over the one above is the choice between the remote control or the mobile app. This means that this model is much smarter. The majority of Amazon reviews for this blind are positive, with users talking about the simple installation and ease of use. There also seem to be fewer performance issues than with other blinds. However, there are some that struggled because the kit didn’t have all the parts they expected. Some thought they could create a new shade with these elements but didn’t have all the fixtures and brackets. Double check the product details to make sure it can handle your needs.
Is it recommendable?
In the right pair of hands – and on the right window – this option can work. It won’t suit everyone’s needs, but it does have most of the features that you would want from this sort of product. The remote control is better, there are lots of size options and buyers are less stressed during the installation process.
Motorized Shades & Blinds
6) Luckome Motorized Window Roller Shades
This motorised blind has lots of great sales promises about the look and function of the roller shade itself. This is about more than a remote controlled solution. The blind is waterproof, 100% blackout and comes in customised sizes. Users agree with the blackout claim and say that it keeps a lot of light out. No-one in the reviews we read had commented on the waterproof claim. There is also a nice range of colours to suit the décor of the room. The motorised element has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a 6-month lifespan and is designed to be smooth and silent. Most buyers have few issues with the blind and the remote control is reliable.
- The long life on the battery compared to other products
- The 100% blackout shade
- The quiet running of the motor
- The lack of instructions
- The high cost because of the custom build.
Because this is a made to order product, you can expect to pay more for this blind than you would for a motorised wand or a more simplistic product. Another issue mentioned by a few users is that this product doesn’t come with many instructions. Some had to request further help from the company before they could get the system up and running. It is a hassle, but the wait does pay off eventually.
Is it recommendable?
This depends on what you want from the product. There are custom-build blinds that are cheaper. But, there is a level of quality in the build and materials that other companies may not offer. There is a lot to appreciate here with the design and the mechanisms. It is just a shame that it takes so long to get it up and running. If you prepared to be patient, and need a 100% blackout, custom roller, this could be a great choice.
7) Springblinds 5% Openness Solar Shade
There is a lot about this blind that is very similar to the specification for the model above. There is the promise of a smooth, quiet operation, simple installation and a high-quality material on the blind. Again it is possible to request custom sizes. There are some clear differences in the product description too, however. First of all, the lifespan of the built-in battery is half as long at 3 months. Secondly, this is not a blackout blind. This is built to let in a small amount of light, so they may not have the same effect on the light levels and temperature of the room.
- the quality of the material and color choices
- the custom build for different windows
- the amount of light that it lets in
- the shorter battery life on the motorized wand
- the installation process and occasional lack of parts
Many buyers are pleased with what they receive with this custom build. They like the different colors and the way that there is a slow, smooth retraction on the blind. No-one seems to want to talk about the remote and the ease of use there, so we can assume it is merely adequate. The biggest issue, once again, is the lack of instructions. This could have the simple installation process advertised if users were guaranteed the right instructions and all the mounting brackets.
Is it recommendable?
If a 100% blackout roller shade isn’t for you, this is a great alternative option. It lives up to its promises with most of the features and the amount of light that comes through. It is another quality custom-made product that can look good in any home. But, it shares the same issues with the installation. Again, if you have the patience for this sort of product, the wait can pay off.
8) Springblinds 100% Blackout Battery Running Motorized Roller Shade
Our final option comes from the same brand. There are lots of similarities in the build and function of this blind. They will custom build the blind to fit the dimensions of your window, there is the same battery life, and there is a remote to control the motion of the blind. There is also another wide range of colors on offer. A big difference here is that this product has a different function as a blind. There is a thicker material for a 100% blackout and a foam backing for added insulation. Therefore, this could be a great choice in motorized blinds for those that want to cut their energy bills.
- The addition of the insulating foam for an additional purpose
- the performance of the blind and the remote
- another customizable design for different needs
- more issues with the setup and installation
- it doesn’t always block the light out entirely
Unfortunately, there are buyers that question this idea of a 100% blackout. Some say that light still comes through. Also, the blinds are customizable to the inch. This means that there is the potential for small gaps on the sides that could also let light through. A bigger issue – once again – comes with the assembly. The instructions aren’t very good and some say that the process is difficult. The worse part is syncing up the remote with the blind. Those with patience will have a better experience.
Is it recommendable?
At this point, it seems that any customer wanting this sort of motorized shade has to put up with installation issues. So, if we put that issue aside, there are lots of good reasons to buy this and one massive issue. If you need to completely block out the light, this isn’t the right model for you. If that isn’t a problem, you could find that this quality blind is a great fit and a good quality item.
It might be that time when your old blinds have started falling apart. Well, this set of Graywind Motorized Roller Shades are a step in the right direction.
These motorized shades can be handled manually, either via a remote, or via voice commands such as Alexa or Google Assistant. The best thing about Graywind Motorized Roller Shades is how they can be customized according to one’s taste.
After you’ve measured the window, order your preferred colored blinds and watch how you transform your home. It makes no difference what size window you have. Whenever the shades are shut, they include a white waterproof layer made of vinyl and linen that provides 100 percent darkness. UV rays are also kept out of your home thanks to the material.
- Can be customized according to your order.
- Various shades and colors you can select.
- Simple to use the remote and voice commands.
- Prevents UV rays.
- Set up timetables using Smart Life app.
- Doesn’t come with an instruction manual
- Tricky installation process
The only disadvantage is that the shades do not feature an instruction manual. This can be very confusing especially when you don’t know a thing about motorized roller shades.
Is it recommendable?
After setting up these shades, you will find out that they are quite simple to use and may be controlled in a variety of ways. You’ll find that the shades easily receive commands when using the remote, the smart app, or voice commands (Alexa or Google Assistant). You may program the blinds to open and close at specific times. Isn’t that fantastic?
Yoolax Motorized Smart Blinds have everything you could ask for – it could be blocking light or allowing cool air in the house. These blinds are tailor-made and can be cut according to the dimensions you demand when making your order.
When it comes to installation, smart blinds can take time to install. The same is not any different for these Yoolax blinds. Depending on how experienced you are with them, it can be moderately or extremely complex to set it all up. All you need is to fix it up, adjust it to your window and voila!
- Comes in various colors
- Can be controlled using the remote or voice command
- Set up opening and closing functionality
- Comes with rechargeable batteries
- Might have small problems when it comes to programming or initial connection with Alexa and Google Home
It’s quite easy to control this blind just by speaking commands to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Google Home. You may also program it to close or open at predetermined intervals, so that you don’t have to do it personally.
Is it recommendable?
We enjoy how it comes in a variety of colors that are all subtle and contemporary, and bring a sense of refinement to any home. Unfortunately, the programming procedures may be just a little difficult to understand. However, one can rapidly learn how to accomplish it.
Which style is right for your home?
There is a lot to consider when choosing the best smart blind system for your home. There is no need to go for the most expensive kits if one of the motorized devices or battery-operated shades will suffice. There are some great tools that can transform an existing blind into a smarter system. A little motorized pulley and mobile app can work wonders. Just make sure that the software is reliable, and the motor is strong enough.
Alternatively, you could get a custom blind made with a motorized roller. With the right dimensions, battery life and materials, they can transform a room. Compare your options carefully to find a solution that is practical, cost-effective and easy to use.