Smart Shades: The Best Motorized Blinds for Your Home or Studio Space

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Smart blinds used to be an overtly expensive luxury, with a big, clunky remote and needing an installation company to come over and set it up. But now, you can buy smart, motorized blinds off-the-shelf (or online) to install yourself – even customized ones. No matter if you’ve got pull-down shades or tilt-blinds, you can either purchase them to install, or snag add-ons to make the existing blinds in your home “smart.” Ready to control your blinds via your phone or preferred virtual assistant? Read on for our shopping guide.

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Smart Blinds Buying Guide

Here’s what you need to know about how the addition of motorized curtains or smart blinds to any smart home work, the different types you need to know, as well as features you need to consider before purchasing them.

Tubular motor: This is typically the most common, most affordable option. It’s a basic motor that can work with a remote, is relatively quiet, and adds the ability to roll up and down existing shades without needing to buy whole new blinds. One of the big issues you’ll notice right off is that these often need to be plugged directly into a wall outlet, and there aren’t commonly outlets around where shades go. Plus even with an extension cable, you’ve still got unsightly power cables hanging down all over the room (which also might be a safety hazard). They do have the ability to connect to WiFi, but usually can handle only a few commands.

Solar/Battery: This one makes way more sense if you’re connecting to WiFi, as you’ll need to be consistently hooked up to a power source, and solar is a pretty good one since it’s right next to a window. They give you local control, wirelessly, and a single remote also has the ability to control all the shades in the house too, making it really convenient for bedtime and mornings. The downside though, is that these are typically more expensive, and with each as its own individual unit, you’ll need one per window, which can really add up.

Add-on: This one’s the best option for renters who can’t change what’s already there, or people who don’t want to mess with their current setup too much. An add-on piece is pretty simple, with a motor inside that can twist open blinds or roll up shades. They also work great with apps and integrate well into smart-home systems like Alexa and Google Home, though Apple HomeKit wasn’t as common (but that’s changing).

Don’t get too wrapped up in the smartness of it all and forget about the quality of the shade itself. These still should be able to block out light (if that’s what you’re going for) and made from a strong, often waterproof, material. Measure your windows too – most regular windows are going to be about 34-36 inches wide, but if you’ve got odd-sized ones, you may need to do some DIY resizing to make it fit.

What Are the Best Smart Blinds?

Here are the top motorized curtains and smart blinds to add to your living room and around your home this season, plus one device that’ll let you turn your curtains into a “smarter” version.

1. SwitchBot Blind Tilt Motorized Blinds

The SwitchBot Blind Tilt Motorized Blinds instantly simplifies retrofitting blinds and makes them smart as soon as they're installed. These completely remove the need to replace existing louvers, and installation is straightforward and simple enough for anyone.

SwitchBot's smart blinds feature a built-in 2000mAh lithium battery, including a solar panel for endless environmentally-friendly charging, which offers an endless power supply TOO. The customized high-precision motor allows for blind adjustments to the closest 2°, making for extremely precise alignment control. The built-in light sensor automatically adjusts to help you maintain a constant light intensity depending on the light outside, which is extra convenient if you live in a climate with constantly changing conditions. And with multiple control methods, you can use the app or timers to open and close your smart blinds as long as they're in Bluetooth range. Additionally, when paired with the SwitchBot Hub Mini (sold separately), you can use smart assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri to control your blinds remotely even when you're anywhere outside your house. The app lets you control up to four sets of blinds with one button, making it difficult to go back to using "dumb" blinds after this.

 

 

 

SwitchBot Blind Tilt Motorized Blinds

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2. SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

SwitchBot's system is Alexa-compatible, and allows you to link with their other smart products to build a cozy and convenient home-hub. This bot has the power to push open curtains that weigh up to 17 pounds, and through the app you can set an opening/closing schedule based on time or the amount of daylight. Give it a slight pull, and it will do the rest, or control it with the remote (sold separately) as well. The overall operating system is simple to get the hang of, and even easier to install.

SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor
SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

SwitchBot Curtain Smart Electric Motor

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3. Graywind Motorized Shangrila Shades

Made from a polyester blend, this motorized shade blocks 60 percent of light with easy switching between open, half-open, and completely closed. The ability to adjust the blinds remotely and set them at various angles lets you get the exact right lighting you're going for, and it's completely cordless for extra safety around kids and pets. Plus the remote can last up to six months on one full charge.

Graywind Motorized Shangrila Shades
Graywind Motorized Shangrila Shades

Graywind Motorized Shangrila Shades

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4. Kerxwerd Motorized Blackout Blinds

While there's a bunch of options for standard-sized windows, don't forget about that giant picture window in your house too (or a row of windows side-by-side). These made-to-order blinds can be customized for your house up to 95 inches, with a precise cut to match your exact window. The fabric is nicely soft, along with being waterproof and cleanable, plus provides 100 percent blackout and UV protection along with noise muffling too, and the lithium battery in the remote can last up to eight months on a four-hour charge.

Kerxwerd Motorized Blackout Blinds
Kerxwerd Motorized Blackout Blinds

Kerxwerd Motorized Blackout Blinds

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5. Yoolax Motorized Blind Shade

As one of the highest-rated of the bunch on Amazon, these shades are made of a PVC/vinyl mix to effectively block out 50 percent of light, while also being easy to clean. They're able to connect up to your Alexa with no bridge or smart-hub required, and the singular remote can control up to 15 shades at once, saving your favorite preferred position.

Yoolax Motorized Blind Shade
Yoolax Motorized Blind Shade

Yoolax Motorized Blind Shade

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6. ZSTARR Motorized Smart Blind

The ZSTARR remote here sets the record for most controllable blinds, and though you probably won't need to operate 999 shades simultaneously (through a smart-bridge), this still works well for any sized home, with the ability to operate six blinds independently. These waterproof blinds can be customized to order, and provide insulation and heat retention along with blocking out light. Depending on your setup, you may need a Broadcom IR/RF pro blaster to link this up to your smart-home hub, so be sure to check before ordering.

ZSTARR Motorized Smart Blind
ZSTARR Motorized Smart Blind

ZSTARR Motorized Smart Blind

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