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If You Didn’t Think You Needed Smart Blinds, IKEA’s Here to Change Your Mind

Technology isn't the only smart thing about these smart blinds. Find out why you need them in your life.

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Modern bright kitchen interior with white horizontal window blinds, wooden cabinets with white countertop and household

Why Smart Blinds?

Ever try to open your shades and wonder if you’re pulling the right string? Or worse, try to lower your blinds and realize you aren’t quite tall enough to get the cord at the proper angle? If you find your window treatments just aren’t treating you the right way, it might be time to invest in smart blinds. Whether you want to DIY or have them professionally installed, there are lots of different smart window blinds out there to fit both your budget and lifestyle.

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Woman using smart home application on phone to control window blinds indoors, closeup. Space for textNew Africa/Shutterstock

What are smart blinds?

The difference between conventional and smart blinds is that smart blinds are motorized and can be controlled through a remote or smartphone app. Beyond the basics, there are plenty of systems with bells, whistles, and tech galore. This includes voice controls, censors and even integration with virtual assistants and hubs like Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, Neo, and Amazon Alexa.

These 100 home tech products will make your house smarter.

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Pretty black girl with curly hair lying in bed in the morning on weekend. Tired young African American woman with afro hair yawning and stretching arms.Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

What can smart blinds do?

Smart blinds don’t just shade your windows, they can also add value to your home especially if you plan on selling sometime soon. If this is the case, just be sure to choose a neutral color and style.

Smart blinds can also save you money by automatically raising and lowering at specific times of the day. For example, keeping the blinds down during hot summer months will block the sun, allowing your home to maintain a lower temperate, which can save you cash on cooling costs. Trying to increase the value of your home before a sale?  These home improvement projects are terrible at increasing your home’s value.

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Luxury bathroom with black marble floor and white marble wall 3d render,The room has a clear glass shower partition,There are large windows natural light shining into the room.onzon/Shutterstock

Why should you buy smart blinds?

While smart blinds can have different capabilities, most can be incredibly useful for various lifestyles. For example, because smart blinds are operated remotely, they can be life-changing for those with physical challenges, injuries, or the elderly.

Smart blinds can also be useful for people who find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning or have a bad habit of hitting the snooze alarm a few too many times. Set the windows treatments to open half an hour before the alarm is set to go off, so natural light floods into the room, promoting wakefulness.

Smart blinds can also make your home safer, especially if you travel a lot. You can set a smart light and window covers on a schedule, so it appears as if someone is always home. In fact, smart technology can be a great way to foil criminals.

Smart home products don’t have to be expensive, either. Check the best smart home gadgets for less than $50.

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Vibrant cottage - living room and a dining

Are smart blinds worth it?

Smart blinds can be worth the cost, depending on what your needs are. While they are pricier than regular window treatments, if these features are truly going to benefit you, then smart blinds are worth the extra money.

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blinds in sitting roomyampi/Shutterstock

How to get started?

The first step is to evaluate what your needs are. Do you need smart blinds in every single room of your home, or can you can save money by choosing conventional window treatments for your kitchen or guest room, for example.

Then, do your best to accurately measure the window where they will be installed. Professional installers (should you choose to have your blinds professionally installed) will measure again, but having the correct measurement will make an estimate as accurate as possible.

Check out the best smart home security systems as well and make sure they’re compatible with everything.

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ikea magazineMona T/Shutterstock

IKEA smart blinds

After an August launch in Sweden, IKEA’s smart blinds are set to be released in the United States on October 1st. Controllable via Ikea’s Trådfri smart home app, they will be compatible with Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa. While there are two different smart shade models available in Sweden, the United States will only be getting the Fyrtur blackout shades (at least for now).

These blinds are incredibly affordable, ranging from $129 to $179. With a battery that is rechargeable through MicroUSB, they’re also convenient.

However, IKEA is only launching this product in one style, which is a textured gray woven shade with small flecks of white. While minimalist and modern, this look isn’t exactly going to blend into every single home’s decor scheme. But the price is right.

Check out the other cool home tech products you can get at IKEA.

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Retrofit traditional blinds into smart blinds

If you are on a budget, but really want smart blinds, it’s possible to convert conventional blinds into smart blinds yourself, using the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit Bundle + Solar Panel. Easy to install, with no tools required, it integrates vertical blinds with Alexa and Google. The battery charges through a solar panel, making this system incredibly efficient. These solar-powered smart home devices will help you slash you utility bills.

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home depot blindsvia

Home Depot smart blinds

The Home Depot offers many smart blinds systems including custom options. One that stands out is their Solar Roller shades. If you’re worried about sunlight fading your furniture, textiles or art, these shades are a must-have. They’re also useful if people in your home are sensitive to sunlight.

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serena blindsvia

Lutron smart blinds

Serena by Lutron is an affordable line of smart blinds. Both roller shades and honeycomb styles are available with a few different light filtering options. Lutron offers more than 150 different fabric choices. So, there is probably a style that will compliment your home. The motor is battery powered and compatible with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Apple Watch, Sonos, Alexa, Samsung, as well as the brand’s native app.

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hunter douglas powerview shadesvia

Hunter Douglas smart blinds

Hunter Douglas Powerview home automation system has all the bells and whistles anyone could want in a smart blind system. There are lots of interesting design choices including blinds that move vertically and horizontally and even smart blinds for skylights.

Powerview works with Alexa, Homekit, and Google as well as higher-end smart home systems such as Elan and Crestron. But you can also control the blinds with a remote, the Hunter Douglas app or a physical sensor on the window treatments themselves. Hunter Douglas is a great choice for anyone who takes smart technology seriously.

These are the smart devices you’ll love having in your home.

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the shade store motorized shadesvia

The Shade Store smart blinds

If design is your top propriety, then The Shade Store will be a dream. They measure your home for free as well as facilitate professional installation. While their motorized shades don’t have a ton of tech, their Wi-Fi bridge hub and app work with all smartphones and tablets. In other words, it gets the job done.

There so many different styles of smart blinds, shades, and curtains available. The Shade Store even has a designer collection, collaborating a list of favorites including Nate Berkus, Jonathan Adler, Kate Spade, Aerin, Lilly Pulitzer, and more. In terms of style, these are the best smart blinds.

Learn everything you need to know about smart home lighting products.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Amanda Lauren
A self-proclaimed "Jackie of All Trades. Marilyn of None," Amanda Lauren does everything including writing about anything lifestyle related for a number of websites as well as her blog, It's Amanda Lauren. Anything but lazy, she also has a podcast called Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About. When she isn't in front of her MacBook, she can be found on stage doing standup and sketch comedy or hosting red carpet events. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs, Lulu and Milo.