The Power of Automation: 7 FAQ for Smart Blinds

FAQ about smart blinds and automated window coverings

The modern world has embraced home automation. Are you on board? Many clients have questions about smart blinds: How they work, which ones to choose, the options to select and what costs are involved. With various options and features, you should have all the pertinent information so you can make a great decision. Let’s explore…

Which Types of Window Coverings Are Available with Automation?

The quick answer? All of them! Window shades, drapery, blinds and shutters are all capable of being motorized. Yes–we even offer smart shutters. They have to be initially ordered as powered blinds–there is no way to convert previously ordered manual window coverings to motorized.

two ways to control remote control blinds

Smart, Motorized, Remote Control…What’s the Difference?

Smart blinds have many different names that people often use interchangeably. Let’s start with what they have in common: They are all equipped with a motor, and none of them can be adjusted manually. The differences are shown through their features, control and capabilities.

Wand Control: The simplest form of motorized shades is found with the SoftTouch operating system. The motorization is designed for one individual window, controlled by a wand that is placed alongside the window. Effective control when you want to automatically adjust your window shade, created with child safety in mind, as the wand will disengage if pulled too hard.

Remote Control: Probably the most commonly used term to describe automated shades, true remote control shades are designed to be opened, closed and adjusted by using a hand-held or wall mounted remote. These are great for push-button adjustments. With Hunter Douglas, you can start to experience some home automation features–even with the remote. You can save favorite positions and adjust all the shades at the same, or just one individual window when needed.

smart blinds in the kitchen with iPad screen showing the control

App Control: This is where smart blinds begin to shape the atmosphere of your home. Not only can you access instant adjustments, but they can be scheduled. Favorites can be saved and changed, scenes can be set, times of day and days of the week can be customized. The PowerView app is available to use on your smartphone, iPad or tablet.

Smart Home Integration: This includes everything you can do with app control–and even more. Smart home integration allows you to tie in the use of your smart blinds to help maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. Signals are shared between smart home devices for the ultimate control. One of the best reasons for choosing Hunter Douglas PowerView Automation is because they have worked hard to ensure compatibility to the most common smart home systems on the market, so that you can feel comfortable using the smart control you prefer without having to learn a new technology–or buy smart shades *hoping* they will work.

What’s It Like to Use the App for Smart Blinds?

Hunter Douglas continuously updates the app for the best experience. It’s known for its user-friendly features and setup. Just take a look…


How Do They Get Power?

There are two choices when it comes to powering your automated shades: Hardwired or Battery Power. Hardwiring shades is easiest done in the midst of a construction or remodeling project, where low voltage wiring is added in place for your shades. Otherwise, most homeowners select battery power. The battery pack rests inside the headrail, hidden from sight. Batteries may need to be changed every 1-2 years based on daily usage. With sustainability in mind, Hunter Douglas created a rechargeable battery wand that can be used instead of disposable batteries. This is installed inside the headrail, as well.

battery charger for rechargeable battery wand for smart blinds
PowerView® Rechargeable Battery Wand

Are Motorized Shades Noisy?

The sound is best described as a low hum, commonly referred to as whisper quiet. This sound can only be heard during the adjustments.

Are They Made to Last?

While we can’t speak for other brands, our Hunter Douglas automated shades are designed with long-lasting durability in mind. Believe it or not, but smart blinds might even last longer than manual ones since there is no handling of the window covering that can sometimes lead to wear and tear.

man controlling smart shades with tablet

How Much Do Smart Blinds Cost?

This is one of the most frequent questions about remote control, motorized and automated shades. And, it should be. Home investments can be expensive, and they need to be budgeted for. Do you realize that quality window treatments can increase the value of your home? It’s even more if they are motorized. When we chat with clients about the costs, there are several factors that go into the overall project cost:

  • The number of shades you need to purchase
  • Which category of window coverings you choose
  • Special features added, such as dual shades
  • The type of control you select (individual wand, remote control, app control or smart home)
living room with wall to wall windows with black trim and motorized shades
Duette® Honeycomb Shades with PowerView® Automation

You Should Know These Additional “Savings”

While we’re on the topic of cost, we also like to mention the hidden “savings” that you can expect to experience with automated shades. These benefits are commonly brought up when talking with past clients that have already embraced smart shades–and they don’t know how they lived without them.

  • Time saved when adjusting multiple windows
  • Advantage of using natural light instead of overhead lights
  • Simple temperature control for adjustments
  • Hard-to-reach windows have easy adjustments
  • Increased security when on vacation or at night

One More Consideration…

We know there are many options for choosing smart blinds. The advice we have is to go with a company you can trust with a brand that will last. This is an investment in your home, and you should feel confident in your selection. And, considering this involves technology, it’s a good idea to choose an option with supportive resources for future challenges. Our installation team guides you through the set-up on installation day. We are also here to support you as time goes by and you have questions. Get started with a FREE consultation.