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Now Attainable: Smart Window Shades

Until recently, motorized window shades were relegated to high-end homes, but now more affordable options have come on the market. Within the smart blinds category, there are two prominent options: customizable smart blinds and motorized units that can be added to existing blinds. 

Customizable smart blinds are available through popular brands, including Lutron, Pella, IKEA and Somfy. Many options work with Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Wink 2 and Nest smart home systems. These smart blinds can be ordered to match customers’ window sizes and preferred finishes. Some options, like those from Pella, are available for installation between two panes of glass. For a list of the top smart blinds for 2020, check out this article at Spy.com.    

A more affordable option to customized smart blinds is to install a motor to pre-existing blinds. Soma offers a device, called Smart Shades 2, that controls ball chain shades (with scheduling for up to 10 windows) through an iOS and Android smartphone app. Axis Gear, another motor, operates similarly to Soma and can lift any shade weighing up to 10 lbs. Both motors operate on solar power with battery or electric back-up options. Soma also offers Tilt, a tilting device for existing blinds. For more information on automating existing blinds, check out DIY Smart Home Guide.  

DIYers who love tech gadgets can also piece together their own motorized devices for automating shades, using stepper motors, servos and other options. YouTube.com offers several DIY how-to video guides, such as this detailed instructional guide from The Hook Up.  

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