Many smart home products have gone mainstream, like locks, thermostats and digital smart home assistants. There are other products, however, that have yet to gain steam for many consumers. One of those products is smart shades. If you’re looking for a way to have better control of your space’s windows, smart shades are a great product to research. Here are a few basic things you should know before outfitting your home with smart shades.
They Aren’t Cheap
I just want to get this part out of the way first. Smart shades can cost you over $450 per unit. If you’re looking for cheap window treatments, smart shades are not for you. But if you’re willing to invest in the technology either as a convenience for your own family or to increase the market value to sell, smart shades are a great upgrade. Some brands of smart shades will also need an accompanying bridge that connects to your smart hub. That is why you have to do your research – to make sure you get the right brand for your needs and set up.
If your house has a lot of windows, $450 a window is a lot of investment. You might want to consider outfitting just a few main window units instead, like the living room and the master bedroom. The benefits, besides convenience, include energy savings and accessibility.
Installation of your smart shades will vary depending on the exact product you purchase, but there are several available that do not require any special installation. You just need a power drill and some screws to attach the unit to your windows. Many will also run on a battery, which shouldn’t need to be replaced often; only about every two to four years. Make sure you research the unit you want to get to see how long the batteries last, and if you need to uninstall the entire unit to change the battery. Of course, smart shades use a motor, so you’ll want to make sure the noise isn’t an issue for you.
Once your smart shades are installed, you’ll have to set them up with your home network so that they can operate. You’ll use an accompanying app on your smartphone or tablet, and you’ll need to know your WiFi network name and password. Installation and setup for each unit should take no longer than one hour, even if you’re new to smart home technology.
Serena Shades are pretty easy to set up. With a power drill and a couple screwdrivers, I was able to set it up within 30 minutes. Add in the 15-minute setup of the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge, the 10 minutes for the app and the five minutes for the remote, and the whole thing can be up and running in about an hour.
Depending on which unit you get and how your smart home is set up, you may have to connect to your home hub or to a bridge that
Features and Capabilities
Once setup, you can control your shades remotely using your phone and the app. You can also use voice control when available, if you have a digital home assistant. You can connect your shades with other smart home products so that, as an example, your lights can turn off automatically when your shades are opened. You can even set timed tasks, such as opening and closing shades based on the time of sunrise and sunset.