Smart blinds are an awesome investment for pretty much any home, adding comfort, convenience, and security to the smallest single bedroom or largest lakeside abode. Like most major smart home products, there’s an unbelievably large market of smart blinds to choose from, which can make picking your new shades a tough task.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite smart blinds of the year, from simple do-it-yourself innovations to top-of-the-line offerings from some of the leading shade-makers.
Somfy Sonesse Ultra 30 WireFree RTS
The Sonesse Ultra 30 uses Somfy’s trademarked WireFree rechargeable lithium-ion pack, an easy-mount battery located inside of the motor body. The Ultra 30 can last almost a full year on a single charge, and when it’s time to juice them up again, a set of embedded LEDs on the motor will illuminate, indicating low battery. You can control the Sonesse blinds using one of Somfy’s many different handheld remotes, wall plates, or our favorite option, the Somfy MyLink, a powered hub that creates a handshake between your Wi-Fi and Somfy’s patented RTS (Radio Technology Somfy) bands.
Just download the MyLink app to control and automate your blinds with your phone or tablet. The MyLink hub also allows integration with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as various If This Then That channels (IFTTT). IFTTT coding lets you program your blinds to react to voice commands, weather conditions, and your personal routines.
Do note that all controllers and hubs sold separately.
Serena motorized shades are one of the most popular brands for smart blinds. Lutron’s totally customizable coverings come in either honeycomb or roller styles with over 150 fabric, color, and opacity options. The free Lutron app (iOS and Android) lets you create customized mood scenes with your blinds, set schedules for opening and closing, as well as geofencing, where the blinds will automate based on your daily routines. Serena shades are also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and Logitech Harmony. Do note that the Lutron Smart Bridge is required for all Wi-Fi features.
Buying Serena coverings is as easy as ordering Domino’s for dinner. Just go to Serena Shades, hover over Design and Shop, and click Design a Shade. Plug in your measurements, power preferences, and choice of material, and then have your finished blinds sent directly to your home.
The Fyrtur is a perfect addition to the Ikea catalog and a great choice for smart blinds, combining sleek design, easy controls, and affordability. These work as blackout curtains, which makes them ideal for bedrooms, nurseries, or any place that you’d like utmost privacy and minimized sunlight. The Fyrtur lineup is available in 10 different sizes, with widths ranging from 23 to 48 inches. All heights are a standard 76 inches at full extension.
The brains of the blinds are in the tiny Braunit battery-pack that comes with each shade. (Charger and backup battery included.) Controls are executed with the included remote control, Ikea Home app (iOS and Android), and/or voice commands through Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
App and hub control does require
, which is sold separately.
Soma Smart Shades 2
Soma’s latest Smart Shades 2 motor pack is another stellar retrofitting option for your existing blinds. Like the Axis Gear, just make sure your coverings have a beaded chain (plastic or metal).
Once your install is finished, just download the Soma app (iOS and Android) to easily automate your shades. The app lets you create “triggers” for the pack to respond to, including the time of day, sunrise/sunset, and general lighting conditions. The pack is solar-powered and comes with a USB charging cable for quick battery re-juicing.
Intelligent voice commands are available through Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri once you add the Soma Connect to your smart home. Once enabled, you can ask Alexa to do things like open your blinds halfway or create routines where your blinds will always close at 7 p.m. — just in time for your smart lights to turn on.
Got old wand-turning blinds you want to automate? Soma’s got you covered with the
for only around $120. It’s an inexpensive Bluetooth solution that lets you raise and lower your old Venetians with the Soma app (cannot be paired with smart hubs).
Yoolax Blackout Motor Shades
What we love about Yoolax is their entire catalog is entirely custom-fit to match your exact window dimensions. Just plug in your sizes and order online. Install is painless and the low-noise motor keeps the shades operating smoothly. Like most of our picks, the Yoolax motor runs off of an easy-to-recharge battery pack.
You can control the shades with the provided remote or Yoolax app. Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri can join the fun, too — just make sure to purchase the Yoolax hub to unlock the additional voice command features.
My SmartBlinds Automation Kit
If you happen to be handy and don’t mind a little DIY, the MySmartBlinds kit might be your best bet. The kit can only be used to retrofit 2- to 2.5-inch corded horizontal blinds, but adding the low-profile motor and battery is such a cinch that it felt silly not to include My SmartBlinds on our list.
After you install the motor and battery, download the SmartBlinds app to your phone or tablet. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. Use the SmartBlinds app to raise and lower your blinds. You can even set daily and weekly schedules that work with your routines, so you never have to worry about remembering to close your blinds again. But, you can use the manual switch if you ever want to change things up.
Even better, the SmartBlinds app is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can issue voice commands. However, you’ll need to buy and install the Aeotec Nano hub to add this feature and use the voice commands with MySmartBlinds.
The kit comes with a solar monitor and temperature sensor that you can attach to the blinds. It’s an interesting feature because these sensors track sun rays and indoor temperature to raise or lower the blinds automatically. The battery is also solar-powered, so if you’re looking for ways to save on energy costs, the MySmartBlinds is an ideal option for you.