Motorized shades offer just the right amount of light. At this desk, a laptop and potted plants benefit from soft sunlight.

Motorized Shades: A Quick Guide

Date Posted:

March 3, 2023

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Have you ever entered a room and thought, “Yikes! The lighting in here is awful”? 

Consciously or subconsciously, we react instantly to a space’s lighting. Light can make us feel a range of emotions and moods, from comfort to nausea. It’s hardwired into our brains.

Besides mental and emotional effects, lighting influences our physical comfort. Painfully bright shafts of sunlight can ruin an otherwise-pleasant workday, for example. And of course, light levels affect a room’s temperature — and thus the money we spend on utilities. 

Maybe we don’t think about it much. We just grapple with blinds, shades and curtains. We cram lamps into awkward places and wrestle with wires and power strips.

But fortunately, like most elements of daily life, smart tech has worked its way into lighting and how we control it. And you have an ideal lighting solution within reach — motorized shades.

With motorized shades, you enhance ambience, reduce electric bills and add impeccable style to your home, business or office space. They sound fantastic, right? Frankly, they are. 

So, what are motorized shades, and how do they work? We’ll give you a primer — later, you may wonder how you lived without them.

[Related: A Guide to Room-by-Room Automation for Your Home]

What Are Motorized Shades, and How Do They Work?

Overall, motorized shades are pretty much what they sound like. 

You may see them as “motorized blinds,” “motorized curtains,” “electric blinds,” “smart blinds” and other similar terms. 

They’re window coverings — blinds, drapes or otherwise — with whisper-quiet motors that dictate how much light enters a room. These motors usually look like sleek, slim rollers, a bit like high-tech curtain rods. The motors retract, release or tilt the window coverings to your liking. 

Via smart tech integration like networking, the motorized shades connect to a handheld remote, mounted touchscreen panel, switch or other connected device. Then, you adjust the coverings with that wireless device. Some shade systems even connect to smart speakers, so you can change the coverings with voice commands.

With a flick of a switch or a few taps, you have total mastery over the light entering the space. The key is ease — you don’t physically handle the shades, no matter how big the room or building is.

What Powers Motorized Shades?

Most motorized shades are battery powered (typically with lithium batteries), so ugly wires and cords are out of the equation. The best motorized shades pair with lighting control systems for complete visual and physical comfort.

Other motorized shade systems have built-in LED lights, including a rainbow of colors in a range of brightness levels. Furthermore, some systems are programmable, so you can preset lighting levels for certain times of day.

And you have hundreds of potential setups and options. Whatever aesthetic you want your space to reflect, you have designs that match it.

[Related: Design Considerations for Incorporating AV Into Your Home]

What Benefits Do Motorized Shades Offer Homeowners and Residents?

We noted some top benefits earlier, but let’s explore them a little further.

With smart settings and touch-free control, you can adjust ambience and visibility at a moment’s notice. 

You also have the clear benefit of never dealing with dusty curtains or window blinds by hand. But that perk goes further than you may realize. 

Beyond being unsightly and frustrating, those window curtains, cords and wires can be hazardous.

Older adults or people with disabilities may have difficulty reaching them. This increases the risk of falls, especially if they use stools or ladders for help. And young children may get tangled in wires, cords and pulls that lie on the floor or dangle from blinds. 

With motorized shades, you don’t have to think about hiding or placing those cords within or out of reach. People with illnesses, older adults and those aging in place can alter light levels and settings while seated or reclined. And you can always place wireless devices where kids can’t get their hands on them!

To make matters better, you can use motorized shades alongside lighting control and smart security and surveillance systems. Maybe you’d like your shades to close automatically when you leave the house and your smart outdoor floodlights to activate at dusk.

But on a lighter note (like we mentioned earlier), motorized shades can accommodate the look you want for your home. Just know you’re not stuck with stark, austere windows — unless that’s your futuristic style! 

Note: Maybe installing motorized shades isn’t your thing when you’re in the redecoration headspace. Speak with an audiovisual (AV) expert! AV consultants give recommendations, while AV installation companies do the hands-on, tech-heavy stuff.

[Related: 5 Considerations for Installing an Effective Home Surveillance System]

How Do Motorized Shades Help Business Owners, Customers and Employees?

Motorized shades offer practically countless benefits for businesses and office spaces. We’re sure you can imagine some of their potential.

Restaurants might let in bright light for brunch or opt for dim light during dinnertime. If an occasion warrants something different, restaurateurs have hundreds of degrees in between. They can tweak a space’s overall mood, from energetic to soothing to romantic.

Guests at hospitality establishments have thorough control of their room’s lighting and instant privacy with a quick command. Meanwhile, business owners can monitor a building’s lighting levels and the ambience in public spaces, like lobbies and ballrooms.

What about offices? Is a big Zoom conference coming up? Presenters can set preferences and shift motorized shades smoothly when the time’s right — and attendees view slides without squinting.

Plus, if the outside temperature suddenly soars or plummets, you can adjust all your shades remotely. When you get home from work, you don’t return to a sunbaked kitchen. Additionally, you can make sure your business keeps its utility costs low by pairing motorized shades with lighting control

Comfort, security and cost savings with one convenient and attractive smart system? Absolutely. 

For such a straightforward concept, motorized shades carry a ton of heft.

[Related: Multifamily Smart Home Solutions Your Residents WIll Love]

Enjoy Motorized Shades, Lighting Control and More With AV Smart Solutions

You can install motorized shades yourself, but we recommend working with an AV installation company like AV Smart Solutions

Our technicians will recommend the perfect setup and custom-fit your motorized shades for your home, office, restaurant or hospitality space. And we do all the work for you — while you get full control and stunning results.

We can install dimmers, timers, in-wall sensors, motorized shades, whole-building systems and other smart lighting tech. Personally, we love Lutron for its staggering variety of options and noiseless operation. With Lutron and smart lighting control systems, we’ve got your bases thoroughly covered.

Reach out, and we’ll chat about exactly what you want for your home or establishment. We’re here to work with your specific preferences as a team.

Give us a call at (425) 655-5052, or fill out our inquiry form. One of our AV specialists will be right back in touch!

Featured image via PxHere

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