If you’ve attended a Home Show in the past few years, it’s likely that you’ve spent some time marvelling at some of the Smart Home devices that are currently available. Regardless as to whether you bought into one of them then and there, you have to admit that the Smart Home technology not only has enormous potential when it comes to making daily life easier but also when it comes to saving you money each month. Many homeowners looking to get the best of both worlds might think that automated lighting is the way to go — but there’s one Smart Home technology with a greater capacity to achieve these goals: automated window shades.
Control Your Smart Shades with Your Voice
It wasn’t that long ago when the Internet was considered a luxury. Now, just about every home across the country is wired to humanity’s greatest collective achievement, so it stands to reason that a considerable number of homes are more than familiar with the virtues and convenience of a virtual assistant. Whether your assistant of choice is a product of Amazon, Apple, or Google, automated solar window shades can be integrated into the overall Smart Home system; but how will that benefit you, the homeowner? Well, for starters, the accompanying mobile application allows you to create groups or channels that allow you to control an individual window treatment or all those contained within a room using nothing more than a simple voice command.
A little mind-boggling to some, maybe, but it’s just that easy. To think that a basic voice command can increase/decrease the amount of natural light that is permitted to enter a room, promote privacy once the sun goes down, and reduce heating and cooling cost is truly remarkable and well worth the effort of looking into.
How to Connect and Control Your Smart Home Window Coverings
Though the actual process may vary from product to product, the principles generally remain the same. First, you need to purchase an automated window covering solution that is compatible with your Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Homekit device (these days, many products are compatible with a variety of different platforms). It’s important to note that it’s not the blinds themselves that will connect to your virtual assistant, which is a common misconception. You’ll need to purchase a device, or hub, that will act as an intermediary between the automated shades and your virtual assistant. Though it may seem like an unnecessary money grab to those that are inclined to pessimism, it’s important to realize that these hubs are necessary to take full advantage of the numerous benefits these smart devices offer and when used effectively, will pay for themselves over time.
The following is the general process by which you can connect your smart blinds:
- With the hub plugged in, download the appropriate app from the App Store or Google Play.
- Create an account within the app, and connect it to your home’s WiFi network.
- Follow the in-app prompts to create profiles/schedules for different rooms in your home.
Minimize Energy Use, Maximize Energy Efficiency
It might sound too good to be true, considering most products on the market attempt to appeal to consumers with promises of cost savings. When it comes to automated blinds however, the results speak for themselves.
Since they can be controlled remotely or by voice command, blocking out the sun’s rays during the hottest part of the day has never been easier or more convenient. Making the adjustment to manage the amount of sun permitted to permeate your home will help you manage the home’s interior temperature more effectively, which in turn translates to a lower air conditioning bill. Conversely, allowing more sun into your home during the winter months will help to naturally raise your home’s temperature. Ensuring the window shades are drawn when the sun isn’t out will also create a barrier that will help reduce heat loss through your windows. Since controlling a home’s ambient temperature is so critically important in terms of minimizing energy use and maximizing energy efficiency year round, having blinds that you can control at the push of a button or via a voice command will play a key role in achieving energy efficiency in a way that simply isn’t possible otherwise.
Smart Blinds Offer Privacy, Security and are Child Safe
In addition to the primary perks enumerated above, automated motorized shades contain additional benefits that may not be marketed as heavily, but are just as useful. First, automated shades can give the impression that people are home when in fact the house is empty since they can be raised and lowered at any time and from anywhere. The versatility will also help to improve your home’s privacy and means that you’ll be able to comfortably enter any room in your home without worrying about anyone being able to see in. Lastly, motorized shades are markedly safer than traditional window coverings as pull cords aren’t required to manually raise and lower them. These pull cords, while only a nuisance to adults poses a very serious choking hazard for young children and pets, a fact that has prompted manufacturers to develop safer, automated technology.
It goes without saying that Smart Home technology is here to stay – and while it may seem as though embracing it feels like you’re telling the world that you’re not willing or not capable of performing these small tasks on your own, it actually says that you care about saving energy and money, and making your home a safer place to live.