Guide to Motorized – Powered Shades

Motorized Shades are powered by electricity or batteries.  They can be operated through an attached wand for a single shade operation or through a hand-held control or even remotely with an App from your smart phone.  Battery powered is the most common unless the home already has the proper hard wiring for electric.  Battery power can be with traditional disposable batteries or with a rechargeable battery wand – which is the option we recommend as it is more cost efficient over time.   

Almost every type of window treatment can be motorized, but some work better than others for ease of operation.  Most common types of powered shades are Roller, Honeycomb, Roman and Sheer Shadings like the Silhouette or Pirouette Shades from Hunter Douglas.  Even Shutters and Horizontal Wood Blinds can be powered, but only the tilt portion.  Layered Shades (also known as Zebra Shades) are the only type of shadings that aren’t as easy to operate with a remote control.

Powered Shades are great for high up, hard to reach windows, banks of windows, stairwells, and large windows.  They are rated as one of the best lift systems for child safety as there are no external cords.  Powered shades can help improve energy efficiency as they can be programed to open/close while you are away from home to keep the heat out in the summer or let the sun in to warm your home in the winter.

Average battery life can vary quite a bit between manufacturers.  Other factors affecting battery life are how often the shade is used and the size – larger, heavier shades can use more battery power than smaller shades.  Hunter Douglas PowerView has one of the better battery life expectancies of about 1+ years for both the standard battery and the rechargeable wand.  Rechargeable Battery Wands take just a few hours to recharge, or you can order extra wands to have ready to go when needed.

Automated – Smart Shades can be programmed through an App to operate on a precise schedule or even when away from the home.   They can also be operated by voice using a compatible smart home system like Amazon-Alexa or Google- Nest.

So overall, are motorized shades worth the extra cost?  In most all cases – they totally are.  If you are even considering powered – automated shades, it will be totally worth it.  If you can’t easily reach your shade, have a lot of shades to open/close at same time or like the ability to operate your shades remotely, then power shades are for you.  The future is now with power shades from Aloha Blinds & Designs.