Here’s our list of the pros and cons of motorized blinds including how they work, cost, how long they last, types of power sources, and if motorized window blinds are worth it.
When it comes to modernizing your home, motorized blinds are the ultimate window treatment design that offers many advantages beyond convenience.
There is no need to fidget with manual adjustment to control your blinds to your needs. Having motorized blinds allows you to control the amount of light and ventilation coming into your home with just a button.
How Do Motorized Blinds Work?
Motorized blinds can raise or lower your window treatment simply with a push of a button instead of manually using a pull cord tassel to lift or pull down your blinds. This mechanism is possible through a tube installed on top of your blinds connected to a power source (e.g., batteries) which is then connected to motor power.
There are several types of motorized blinds with different power sources and mechanisms. The most known type is the battery wand with a battery tube placed behind the shade, along the wall, or built-in.
Typically, a 12V battery tube is used that comes with AA lithium batteries. Another option for your motorized blinds. If you’re looking for a power source for your motorized blinds that do not need changing of batteries and with a continuous power source, is the hard-wired or the plug-in type.
The plug-in power will need an outlet for your power source, which is an advantage if you already have your windows close to an outlet. You will need an electrician if you want to install an outlet dedicated to your motorized blinds.
The plug-in type of motorized blinds is best for larger types of windows that may drain batteries with frequent use. If you want to cut costs on your electric consumption, a solar energy source is available.
The solar power alternative usually comes as a solar pack or kit, which includes a rechargeable battery that is connected to a solar panel. The panel shade or panel collects the energy from the sun throughout the day, making it an energy-efficient source that is suitable for homes with a lot of windows.
Motorized Blinds Pros
1. Provides Convenience: Motorized windows are a worthy investment for homes with many or hard-to-reach windows as they cut the time and effort in opening and closing your windows.
In addition, new models won’t require you to be in the same room to open or close your blinds. You can be in an adjacent room or in another town to automate the control of your window blinds.
2. Provides Efficiency & Automation to Ensure Maximum Comfort: While motorized blinds offer convenience, they utilize the natural light and ventilation your windows provide for your interiors.
There are motorized types of window blinds that you can automate or program to open or close according to your preference, even when not at home. You can also choose smart blinds with optional solar sensors, which can determine how much daylight is needed in a room.
These sensors will close the blinds to a certain extent when it determines the amount of sunlight is too harsh that it might damage furniture or it has reached a limit for a comfortable interior temperature. In this way, it lowers the need for your HVAC systems to work hard to bring the temperature to a comfortable level.
3. Provides Safety: An automated window treatment eliminates the need for dangling wires or spools that may get tangled from playful pets. Young children are also tempted to play with the pull cord tassel from manual blinds that can get tangled or pulled down, causing damage to your window blinds or, worse, causing accidents.
4. An Additional Security Measure: Motorized blinds can be programmed to open and close automatically at a specific time and day, even without you being at home. This gives the impression that people are at home, which will discourage intruders from trying to pry open your home.
5. Reduce Wear and Tear: An erratic or wrong way of pulling off your blinds can damage the slats or strings of your window blinds. With motorized blinds, you have full control with accurate and safe operation, prolonging your blinds’ service life.
6. Provides a Neat and Seamless Interior: The cordless built motorized blinds not only prevent accidents caused by playful young ones and pets but eliminates the eyesore from dangling wires, creating a neat and seamless interior.
7. Quiet Operations: Aside from the convenience of operating your window blinds, quality models of motorized blinds operate silently. Moreover, the motor systems are concealed while working silently.
8. Wide Range of Options: There are a lot of different designs for your motorized blinds that will suit your preference. From solar-powered down to the simple battery-operated, surely there’s a model available locally or internationally with motorized blinds.
In addition, the motorized mechanism is not only available for blinds, but there are also motorized models for drapes, cellular, shades, and other types of window treatments.
Motorized Blinds Cons
1. Relies on Electricity to Function: Like your desktop computer or mobile phone, these gadgets won’t function without power which is most likely to deter homeowners from opting for motorized blinds.
Although, there are available motorized blinds that have backup batteries or solar energy converters in case a power outage occurs. But still becomes an inconvenience for areas that have frequent power outages, and with technology, we know that the possibility of glitches can still occur.
2. Costs More than Your Ordinary Blinds: The upfront cost of motorized blinds can be expensive, especially for high-end designs with smart-tech integrations.
For instance, solar-powered and hybrid models (combination of plug-in and solar) will cost even more, especially when they can have preset settings and is controllable through smartphones.
Another added cost is when you want to have a dedicated or concealed wiring for motorized blinds with a plug-in power source, as you need a professional electrician for its installation.
While this option costs more upfront, you’ll save a lot by going for a non-powered alternative to blinds with motors. This will help cut your energy bills, not to mention the convenience and time-saving advantages it provides.
3. Technological Difficulties May Arise: Since motorized blinds are relatively new, people who are not comfortable with smart devices may find the operation arduous. Moreover, technical difficulties may arise just like any tech device where malfunction and glitches may occur, especially for low-quality models.
Damaged or malfunctioning motorized blinds will need professional repairs, although most motorized blind suppliers provide warranties. You’ll also find plug-and-play options for motorized blinds that don’t need any complex configurations to operate.
Motorized Blinds Cost
As of October 2022, motorized blinds cost between $350 to $700 per window. If you plan to make it a DIY project, you’ll save around $35 to $75 per window as there are motorized blind kits that offer easy-to-follow instructions for homeowners.
To provide a ballpark figure, a 36 x 48-inch standard window will cost you around $275 to $500. The more windows you have, the more savings you get for a DIY installation.
• Basic Motor: $250 to $300
• High-end Tech Motor: $300 to $1000
• Blinds: $25 to $200
Installation Cost: Using our 36 x 48-inch (12 square feet) size window as a basis, you’ll spend around $500. Add 3% per additional square foot to your cost. So, for instance, a 16 square feet window will cost you $560 for your installation cost.
• Step 1: 16 square feet – 12 square feet = 4 square feet x .03
• Step 2: 4 square feet x .03 (3/100) = 60
• Step 3: $500 (base fee) + $60 = $560.00
Factors to Consider: Aside from the window size, material choice, motor, and modifications, geographical location can also influence your motorized blind cost.
How Long Do Motorized Blinds Last?
For plug-in types, expect to enjoy your motorized blinds for a lifetime, given that they are made with quality materials and are properly installed, meanwhile, for battery-powered blinds.
Motorized blinds connected to your home’s main system and operated with a smartphone could last forever if they don’t have any mechanical damage. On the other hand, battery-powered blinds will need battery replacements every five years.
How Are Motorized Blinds Powered?
There are three main power sources of motorized blinds: plug-in or powered by your main electric provider; battery-powered or your DC; and solar power.
Plug-in motorized blinds: Your blinds are powered using your home’s electric power source, which means you’ll have a continuous operation as long as there is electricity.
For homes with large or lots of windows, it is recommended to use plug-in motorized blinds instead, as it saves you the trouble of replacing or charging your batteries since they are easily drained due to the greater amount of electricity needed.
Battery-powered: Motorized blinds can be powered with batteries. Alkaline and lithium batteries are commonly used, with the latter being more long-lasting and can be recharged thousand times over. The advantage of lithium batteries, though, is that they can explode under extreme heat and cost more than your alkaline batteries.
Solar-powered: Solar-powered motorized window blinds are a great option if you want to save on energy costs. As the sun is your main source of power, you’ll need a fair amount of sunlight that your solar panels can absorb throughout the day, which means solar-powered motorized blinds will not work in places that receive minimal sunlight.
Can Motorized Blinds Be Used Manually?
Yes, there are designs and models of motorized blinds that offer manual control in case of a power outage or if batteries have run out of stored energy. Unfortunately, models that don’t have this feature will have their window blinds stuck open or close until the power comes back.
Are Motorized Blinds Worth It?
Overall, even with all the pros and cons of motorized blinds, they’re still a worthy investment for homeowners who seek convenience, safety, and aesthetic appeal and can afford the upfront cost of installing smart blinds.
Quality-made electric blinds can also last a lifetime and provides presets that automatically adjust your blinds for efficiency in your lighting and ventilation, ensuring a comfortable interior. Motorized blinds can be an ultimate energy-saving system for homes with many windows that have large or hard-to-reach windows.
See more related content in our article about shutters vs blinds on this page.