One of the more unusual Home Automation products out there is Hunter Douglas Smart Blinds. In all honesty, blinds probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you think about smart homes. We’ve become so fixated on staple products like locks, thermostats, and cameras, that it’s easy to overlook the fact that smart blinds exist and are easily one of the neatest additions to any modern smart home. Having smart blinds means that you can look after all of the windows of your home at the push of a button or with the swipe of an option in an app. Next year will mark 100 years that Hunter Douglas has been making window shades, so they’ve been a trustworthy name in North American homes for a long time. Blending creativity and innovation, Hunter Douglas was the recipient of a 2018 Red Dot Design award for its work on some of the concepts included with these blinds.
Smart Blinds require a longer time and larger financial investment than most other home automation options, but the rewards are pretty substantial. With the help of a Hunter Douglas representative, you get an option suited and tailored specifically to your home and your family’s needs. Given all the different styles available, I’m sure you’ll find the best stylistic and functional look for your home.
The benefits of owning smart blinds
One of the biggest benefits of owning smart blinds in your home is the sheer ease in which you can operate them. Hunter Douglas blinds can be controlled through your smart device (via the PowerView App), through a manual remote control (the Pebble), and even through voice assistants. Yes, that means that if you’re preparing breakfast and want to fill the kitchen with the light of the morning sun, you can do it with the help of Alexa or your Google Assistant without missing a beat. Likewise, if you’re sitting down to dinner and the sun is in your eyes, you can draw the shades without leaving the dinner table.
This goes for all of the blinds in your home. You can take control of everything at once using the Hunter Douglas PowerView App. The PowerView App allows you to create a series of “scenes” which are pre-determined scenarios set at your choosing that make your blinds work for you as you like it, and when you want it. Within these scenes, you create preset settings. For example, if you want your system to raise your shades 2 hours before sunrise so that you wake up with the sun, you can do that every morning—PowerView acts on it. If you want all of the shades drawn by 8 PM every night, you can set PowerView to do that too.
While the up front cost of your new blinds will be more than manual blinds, you’ll start to see savings too. First, you’ll definitely see time savings through a smart setup. You won’t have to run around the house drawing all of the blinds on a hot day, or raising them to let the sun in. The second is that you may see savings on your heating bills during the winter months. Poor or non-existent window treatments can cost you a lot of money in the heating season as drafts escape through the path of least resistance. Caulking around the windows properly definitely helps, but a solid set of window dressings like what Hunter Douglas offers will help even more. With older windows or window dressing systems, you can definitely feel heat escaping or drafts coming in on those cold winter days, and a new set of smart blinds is a good way to combat that occurrence.
The look of smart blinds
I have to admit that in the course of my smart home reviewing life, some of the devices I’ve reviewed leave something to be desired aesthetically. While definitely being the way of the future, some smart home things have definitely rolled out of the factory looking like they came out of a sci-fi novel. The nice thing about these smart blinds is that Hunter Douglas tries to hide driver motors from view as much as possible so that these end up looking no different than any other blinds or shades.
As you can see, Hunter Douglas Smart Blinds look like any other fairly high-end window dressing system, and with the help of their team, you can find the right look, fit, and colour scheme for your home. I’ve always been a huge fan of wooden shutters myself, and that is just one of many options you can pick up. If there’s a type of window blind out there, chances are that it comes in “smart” form too.
Connecting your smart blinds with the smart world
Thankfully, Hunter Douglas Smart Blinds aren’t just a single, unconnected smart system. These blinds are compatible with numerous home automation partners, including Works with Nest, IFTTT, and Logitech Harmony remotes. As I mentioned previously, they are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Echo as well. With Nest, you can connect your thermostat to your blinds so that if your home hits a certain temperature, it activates one of your PowerView scenes automatically. This means that you can come home in the middle of a hot Summer’s day, for example, to find all of your shades drawn and keeping the sun out as much as possible.
IFTTT recipes add an interesting dimension to the whole thing too. You can create recipes for Alexa, for Google Home, and even to cross over to work with other IFTTT enabled devices. For example, one recipe on the website right now works in conjunction with a smart home device that measures the UV Rating in your home and then activates PowerView scenes based on that.
We currently have these cellular honeycomb blinds in most of our home, and I know that we’ll have to modernize in couple years. I’ve really been giving the idea of smart blinds a serious look, and even more-so since it would make sense for us to do it all at once when we look at replacing our windows. Consider what Hunter Douglas blinds and the PowerView App can do for your home too. Follow the link to see more about what the smart blinds in your future might look like (and to get a phone number to schedule an appointment).