Motorized Blinds (Automated Blinds)
Automated Blinds / Motorized Blinds are a beautiful, sophisticated, easy solution to modernize your home. Almost any blind that we sell can be motorised or automated. This includes Venetian Blinds, Roller Blinds, Roman Blinds, Panel Blinds and Curtains.
How They Work
You might be asking how they work. It’s simple. A motor is installed into or next to the head rail / tube / rail. It is powered by battery (rechargeable or replaceable) or alternatively by a/c – plug-point.
Depending on the manufacturer, the batteries either have to be removed to be charged, or through a cable coming out of the blinds. This works similarly to how a cell-phone charges. The amount of time you get out of once charge has to do with a number of factors:
- How large/heavy is your blind?
- How often will you be raising and lowering the blind?
- What type of batteries or charging options are on your particular blind?
Generally speaking, a rechargeable motorized blind will last anywhere from around 3 months to 9 months on one charge.
Outlet / a/c
A/c powered blinds need a plug point positioned near the top of the blind. The wire will come out of the top of the headrail of the blind and will need to be plugged in. Some customers chase the wire into the wall, others glue down the wire along the wall to the nearest plug point, while others install a plug point in close proximity to the headrail itself. There are pros and cons to the different options. It is worthwhile to note that in order to reset plug point motorized blinds, each blind needs to be unplugged so that each one can be isolated to be re-programed. I once had a customer who wired his blinds directly into the board, into the wall. When the settings got lost, he had to call the electrician back to break open the wall and isolate each blind for him. Lesson learned!
A downside of plug-point motorization is that when the power is out, the blind will not be usable. A motorized blind does not come with the ability to control it without a motor! I had a customer once who installed a motorized blind over the sliding door / entrance to his home. He was frustrated when he realized that he was stranded inside or outside of his h0me during a power outage!
But The Cost
But the cost of motorized blinds, for a lot of my customers, is cost prohibitive. Depending on the motor and power source, the price can be R2,000-R7,000 PER blind/motor for this option. In some instances it really is the only choice. For instance, a blind that is 3-5 meters high cannot be reached in order to operate. A motorized blind is the only way to effectively install and utilize a blind in this case.
Motorized blinds are sold with remotes. I always include the cost of the remote into my quotes. Depending on your needs and how many blinds / motors are installed, will tell us how many remotes you need. Here are a couple of examples:
- In a lounge with 5 windows, each with their own motor, we will need a minimum of a 5-channel remote. This way, each blind can be moved on its own. Should a customer want more settings, such as windows 1-2 to go up and down together, and 3-5 all together, we’d need more channels!
- If a customer has two blinds that are “coupled” onto one motor, then one 1-channel remote is sufficient.
- Some customers may want two remotes to be installed in a holder on the wall at opposite ends of a large space outfitted with motorized blinds. We would then need two remotes of however many channels necessary
Remotes come pre-set from the factory. On site, our expert team of installers will be able to make adjustments as necessary.
Off The Grid
Are you Eco-conscious? Maybe you just want to break free from Eskom? In that case, there is the possibility to install a solar sticker onto the window behind the blind. This sticker is constantly trickle-charging your motor. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about power outages, nor the need to charge your automated blinds!
Somfy VS. Generic
Customers ask me all the time the difference between Somfy motors and the generic ones that we sell. I tell them that it’s the difference between a Toyota and a Mercedes. The Somfy blind is the Mercedes. It allows the customer the chance to install their blind and use it as part of their greater home automation system. The generics are Toyota. They work great, but have more limited functionality. Most customers prefer the generic brands. They cost around half the price and are just as efficient as Somfy. Either way, we let the customer chose the best motor and price point for their automated blinds needs.
The Decor Connection Blinds is here to help you make an informed decision about your motorised blinds requirements.