Automated blinds have been around for a while but with the proliferation of smart home devices they have become increasingly popular. While it is still possible to motorise your blinds and control them with a hand held remote, apps connected to smart phones have allowed for far more customisation and functionality.
HOW IT WORKS
Let’s set the scene.
It is 06:00 am and the alarm on your phone goes off. Your blinds open automatically allowing the morning sun to filter in throughout the house. You walk into your kitchen, pick up the flat white prepared for you by the coffee maker and stand in front of the fridge reading its breakfast suggestions based on the ingredients inside.
While you are at work, your blinds adjust during the heat of the day to reflect the harsh heat generated by the midday sun, regulating the internal temperature and reducing the demands placed on your air conditioning.
You arrive home in the late afternoon and again your blinds adjust to let in the last remaining embers of sunlight as the sunsets over the Atlantic. Finally, you head off to bed and the blinds close, drowning out the city lights, as you prepare for another day.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The appeal of automation is easy to understand. It’s convenient, it’s smart, and it frees you up from mundane tasks that steal precious seconds in your day.
One of the main benefits of automated blinds is its ability to work hand in hand with your air conditioning or central heating to maintain and control internal temperatures.
In summer, direct sunlight coming in through large windows can spike internal temperatures, destroying your indoor plants as well as your comfort. Sensors tracking the temperature and light, trigger the blinds to adjust to reflect some of the incoming heat thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.
The overall effect is lower energy consumption and a greener and more environmentally friendly footprint.
WHAT’S THE DOWNSIDE?
Well, as with all relatively new technologies, automating your blinds isn’t cheap. Brands like Somfy have been around for a long time and provide high-quality motors and sensors but you would definitely consider their products to be on the premium side with prices ranging anywhere from R900 – R5000 depending on the size of your blinds and functionality of the system.
There are also a couple of new kids on the block. Companies like MySmartBlinds, FlipFlic, and Blunt all got their start on Kickstarter and have all taken different approaches to automation. Prices vary and so does functionality but it is nice to see a couple of new options in the market.
SO, ARE AUTOMATED BLINDS WORTH IT?
We definitely think so. Automated blinds are definitely the way of the future and although the setup costs are high, the energy saving over the long term would go a long way to combat the initial investment.