Smart shades recommendation needed

I couldn’t find any recent topic about motorized shades that would cover all of my requirements so I thought I will ask myself.

I am looking for motorized shades solution for windows and patio doors that:

  • Is NOT using batteries. I have wiring done for all my windows,
  • I can control it from SmartThings or any other smart hub solution. As long as there is an app for it,
  • I don’t want to use any remote control. Either mobile app/alexa OR manually (this is important part),
  • After I close the shade manually, I want the app to be aware that the last position was updated. If it’s at 50%, I want the app to detect it too.

Ideally I would buy ready solution but I am fine following DYI steps if needed.

Thanks and I appreciate your recommendation!

Wait…I’m confused. You say that you don’t want to use any remote controls, either mobile app or alexa. Then how do you plan to control them?

Most motorized solutions cannot be adjusted manually once they are motorized. Hence the use of a remote or alexa for local on-demand control.

To my knowledge, there is no solution that provides all of your requirements, specifically local manual control while also being motorized.

I think LinkShades may be exactly what you are looking for… . We have several sets of these and have been pleased with them. They are WiFi controlled, but they also integrate with Alexa, SmartThings, Google Home and IFTTT. You can send trigger commands via IFTTT to control a single blind or a whole group of blinds. For instance, I have 4 blinds in our master bedroom that all raise together at 9:00am and then lower at 9:00pm via an IFTTT scheduler. They all begin precisely moving at the exact same time… Pretty impressive!

They include a wired controller that mounts on the window sill so that you can manually raise or lower them (push button), and you can stop them in any position or program them to stop in any position. The blinds are powered by plugging them into a regular 120 volt outlet.

They have a mobile App that works decent too, and the mobile app is updated if you manually position the blinds. You can also set up schedules within the app.

The blinds are packaged as a ready solution and available in most popular window sizes. You can mount them either inside the window or above/outside the window.

The blinds we have are all blackouts and range in size from 30" x 72" all the way up to a 96" x 96", which is the largest they make. I’ve bought some direct from their website and some through their Amazon store. I prefer to buy through the Amazon store for the Prime shipping and no hassle return policy in case something goes wrong. (We personally own an Amazon Prime certified distribution center, so I can attest to the high standards that Amazon holds its Prime merchants to.)

In my opinion they are reasonably priced for what you get (around $250 for a 72" x 72" blackout shade) and installation is simple and straight forward.

Good luck and hope this helps!

Thanks! @Ryan780, I meant no remote control, like a TV physical remote controller. Alexa and mobile phone is desired. Same for manual control.

If there is no solution like that, that’s fine, that’s great to know. At least I will know I have to lower my expectations :slight_smile:

Thank you @Barry_R, this looks interesting. And just to confirm, you said that I can manually close them (not using the wired controller) and the app is updated, right?

To manually close them you have to use the wired controller that mounts to the window sill… You can’t just reach up and tug on the blind to lower it. That would cause to the motor to lose track of it’s pulse count and then it would be trying to raise or lower the blind past the limits. That would apply to any type of motorized solution. As long as you use the app, or the manual controller, or Alexa, SmartThings, et al then the app is refreshed with the updated blind position.

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Thank you. In that case, if I always need a remote controller and can’t move them manually, any system with motorized shades will probably work for me.

yeah…any motorized system must be controlled from the motor. I have motorized blinds (vertical and horizontal) and one of the things you give up in manual control because you would strip the motor. Manual control is the remote or using your phone.

I believe that there are motors out there that can be provoked manually:

How do you control how far it will go down when you pull it out slightly by hand? Is it all or nothing? A preset? I’ve heard of motorized blinds opening when pulled manually but none that allow total manual control manually while also being motorized.

Don’t know. Just know that this motor does allow for it to be manually activated (without a remote or app). At the end of the day, don’t see why you wouldn’t want a controller on the side of the blind. I shouldn’t have to open an app or provoke Alexa just to look out of the window…

Multiple ways of accomplishment is always a plus in my book.

I agree. I have a simple doorbell button wired to my controller on the side of my sliding glass door that operates my motorized blinds. Takes about a second and half more than the arm. Less sometimes since I forgot which way to twist the handle and guessed wrong 80% of the time. :crazy_face: