The Benefits of Motorization and Smart Shades

The Benefits of

Motorized Shades & Smart Shades



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Motorized Shades, is that really a thing? 

Motorized shades are one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you tried it. When speaking about motorized shades, people don’t understand how convenient motorization is. Neither do you. Let me explain it.

I generally take the example of our garage doors. 25 years ago, not all garage doors had garage door openers. In today’s society, you can barely find a door without a garage door opener. In the beginning, it seemed ridiculous to motorize a garage door, now it’s a commodity. Window fashions are following the same trend, just a couple of yours behind. It might be bad news for people’s pockets, but it’s fortunately for their convenience and lifestyle.

Currently, this transformation is being rushed by the US Product Safety Commission which has outlawed the production of blinds with cords. The law is already in place in Canada and will be effective here shortly. This forces the manufacturers to find new creative ways to get around that with various cordless systems. The cordless systems are great, but they have their limitations. Once you get beyond a certain size or spec, motorization is your only option.

Once clients put motors on their large shades, it’s a trickle-down effect to do the same thing to the smaller shades. It just makes sense.

It also saves the headache of trying to figure out how each shade works in the home. Instead of finding hidden buttons, or lifting them manually, you just push the remote button to operate them.


Why should I get motorized shades for my Southwest Florida home? 



With the cords disappearing, which is probably the most intuitive way to operate a shade for most people, it saves a lot of questions by using a remote. We’re used to operating our TVs with a remote, so it’s a familiar process. Even my 6-year-old knows how to operate our shades without any issues.

Removing these hurdles will allow even the laziest person to move the shades several times throughout the day, instead of maybe the one time they would be moved out of necessity. It won’t be inconvenient to move them as you leave the house for work in the morning, or before bedtime. Providing even more protection for your home.


Protect your furniture, art, and flooring

By using your shades more, you also provide more protection for your furniture, art, and flooring. Shades in the up position don’t provide any protection. That’s why it’s so important to lower them during the time the sun hits the hardest. With manual shades you might not have the energy to lower them one by one before you leave the house in the morning. But even the busiest person has time to push a button as they run out the door.


sun faded furniture Bonita Springs fl
Photo by Max Rahubovskiy

Remove TV-glare

You’re in the middle of a golf show when the sun peeks out behind the cloud and glares at your TV screen. Rather than moving yourself out of your chair to deal with it, you grab your shade control, lower your shade, and boom, you’ve got UV controlling and glare control on your TV with no effort.

Whereas if it was the same shade, but manually operated, you wouldn’t possibly go through the effort to lower it, because it’s work.  I know it sounds ridiculous. But this is the world I live in daily when I meet clients. We’re constantly working on eliminating the hurdles. Fewer hurdles mean more usage. More usage will justify the price point of the shades itself.

Related articles: How To Reduce TV-glare


Enjoy your sunsets

I can’t tell you the amount of times I get on Gulfshore Boulevard, which is on the Gulf of Mexico in Naples, Florida. I go up in one of these nice, beautiful penthouse condos 20 floors up. The time is around 5-5:30 and they’re ready to enjoy the sunset. And the sun is coming into their unit, bouncing off all these shiny surfaces in their home. It hits their shiny tiles, granite countertops, mirrored surfaces, or whatever it may be. Making it impossible to be in the unit without shielding your eyes.

Now, one of the main reasons you even purchased your unit in the first place, is making it extremely inconvenient for you to be in there for hours every day. Instead, you buy motorized shades, push the button and now you’ve got your sunset views and UV control managed.

We were recently in a local clubhouse where guests, who know that restaurant really well, bring sunglasses to dinner to be able to handle the sun coming through the window. This is where we have the solution.


Smart shades, what’s the difference? 

“All smart shades will be motorized, but not all motorized shades are smart shades”.

Smart shades are an extension or an extra tear of motorized shades. All of our shades from SunCoast Blinds in Southwest Florida have the ability to be smart. Adding a module or hub to your home will allow you to set programs that will move your shades automatically to fit your schedule. You control your programs through an app on your mobile device. Which allows you to control the shades from anywhere in the world, not only from your home.

You can take an extra level further and integrate it into your home automation system. They will work with the Lutron system or Control4 systems among others. It’s a very intuitive app.

For example, my shades move by themselves about three to four times a day. One of the times I’ve scheduled is interfering with the time I’m barbecuing during the season. So sometimes I get stuck outside and the only way to get back inside is by pulling out my phone, hitting the button in thew app, and rolling up the shades.  I can easily reset the time, but as I mentioned before, the lazy nature of humans, has me keep fighting this time instead of changing it.

Most of our clients stick to motorized shades and prefer a simple remote control, but changing it to the next level is easy.


Smart Shades Bonita Springs FL


Solar-powered shades without a predetermined schedule 

If you don’t feel tech-savvy enough for smart shades but love the protection to provide, you can take it one step further and put solar sensors on your shades. Solar sensors will move the shades when a certain amount of predetermined light load hits the sensor.  So without you setting your own predetermined schedule, the shade will operate on its own. When the sun comes out, the shade goes down. When the sun goes away, the shade rolls up.


How to operate shades in hard-reached areas?


Lithium-ion rechargeable shades 

We can do automated roller shades or smart shades in hard-to-reach areas, and areas without electricity with a lithium-ion battery. These shades can run approximately 500 cycles before they need to be charged. Another great benefit of rechargeable batteries is that lightning won’t burn the motor and you will still be able to operate them during an outage.

The withdrawal is that you do need to reach up to the valance to recharge them about once a year, depending on how much you use them. If this is not possible then we have solar-powered batteries.


Solar-powered rechargeable shades

One step further is solar-powered rechargeable shades. By connecting a small solar panel to the shade, the battery will constantly be recharged to keep the shade working with no other power source. So if you have a shade you can’t get to, not even once a year, then this might be your best option.

The solar panel is very discreet. It typically fits behind the shade and will be completely invisible to the interior person looking at the shade. The solar panel is hooked into the motor and collects the sunlight that would ordinarily be behind the headbox of the shade. As long as the solar panel gets indirect light, we have indirect light harvesting technology. So it doesn’t need hard direct sunlight for a number of hours a day. As long as there’s daylight outside of that shade, it’ll harvest that power.


Automate motor accessories


Why should I invest in Smart Shades?


From a security standpoint, it makes your house look lived-in. Even if it’s your second home and you only live there a couple of months a year. The shades opening and closing throughout the day may stop someone with bad intentions from trying to enter your home. This might not be a huge concern for most people in Bonita Springs and Naples, but it’s a great benefit. No one will argue the enhanced security of their property.


See the location of your shades from anywhere

A more typical application for Southwest Florida homeowners is the ability to see the positions of your shades from another location than your home. Say you have cleaning people, a home watch person or someone servicing the Air conditioning in your home when you’re not around. They might move the shades to let in light while they do their work, and accidentally forget to lower the shades as they leave. Now your furniture, art, and flooring are being exposed to the harsh sun. With the app, you can easily see if the shades are in the correct position, lower them if necessary, and inform the person to be more careful in the future.


Connect it with your existing home device 

Most of today’s home has some form of smart home device, whether it’s Google, Alexa, or Siri. With smart shades, you can connect them to your already existing smart home and operate them with voice control.

A small voice command such as “wake up house” can lift all your shades, turn on your lights, and start brewing your coffee. It really is a new world we live in.

View a list of the most common Amazon Alexa devices on Amazon here.


Sleep better and wake up more refreshed

One thing that should not be discontinued is the quality of sleep smart shades can provide. It’s not only the ability to go to sleep better but also the ability to wake up more comfortably. 

You can hack your body, by lowering the shades in your home to make it darker and ease your body into sleep mode. But you can also slowly lift your shades up in the morning to allow your body to wake up with the natural light coming in through the window. I personally wake up a couple of hours before sunrise, so instead of operating my shades, I use the Hue lights to mimic that morning light. It’s the same idea.

So smart shades are not only for the lazy people, that I kept mentioning. But also for people who want to be more productive during their day. In other words, there is an application for smart, automated motorized shades in your home that’s going to be legitimate.


wake up better with smart shades Bonita Springs fl


Can I view the products in your Studio?  

Yes! We’ve got motorized shades on display in real-life windows. You can view anything from Room darkening to 1%, 5%, or 10% shades. It will give you a good understanding of how much light and view they allow in. Having our products in real windows is one of the things that sets us apart from most other showrooms, that might have their shades against a wall or in a book. At our studio, you will see exactly how the fabric acts in real-life applications.

Our showroom is located at 3634-A Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs FL 34134. It’s located West of US-41. We’re open Monday through Friday 9 am to 1 pm.


In-Home Consultation 

We offer free home consultations. If you give us a phone call at 239-495-6558 we can have a conversation to determine whether it’s best for you to first visit our studio or whether I come straight to you. Once that’s set, we will go over all your wants and needs when I’m in your home and I will give you the best-fitting solutions for those problems. Once we’re settled on the products, you will receive a budget and from there on it is a month from order to install. 100% custom to fit your home. Learn about the in-home consultation process here.

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