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A smart home is becoming more normal and for seniors, some of the things available can make life much easier. Not having to stand up from your seat and fiddle with tricky blinds can make the world of difference to an older adult.
However, there are a lot of options on the market, and it pays to understand what to look for when choosing the best smart blinds for seniors.
What are Smart Blinds?
Traditional roller blinds are operated using a chain, but this can be tricky to use. Smart or remote-control blinds are fitted with an internal motor which runs on a rechargeable battery. This means that you only need to press a button to move the position of the blind and control the level of light in the room.
These blinds can also be voice controlled by connecting them to your home assistant, like Alexa or Apple Home so you don’t even have to move from where you are to use them.
There are also compatible smartphone apps that allow you to remotely control your blinds and these even come with pre-programmed settings so that the blinds will automatically adjust over the course of the day.
Benefits of Remote-Control Smart Blinds for Seniors
The advances in modern technology mean that seniors don’t have to struggle with day-to-day tasks. Things that many of us take for granted, such as operating blinds, might become difficult in our later years. What’s more, there are a ton of other wonderful benefits of smart blinds for seniors.
Some blinds are incredibly difficult to open and close. Have you ever used one whose chain feels stiff and difficult to pull? For a healthy younger adult this can be challenging so for a senior who may have limited mobility, it becomes even more of a strain.
What’s more, if the senior is unsteady on their feet, there is a risk of falling when reaching for the blind chain. Not to mention that there may be windows in the home that are hard to reach, such as those behind pieces of furniture or that are higher up. Not having to manually adjust the blinds can make life safer and easier for seniors.
In addition to this, the senior might not even have to use the remote control to operate the blinds since many come with the option to preprogram the blind to open and close at certain times of the day. This is great when you’re at home but even better when you’re away as it may improve security by giving the impression that someone is home.
Assists with Sleep Quality
Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t easy when we get older and this problem is only exacerbated if light is pouring into the room. Some window dressings do not block this light out but an automatic blind will darken the room sufficiently so that you can fall asleep better. Some automatic blinds have a blackout feature so the room will be kept as dark as possible.
When morning comes around, you can set your blinds to gradually open allowing you to wake up naturally. If you find that being suddenly woken by an alarm clock leaves you feeling less than refreshed then this might be an option worth considering.
Enhances Privacy & Security
As we touched upon earlier, the option to control the blinds either remotely or by using pre-programmed settings is brilliant if you’re away from home. Combine this with the use of smart lighting, and it’ll always appear as if someone is in the house, so security is instantly improved.
What’s more, using smart blinds will give you a greater sense of privacy in the home. Whether you simply want to prevent passersby from looking in your window or you want to improve privacy in the bathroom or bedroom, these blinds allow you to do this without having to manually adjust anything.
Smart Home Integration
Having a smart home makes life easier for all of us, but for older adults, there are even more advantages. These include helping those with limited mobility as they won’t need to manually operate things and ensuring that you don’t forget to do things.
For example, if you’re going away from home and you want a blind closed to perhaps prevent sunlight from drying out your favorite plant, having smart home integration means that, even if you forget to do it before you leave, you can operate the blinds from wherever you are.
You can connect many automated blinds to your home assistant, whether you use Apple, Google, or Amazon. This allows voice control which is vastly simplier than trying to learn how to use an app.
That said, most blinds do come with a compatible app which opens up even more ways how you can control your product.
Child & Pet Safe
Many older adults enjoy having a pet, and there’s nothing more satisfying than having the grandchildren over for some quality family time. However, children and pets are at risk when it comes to regular blinds as the cords and chains serve as a strangulation or tripping hazard.
But smart blinds are battery powered, so there aren’t any cords, cables, chains, or strings that could cause an accident making them much safer for your loved ones.
Reduce Damage from UV Rays
The sun is incredibly powerful, and over time, its rays can cause furniture, wallpaper, and other items in your home to fade or become discolored.
If you have a window that lets in a lot of natural light, this is sometimes a good thing. But if you’re looking to protect your belongings from sun damage, then a smart blind is an excellent way to do this.
Assists with Energy Efficiency
Having smart blinds could save you as much as 30% on your energy bills. When you don’t have appropriate window coverings, a lot of heat is lost, and this means that you’re essentially throwing money out of the window by having to pay to heat your home more. To get the best energy efficiency, a good quality smart blind could make all the difference.
Can I Convert Traditional Blinds into Smart Ones?
If you already have blinds that are fully functional and perform exactly how you’d like but that are not powered, then it may be possible to convert these into a smart blind.
There are various types of conversion kits you can buy, and you’ll choose one that’s compatible with the type of blind you have. For example, on chain kits attach directly to the blind chain, whereas there are also those that fit inside the blind housing if you want something a little more discreet.
It is also possible to replace a tube roller with a motorized version, but this is a replacement and not an add-on so that is something worth considering.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Smart Blinds
The great thing about automated blinds is that there is a lot of choice on the market. However, this can also leave you feeling confused over what product is best. Here are our top tips on choosing the right smart blinds for your home.
Just like regular blinds, automated blinds come in many different forms, and it’s important to think about which style will work best for your room. It’s worth thinking about where you will install the blinds, how you’d like them to function and your personal preference on how the blinds look. Here are some of the most common options.
- Venetian blinds – these are made up of several slats of metal, plastic, or wood and are great for full coverage as well as being adjustable to let in varying degrees of light. They have a classic look that works well in any room.
- Vertical blinds – these are similar to Venetian blinds in that they have slats but this time, the slats are vertical. You can still open and close the slats to adjust the amount of light you let in and move the blinds to one side like a concertina when you want full light. For larger windows, these are the most affordable type.
- Roman blinds – this type of blind has a more luxurious aesthetic since it is made from the same material as drapes. This makes roman blinds ideal for living spaces and bedrooms. They offer full cover or can be opened to varying degrees as well as many coming in blackout fabrics.
- Roller blinds – this is potentially the most classic type of blind and consists of a roller tube with fabric wound around it. As you lower the blind, the fabric unravels and covers the window. They come in a range of colors and materials and are perfect for adding privacy to the bathroom or bedroom.
In some rooms, you might want total privacy and very little light, whereas, in others you might want a more open feel.
In the bedroom, you’ll likely be looking for an opaque blind that totally blocks out light allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.
If you have a room where you get a lot of afternoon sun you might want to filter this and there are blinds that filter light without totally blocking it out. This is great for a living space where you still need to be able to see without being blasted by the hot sun.
Slatted blinds are perfect for allowing light in but retaining your privacy. If you have a window that faces a public space, this might be the right option for you.
While your smart blinds are going to serve a practical purpose, you’ll want them to look the part too. Much of this is down to personal choice and the existing decor in your home.
The great news is that smart blinds come in a huge range of colors and fabrics, so you’ll be able to find something that matches your style.
The great thing about buying blinds is that most of the time, you can have the blind custom-made to fit your window. However, this does mean that you will need to measure your windows before you start shopping. It’s imperative to get the measurements spot on so that you aren’t left with a gap in the blind or something that’s too big to install.
Different blind manufacturers will require different measurements, and you will be able to find details of this on their respective websites. However, note that normally, you will need to take the width and height measurements of the inside of the window.
Smart Home Integration
While a lot of automated blinds can be operated using apps and smart home assistants, not all of them work with every device. For this reason, it is essential to check whether the blind you’re interested in will work with your current system.
Some are only designed to work with Alexa, while others have a more diverse range of options. That said, you could always pick up an Amazon Echo Dot for a very reasonable price if you’re willing to add to your investment.
Most smart blinds are powered using a rechargeable battery. This offers convenience and safety as there aren’t any cords that could pose a risk to children and pets. However, you will need to remember to charge the battery. That said, a lot of blinds are powered by D-cell batteries which you can simply replace once they run out.
You might choose a blind that is connected to the mains power of your home. This is brilliant if you don’t want to have to worry about charging or replacing batteries. The main problem with this type of power is that you’ll need an outlet nearby or you’ll end up with cables running across the room.
Finally, there are solar-powered blinds whose batteries are charged by the sun. These are less common but are certainly an eco-friendly option. You also need to make sure that the window will get enough light to power the batteries each day.
Being able to program your blinds to work without any input from you is hugely convenient. You might want to look for blinds that have an option to open in the morning and close again at a preset time during the evening.
There are some blinds that feature a sun sensor and will adjust according to the current level of light. When the sensor detects a change in light intensity or temperature, it will adjust to ensure that you remain comfortable.
A lot of smart blinds allow you to set programs in the app for when you are away from home. Of course, these programs can also be used when you’re at home, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting the blinds yourself.
The last thing you want is a noisy automatic blind. Most of the options you’ll find operate silently, so you won’t even know they’re there. However, it’s worth checking out reviews to make sure that this is actually the case and not just the manufacturer trying to make a sale.
Best Smart Blinds for Seniors
Understanding your options when choosing a smart blind for seniors is one thing. But there are a lot of products out there. We’ve narrowed it down to some of the very best blinds on the market right now, and they’re suitable for a wide range of needs.
1. Yoolax Blackout Smart Blinds
These blackout blinds from Yoolax are ideal for the bedroom, and they come in a choice of 15 colors, so you can find something to suit your style. They are made from 100% polyester so are easy to clean and care for. What’s more, the blinds are fire-resistant and waterproof. If you have problems with condensation, this won’t affect the quality of the blinds.
We love that there is a good choice of customer size options for these blinds and that you can use the blinds with Alexa. However, you do have to purchase the Yoolax hub separately if you want to use the smart home function.
2. Graywind Motorized Zebra Smart Blinds
These zebra smart blinds are perfect for living spaces where you want more control over the light levels. They can be operated with Google and Alexa and there’s no need to buy a separate hub for this.
The Graywind blinds offer up to 80% blackout and give you the option to adjust the slats for varying levels of light throughout the day. If you want to avoid having to operate the blinds, then the timer and program feature on the app will come in very handy. However, there is no remote control, so if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, this can make using them impossible.
What’s great about these blinds is how quiet they are; at the 35db, they won’t disturb the peace.
3. Yoolax Motorized Vertical Smart Blinds
Another excellent product from Yoolax is these smart vertical blinds which are perfect for conservatories, offices, and other occasional indoor spaces. We wouldn’t recommend them for rooms that you use all the time, purely for the reason that they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as other blinds.
But functionally, they’re wonderful and allow you to control them using a remote, Google, or Alexa.
These blinds come in a range of sizes but are particularly good for large, floor-to-ceiling windows. Moreover, once installed, they operate smoothly and quietly and feature a weighted bottom so they won’t blow around in the wind.
4. Yoolax Motorized Solar Smart Blinds
If you want to perfectly match the decor in your home then these solar blinds from Yoolax are a great choice, as they come in a brilliant range of colors. What’s more, they’re flame resistant, so you can rest assured that they’ll be safe.
One of the things that really stands out about these blinds is that with a single charge, using the USB connection, you can get up to six months use out of them.
You’ll be able to control the blinds using Alexa. However, they aren’t compatible with any other home assistant.
The solar fabric ensures that the blinds won’t fade and will resist UV light, giving you a longer-lasting product that’ll make your home look and feel great for years.
5. Graywind Motorized Hardwired Smart Blinds
One of the things that we really like about these Graywind blinds is that they can be paired with Google, Siri, or Alexa, giving you more options. However, you should keep in mind that a lot of users report it being difficult to pair with your devices so this may take some patience.
These blinds are brilliant for the bedroom with their blackout feature, and with a good selection of colors, you’ll find something to match your style.
You have the ability to set the blinds to a timer so you won’t need to worry about opening and closing them. With a roller style, they look modern and aesthetically pleasing.
6. Rollerhouse Retrofit Motorized Roller Blinds
If you’re looking to convert your regular blinds into motorized ones, then this is an affordable but reliable product that will allow you to do that.
The Rollerhouse Retrofit kit is super easy to install into the tube of the blind and can be done by anyone. However, you should keep in mind that this kit is only suitable for roller blinds which can be limiting. The motor can be charged using either solar power or the included USB, which gives you versatility, and it’s quiet and easy to use with the simple remote control.