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3 Ways to Retrofit Smart Blinds on Any Window in Your Home! [+1 Bonus!]

by Ann Ferguson

Limiting your energy use and not having to get up and open or close each window is why you can't beat the benefits of smart blinds, so why should you miss out on them? If you haven't pre-wired your home for smart shades, don't worry — we can still automate your current window treatments!

With retrofit, motorized smart shades, we can add the smart tech you want with minimal to no destruction to your walls. And we’ll provide you with several retrofit options to choose from! Let's go over what these types of retrofit motorized shades look like!

Retrofitting Existing Window Treatments

Big windows with shades that can easily be retrofitted

Did you know you can retrofit most of your existing blinds or shades? It depends on your current type, but if you have designer shades or drapes you don't want to let go of, talk to our team about retrofitting them! We'll also do all the measuring so that all the components fit together seamlessly!

Pro Tip: If you have shades or drapes with long cords, retrofitting them with smart technology will instantly make them safer for small children and pets!

Smart Shade Benefits

Older couple figuring out how their smart blinds work through the app on their tablet

Before we go into the types of retrofit solutions, let's discuss the features and benefits! Besides better safety for your children and pets, there are several advantages to smart shades, including:

  • Complete control over the actions, like opening and closing, from one smart device or control panel.
  • Setting them up so that the shades open and close based on the sun's position to maximize warmth or cooler temps (works best with UV sensors!).
  • Integrating them with other smart home products, so you only have to use one interface for all your smart technology — your custom integrator will handle all the setup for you!
  • Saving energy by reducing the number of times your HVAC system turns on to heat or cool the house.
  • Increasing your privacy by keeping the shades closed in the bedroom on a set schedule.
  • Efficiently controlling and accessing hard-to-reach windows you couldn't before with standard window treatments.

1. Battery-Powered Smart Shades

The first option to retrofit your shades is battery-powered window treatments. These smart shades are powered by a battery, either with a lithium power pack or something rechargeable. This battery is fitted into a tube that fits the unit and then linked to the motor, which is the simplest to set up. Battery-operated shades are helpful for conditions such as:

  • Shades over large windows so you don't have to close them physically.
  • Placing them over hard-to-reach windows like skylights, casement windows, or if they're behind furniture or cabinets.
  • Used with honeycomb shades which are hard to adjust manually—the powered shades do it for you!

Pro Tip: Battery-powered smart shades are an excellent solution for windows in areas where wiring is a challenge!

2. DC Power Adaptor Smart Shades

Another retrofit option for your shades is DC power adaptor smart shades. These are shades you plug into an outlet and work off the steady power, making them the middle option between battery-powered and hardwired options. So, you wouldn't have to deal with batteries or needing to switch them up, but you would have to deal with power cords.

However, if windows aren't near an outlet, extension cords may be required. We'll do our best to conceal those for you, so they don't ruin your aesthetic.

3. Solar-Powered Smart Shades

Woman stands in front of windows as they open with the sun; windows are fully exposed to the sun

You might not have considered it, but solar power can run your smart shades! This retrofit solution uses a solar panel system mounted behind the shade (usually in the window) that faces towards the sun and connects to the motor that powers the shades like normal.

Solar-powered smart shades require six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day, so before pursuing this, our experts will consider several factors. We'll look at the direction the room faces, check if anything large blocks the windows (such as trees, porch roof, etc.), and any other considerations that factor in.

Pro Tip: Solar-powered shades work best west or south-facing windows, but we’ll decide which option is best when we start planning out your smart shade project.

Bonus: Hardwired Motorized Smart Shades

Nicely remodeled kitchen with smart shades

Retrofitting smart shades usually means we don't have to open the walls to fit the technology — unless you’re already planning a substantial renovation or home addition! Since the walls would already be open for whichever plans you have, this is a golden opportunity to add the hardwiring for smart shades!

With hardwired motorized smart shades, you have a more permanent setup with a steady power supply for multiple windows! Your home's distribution panel will power each window shade, which is more convenient than dealing with batteries or outlets. And the best part is that hardwired smart shades give you more automated control options with the rest of your smart system!

Pro Tip: Contact us before you finalize the plans for your home project (whether a renovation, remodel, or addition) so we can provide you with more options!

Time to Get Shady!

Smart shades will only continue to benefit you and your home, so why wait? Our experts at Bjorn's will work with you to set up your smart home to your exact needs. So, be sure to contact us as soon as you start thinking about the convenience a "smart" life can bring you!

Once you tell us what smart options you'd like, we'll walk you through what these can look like and what is available for your home — then we'll do the rest!