Smart & Connected Life Smart Home What Are Smart Blinds? Keep the sun at bay with voice-activated automatic shades by Luis E. Chavez Saenz Writer Luis Chavez is a former Lifewire writer and a System Administrator with 5+ years' experience writing about technology for end users. our editorial process Luis E. Chavez Saenz Updated on February 13, 2020 Smart Home Your Best Year Ever: College Tech Tips Amazon Appliances & Lighting Google Tweet Share Email Smart blinds are window coverings that include built-in motors that let you add remote raising or lowering capabilities based on schedules. These blinds are also called automatic blinds, smart shades, or automated blinds. In some cases, smart blinds have built-in light sensors that allow you to adjust them based on the exterior lighting. Some smart blinds include supported integrations with smart home systems like Apple HomeKit and Nest, while others integrate with virtual assistants like Alexa or your Google Assistant so they can be controlled just by your voice. Common Features Of Smart Blinds Even though there is not a standard set of features for smart blinds, these are some of the common features that you will find in some or all of them. Remote control: Smart shades give you the functionality to control them remotely, often through a remote control or a mobile application that will allow you to open or close blinds without direct manual input. Some of the remote controls allow you to set timers or schedules to control when the blinds should be open or closed.Built-in Motor: This is activated by the remote control, an app, or your voice and does the actual physical work of moving blinds up or down.Built-in light sensor: Some the most advanced smart blinds have a light sensor that allows you to control the shades based on the exterior lighting. These sensors can often be set to detect different times of day, such as dusk or dawn.Virtual assistant integration: Some smart blinds support integrations with the most common virtual assistants; making it possible to send voice commands to control your shades. Why Would Anyone Want Automated Blinds? There are many reasons why you should automate your home in general but, more specifically, there are good reasons for adding these kinds of blinds to your home. Cost saving: Even though the cost of adding smart blinds is a little high up front, they pay for themselves in the long run. Setting schedules or using a built-in light sensor means you can take advantage of the exterior lighting when needed instead of turning unnecessary lights. From an energy and cost-savings perspective, automatic blinds play well with smart light bulbs as the brightness of the bulbs can be adjusted based on the sunlight coming into the room. Easy access: There is no need to stand up or walk to a window to adjust your blinds anymore, you can do it from your couch or simply by a voice command from your virtual assistant.