Best motorized blinds?

I found a lot of posts specific to different blinds and general compatibility but didn't come across a thread discussing overall pros/cons of the different brands. Apologies if I missed it...

We're looking at new blinds and so I'm wondering if there are particular ones folks would avoid or strongly recommend?

I think the Lutron Sivoia QS (not Triathlon) are out of our budget but the Triathlon or Serena may be options and I have some Caseta lighting now. I like the Lutron HE integration overall and have found it to be very reliable.

My wife really likes Hunter Douglas due to the top-down/bottom-up option on the honeycomb blinds but it seems like that option is trickier to control in HE? It looks like they work pretty well with HE otherwise?

I've also considered Graber or a few others that use z-wave / somfy but was wondering if I really wanted to add that much more battery powered z-wave to the home. It looks like people generally have a good experience here but if pricing were similar would HD or Lutron be preferred?

Is there anything else I should be considering?

Do you have an Ikea close? Are your blinds standard sizes? The Fyrtur blinds from Ikea are zigbee, and run great on a community driver here. I have one pair of them, they are not cheap, but they are my favorite Home Automation item. They open/close 5 days a week for me on a schedule, and I recharge the batteries about every 3 months.
I would not rule them out, I bought a coupon on fleabay to save some...

thanks for the advice. I considered Ikea but they don't fit most of our windows.

IKEA motorized blinds can be cut easily. I have done it several times. You work with the end away from the motor. Just need a hacksaw, a knife, and room to work. I did mine on the kitchen floor. From start to finish it takes about 15 minutes per blind.

Here is the youtube video showing how to cut IKEA blinds

I did not use scissors because that method doesn’t leave a clean edge. A knife with a steel yardstick works best.

And don’t let the white plastic bushing roll away. :sunglasses:

Aside from the ikea ones, you could get the 2" blind of your choice and use an iblinds v3 unit.

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Define "best"? like best for budget? Best for looks? Best for....

I have none, and need some, so Interested in this topic as well. For me I would like Best for long term ROI and looks SAP is high as well. I have Lutron so I'm thinking about the Serena line. Anyone have thoughts on them?

I am also quite interested in this subject.

Lol my thoughts. Cost prohibitive. Though I'm trying to figure out how to make it work. :thinking:

Good question. For me, "best" means two things - most reliable for automation and longest lasting (these can be expensive so I'd hate to have to replace them anytime soon). I don't want something that looks lousy either but from what i can see appearances are somewhat similar between different styles.

The other thing we really care about is the ability for a blackout shade to truly block most light (bedrooms, media). For that, I think Hunter Douglas seems to have the most compelling offering from what I can find.

Again, don't discount the Ikea blinds. They are fantastic. Blackout great, Very attractive, very reliable. I expect these to last a long time. Since Zigbee, I don't really need to worry about firmware as much, since the smarts will be with the hub. I would expect these blinds to outlast HE for me and eventually go open source with Zigbee2MQTT on an open platform.

Edit: I never heard of Hunter Douglas before this thread. When you have to request a consultant before a price is available they have to be hella-expensive.

I'd strongly considered Ikea to begin with but a lot of the windows are just too large (5-8' in width) and so while we could use them in some rooms we can't in all and I'd prefer uniformity. If they had larger size options it could be something to consider for sure.

Yes, Hunter Douglas is no longer available direct to consumer which is frustrating to say the least. That said, the pricing I've seen put them on par with Lutron Serena or Triathlon (at least in some fabrics) so they're expensive but not absurdly so (or at least not out of line with others that are expensive). My bigger concern with them was just integration but it sounds like there's been some work (on this forum) and someone obtained the public API so at least they're willing to share that (and it's local communication).

iBlinds are a manual conversion - you install them inside the the blinds you own or have purchased.

They replace the existing wand controller (it has to be removed) o so you lose manual control. You can open/close them via a button that protrudes about 1/2" from the original blinds wand slot, but essentially you are relying 100% on HE Z-Wave control once you install them. Currently they offer battery power, stated to add direct connect power in the future. You can also plug in a USB cord (it comes w/a 6' white cord) if you have a plug nearby and can reasonably hide the cord. I have one of mine on a cord and it's not very noticeable.

Have to make sure they fit your blinds...the center control rod inside the blind case needs align w/the motor properly.

Mine have been almost 100% reliable since recent FW updates that enhanced the power of the radio in the blinds. I have five at the moment, likely more after an upcoming remodel.

Have ranged in price from $99 on sale up to $159.

iBlinds site.

The IKEA shades are advertised as room darkening, but that is subjective.

I have 11 :flushed: IKEA blinds, and every one of them has a gap of about 1/2 inch

These blinds are butted up against each other and can’t get any closer. So these would not be good for a media room.

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Don't forget you can add the solar charger on the cheap

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This is what I do for a living. Bar none the very best motorized shades are Lutron. Their build quality, quietness of their motors(drives), and lack of service calls or needing servicing is by far better than any other company out there. Yes they are expensive but in this example you definitely pay for what you get. If you get into their integration with Caseta, Radio Ra2 or Homeworks it is amazing what is offered for controls, and functions. I totally see where cost is a major factor when it comes to buy window treatments so Lutron is not for everyone in that regard.

Other companies offer shades with Somfy motors. Those are great motors as well. They do have hardware that converts their wireless language into z wave.

Just my .02

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Agreed but cost is always a factor. To get my one kitchen shade in the exact pattern we wanted would have cost over 1k, where as without the motor it was 320.00 and the zigbee motor was $50.00 and works quite flawlessly (and is very quiet). For tilt blinds both iblinds v3 and myewand work very nicely and very quietly. Not putting down Lutron, I have a lot of their stuff and played with their shades, just out of most peoples leagues cost wise.

It's not for everybody, but if you're handy with 3d printing and electronics, it's absolutely possible to motorize them yourself. I've documented my method here: https://github.com/joelwetzel/Hubitat-MQTT-SmartBlinds

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I’m just a homeowner, but I could not agree more re: the Triathlon roller shades I had installed along with a RadioRA 2 system in my new home. I had some z-wave shades in my old apartment and while I was satisfied with them at the time, the differences between the two are on the order of Model T vs. Tesla (guess which is which :wink:).

I believe the Serena line of shades is at least a little cheaper and works with Caseta (and therefore Hubitat). But as @rlithgow1 said, cost is always a factor.

@kkamba
Are you familiar with the Comfortex motorized? I believe they transmit over 433 RF. What I cannot figure out is if they ALSO transmit via bluetooth. Does the Bond bridge allow them to be controlled locally with HE?

I can answer my own question above.
Comfortex transmit over 433.92
The standard Comfortex with the smaller headrail do NOT also transmit over Bluetooth. You have to go up to the Comfortex "ColorLux" line to get bluetooth, but then you also get a 2.5" or larger headrail.
The standard Comfortex 433.92 that come with a BF-415 remote can be paired to a Bond Hub, using the BF-305 remote pairing (even though the remote is not a BF-305). You don't have all the options of the BF-415, but it works well enough.
It can all be controlled locally by pairing the Bond to the HE.

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Download the Hubitat app