The Serena family of products from Lutron is one of the most popular window shading solutions because it’s quiet, simple to install and use, and can be integrated with Lutron Caséta light dimmers, and Honeywell and Nest thermostats. (Requires the addition of Lutron’s Caséta Smart Bridge ($120) and Lutron mobile app.) For roller and honeycomb shades there are more than 150 fabric options, and a system’s batteries can offer 3-5 years of life under normal usage. Pricing starts at $400 with a single-shade remote, and multiple shades or groups of shades can be controlled together with a multi-channel remote. Serena is also the first motorized shading system to offer an app for the Apple Watch.
QMotion Drapery Rods
QMotion’s award-winning motorized drapery rod collection is the latest innovation in automated window treatments. This first and only trackless motorized drapery rod on the market removes the external motors and wires and places a battery-operated motor inside the hardware itself. The unique Touch Wand Activation feature uses a small hanging wand hidden behind the drapes to provide users with the convenience of manual control, while remote control is available with a wireless remote or wall keypad. The rods come in six popular finishes with finials in six designer styles. Pricing starts at $825 and varies by the length of the rod.
Blinds.com Signature Solar Shades
With tons of styles and colors to choose from, Blinds.com offers one of the widest variety of solar shades available to fit your lighting and climate control needs. Simple to install and use with the required remote, it is one of the best options for single rooms or buyers who don’t need mobile app control. With prices starting at $450, including a five-shade remote, a room can be outfitted affordably and stylishly. Blinds.com regularly offers discounts up to 20 percent, as well, so be sure to research any sales before purchasing.
Retail outlets from Home Depot to Budgetblinds.com offer motorized window shades with Somfy motors, and that’s the reason it’s one of the best-known brands for motorization. For DIYers shopping for the perfect blinds or shades, or for the best deal, there’s a good chance of ending up at a store that sells Somfy motors. This is a good thing because they are some of the best around, with wireless remotes, wireless wall keypads, and the option of adding a Somfy MyLink hub for mobile app control. Prices vary from store to store, but often start around $380-$450 per window.
RollerTrol’s DIY kits for roller shades are relatively simple to install in a new or existing roller shade tube. Starting at under $150 for the motor and an eight-channel remote, buyers unafraid of a little hands-on work can quickly motorize their shades for less than half the price of most competing brands. The company promises quiet, smooth operation, and also offers options for blackout and skylight shades (starting at $260) and motorized draperies (starting around $400). With the $159 Wi-Fi interface, Android users can also use a mobile app to control up to four shades. No app is currently available for iPhone.
MaestroShield Roller DIY Kits
DIYers will find themselves at home with MaestroShield RetroFit kits, starting at $190 for a plug-in motor that can lift up to 25 pounds, and $250 for the battery-operated version. These kits allow you to motorize any standard roller, including projection screens. This is another great option for keeping costs low and utilize existing roller shades in the home. The beefier plug-in version that supports up to 53 pounds ($210) can even be used to create a motorized lift for a TV.