Transform any blinds into smart blinds with this easy automation kit
Smart, connected tech is integrated into every part of our homes, from the kitchen to the bedroom. And if CES 2018 is any indication, then the smart tech trend is not slowing down — ever. You can use your iPhone to set mood lighting, check on your kids, and start your favorite Spotify playlist. And when you want a little privacy, you can set your blinds to close right from your phone too.
Automated blinds are nothing new, as you’ll see from a quick scroll down the window treatments “aisle” on Amazon. However, most of the motorized blinds available are meant to replace your existing blinds (or be installed when the house is built), come with their own remote control that you will inevitably lose, and/or are prohibitively expensive.
MySmartBlinds’ Home Automation Kit solves all of those problems. It’s an out-of-the-box installation kit that turns your existing pull cord blinds into motorized blinds that can be controlled from your phone. Best of all, it’s less than $100.
The Automation Kit works on slatted blinds of 2-3 inches, which is the probably the type of blinds you have in your home. It won’t work on the less common cordless blinds or roller shades. That’s because the motor replaces the mechanism that makes the blinds tilt. You’ll still need to manually raise and lower the blinds.
According to the MySmartBlinds website, installation of the kit takes less than five minutes and doesn’t require any tools. There are tons of explainer and troubleshooting videos on their YouTube channel if you need help.
Once your motor is installed, you can download the MySmartBlinds app to control your blinds and set schedules for automatic opening and closing. A new update to the firmware lets you set your blinds to respond to sunlight levels and the energy saving feature allows you to set a schedule based on the temperature of your home.
Since the motor is battery-operated, you’ll need to charge it eventually. MySmartBlinds claims the battery will last up to three years, depending on how often you use it. The automation kit comes with a USB charging cord, or you can pick up a MySmartBlinds solar panel that will ensure you never have to worry about charging.
The MySmartBlinds kit was originally funded on Kickstarter in 2014 and is currently available on Amazon. In December of 2017 they returned to Kickstarter to raise money for a MySmartBlinds Hub that allows you to connect your blinds to a smart home device like Amazon Echo or Google Home. You can pre-order that now at their website.
MySmartBlinds isn’t a perfect solution — the fact that you still need to manually raise and lower the blinds is pretty annoying. Still, for less than $100 it’s a pretty good deal.