Alexa, Open the Window Shades

Alexa shades

You’re Googling “Smart Blinds Alexa” because you just installed an incredible new motorized shade system.

Being an intelligent consumer, you know that shades and blinds not only beautify your home but they also slash your energy bills. I think a lot of clients are surprised to hear they pay for themselves over time and unequivocally add to the value of their property. 

The thing is, shades and blinds often have cords and pulleys that are dangerous for pets and kids. Let’s face it, they’re unsightly too. So you opt for a motorized system to get rid of the hassle. Hey, who has time to figure out a way to get to your skylights to open manually anyway? 

The good news is the experts at Breslow Home Design Center installed a PowerView motorized solution by Hunter Douglas and you’re happy as a clam – ALMOST! 

Most days you like your shades closed by 9 PM, but this weekend you’re having a party. You programmed your shade system and it works great but you want to switch things up to entertain. Is there a way to change your programming on the fly? 

I’m here to tell you there is! 

Smart Home Blinds Alexa

Smart Blinds Alexa - The Way of the Future! 

In a world where convenience sells, companies want to make your life easier to promote their products. 

Which means smart homes are the way of the future! This push spurs consumer technology to grow by leaps and bounds and as you can imagine this incredible market shows no sign of slowing down. 

It’s undeniable. People are looking for new innovative ways to reduce the time they spend on mundane activities and maximize their use of finite resources. Eventually, all homes will be automated to achieve this end. 

This means researchers are already developing refrigerators that keep track of your perishable items. At some point, they may even generate a shopping list for you. Gone are the days of searching for the spoiled gallon of milk that disappeared behind your new groceries. 

Systems are developed to monitor everything from energy consumption to toast. 

One of the biggest shifts thus far is voice-activated technology that enables you to operate TV, computers, and lights without accessing switches or controls.  

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Home are radically changing the playing field. So YES you can absolutely use this technology to operate your shade system. Let’s find out how right now. 

Tech companies specialize in serving up things that are like the things people have preferred in the past, which generally means that “what we do, we get more of it,” Goodman says. “Can we imagine that in terms of our real-life behaviors in our home?” Even if the effects are salutary—maybe the smart showerhead learns its user’s preferred water temperature, or the smart fridge discourages its owner from eating junk food late at night…

The Coming Commodification of Life at Home, The Atlantic

Smart Blinds Alexa

Hunter Douglas PowerView & Smart Blinds Alexa: A Match Made in Heaven 

Voice operated shade systems are now commonplace! Before we dig into how to integrate Alexa with your motorized shades or blinds, I’m going to tell you a little bit about PowerView. 

The Hunter Douglas proprietary motorized system is called PowerView. It’s typically battery operated and has been designed to be both discreet and quiet. Clients can also opt to have the system hardwired into their home. 

The good news is Powerview is a relatively inexpensive motor compared to other systems. Costing approximately $250 – $500 per shade, depending on the complexity of the function. Some shade systems require only an up and down movement while others rotate as well which accounts for the price differential.

To give you some perspective, Lutron or Somfy motors will set you back $700 – $1000 per shade. So you can see Hunter Douglas offers an awesome product for a very good price. 

Once you install the system, you can control the atmosphere of the room with the touch of a button. Now that’s sophistication! 

PowerView uses a Pebble Remote Control. If you want to operate your shades with another device, you will purchase the Powerview Hub. This system plugs into the wall and allows you to control your shades from a smartphone or tablet. 

Voice Commands for Added Convenience 

If you’re like me and lose remote controls all the time this set up might not be appealing. In a situation like this, we would suggest you purchase the Powerview Hub. 

Hunter Douglas has a relationship with Alexa, which allows you to control your shade system with voice commands. This eliminates your remote control and reduces the need to reprogram your blinds or shades. 

The truth is, your choice of lighting is directly impacted by your lifestyle and mood and Alexa makes it quick and easy for you change gears. 

To get Alexa up and running you need to create scenes for your shades. These are positions you preselect for your window coverings based on the time of day or situation. So let’s say you want full light at 9:30 in the morning. 

You program the positioning and time into the PowerView hub and then name the “scene”. So, for example, you may select the term “Sunrise” for this particular position. 

So at 9:30 AM your Hunter Douglas shades are programmed to open fully – but you need to reprogram them if you want this to change. With Alexa, this is a thing of the past. 

Once you integrate Alexa with your system you can say “Alexa turn on Sunrise” and voila! Your shades open fully at your command any time you choose! 

My Smart Blinds Alexa

Let's take a look at PowerView in action....

Smart Blinds Alexa

Smart Blinds Alexa: Buyer Beware They Aren't for Everyone! 

Smart Blinds Alexa Confusion

Smart blinds Alexa – a solution made in heaven! 

….or maybe not. 

I also want to add my experience with customers and the Alexa system for full disclosure. It’s not for everyone and I like people to know that upfront. If you’re tech-adverse I would not suggest purchasing the PowerView hub to integrate smart blinds Alexa. 

While the system is not particularly complicated, some people really don’t like to hassle with computers, routers and programming scenes.

The thing is, stuff happens. If the network goes out, your commands may too. Which means you have to reset your router and reprogram your scenes. 

If this shade system is for your Grandma, and she doesn’t know what Google is then I would steer clear. 


Breslow Home Design Center & Smart Blinds Alexa 

The experts at Breslow Home Design Center know all the ins and outs of Hunter Douglas shades and blinds. 

We love installing them because not only are they stylish but they cut your energy bills…

…and you can maximize these savings by programming your blinds to utilize or block light depending on the season.

We are proud purveyors of PowerView motors because they are cost-conscious, design friendly and energy efficient. If you’re looking to use Alexa with your PowerView blinds by Hunter Douglas, call Breslow Design Center today. We want to help. 

Breslow Home Design Center NJ Consultation

Chester Location 

25 W. Main Street 
Chester, NJ 07930

Springfield Headquarters

65 Brown Avenue 
Springfield, NJ 07081

About Dana Shaw

Hi, my name is Dana Shaw and I'm Louis Breslow's grandson...and the person behind the window treatment & retractable shade arm of the business. If you order one of these products chances are you'll meet me. My brother Jason and I are the 3rd generation to run Breslow Home Design Center and we're building an empire. It's my hope that one day our kids will be the 4th generation to continue the family business. It's not all work and no play, I'm an avid marathoner, mountain biker and love food! My beautiful wife and I also enjoy traveling with the children. Breslow Home Design Center is more than a business - it's family, tradition, and fun and our customers are the foundation.