4 Types of Motorized Blinds and How They Work

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated May 25, 2022
A father showing to his daughter the motorized blinds
Photo: RUNSTUDIO / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Highlights

  • There are four different types of motorized blinds that have different power sources.

  • Battery-powered motorized blinds offer an easy option for apartments.

  • You can even consider solar-powered motorized blinds if you live in a sunny location.

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It seems like everything is hands-off these days, even your blinds. Different styles of motorized blinds operate using different power sources. The universal feature is that you never have to tussle with unruly cords again. 

If it's time for a window update, learning about these motorized options can help settle your internal debate about curtains versus blinds.

1. Battery-Powered Motorized Blinds

If you're looking for a simple option that doesn't require any hardwiring, battery-powered motorized blinds can be great. 

How They Work

As their name suggests, these blinds are powered by a battery fitted to a tube that lifts the unit. The battery in the design is linked to a motor, controlling the blinds. Brands typically use AA batteries, lithium batteries, or rechargeable batteries in their motorized blinds.

2. Hardwired Motorized Blinds

A young mother playing with her daughters in the living room
Photo: Zia Soleil / Stone / Getty Images

This is definitely the "fancy" option. Hardwired motorized blinds allow you to customize light and privacy levels—without the need to ever worry about changing a battery again. 

How They Work

If you'd like to have your blinds powered from your home's power distribution panel, you can hire a local electrician to hardwire blinds on multiple windows throughout your home. Power goes into a small motor that can rotate the blinds to let some light in or draw them up or to the side in the case of vertical blinds. Bonus: These are the perfect blinds for a universal home design.

3. DC Power Adaptor Motorized Blinds

Some motorized blinds are powered using a DC power adaptor, which also needs to be plugged into a power outlet. While this is considered a "middle of the road" option between battery-operated blinds and hardwired blinds, the downside is that you will have to deal with visible power cords.

How They Work

No matter how they're powered, all motorized blinds have, well, motors. In the case of shade curtains, the motor just draws them up or down. With Venetian-style blinds, the motor can draw them up or down as well as rotate them. If you have vertical blinds, the motor can rotate them as well as draw them off to the side.  

4. Solar-Powered Motorized Blinds

To shield yourself from sunlight, use … sunlight! These are the perfect choice for sunny areas like Denver or Phoenix, but if you live somewhere that’s a little rainier (or a lot rainier, like Seattle), solar-powered blinds might not be the right fit.

How They Work

Solar-powered motorized blinds use a solar panel system mounted behind the shade that faces outward toward the sun. This system connects to the motor that powers the blinds in a way that's very similar to how battery-powered and hardwired blinds draw energy.

The direction the room faces can impact solar-powered blinds’ performance, too. Even something like a porch roof, hedgerow, large tree, or awning that blocks sunlight from a window can prevent this option from working as efficiently as possible.

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