When referring to power blinds and shades, automated and motorized are often used interchangeably. But these two terms actually have specific meanings and indicate different capabilities. It’s important to understand the differences so you are sure to get the features you want.

MOTORIZED WINDOW TREATMENTS With motorized window treatments, the blinds or shades operate using a motor. The motor can be battery-operated or hard-wired. The treatments are operated using a remote control or a button on the shade itself.

AUTOMATED WINDOW TREATMENTS Automated window treatments also have motors, but they are connected to a smart hub. This hub is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi router and communicates with your powered window treatments. The hub connection allows you to operate your window treatments with your smartphone, tablet, integrate it your smart home system such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Nest.

There is an impressive array of options for programming your automated window treatments to operate under specified conditions. For example, you can set them to automatically open and close with sunrise and sunset. Or your shades can be programmed to automatically lower when bright sun hits the windows to control glare and UV rays. When you are traveling, scheduling automated blinds to open and close at different times of the day gives the appearance that someone is home. Blinds can also be programmed to adjust when your smart thermostat senses you are away to maximize energy efficiency.

MOTORIZED OR AUTOMATED: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR ME? If you love smart home technology and already have or are planning to get a smart home system, automated window treatments are a no-brainer. They will give you much more control with less effort. The addition of the hub provides much more functionality without a lot of additional costs.

If smart home technology is not important to you but you’d like to operate your window treatments at the touch of a button, consider motorizing your treatments. This is an especially great option if you have hard to reach windows.

An important point to note is that automation is only as good as your Wi-Fi. If you have a weak Wi-Fi signal in your home, you may want to opt for motorized treatments instead.

I’VE MADE MY DECISION… NOW WHAT? Let our designers help you choose the right window treatments to motorize or automate. Power can be added to most types of treatments, including 19 different Hunter Douglas products in a wide variety of styles, textiles, and finishes. Work with experts who know technology and design. Our experienced installers will install your treatments and set up everything for you — that includes integrating your hub with your smart home system. Visit us online at draperystreet.com/motorization/ and get moving with a complimentary design consultation.