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Best Buy Guides Window Coverings
Best Buy Guide
Window Coverings
Best Buy Guide

Window Coverings

Discover the best window coverings controllers for your smart home.

Installing smart shades and curtain controllers in your home is incredibly rewarding. You gain enhanced privacy, unmatched convenience, and perfect lighting control at any time of day. Just imagine waking up naturally with the sun as your alarm, as your window coverings gradually open in the morning.

With Homey and our top recommended brands, you can automate the opening and closing of your curtains, blinds, shades, or roller shutters either on command or on a schedule. This Best Buy Guide highlights our top picks for smart window covering controllers that are compatible with Homey. Join the cool kids and motorize your window coverings!

Considerations for automating window coverings

Automating your window coverings can greatly enhance your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and modern appeal. Before you dive into this smart upgrade, consider a few key factors to make the best choice for your needs. 

Determine your needs

Decide whether you want to automate curtains, blinds, or roller shutters. If your home has multiple types of cover per window, consider the benefits of automating each to enhance convenience and efficiency. Conversely, consider the possibility that automating both may be obsolete.

Ease of installation

Ensure the installation process is straightforward and includes all necessary hardware and instructions. Some devices on our list are easy to retrofit, while others may require completely replacing your existing coverings.

Power source

Based on your window locations and preferences, decide between battery-powered, plug-in, or solar options. Some models feature rechargeable battery packs, while others require constant mains power.

Control options

Look beyond smart controls to include traditional methods like wall-mounted switches and remotes. These can serve as reliable backups in case of connectivity issues.

Price

Evaluate your budget and compare prices across brands and models highlighted in our Best Buy Guide. Automating every window can be expensive, so prioritize the most essential coverings.

BrandModelProtocolCovering TypeBattery PoweredSolar ChargingPrice
Aqara Brand LogoAqaraE1 Curtain DriverZigbeeCurtains€89.99
eve iconEveMotionBlinds KitThreadBlinds, Shutters€199.95
Forest IconForestShuttle L Curtain MotorZ-WaveCurtains€520.00
ikea-brand-logo-bbgIKEASmart BlindsZigbeeBlinds€99.95
Somfy IconSomfyUltra 30 WireFree433 MHzBlinds, Shutters€215.00
SwitchBotBlind TiltBluetoothVenetian Blinds€69.99
eve-brand-logo-bbgZemiSmartRoller Shade MotorThreadBlinds, Shutters€88.85

Aqara E1 Curtain Driver

Available at €89.99

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Aqara E1 Curtain Driver
  • Easy to install
  • Great battery life
  • Adjustable speed
  • Issues with telescopic rods
Homey Pro
Homey Bridge

The Aqara E1 Curtain Driver is a modern controller that automates traditional curtains without completely replacing the curtain system. It’s available in two versions: a rod version and a track version, with the latter supporting U-rails and I-rails.

The Aqara E1 is straightforward to install as a retrofit device. Once mounted and calibrated, the curtain driver travels along your rod or track, pulling the curtain with it. The moving speed is adjustable, and the motor can handle a maximum curtain weight of 12 kilograms. 

The Aqara E1 uses Zigbee 3.0 as its communication protocol, ensuring reliable and efficient performance. Its 6,400 mAh battery lasts up to twelve months on a single charge, and a USB-C port facilitates recharging. Once integrated with Homey, you can monitor the device’s status, check the battery level, and control the driver by setting a precise position in percentages.

The main downside of the Aqara E1 (Rod version) is that it can have difficulties with telescoping curtain rods. Since these extendable rods slot into each other, the Aqara E1 can sometimes fail to pass their joint.

Eve MotionBlinds Upgrade Kit

Available at €199.95

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Eve MotionBlinds Upgrade Kit
  • Matter device
  • Broad compatibility
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Some features not available in third-party controllers
Homey Pro

The Eve MotionBlinds Upgrade Kit modernizes traditional roller blinds, making them smart and easy to control without needing full replacements. The kit includes various brackets and adapters, allowing the motor to slide into the tube of your existing blind and replace the chain mechanism.

The Eve MotionBlinds upgrade kit fits tubes with a diameter of 38-51mm and can lift blinds with a maximum width of 680mm. It’s compatible with most blinds fitting these parameters. However, it’s worth noting that you cannot use them with IKEA or Hunter Douglas blinds. The motor also has an 80cm pull chain for manual control.

Built on Thread, this device uses Matter’s mesh communication protocol, resulting in a more robust and reliable connection. It integrates directly with Homey Pro without additional hubs or bridges.

One of the standout features of the Eve MotionBlinds is the Adaptive Shading capability. This function adjusts the blinds based on the sun’s position, optimizing indoor lighting and energy efficiency. By automatically managing the natural light entering a room, the blinds help reduce the need for artificial lighting and climate control, contributing to energy savings.

Unfortunately, you can only use the built-in Adaptive Shading feature through the Eve app. You cannot access it through third-party Matter controllers.

Forest Shuttle L Curtain Motor

Available at €520.00

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Forest Shuttle L Curtain Motor
  • Premium quality
  • Advanced features
  • Slow start-stop
  • Very expensive
Homey Pro
Homey Bridge

The Forest Shuttle Curtain Motor is a versatile and advanced system designed for automating curtains. It is available in five different types: Shuttle L, Shuttle M, Shuttle S, Shuttle AC, and Shuttle iOn. Each type caters to specific needs, with differences mainly in communication protocol, power supply, and maximum curtain weight capacity.

The system uses Z-Wave (Shuttle S, M, or L) or 433MHz (Shuttle AC or iOn) communication protocols, allowing seamless integration into various smart home setups. Homey Pro, one of the world’s most advanced smart home hubs, allows integration and control of any version of the Forest Curtain Motors.

The Forest Shuttle L model is ultra-silent, producing minimal noise during operation. It incorporates a slow start and slow stop function, enhancing the smoothness of curtain movement.

Regarding flexibility, you can use the Forest Shuttle L motor with curved tracks and install them upside down for a recessed installation, keeping the motor hidden behind the curtain. This makes it suitable for various window shapes and interior designs.

The motor includes a touch control feature to retain manual control, allowing users to activate the device by gently pulling the curtain. The Forest Shuttle Curtain Motors’ advanced feature set and premium build quality set their price range high, making them the most expensive track controllers on our list.

IKEA Smart Blinds

Available at €99.95

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IKEA Smart Blinds
  • Affordable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Multiple model choices
  • Mediocre battery life
Homey Pro
Homey Bridge

Unlike most devices designed to retrofit onto your existing blinds, the IKEA range of smart blinds is a full replacement solution. The company offers roller blinds with semi-transparent light control, like the KADRILJ, or full blackout blinds, like the FYRTUR. For those who prefer cellular (honeycomb) blinds, IKEA has recently introduced the TREDANSEN and PRAKTLYSING models.

Apart from the light control these smart blinds allow into the room, another main difference between these models is their dimension availability. FYRTUR and KADRILJ are available in widths ranging from 60 cm to 140 cm, while TREDANSEN and PRAKTLYSING are only available in fixed widths of 120 cm and 140 cm. All models have a maximum length of up to 195 cm.

The major differences stop there, as all IKEA smart blind models use a USB-C rechargeable battery pack and rely on Zigbee for communication. Once paired with Homey, you can remotely set the position or create more advanced flows based on the sun’s position or current light levels.

Like most IKEA smart products, smart blinds are affordable and straightforward to use and install. However, their main drawback is their mediocre battery life, which requires a recharge every two to three months.

Somfy Ultra 30 WireFree

Available at €215.00

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Somfy Ultra 30 WireFree
  • Premium quality
  • Versatile portfolio
  • Ultra-quiet operation (Sonesse)
  • May require professional installation
Homey Pro
Homey Bridge

Somfy is a well-known name in the window coverings industry. It offers a comprehensive range of motorized solutions for blinds, shades, and curtains. Somfy’s products are designed to provide convenience, comfort, and seamless smart home integration.

One of Somfy’s standout models is the Sonesse series, renowned for its ultra-quiet operation. This makes it ideal for residential settings where noise minimization is crucial. The Sonesse ULTRA 30 WireFree RTS model is particularly popular, featuring 433 MHz connectivity for seamless integration with smart home systems such as Homey. 

This motor comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, offering a balance of power and convenience without any need for hardwiring. As its name implies, the ULTRA 30 WireFree uses no wires and charges with an optional solar panel installed on your windows.

The Sonesse ULTRA 30 WireFree RTS stands out for its superior quietness and efficiency. It is perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces where a peaceful and quiet environment is important. Once added to Homey, you can create Flows to automate the blinds in these rooms and develop personal morning and evening routines.

Somfy’s product portfolio is extensive and diverse. With a Somfy smart motor, you can retrofit any window covering in your home. While some models are designed for DIY retrofitting, many require a professional setup to ensure proper operation.

SwitchBot Blind Tilt

Available at €69.99

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SwitchBot Blind Tilt
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Solar panel charging
  • Limited Range
Homey Pro
Homey Bridge

If you want to automate Venetian or mini blinds in your home, SwitchBot offers the perfect solution. The company’s product portfolio includes the Blind Tilt, a smart motor controller designed specifically for blinds with a rotating wand.

The SwitchBot Blind Tilt is very easy to install and retrofit. It attaches directly to the tilt rod without the need for additional tools. The box comes packed with accessories to accommodate different wand shapes and thicknesses.

Once installed, you can use your phone to calibrate the open/close positions and test the device. The Blind Tilt uses Bluetooth to communicate and integrate with Homey Bridge or Homey Pro. You can monitor the battery status and change the tilt position with Homey, allowing you to create Flows and automate your blinds.

The SwitchBot Blind Tilt features a built-in 2000mAh lithium battery, which you can charge via a USB-C port. SwitchBot also offers a small solar panel for the Blind Tilt that you can install on your window towards the sun, providing a completely wire-free experience and unlimited battery life.

The Blind Tilt is an affordable blinds controller and an easy way to automate Venetian blinds. However, it’s worth noting that Bluetooth has a limited range by design, so the Blind Tilt must be close to your Homey for optimal performance.

Zemismart MT25B Roller Shade Motor

Available at €88.85

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Zemismart MT25B Roller Shade Motor
  • Matter device
  • Flexible installation
  • Great battery life
  • Large solar panel
Homey Pro

The Zemismart Roller Shade controller is a smart motor. It operates various roller shades, including zebra blinds, Shangri-la shades, and roller shutters. This model supports roller shades with a 36-38mm tube diameter, making it suitable for a wide range of blinds and shutters.

The package includes several attachments and accessories to accommodate different shade configurations. The motor is 432 mm long, which is the minimum width of the roller shade the MT25B can operate.

The Zemismart MT25B is powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery with a 5000mAh capacity. It offers long-lasting performance and can be easily recharged via a USB-C port. Additionally, you can opt for a solar panel from Zemismart for a wire-free setup. This is ideal for hard-to-reach or high-up blinds.

The Zemismart MT25B uses Thread to communicate and join the network formed by Homey Pro. Once added, you can monitor the device’s status and control its position via Homey. As a fallback method, this smart roller motor can also be controlled via a small remote.

It’s worth noting that the solar panel offered with the MT25B is quite large and noticeable when installed on your window. Therefore, its visibility may be a consideration for users who prefer a more discreet setup.

Pro tip: automating your existing motors

If your home has non-smart blind or shutter motors, you can easily automate them without replacing the hardware. Depending on the model and existing wiring, you can install a Fibaro Roller Shutter 3 or a Shelly Plus 2PM and pair it to Homey.

These smart modules are specifically designed to control tubular motors used in various types of window coverings, allowing you to automate your existing blinds, shades, or shutters easily.

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