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What's Behind the Motion? Power Systems for Motorized Blinds

What's Behind the Motion? Power Systems for Motorized Blinds

Motorized blinds and shades offer the convenience of controlling your window coverings with the push of a button. But how exactly do these automated blinds work? What powers the motors that raise, lower, tilt, and position the blinds or shades?

Battery Powered

Many motorized blinds and shades are battery-operated for ease of installation. No wiring is required, so they can be added to existing windows with minimal hassle.

The batteries are often rechargeable lithium-ion packs that can be plugged into an AC outlet when needing a boost. Higher-end systems may have long-lasting batteries that only need recharging every 2-3 years. The batteries are housed in the blinds' headrail or the shades' roller tube.

Battery-operated systems provide flexibility in placement, but regular charging is required. Batteries may also lose capacity over time.

AC Power

Rather than relying on batteries, some motorized systems are powered by a nearby electrical outlet. This provides consistent, unlimited power without the need for battery replacement.

Low-voltage AC power is sent through small wiring that runs discreetly along the window frame. The wiring connects to a compact AC motor within the blinds or shades.

AC-powered systems have reliable, maintenance-free operation. However, your blind or shade placement may be limited by the need to connect to an outlet. Professional installation is also recommended.

Hybrid Power Options

Some motorized systems offer both battery and AC power options. Batteries allow flexibility in installation while the AC plug provides backup power.

These hybrid systems automatically switch between battery and outlet power. The batteries recharge when the AC is connected. This gives you the freedom of wireless operation combined with the consistency of direct electrical power.

Solar Power

The nice thing about blinds and shades is that they’re actually right next to a natural power source: sunlight. All you’ll need to go this route is a solar panel system, which you’ll mount behind the shade facing outwards to catch the sunlight.Β 

A few high-tech motorized blinds integrate solar panels to recharge the batteries. Tiny solar cells are built into the top of the blinds to harness energy from the sun.

During the day when the blinds are open, the solar panels convert light into electricity to top up the batteries. This creates a self-sufficient system that doesn't need manual recharging.

Today's motorized blinds and shades run off convenient battery packs, plug-in AC power, or innovative solar energy for automated control of your window treatments. When selecting motorized systems, consider your power needs and placement options.

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