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Battery powered shades vs. hard-wired shades, ready fight!

To battery or not to battery, that is the question.

One of the great parts of my job is meeting all kinds of people with all kinds of windows.  Big windows, small windows, new windows, old windows and everything in between.  Many of the newer product introductions from the industry’s best names have been battery powered such as Lutron Triathlon roller and honeycomb shades and many of Hunter Douglas’ PowerRise 2.1 shades.  This may lead a casual observer to ask, why not battery powered shades?  I’m glad you asked.

There are some limitations, of course, to battery operated shades.  Those include style limitations and size limitations due to the lower power output of batteries.  But if your windows are within those limits, does the battery option make sense?  The answer is a little more complicated, but in most instances, the answer is no.  The reasons are as follows:

  • Battery powered shades will never be more powerful than their hard-wired counterparts
  • Battery powered shades will never be physically smaller than their hard-wired counterparts
  • Batteries need to be changed.  Not often, but it is still an ongoing service issue

So, by nearly every metric, battery powered shades lose in comparison to their hard-wired counterparts.  There are however a few very compelling reasons to use battery operated shades:

  • Battery powered shades are cheaper than their hard-wired counterparts, sometimes by many hundreds of dollars due to lower hardware AND installation costs
  • Battery powered shades are much easier to install and don’t require any wiring to the nearest electrical outlet so in existing construction, in many instances battery operated shades are the only way to play

Keep in mind that among their battery powered competition only Lutron Triathlon battery powered shades have Intelligent Hembar Alignment (IHA) so all shades in the same room raise and lower at the same rate independent of the age of the batteries powering them.  Competitors products will each move at different rates as the batteries age so if you wish to stop the shades at an intermediate spot between fully open and fully closed, you’ll end up with a stair-stepped grouping of shades and not a nice lined-up look that you’ll get with Lutron.

Finally, due to our almost 15 years of experience in running wires in our main automation and AV business, Synergy Multimedia, we can run wires through walls in places you may not expect so you may not be limited to a battery operated shade mechanism.  Contact us today to take a look at your space and we’ll recommend the RIGHT solution, not the EASY solution.

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