Oliver Hudson, director at BlindsbyPost
The number of smart homes globally is predicted to grow and surpass the 350 million mark by 20231. Smart home technology is an effective investment that is guaranteed to add that luxury feel to any home. Smart home products work to streamline everyday routines and tasks. It has been a huge trend for 2022 and is expected to continue into 2023.
Smart home technology can be expensive but there are products and solutions out there that can be cost effective. Oliver Hudson, Director at BlindsbyPost, shares his comments on why smart homes are becoming such a big trend and how blinds can become a key part of any smart home.
What are smart homes?
Smart homes are understood as homes that use connected devices and appliances to perform tasks, actions and automate routines to save money, time and energy. Home automation systems allow users to integrate various smart devices and appliances through a central control system whether they are in or out of their home.
Products such as smart doorbells and thermostats can be connected to the internet, giving them greater functionality than their traditional counterparts.
By installing home automation systems, homeowners can control various aspects of their property, from lighting and heating to their entertainment systems and appliances at the touch of a button on a remote or smartphone app with ease. Smart products can be controlled from one place and from a distance, even automating tasks such as closing blinds on an evening to save time. There are currently more than 2.2 million smart homes in the UK alone,2 and 25% of people with internet access in the UK own at least one smart home device3. Many homeowners are looking for ways to adopt smart technologies to create a modern, efficient and convenient home.
Being smarter with blinds
The use of smart technology in homes is increasing and is set to grow a further 17% by 20234. A popular choice for those wanting to begin installing technology as part of their smart home plans are motorised blind systems.
Motorised blinds offer light control within a home, alongside benefits such as easier room temperature management, heightened security, and the chance to install blinds in hard-to-reach spaces. Motorised blinds are a cost effective and easy way to completely transform any home into a smart home.
Motorised blinds can be raised and closed at the touch of a button on a remote, or voice activated through a home assistant, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home. They are perfect for creating tech-savvy homes and are a real talking point.
Many motorised blinds can be powered through solar energy which offers minimal maintenance and energy costs with no charging needed, and supports a home in becoming more environmentally friendly and cost effective. Electric roller blinds use Li-ion solar panels and Somfy technology, powered by a simple remote which is rechargeable and a wire free motor to effortlessly lift and lower the blind at a moment’s notice.
The solar (photovoltaic) panel is simply mounted on the inside of the window opening and converts the sun’s light into electrical energy. The harnessed electrical energy is stored within a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery which powers smart solutions for shades and blinds. Battery powered and electric motors mean there are no unsightly wires.
Being smarter with bills
It’s not only tech solutions that can make a home smarter. Tightly installed blinds can reduce heat loss through windows by 40 percent in winter, equating to around a 10 percent* saving on heating bills. This makes them a smart choice for those wanting to save over the colder months.
Thermal blinds are specially designed to keep the heat in during the winter months. With the energy and cost of living crisis leading to many households looking for new ways to insulate their home on a low budget, these blinds can make a home smarter when it comes to saving on the cost of energy bills.
Thermal blinds offer a cost-effective solution for reducing heat loss from windows, which means reducing total monthly and annual energy bills. While tightly installed blinds can lead to savings of up to 10 percent, thermal blinds can save an average household up to 14 percent. For example, if a household is paying £2,500 in energy bills annually, there is a potential saving of £350.
Being smarter with the environment
Research has shown that people have become more environmentally conscious in 2022, and more than half (55%) said they actively look to buy products that are more eco-friendly5. This has also impacted interior design, with homeowners beginning to opt for innovative, environmentally friendly choices around the home.
Making personal sustainable choices is crucial if we are to combat the growing climate and waste crisis. To make smarter, more sustainable choices when it comes to kitting out a house, homeowners might want to consider what their products are made from.
Eco blinds are made using recycled materials or materials that can be recycled post consumer use. This extends the life cycle of raw materials and minimises the demand for virgin resources. Choosing blinds made of recycled polyester yarns processed from single use plastic bottles is a great way to be environmentally smarter when it comes to home interior choices.