Looking to transform those dumb blinds in your house into smart blinds? Lutron’s Serena line promises to do exactly that. So smart that can even help you save energy? I took the smart blinds for a test.
Ordering and Installation
The Serena line are custom shades. This means that you'll need to head over to Lutron's website to select the style, color and size. Lutron will manufacturer your blinds specifically for each window and ship them directly to your home. It may seem daunting but if you following the measuring instructions and know how to use a tape measure, you'll be fine. Once ordered, the hardest part is over.
The Serena shade installation was surprisingly easy. In fact, if you've ever installed a set of blinds in your home this isn't that much different. The single page instructions show you how to mount the brackets which the actual shade clips into. The sliding door shade that I installed required 8 D cell batteries to power the motor and "smarts" of the unit. Lutron also offers an option to wire them directly to an outlet.
Check out a timelapse of me installing the blinds. It took about 30-45 minutes.
Connecting to remote/hub
I wasn't looking forward to this part of the process. Often connecting devices to a smarthub (Wink Gen 2 in my case) tends to be a major pain in the tail. This time, it wasn't! In fact, it was simple. I first paired it with the Pico controller that shipped with the blinds. I followed the instructions and that was simple using the single hidden button at the top of the shades. The process was pretty much the same with the Wink app on my phone. A simple pairing process and we were in business!
What can a smart blind do for me?
That's the question. Motorized blinds with a remote are nothing new but what exactly makes these "smart"? Once connected to a smart hub the blinds can be programmed to do whatever you wish. If they're in a media room you can program the blinds to automatically lower when you tell Alexa or Google Home to "start movietime." You could also have your lights turn off and power up your TV. Now we're talking! Another cool benefit is that you could install smart blinds on a specific side of your home to help manage the morning or afternoon heat from the sun. If you know that sun roasts the West side of your house in the afternoon, program the shades to automatically close from 2-6 in the afternoon. Cool, right? Literally!
What's the catch?
Installation is easy, setup is simple and it can help lower your energy bill! What's the catch here? No catch, just a price that might be tough for some to swallow. Custom shades can easily cost $100+ but the Lutron Serena Motorized Smart Shades start in the $350 range and go up from there depending on size and style. Replacing all of the blinds in your home might be a bit too expensive but strategically placing smartblinds in specific spots in your home could kick up your smarthome game a bit and help lower that monthly energy bill.
You can buy the Serena shades directly from Lutron on their website.