When Cordless or Motorized Shades are the Best Choice

When you are buying window shades for your home, you tend to run into the option of cordless or motorized shades. These two options typically are not the first thing on your mind when looking at window treatments, but they are important for the use and aesthetics of your design. Going with cordless or motorized can be the best choice you make when buying window shades.

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Cordless Shades

Perfect for children’s rooms, cordless shades are always recommended for their safety factor. A long cord can pose a risk of strangulation, which can happen with younger children who do not know any better and might play with it. It also tends to be more a visually appealing option, as there isn’t a puddle of cords sitting on the window ledge or getting tangled into frustrating knots. Overall, there’s less hassle with going cordless and fewer problems that can arise.

With all its benefits, there are a few problems with choosing a cordless shade. Depending on how big the window you are buying the shade for is, cordless might not be an option. Some shade brands that offer a cordless option will not have it available beyond a certain size. The accessibility of the window you are buying the shade for also may pose a problem. For hard to reach areas, cordless is not practical based on their design. It can be dangerous trying to open and close a cordless shade that is placed high-up.

Motorized Shades

Like the names suggests, this option comes with additional hardware to allow you to open and close the shade. Choosing motorized is perfect for hard to reach areas or shades that are too large or heavy to lift. Some options of motorized can be programmed to go up and down at specific times. Typically, they are controlled with a remote or switch, but some manufacturers have a smartphone option. Motorized shades are commonly powered by batteries, a plug-in transformer, or can be hardwired into your home’s electrical system. There may be a combination of power options, or a built-in back-up in case the main system fails.

Like cordless shades, a motorized shade does have some cons, usually with the power source. The size of a shade can affect how much power the motor requires. If you have a battery operated motor, the batteries will need to be replaced every one to three years. Hardwiring the motor to the rest of your home can increase your regular energy bills, which might deter some from going with that option. A plug-in transformer, while it may last longer than a battery, might fail or short out over time. Except for the battery option, a motorized shade will be useless during electrical outages and can be damaged by a power surge. The control system of shade can also potentially fail for a number of reasons—loose the remote, broken switch, crashed phone app—and there usually is not a manual control option on the shade itself.