Battery Powered Shades vs. Hard-Wired Shades

Battery operated shades. Batteries behind fascia.

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

One of the great parts of my job is creating solutions for all kinds of people’s window treatment needs. One question that comes up quite often is whether to use battery powered or wired shades. This question has become more prominent since many of the industry’s best names like Lutron and Hunter Douglas have introduced battery-powered options.

There are some limitations.

Battery powered shades have lower power output which limits style and size options. But if your windows are within those limits, does the battery option make sense? The answer is a little complicated, but in most instances, it’s a no. By nearly every metric, battery powered shades lose in comparison to their hard-wired counterparts:

  • 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

There are also some benefits.

However, there are 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 wiring to the nearest electrical outlet. So, in some instances of existing construction, battery operated shades are the only way to play

Straight Lines.

Keep in mind that among their battery-powered competition only Lutron Triathlon battery powered shades have Intelligent Hembar Alignment (IHA). This means that all of their 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. This means if you want 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 rather than the straight line look that you’ll get with Lutron.

Finally, due to our significant experience with automation, 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.