Gif: Lutron (YouTube)

The sun is a great source of free lighting if you’re in a home with lots of windows. But in the summer months, natural lighting can also quickly turn your home into an oven. Instead of spending all your waking hours opening and closing blinds to block direct blasts of the sun’s rays, Lutron’s new automated smart blinds can make all of those adjustments for you.

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With companies like Ikea finally making the technology more affordable, smart blinds are joining smart lighting as an accessible home upgrade. But being able to simply remotely open or close your blinds from a mobile, app, or asking your smart assistant to do it for you, isn’t as smart as it could be. Lutron’s new window blinds feature “Natural Light Optimization” functionality which takes into account the location and orientation of your house (using GPS and a smart device’s built-in compass, presumably) as well as the location of all the blinds in your home to automatically open and close them individually throughout the day to let in natural light—but only on the sides of your house not directly exposed to the sun.

The functionality helps maximize the amount of light in your home while at the same time minimizing unwanted excess heat, but there are other advantages too such as a “Fade Fighter” mode which can be activated to limit the amount of sunlight hitting furniture or other items in a home that can fade in color over time. If you’re an art collector with some expensive pieces on your walls, that feature alone could justify the upgrade which starts at $600 for a set of blinds that cover a 3 x 5-foot window, but the price goes up from there depending on size and style.

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As with other smart blind systems, Lutron’s new blinds can be manually scheduled through an accompanying mobile app, remotely operated through popular voice assistants, and the blinds will automatically all close at sunset to maximize privacy in your home. Installation is promised to take as little as 20 minutes because the motors are all contained in a small battery-powered box mounted at the top of a window so no wiring is required. The downside, of course, is yet another thing in your house with a hunger for fresh batteries especially since these blinds are operating and adjusting all day long.

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