These days our homes are super smart. With app connected gadgets from lights to thermostats, and speakers to fans, it’s probably no surprise that blinds and window coverings are also now fully automated. We recently renovated our home, and as part of the plan to make our home as automated as possible, we added smart blinds from Somfy. I’d like to thank Somfy for providing smart blinds for my home for this video. Though they have given me blinds, they haven’t told me what I can’t say or what I have to say about their products, so consider these opinions my own.
Motorized Somfy smart blinds, rollers, shades: my in-home review
I opted for a couple of different window coverings from Somfy, and we’ll look at each one in detail.
A Somfy motorized Roman Shade for the principal bedroom, a designer roller blackout shade for the office and a designer sheer blackout roller shade for the windows in the living room.
I’ll quickly note there are many, MANY choices in blinds, rollers, curtains and coverings in hundreds of different fabrics, shapes and styles so there’s options for every taste. You’ll see what worked for me in my space, but any of this is easily customizable.
The core of each of the shades I chose is the Somfy motor and the TaHoma home control hub. They work with the Somfy TaHoma mobile app. . There are also a few other toys and options; I opted for a sun sensor and a remote control too, which we’ll get into.
Somfy Motors: the core of your blinds
There are a few different motor options with your Somfy blinds; there’s the Sonesse 28, Sonesee Ultra 30 and the Sonesse 40. The guts of each motor are very similar; where they differ is in the noise level; the Sonesse 28 is the loudest, but calling it loudest is like calling a piece of paper falling to the floor loud. The motors get progressively more silent from there. The only real noise is a soft hum, which I think anybody could sleep right through. To test them out, though, I had the Sonesse 28 installed in the blind in the office, Sonesee Ultra 30 in the living room and the silent-operation Sonesse 40 used in the bedroom
Power, battery life, charging: batteries last up to a year!
Each of these blinds is powered by a rechargeable built-in Lithium-Ion battery, which has a powerful lifting capacity. Each one has a removable charging cable, which means you don’t need to take the blinds or the battery tube down to charge it. An LED Low battery indicator will let you know if you’re running low on juice, as will the app.
Expected battery life of each of these blinds is about a year, but it does depend on how often you’re using your blinds.
When it’s time you’ll connect the cord to the tiny charging line, and plug it in. Since my blinds are just a couple of months in, I’m nowhere near needing to charge them yet.
You can also add a small solar panel to keep your blinds charged at all times; these are great for extremely tall or hard to reach windows where climbing up to charge would be treacherous.
Design & looks: 3 Somfy window coverings
Let’s get to the fun stuff; picking out colours and styles.
With Somfy, you’ll work with a local dealer and they’ll give you design advice, walk you through all the options and you can even see them in action before you buy. I worked with Sonata Design in Calgary and Tyrell’s advice was really helpful.
The benefit of working with a local dealer is also that the installation and set up is all included; I didn’t have to do a thing.
When my custom made blinds were ready, a specialized installer came in and installed and set them up for me. Naturally since I’m into tech, I wanted to do the blind configuration in the app myself, but with my pro nearby. Getting the blinds set up was easy and just took a few seconds each. But most of you won’t even need to do that if you don’t want to.
Let’s take a closer look at what each of these blind types can do and which ones I chose.
Office Blinds: designer roller blackout shade
In the office, I needed something to cut the harsh sunlight on the south side of the house so I chose the designer roller blackout shade to cut the light and to give me a little privacy. Since I work in here all day, I was able to use the Somfy app to create a daily routine; the blinds come up at sunrise, then lower in the late afternoon when the sun starts to hit the window. When the sun heads down for the day, the blinds close again for privacy.
Bedroom Blinds: motorized Roman shade
For the bedroom I wanted more of a light blocking effect, so I went with a heavier Roman shade. Tyrell was able to keep it tight to my very narrow window frame, and the result is that it keeps light out quite well when it’s closed. It also effectively blocks heat and cold, very helpful since it’s right above the bed.
Here too I have the blinds set to open up wide after we wake up in the morning to ensure privacy, then they stay up during much of the day and close again at sunset. In the summer, when we see more sun, I’ve adjusted them to close midday to provide some shade too. This is all automated in the app so I don’t need to do it manually every day.
Somfy Remote Control
If I ever do need to make on the spot adjustments, I’ve left the Somfy 5-channel remote on the dresser, or I’m able to use the app too. This one remote can control all my motorized Somfy blinds at once or each one individually. My Sonata dealer programmed the remote for me, but it’s possible to do yourself if you want to.
Somfy TaHoma remote app
Digging in on the Somfy TaHoma remote app, it’s your control centre for all your blinds.
You can do simple open/close operations, create preset favourites, or make what are called Scenes—essentially schedules, or pre-set actions at certain times. Using the app and Scenes is how I set it up for my blinds to open and close at certain times of day, and the process is really easy.
Somfy blinds have Google/Alexa voice control
If you’ve got a smart home already and you use Google or Alexa voice control, you can set things up so that your digital assistant can raise or lower the blinds for you.
Set up for this essentially involves going into your digital assistant app of choice, looking for the Somfy skill or brand, and then linking your account. From there you can say simple things like, “OK Google, Living room up.” And the blinds will open.
Living room blinds: designer sheer blackout roller shade
Moving to my living room, finding blinds that could handle the extremely long width of my living room windows was a major challenge, so I was really glad to see the Somfy system was strong enough to lift and lower these wide and heavy blinds without breaking.
With other blinds I would have had to put two blinds on each window to span the full length, so right away I was pretty pleased with this configuration.
This set up is what’s called a designer sheer blackout roller shade. In a nutshell it looks like slat blinds that are partially sheer when they’re open. Or you can tilt them closed for full privacy. I love this versatility.
Use a Somfy sun sensor to cut heat & protect furniture from UV rays
Also on this west-facing corner window we get a lot of sun that I wanted to cut during the heat of the day, so here we added a Somfy RTS Sun Sensor.
The sun sensor does just that: when it detects the light of the sun’s rays, it closes up to deflect it. After the hottest part of the day passes, the blinds open up again so I can enjoy the evening. Again at night, I’ve timed them to close for privacy. This sensor has the added benefit of protecting your furniture or artwork from bleaching out in the sun.
Automated blinds: great for travel/security
These blinds are fully programmable using the Somfy app and for me that also means that if we travel, I can make changes, or leave them scheduled in the app to preserve the illusion that someone is home.
Somfy roller blinds combined with my smart lighting is a nice passive security option.
Overall review: Somfy Motorized smart blinds & shades
Overall, I’m super thrilled with my decision to go with Somfy blinds. They are strong and move easily, and all the components seem very durable. The motors are ultra silent; even the one that’s supposed to be the loudest!
I love the versatility of the extra components, like the sun sensor, solar panels and the quick-grab convenience of a physical remote control. The app is also easy to use and program and lets me share control with the whole family.
To get started on your own motorized project, fill out Somfy’s Connect with a Dealer form and they’ll put you in touch with a great dealer in your area. You can find it on their website.
To learn more about Somfy motorized smart blinds, curtains, rollers or shades for your home you can click the link to get connected with a dealer in your area.