"Smart Home Showdown: Connected Shades"
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CNET Smart Home
Smart Home Showdown: Connected Shades
No smart home gadget is as cool to show off to friends as smart shades.
But let's get one thing straight.
These are premium products.
An installation like this will set you back.
Thousands of dollars.
But say you've got the cash, and you want the shade.
The question is which ones should you buy?
To help with the decision, I decided to get together two of the leading brands, Lutron's Serena shades and Somfy motorized shades.
This is a smart home showdown.
I'm considering three factors in this showdown.
Ease of installation, control for the price, and noise.
First off, any smart shade you install is going to take time and effort.
Somfy's separate battery pack is harder to install and change than Lutron's the in shade batteries but Serena shades have their own hassles.
Like requiring you to drill holes through the mounting plate itself.
So when it comes to installation, between Lutron and Somfy, it's a tie.
Control and price are connected for these products.
Somfy shades start at about $300, which is about $50 cheaper than Lutron But Lutron shades also have a lot more features out of the box.
You get app control and voice control through Siri or Alexa and all of that is just for the price of a $350 shade and an $80 hub.
For similar features Somfy makes you purchase an additional $100 bridge.
And a $70 hub.
So Lutron clearly wins control for the price.
Finally, when you're looking at noise emission, Somfy definitely looses.
At least for the battery powered shades that I installed.
When Somfy motors operates, they emit an annoying buzzing noise.
As opposed to Lutron's nearly silent shade.
When you consider all the factors, Lutron Serena Shades definitely come out on the top and that's why we install them here at the CNET smart home.
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