Remote Control Shades Vs. Smart Motorized Shades: Understanding the Differences

A remote control is sitting on a couch next to a window.

Looking to upgrade your home?

Your window treatments can dramatically affect the look and feel of your living spaces. And if you have massive picture windows, like so many showcase houses, you may also have a massive problem.

  1. How can you manage the harsh summer sun that cooks your living room like a toaster?
  2. How can you achieve the desired level of privacy without wrecking the view?
  3. How can you operate your window treatments in hard-to-reach areas — without unsightly cords, chains, or control rods?

The answer for many Aero Shade customers is “motorized shades.”

Fantastic! Problem solved! Except there’s another choice further down the selection funnel: remote control or smart?

They may seem like the same thing, but they operate in different ways, offer different levels of convenience, and have different prices.

So, which type is right for your home, lifestyle, and budget? Let’s break it down into pros and cons.

Remote Control Shades

These shades have a straightforward design: they use a remote control to manage movement. Their mechanism requires manual input and relies on either infrared or radio frequency signals for communication.


  • Affordable option (relatively, but still costlier than standard shades)
  • Easy to install and use
  • No need for additional equipment or devices
  • Can be operated from a distance (up to 65 feet or so)
  • One remote can control multiple shades
  • Can also be operated via a wall switch
  • No dangling cords to endanger children and pets


  • Limited range of operation (due to signal strength and obstacles)
  • Restricted by line-of-sight communication (need to point the remote directly at the shade)
  • Need to keep track of the remote
  • No integration with smart home systems
  • Can perform only basic functions (open, close, stop)
  • Cannot be programmed or set to timers

While remote control shades are a significant improvement over standard shades, they lack some of the advanced features of smart shades. These “smart” features may not matter to everyone, but smart shades are the better choice for those who crave the ultimate in convenience and automation.

Smart Motorized Shades

These shades are equipped with sensors or integrated into a smart home system. They embody the pinnacle of technological integration, seamlessly merging automation and intelligence.


  • Automated operation through timers, sensors, or smart home systems
  • Can be programmed to open and close at specific times of the day (e.g., sunrise/sunset)
  • Can adjust based on sunlight, temperature, or other environmental factors
  • Can be integrated with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home for hands-free control
  • Can be accessed and controlled from any location via a smartphone app
  • Can automatically adjust to sunlight and temperature changes, reducing the need for artificial lighting or air conditioning
  • Create the impression of an occupied home even when you’re away, enhancing security


  • Tend to be pricier than remote control shades, given their advanced features and smart home capabilities
  • Installation and setup are more complex, as they usually require integration with a smart home system
  • Smart functions might be temporarily unavailable during internet and power outages
  • Depending on the system, there may be privacy concerns related to data collection and sharing

Smart Shades & Home Security

A bullet point worth discussing in more detail is the enhanced security that smart shades provide. As mentioned, you can program them to adjust automatically based on sunlight and temperature changes.

But you can also configure them to simulate occupancy when the house is empty. Timers and sensors will open and close shades throughout the day so that it looks like someone is home, deterring burglars.

Also, with remote access via smartphone apps, you can close your shades if you realize you left them open, even while you’re on vacation in Fiji.

Where to Buy Motorized Shades in Los Angeles

If you live in metro Los Angeles and hanker to upgrade your home with motorized shades, call us at Aero Shade.

  • We’ve sold and installed remote-controlled and smart shades for almost as long as they’ve existed. Our clients include Fortune 500 corporations, major universities, Hollywood celebrities, and thousands of homeowners throughout the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.
  • We’re authorized dealers of Lutron and Somfy systems, the leaders in window treatment motorization.
  • We can customize any shade to fit your windows and match your decor.
  • We can motorize almost any window covering, including drapes, blinds, and shutters.

Our reputation for excellence in customer service, installation expertise, and post-purchase support is second to none, and all our estimates are free. Call us today. 323-457-2835.

Frequently Asked Questions about Motorized Shades

Q: Are smart motorized shades more expensive than remote control shades?

Smart motorized shades come with a higher initial cost due to their advanced technology and integration capabilities. However, considering potential energy savings and enhanced functionality, they might provide a better long-term investment.

Q: Can remote control shades be integrated into a smart home system?

Some remote control shades can be integrated into specific smart home ecosystems, but their capabilities might be limited compared to smart motorized shades designed for smart home integration.

Q: Are smart motorized shades difficult to install?

Both remote control shades and smart motorized shades typically require professional installation. Smart motorized shades have additional requirements for connecting smart home systems.

Q: Can smart motorized shades improve my home’s energy efficiency?

Yes, by adjusting to environmental factors like sunlight and temperature, they can effectively manage the heat entering your home, reducing the need for artificial lighting or heating/cooling.

Q: Are there any privacy concerns with smart motorized shades?

As with any connected device, there could be potential privacy concerns as some data may be collected and shared. If this worries you, review the manufacturer’s or service provider’s privacy policy to understand what data is being collected and how it’s being used.

Q: Can I control my smart motorized shades when I’m not at home?

Yes, you can control them remotely via a smartphone app. This allows you to adjust your shades even when you’re away from home.

Q: Do smart motorized shades work with all types of windows?

Most smart motorized shades are designed to work with various window types. However, it’s best to consult with a professional to ensure compatibility.

Q: Can I customize the look of my smart motorized shades?

Many companies offer customizable options for smart motorized shades, allowing you to choose the fabric, color, pattern, and style that best suits your home decor.

Q: Can I use voice commands to control my smart motorized shades?

If your motorized shades are integrated with a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you can control them using voice commands for hands-free operation.

Q: Do smart motorized shades require a lot of maintenance?

Generally, smart motorized shades require minimal maintenance. However, like any technology, they may need occasional troubleshooting or repair.

Q: How long does the installation process take for smart motorized shades?

The installation time for smart motorized shades depends on various factors, such as the number of windows, the type of shades, and the complexity of the setup. An experienced professional can provide an accurate estimate.

Q: Do all smart motorized shades work with every smart home system?

Not all smart motorized shades are compatible with every smart home system. Always ensure the shades you choose can be integrated with your existing or planned smart home ecosystem.

Q: What happens to my smart motorized shades during a power outage?

During a power outage, your smart motorized shades may not function as usual. However, some models have backup batteries to keep them operational during short-term power outages.