I found the easiest way to automate window blinds, and it's solar powered

A have a look at the SwitchBot Blind Tilt after set up.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

SwitchBot has discovered its area of interest in retrofitting current house home equipment and merchandise, resembling door locks, to make them sensible. And now the corporate is making a blind tilt mechanism with an included photo voltaic panel that automates window blinds for you. 

This sensible SwitchBot Blind Tilt launched not too way back after a profitable Kickstarter marketing campaign, the place it was pitched because the world’s best sensible solar-powered blinds.

It is a small machine that attaches to the vertical twisting wand on horizontal blinds, and twists it to tilt open the blinds or shut them, all managed by you out of your cellular machine or through a voice command to Alexa or Google House. 

Your cellphone communicates with the SwitchBot Blind Tilt through Bluetooth, however it will probably additionally hook up with Wi-Fi in the event you add a SwitchBot Hub

The Blind Tilt comes with its personal photo voltaic panel, which makes it a simple, plug-and-play possibility. You by no means have to fret about climbing up on a chair to cost it or discovering a long-enough charging cable; I discovered it a easy, hassle-free resolution to my blind woes.

Why would you want a sensible blind tilt?

Upgrading your present blinds to make them sensible can appear pointless for many home windows, however in the event you’ve received hard-to-reach home windows, or have at all times needed to get up to the morning gentle and do not have a butler to open your blinds such as you’re royalty, then sensible blind tilts had been created with you in thoughts. 

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Out of all of the issues we needed to repair instantly in my 24-year-old house, are you aware what was not on my precedence listing? Changing window remedies. I might like to have crisp, new sensible window coverings in each room, however if you’re speaking about on the very least $200 to $300 for every window, the price provides up in a short time.

Since spending 1000’s of {dollars} on new blinds is not my precedence proper now, it was straightforward to let it go. How arduous is it to twist a wand to open your blinds each morning, anyway? Properly, let me introduce you to my toilet blinds. 

Blinds with SwitchBot Blind Tilt installed

These are the offending blinds above the bathtub: You possibly can see the SwitchBot Blind Tilts put in.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

We’ve got nook home windows in the principle toilet that permit in plenty of gentle in the course of the day, but additionally let everybody exterior see into our bathe at night time. The issue? These blinds are proper above a giant soaker tub, so each time we wish to open them, now we have to step into the bathtub to achieve them. We might do that within the mornings, solely to overlook to shut them till considered one of us was already within the separate bathe every night time, frantically calling for another person to shut them so the neighbors do not get a free present. 

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We had settled for preserving them closed always to keep away from this problem and simply turning on the lights when within the toilet in the course of the day. This is the reason as quickly because the SwitchBot Blind Tilt arrived, I knew precisely the place it was going: The primary toilet blinds.

So off I went to put in it the identical night time, figuring it will be the reply to my prayers — I might watch the blinds open to yield the morning gentle whereas a refrain of angels sang within the background. I used to be so excited.

Closeup view of the Blind Tilt

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

You see, I’ve researched blind tilts prior to now, fairly extensively truly. I’ve examined computerized blinds in several houses and once I researched changing ours with sensible ones and was hit with the overwhelming price of all of it, I made a decision to look into retrofitting choices.

What I discovered is there are only a few choices for automating current blinds. And it isn’t for lack of making an attempt; at totally different factors in my analysis, I discovered numerous small corporations making an attempt to promote their retrofitting choices for blinds. From wand attachments to changing your entire tilt mechanism on the prime, there are two issues that stood out to me from the totally different retrofitting choices: The evaluations are abysmal as to how dependable they’re, and that those that truly work price upward of $170. 

So I used to be glad to see SwitchBot, with all its retrofitting expertise, attempt its hand within the blind tilt market, particularly at 20% off proper now. 

Set up course of

Hands installing a blind tilt


I obtained two items, one for every window above my tub. After I unboxed the primary one, I shortly received out the directions and commenced the setup that was certain to alter my life. The field contains the blind tilt mechanism, charging cable, photo voltaic panel, and setup information.


  • Blind wand diameter: 15mm – 40mm
  • Wand circumference: 47mm – 125mm
  • Blinds measurement: Blinds should be lower than 9.8 toes large
  • Charging: If photo voltaic panel would not obtain sufficient daylight to cost the battery, the unit could be charged with the included cable.

The SwitchBot Blind Tilt is basically a small robotic that spins your blind wand for you, powered by a battery that’s charged by the included photo voltaic panel. Due to this mechanism, the unit must grip your wand fairly tightly as a way to work, so it’s a must to connect an adapter and coupling to your blind’s wand, however SwitchBot contains a number of adapters within the field to make sure that you get the correct match. 

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After that, you simply have to attach the unit to the photo voltaic panel and stick the panel to your window with the 3M backing, the place it will obtain sufficient daylight to maintain the battery charged and the sensible blind tilt working. 

SwitchBot Blind Tilt

A lot of the SwitchBot items that should be hooked up include a 3M backing.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

It took me about 10 minutes and 0 instruments to put in the primary one, and the opposite one took lower than 5 minutes, since I used to be now aware of what to do and count on, so it is a quite simple course of.

As soon as the Blind Tilt is put in, simply open the SwitchBot app in your cellphone, go so as to add new machine, and your cellphone will pair with the Blind Tilt through Bluetooth. When you’ve got a SwitchBot Hub or Hub Mini, you need to use it to manage the Blind Tilt through Wi-Fi, from wherever you might be, and add automations. It may also be added to Amazon Alexa, Google House, and Siri Shortcuts for voice management.

We’ve got the Hub Mini in addition to a SwitchBot distant. And, whereas I used to be initially dissatisfied to study that I could not group each of my blind tilts to manage them each on the similar time with the distant, SwitchBot has simply added the function within the app. Which means that I can management each blinds on the similar time by means of the app or voice management, but additionally with considered one of these tiny remotes on the wall.

Eyesore or eye-opening?

Blind Tilt on one window

Although it isn’t a “seamless” match, I do not thoughts the addition to the twisting wand.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Yeah, you possibly can see it, it would not mix seamlessly into your blinds or substitute a blind wand, but it surely is not terribly noticeable or one thing that bothers me, personally. One: My blinds are white, as is the blind wand. Two: I do not assume anybody would discover the motor as a result of who can be searching for it? Nonetheless, if anybody did discover it, it might be an superior alternative to whip out my cellphone and do a demo of the blind tilt mechanism.

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May this be the sensible blind tilt that adjustments all of it? SwitchBot certain desires it to be. The corporate can also be identified for its SwitchBot Curtain, which mechanically opens and closes current curtains, so doing the identical for blinds looks as if a pure step.

ZDNET’s shopping for recommendation

I admit that I used to be pleasantly stunned by the SwitchBot Blind Tilt. It has been responsive and constant any time we have used it, and it runs fairly easily on a schedule: Our blinds are at all times open within the morning and shut promptly at 6:00 pm, rain or shine — and it is continued to be dependable and constant now, virtually 4 months after putting in.   

It isn’t a loud machine, although you possibly can hear a really faint whirring in the event you’re inside a couple of toes of it. I’ll admit, nonetheless, that I used to be as soon as bathing my toddler within the huge tub proper beneath and did not even hear the blinds shut till I seemed up and realized they’d. Life will get so busy that we do not even hear it most days.

Ultimately, I by no means heard the refrain of angels as my blinds unfolded for me within the morning gentle. As a substitute, this turned an invisible a part of my on a regular basis life — one thing I do not even discover. And with a retrofitting endeavor like this one, I feel that is in all probability the most important win: It is so conveniently dependable that you simply by no means have to fret about it. It simply works.

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