Seeking simpler ways of doing tasks is human nature. Every part of the day, we look for excuses to procrastinate our responsibilities, or we simply take shortcuts. While it is not a good idea to shirk work responsibilities, we might look for simpler alternatives to doing tasks that may otherwise take a decent amount of our time. When we minimize the time taken for doing regular, unproductive tasks, it leaves us plenty of time to focus our energy on things that matter. And that’s exactly what technology aims to do. Motorized operation of shades is one of the ways technology has reduced the time and effort of walking up to them, adjusting them by pulling the cords, and closing or opening them. Now with the help of motorized shades, we can simply instruct them to close or flick the button of our remote, while simultaneously working on that important presentation on our laptop for the upcoming week. Despite the convenience that these shades bring, they need to be maintained from time to time to ensure proper functioning. And that includes changing their batteries regularly. In this section, we tell you exactly how you could do that. And it involves a very simple procedure.
The Convenience and Functioning Of Motorized Shades
When times were simpler, window shades would be operated with a continuous cord loop that needed to be pulled. When the blinds were new, the procedure was simple. When they grew older, the mechanism became faulty, and it required greater effort to open and adjust these blinds. Besides, most of the times these blinds were stuck, and we had to work on the headrail to get them to function smoothly. But with the advent of battery-operated setups, things became simpler even when we were not tech-savvy. All it required was remote to operate them as well as schedule their movement as per the outside temperature. It was a made-to-order setup, finding prevalence in homes in every nook and corner of the world.
Then came the smartphone-operated and Alexa-enabled setup, making use of the smart Z-Wave technology where all it required was a voice-enabled mechanism. This is not the future anymore, it is a part of our everyday life. At brands as premium as Graber, Hunter Douglas and Zebra Blinds, blinds can be customized and fit on any window in any room. And there are multiple windows in the house where all of them can be integrated. All you need to do is say, “Alexa, shut the blinds in the kitchen,” and “Alexa, open the blinds to 50% in the living room”, and watch them spin their magic. But when the blinds are put to work multiple times a day, often once every hour or so of your waking time, they tend to exhaust their batteries sooner.
Understanding The Battery and Power Adapter Setup
The motorized lift feature is convenient and nearly necessary on taller, harder-to-reach windows (most importantly, skylights), where you cannot always get a ladder to operate them. This setup saves you plenty of time, besides being safe for unsuspecting children and pets who are keen to play with and twist the slats or cords in traditional operation.
In motorized shades, there can be two kinds of power setups: a D.C. power adapter or a battery-enabled one. In the second setup, i.e. the battery-enabled one, you can operate it through a DIY procedure, which means you can replace and change batteries manually.
There are the following steps involved in replacing the batteries.
1. Consider The Size of Your Shade: The number of batteries involved in the setup will depend on the size of the shade. You can learn about it in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. The number ranges from 3 to 8, and a motorized shade usually requires the use of lithium or alkaline batteries. For Graber shades, 8 AA Lithium-Ion batteries are recommended.
2. Turn Off The Power: Ensure that the power of the shade is switched off when you begin this operation. This is safer and a precautionary way that avoids any damage done to the setup as well as anyone working on it.
3. Locate The Tube: A battery-enabled shade has a tube with a slot that is part of its hardware. Find out the location by paying heed to the booklet that comes with the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Remove The Slot: Once you have located the tube, remove the slot. You will find the batteries placed one after the other horizontally.
5. Take Out The Batteries: Remove the first battery carefully, and then remove the rest of them with the help of a screwdriver. Usually, the tube has holes to enable you to push them out.
6. Replace The Batteries: Ensure that all the batteries are new. Do not mix old and new batteries as this may create more complications in their operation. Push them inside one after the other. Understand beforehand which end of one battery goes with the top of another to avoid stretching the procedure.
7. Check The Operation: Compare the functioning. Ensure that there are no problems faced anymore in the opening, closing or tilting the blinds. Repeat this procedure a few times to be 100% assured of the functioning of the new batteries.
Factors Influencing Longevity Of Batteries
The lifespan of batteries is generally dependent on the following three factors.
1. The Frequency Of Usage: Let’s just say that the more you are dependent on your motorized shades, the more likely they are to exhaust their batteries sooner. Usage may depend on the season under question. During summer months, when the position of the sun changes, the requirement also differs. You might set your shades functioning accordingly. For instance, if you have scheduled your shades to adjust at different levels according to the position of the sun, they undoubtedly use substantial power. This can happen even during winter months, when mornings may be colder than afternoons, and you want your shades to open and close as per the intensity of the cold.
2. Type Of Batteries: We recommend choosing lithium batteries over alkaline ones, as the former usually last up to four times more. Besides, lithium batteries are more likely to function in hotter climates. So if you have a home in the Middle East or in South Asian countries, you know which ones to choose.
3. The Size Of Window Shades: Living rooms or bedrooms with high and wide windows, especially bay windows or those covering the entire length of the wall, require the use of taller and wider blinds. Operating them requires substantial battery use that can withstand the bulky weight of the shades.
For shades that run through a power adapter and instead require the use of remote control, replacing the batteries is as simple as replacing the batteries of a TV remote. You do not need any specific instructions for that. But when there’s an issue with the power adapter, you better consult your manufacturer for the right instructions. Or simply ask them to send a professional over to do the job.
To sum up, it requires no rocket science to replace the batteries of a motorized blind. You just need to find out the correct slot and understand how they fit in together. Also, understand the type of batteries that are required so you could shop for the exact kind for replacing them.