Serena Smart Wood Blinds review
Not only are Serena’s Smart Wood Blinds extremely well-made custom blinds, but they offer the unique ability to automatically adjust to optimize the natural light in your space throughout the day. But this convenience doesn’t come cheap.
- Plenty of design customization options
- Set it and forget it – the blinds automatically adjust to natural light
- Easy to set up and easy to control via the Lutron app
- Opening and closing of the blinds can be controlled via a remote or a smart assistant
- No HomeKit or SmartThings support
Last year we tested Serena Smart Shades by Lutron which in our opinion, are the best smart home shades on the market. More recently, Lutron launched Smart Wood Blinds by Serena. These cordless smart wood blinds are battery powered and they look like typical wood blinds but they offer similar smart home integration features to the Serena Smart Shades. But what really makes them stand out is that they come with a natural light optimization (NLO) feature where your blinds automatically adjust their tilt based on the position of the sun, no pull cords required.
Natural light affects our mood. Not getting enough of it can make you feel down and having too much of it can be too harsh. These blinds are designed to give you the ideal amount of light for your space.
Investing in Serena’s Smart Wood Blinds don’t come cheap but you’re getting quality custom handcrafted wood blinds that are made with real North American basswood. There are plenty of customization options; you can choose from a stained finish or a painted finish. When it comes to stained finishes, there is a walnut, mahogany, oak, and dark walnut option. When it comes to finishes, you can choose from; white, mist grey, soft white, and stone grey. There are also two available valance styles to choose from. The single blinds are available in widths from 20” to 72” and they can be ordered as tall as 72.” The wood slats measure 2″ each.
Self-installation of the blinds was mostly a breeze and akin to installing any custom blinds. It’s the app and smart home connectivity that make these Smart Wood Blinds really stand out. To that effect, you can use the Lutron app to manually schedule when to have the blinds tilt open or close or you can use the NLO feature.
NLO automatically adjusts the amount of tilt based on the position of the sun. When you first set up the blinds, you’ll need to specify which direction your window is facing the sun, and then it’s pretty much “set it and forget it”. As the sun moves throughout the day, NLO will adjust your selected blinds so that you get more natural daylight without the discomfort of direct sunlight. All blinds completely close at sunset for privacy.
When there is direct sunlight on a particular side of your home, NLO will adjust those specific blinds so that the light is reflected up into the room and eliminates discomfort. When direct sunlight is no longer an issue NLO will adjust these blinds to provide maximum natural light and outdoor view.
NLO is really the key selling feature of Serena’s Smart Wood Blinds. That said, while NLO works really well, it’s not perfect. That is because NLO is not using a camera or a light sensor to automatically adjust to sunlight, instead, its schedule updates seasonally by using the internet’s sunrise and sunset times to adjust the blind’s tilt. This means that if your window is facing a building, or a wall, etc, the blinds are not “smart” enough to recognize that you could use more sunlight.
The blinds can also be manually tilted open or closed using the Lutron remote/light switch. Alternatively, you can use Google Assistant or Alexa to open and close them with your voice. In addition, the blinds can be integrated into your smart home routines.
There are no other wood blinds on the market that feature technology like Serena’s Smart Wood Blinds. Not only are they extremely well-made custom blinds, but their ability to automatically adjust to optimize the natural light in your space throughout the day is extremely unique and very useful. Just keep in mind, that while the blinds are cordless, they do require a manual lift and lower. Ultimately, if you can afford these expensive blinds, the convenience they offer means that you won’t regret spending money on them. Pricing for Serena’s Smart Wood Blinds begins at $599.