So we did a thing recently that has been such a wonderful improvement for us, I can’t believe we didn’t do it sooner. We installed the best blackout blinds in our bedroom! Not just any blackout blinds, but motorized, remote control, SMART blinds. (Think… Alexa, open the blinds!) Has it been life-changing? Absolutely! I feel like I found the best blackout blinds for a good night’s sleep! Let me take you through my thought process on how I found and ordered the best blackout shades.
* This post is in partnership with Yoolax. All experiences and opinions are my own!
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Table of Contents
- Our Current Window Situation
- Why These Blinds?
- What Blinds Did I Choose – The Style
- Ordering and Customizing for my Windows
- The Installation
- Charging the Blinds
- Alexa open the blinds
- Living with them
- Other Places to Put Yoolax Blinds
- Where to Buy
- You Might Also Like:
Our Current Window Situation
Ok so here is where I might be different than some people, but I don’t actually like waking up to darkness. I love to wake up to the sunlight, I think I read somewhere that it is good to wake up naturally, it resets your circadian rhythm or something like that. All I know is that I have never loved waking up in the dark.
My husband, on the other hand, loves nothing more than to sleep in total darkness. He would be happy to have a complete blackout from the moment he lays his head on the pillow until he decides it’s time to get up.
In order to appease him, when we made over our bedroom I did install some blackout curtains that my mom made by adding a blackout lining to the back of some fabric. They do the trick, but because the windows are SO TALL, they are actually kind of difficult to draw and open every day.
They don’t slide super smoothly on the rod and I’ve actually taped the rings to the curtain hooks because we kept yanking them out. We also have 4 long skinny windows in there so opening and closing the curtains involves a fair effort and trying to maneuver around nightstands and things and it generally is a real pain!
I usually leave the curtain on my side open and he closes the other three. This allows me my morning sunshine and it’s dark enough for him on his side of the bed.
I also only put one curtain panel on each window and they are juuuuust a little too narrow for the window so they don’t cover them completely. They look a little silly when we try to close them.
Why These Blinds?
I considered getting some sort of blinds in here, but I originally thought it wouldn’t be much of an improvement because my windows are 93″ long, and yanking on a cord to open and close 93″ of blind 4 times would take just as long (or longer) than the curtains did. That’s when Yoolax reached out to me about their motorized blinds and I realized that this was going to solve all our problems!
I wanted to keep our existing system – most of the time closing the three windows and leaving mine open. However, if we did close them all, I wanted to be able to open them all at once, quickly and easily at the touch of a button (or by simply asking Alexa to do it!) Having the additional features allows me to customize the way they open and close and set it up to suit us both.
In the summertime, this room actually gets a ton of natural light and lets in a lot of heat, too. Having blackout blinds provides a little bit of thermal insulation as well, meaning that our air conditioner doesn’t have to work quite so hard!
What Blinds Did I Choose – The Style
I chose these exact blinds and here’s the best part – these are at an incredible price point and available on Amazon! I took one look at the rave reviews and affordable price, and did a little bit of a cost comparison with similar motorized custom blinds, and I knew I had found a great product.
As far as the style went, I wanted to have something fairly minimal in here because I didn’t want to block the upper part of the window with the window panes I added. Any other type of blind that didn’t close up entirely into the header would have covered that detail. I decided I wanted a flat shade for my blinds, as what I was looking for is something sleek that would coordinate with the rest of the room when closed, but also I wanted them to be mostly unnoticeable when they were fully open to let as much light as possible.
I chose to keep the white valence on the top as I thought that would blend in best with my white vinyl windows when the blinds were fully open.
Although I chose the roller shades, Yoolax has all types of shades to choose from to suit any room. They have cellular, sheer shades, vertical blinds, panel tracks and even outdoor solar shades so whatever your tastes and needs, they have something that will work. They even have motorized curtains!
I started off by ordering a sample booklet for the blackout roller shades so I could see the different fabrics in my room. These came via Amazon’s usual speedy delivery and were very reasonably priced, I was able to finalize my choice immediately.
I went for the Linen Beige colour but I was also really tempted by the navy blue which would have been beautiful in my bedroom! However, I tried to think about how the paint and decor in this bedroom might change one day and I didn’t want to have to change the blinds. Most of the time, when designing for my house I try to stick to neutral choices for larger more permanent items.
Ordering and Customizing for my Windows
Once the style of the blinds is decided, it was time to add all the customization and bells and whistles. You can find these exact blinds here. I decided on the inside mount for us, I thought that was the best option just because I didn’t want them to sit on top of my window casing.
However, it should be noted that with an inside mount, you won’t have complete darkness with these shades. There will be a little light gap on the edges with this style of mounting. There needs to be a little bit of room for the hardware, as well as a bit of space to allow the window to go up and down without dragging along the inside of the window frame. If you need total blackout blinds, consider an outside mount. Alternatively, you can also order these light blockers as an accessory to your blind that attaches to the side of the window to close that gap.
We measured each of our windows on the inside to get the width and height measurements for the blinds. We checked in a few places just to make sure and recorded the smallest dimension.
I chose the option that is compatible with Alexa. If you have a compatible device, you can choose that, Otherwise, they also sell a bridge to connect with whatever smart device you have.
We also chose to add a remote for the roller blinds so that there would be another easy way to operate them.
Having the motorization feature means that these cordless shades are easy to operate and safe for small children.
When the binds arrived, they were well packaged and labelled. We set to work installing. It was an easy installation and they were a perfect fit!
To install, there was literally only a single screw for each bracket so for my short blinds, only two screws! You need to install some sort of anchor if you don’t screw into solid wood – for my installation, I used some long screws to extend into my wood window framing.
Once you have installed the bracket into the top of the window, they just snap in.
The blinds come pre-programmed to the remote so at the touch of a button we were opening and closing the blinds. So easy!
You can operate each blind individually or group them as one to operate them all at once. Or two together, or three together, whatever you like.
Charging the Blinds
Once charged, according to the Yoolax website and the reviews, they will open 400 – 600 times on a single charge (so up to 6 months!). We ordered an extra long charge cord, and to charge you just leave them in place and plug them in for a few hours.
You can also order a solar panel that you would mount in the window so you never have to charge them. I opted for the cord to keep the look very minimal, I don’t think charging them once every 6 months or so is a very big deal and I love having no batteries to change.
Alexa open the blinds
The other feature that I REALLY love is being able to set a schedule in Alexa! You can set these up so they automatically open at a certain time in the morning and close at a certain time at night without having to do a thing! I have them set to open at 7:00 am as a sort of back-up alarm. Neither my husband nor I usually sleep that late but if we do… it’s like a gentle nudge that it’s time to get up and start the day!
Living with them
We really love the once-touch (or one voice command!) functionality of these blinds now and I especially love that my curtains are not being yanked on every night. I fixed all the rings that were falling off and re-trained my curtains to fall nicely and they should just stay looking nice from now on!
We are easily able to make adjustments to the blinds using the remote or voice control which is the ultimate lazy morning luxury! Because we went for an inside mount, they are not a total blackout (a little light peeks through on the edges) which actually suits us just fine. It is plenty dark enough to block that summer sun that rises pretty dang early in my part of the world at this time of year!
We are also enjoying having the ability to open and close all four windows at once with the touch of a button or by just bossing Alexa around, ha! We have been closing them on hot days to block incoming light and keep the house just a little bit cooler, which has been an added benefit we didn’t even think of before!
Other Places to Put Yoolax Blinds
These Yoolax shades come in such a variety of styles and blind options, here are my top picks for other ways to use different shade types from Yoolax:
Our deck gets late afternoon/ evening sun and it’s so sunny and hot out there it is hard to enjoy it in the summer. We are considering installing some of Yoolax’s outdoor blinds that we could control from the inside or outside. I think that would be a great choice for the patio. They have fabulous outdoor options for light control and shade and we could even use it in the winter to block some of the light through our patio doors instead of drawing the curtains inside.
I’m also eying up their motorized curtains, we have very large windows in our living room that we struggle with light control. We currently have sheers and curtains on there which I really like the look of, but they actually don’t function all that well. Having motorized double-layer curtains on that window would be amazing to control the amount of light and privacy.
Of course, the first place I think of using these motorized blinds is in a bedroom but in particular a baby’s nursery or child’s room. The lack of cords means it’s safe, and you could set the blinds to open and close at the same time every day so that baby gets into a nice sleep pattern. We all know how important it is for babies to sleep well so I think this is a good choice for any young children.
We are really enjoying our new shades and it feels very luxurious to us to control the shades with the touch of a button or with Alexa! My only regret is that we didn’t do this a whole heck of a lot sooner.
Where to Buy
You can order your shaded directly from Yoolax’s website or Amazon.
For a limited time you can get an additional 5% off with code ErinZubot on any Yoolax Shades on Amazon over $200, and this is on top of any Amazon Prime Day discounts!!