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Hunter Douglas Smart Shades drop the AAs for rechargeable battery sticks



8 Hunter Douglas Rechargeable Battery Wand Dual Charger Lifestyle

Hunter Douglas

The Smart Shades in the CNET Smart Home are usually the first things people think about when touring the place – especially when you are doing cool tricks like opening or closing with a simple voice command. But all of these fancy, motorized automations use a lot of battery power in the long run – and the last thing your smart home needs is a dependency on D-cells or AAs.

Now Hunter Douglas has a new solution. The company’s PowerView line of customizable smart shutters has been using AA batteries for years. Now customers can instead supply things with new rechargeable battery sticks.

The battery stick is designed for most of the company’s color styles and can also be retrofitted to existing Hunter Douglas Smart Shade setups. To use it, just slide it into the magnetic dock behind the top of the screen, where the batteries are usually located. When the battery is empty, two wands can be fully charged in a dock accessory within a few hours.

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When a battery stick is almost empty, the Hunter Douglas PowerView app will send you a notification prompting you to replace it.

Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas says a fully charged battery stick powers a shadow for up to a year, and adds that you can track each individual’s battery life in the PowerView app. When someone runs out, the app sends you a warning to remind you to replace them.

The company also states that the battery stick provides “the broadest operating temperature range of all rechargeable window covering solutions on the market” and includes an automatic shutdown function in the event that the battery ever gets too hot. This is a nice addition to something that is in a window and possibly in direct sunlight.

None of this is cheap, mind you. Each battery stick alone costs $ 70 or $ 65 if you buy it in a new shade. Add another $ 95 for the dual-rod charger. And that’s in addition to the price of the paint itself. After contacting Hunter Douglas’ dealer network for a custom price for each, you’ll need to spend $ 299 per shade to add the smart, motorized reel, and $ 285 for the system hub. You need both to take advantage of Hunter Douglas integration with smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Control4 and Savant.

All of this makes Hunter Douglas a much more expensive option than simpler Smart Shades like that Ikea structureThis starts at $ 129 per shade and comes with its own batteries at no cost. Still, you can’t customize the look or material of basic smart sunglasses like this, so those who buy something high-end may appreciate the convenience of rechargeable battery sticks (not to mention those who have already bought).


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