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AC vs DC motorisation. What’s the difference?

JANUARY 04, 2020



It’s 2020. The motorisation of blinds is now becoming more popular than ever and with a huge amount of different products available it can obviously be a bit over whelming too. From the brand of motor to the options list available with each brand, such as: light sensors, hub connectivity, programming styles etc. Today we are here to talk about AC vs DC motors. What the differences are and hopefully give you a little more knowledge to help you decide on what best suits you.

AC Motors:
These are the bees knees. Ultimately if you’re contemplating doing a whole house or an area with a lot of windows these are ideal as there is power running to them at all times and will never go flat like battery motors. Even though they are slightly cheaper to purchase, you must factor in the the additional cost for an electrician to run the cables. Our advice if you’re building a new home and know you’re going to want motorised blinds, get in touch with your blinds company to find out what they need from you on your end and have the cables run when the sparky is doing the other stuff. Doing this will usually save you a lot of money instead of calling them in to an existing home where access can be much more difficult resulting in more work, which usually results in additional costs. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

DC Motors:
This is a fantastic option that’s become available over the last few years. Most reputable motor brands offer lithium ion batteries (they’re the ones you want.) which are rechargeable and able to hold their charge the longest. The life of each charge varies on use, location, exposure etc but generally speaking you’re looking around 1-6 months per charge. To charge them, simply connect a supplied cable that is plugged into a wall socket and go again. Being battery operated makes the motor slightly more expensive than a AC motor, however, due to there being no sparky required they usually end up working out cheaper in the grand scheme of things. One of the down sides however is the charge time. Again these vary per brand and model but you’re usually looking at 2-6 hours per charge. If you have a living area with 6 windows that you use the multi channel remote to control all blinds at the same time, they’re all going to die at the same time (roughly) and will need to be charged individually before you can use them again. You can get more charger leads but your going to have cables and extension cords running everywhere which isnt a highly desirable look. There’s also solar panels available which work great, however you need to ensure each opening gets adequate light to render them useful (ie; window looking out to the alfresco area isn’t going to get enough light to charge the solar panel to work as it should) Also, like everything battery operated, over time the battery will lose its ability to hold charge at its peak full capacity.


So based on that, what works best?
As I said earlier, AC is the best when it comes to motorisation, as I write this today. If you’re doing a whole house or a room with multiple windows, it pays to invest a little bit more to get it right the first time and simply for the pure convenience of not having to worry about recharging them ever.

In saying that though, DC Motors are fantastic if for instance you are only wanting to motorise blinds on a sliding door or in separate bedrooms with single windows, as the load of managing the recharge is separated amongst different users and becomes more manageable. Also DC Motors are fantastic for when there is simply no access to run electrical cables for an AC motor. This allows you to still have a motorised product on that opening without compromising the finishes you were after.

At Vision Blinds & Shutters we have a huge range of motorised products which allow us to cater for all your needs. From AC to DC, light sensors to Wifi hubs that connect to smart phones and smart homes. Give us a call today to have one of our consultants help you achieve the motorised results you need in your home.




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