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Electric Blinds motor choice - Battery or Mains Power?


You can buy our Electric Roller Blinds and Electric Blackout Roller Blinds online with either 12v Battery and 240v Eletric powered Somfy motors. We are often asked "which motor is best me?". 

If you are unsure as to whether you should choose 12v battery powered 240v electric blinds, please feel free to ask our advice. There is also some guidance below.

Availability of Mains Power: 240v AC motors require a mains electricity outlet - meaning a plug socket or preferably a switched fuse spur. So, battery operated motors are great if you don't have an electricity point near to your window, or don't want to go to the expense of hiring an electrician to install an electricity point. 

Blind Size: Battery blind powered motors only have the torque to automate blinds at the small/medium end of the spectrum. On larger blinds above 4-5sqm, we recommend using 240v AC motors. See further info below on size restrictions.

Battery Costs: The other benefit of 240v mains powered electric blinds is that you don't have to keep changing the batteries! It's worth weighing up, how often you are going to use your blinds. On a single up and single down cycle per day, batteries will last approximately 1 year on average. But consider that the larger the blind, the more energy will be used and the shorter the battery life. Also consider that solar powered rechargeable batteries are available - please call and ask about these.

Maintenance Time and Cost: Related to the above, consider that the larger the number of blinds, the more maintenance time a battery operated motor will need. If you are looking at an installation with say 10+ blinds, spread throughout a larger building, then perhaps mains powered electric blinds would be better than battery powered. I would always recommend mains powered for commercial installations.

In terms of size restrictions - as an example, I have included a table below which shows the recommended maximum sizes for battery operated motors. The blue area shows where only relatively light weight fabric should be used. The black area is where we recommend you upgrade to a 240v motor, regardless of fabric due to the size.

Electric Blinds - Maximum sizes for battery powered roller blinds

In the above table, SQM refers to the square metrage of the blind (width in metres x drop in metres). As a further rule of thumb, if your blind is using a:

  • Lightweight fabric (250g /m sq) - battery powered is recommended up to maximum 5sqm
  • Heavyweight (e.g. blackout) fabric (550g /m sq) - battery powered is recommended up to maximum 4sqm

If you have any questions or just need advice about the which motor is best for you, please do not hesitate to call our team on 0161 491 9616. You can buy 12v battery powere and 240v electric blinds by following the link. Limited are an accredited Somfy Expert Retailer of Electric Blinds. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose a battery or mains power for my electric blind motor?

The choice between a battery or mains-powered electric blind motor depends on your specific needs and setup. Mains power is generally recommended for larger blinds, such as blinds to fit French doors, due to the higher power output. However, battery-powered options are more flexible in terms of installation and can work well for smaller windows. Please contact customer services for further advice on powered blinds.

What should I consider when choosing between a battery or mains-powered electric blinds?

The choice between battery or mains power will depend on your individual preferences and circumstances. Make sure to review all details and assess the suitability of each option before making your final decision.

If you have a fused spur at the window, you can opt for mains-powered blinds. The motor position can be selected on the left or right of the blind to suit your window. You may need to discuss the option of mains powered with an electrician. If retrofitting or in an area not accessible to the mains power Battery options are great. They have long battery life and only need charging once every few months 

Not all blinds can be hard-wired into the mains for example if you're considering electric honeycomb blinds, these have a 12vDC motor but there is an option of an external battery pack or mains plug to power this. 

Please contact customer services for any queries on what motor to select when choosing your blind.

What should I consider when making the electric blinds motor choice, battery or mains power?

 It's always best to consult with our blinds specialist before making a decision. Battery-powered motors, for example, are typically easier to install and do not necessitate wiring. Our Velux roof window blinds only have a battery option available as it is not possible to hard wire these because they attach to and move with the actual window. However, mains-powered motors, while requiring a professional electrician for installation, generally provide more strength so are recommended for extra wide blinds. Ultimately, your choice should be based on your specific requirements and circumstances.



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