About Blind Magic
Using a remote control and AutoSlide technology that works with any string or beaded chain cord, Blind Magic allows you to open, close, or adjust your blinds for the ideal amount of light, without getting up from your seat.
According to the website, all you have to do is place the cord inside the device and snap on the top, and it will install in seconds, without the need for tools. And because it works on any string or cord, it can control any type of blinds, whether horizontal, vertical, thin, wide, roman shades, or solar shades.
Finally, one remote works with multiple units, so you’ll be able to close one—or all—of your windows any time and from anywhere.
Based on what we learned from the website and commercial, Blind Magic seems like a simple, inexpensive method of retrofitting your standard blinds and making them ‘smart.’ Will they deliver meaningful value, based on your needs? Are there any other options you might want to consider?
In this brief buying guide, we’ll spend most of our time talking about how Blind Magic stacks up, and how you can make an empowered decision about which options to consider. But before we get there, let’s quickly discuss what you’ll pay and who manufactures it.
How Much Does Blind Magic Cost?
One Blind Magic unit and remote is priced at $19.99, plus $7.99 S&H. All orders are automatically upgraded to the Pro edition, which includes a light sensor that gives them the ability to automatically open or close when the sun comes up and goes back down.
During checkout, you can purchase a second unit and remote for an additional $9.99 fee.
All Blind Magic orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H and any fees associated with the upgrade offer. In order to request one, you’ll need to call Telebrands customer support at 855-668-1655.
A Quick Note About Blind Magic’s Manufacturer
While you might not have heard of Telebrands before (even though they’ve been in business for more than 30 years), you’ve probably heard about some of their many hits over the years. Recent examples include Pocket Hose Brass Bullet, Egg Sitter, Bavarian Edge, and Crank Chop.
And while the Fairfield, NJ-based company had a total of 29 negative customer reviews and 320+ closed customer complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website (as of 2/15/18), they also held a D+ rating. Common complaints related to products that didn’t meet expectations and less-than-stellar support, although a representative responded in each instance.
Blind Magic vs. the Competition
By 2022, Statista.com reports the global smart home market is projected to be worth a whopping $53 billion, which will represent more than double its value as of 2016.
And with this rapid growth of home automation technology, as well as decreased prices and increased ease of use, consumers now have a slew of plug-and-play DIY options at their disposal; everything from home security and mesh networks to lighting, indoor air quality, and energy monitoring. In other words, it’s simpler than ever to move one step closer to making your home ‘smart,’ without undergoing a steep learning curve.
As you might imagine, this growth also means there are several other products in the marketplace competing for the same customers as Blind Magic. How do they compare? Let’s take a brief look at each one.
Teptron’s MOVE features a very similar design to Blind Magic, with a removable top that installs in minutes on all blinds and shades with continuous cord loops, without tools. Just place the chain or cord inside, put the top back in place, and affix to the wall.
However, it also boasts iOS and Android smartphone control, including the ability to create groups and control multiple shades at once. Users can also automate MOVE’s behavior based on sun conditions, time, or temperature.
Another similar design that accommodates all continuous loop blinds and shades, contains light sensors, and features a simple DIY installation process.
Gear’s motors also come with smartphone control capability, as well as the ability to control all shades in a room with one tap. The company emphasizes that they can lift any blind or shade size or weight, can draw their power from solar or a battery, and can last up to six months per charge.
SOMA Smart Shades
Yet another option with a similar design as Blind Magic, as well as an easy setup process that retrofits to your current shades. Additional features include automated schedules and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
Comparatively, SOMA outfitted their Smart Shades with a safety feature that will automatically stop the chain if it catches, or if it “detects additional abnormal weight or pressure.”
Price: $89-$890 (pending release via Indiegogo)
Also installs on existing window blinds in one click and with no tools (although there are two versions: one for horizontal and another for vertical blinds), automatically responds to changing light and temperature, and is controlled via a smartphone app.
The built-in battery can be recharged with a solar panel, the devices move on their own while you’re away to make your home look occupied, and they integrate with BLE and ZigBee hubs.
Price: $149 for Automation Kit, additional components $49-$89
Unlike most of these close Blind Magic competitors, you’ll have to remove your shades from their cradle when installing each MySmartBlinds motor, although the process doesn’t require any tools. Because of this design, the device only works with 2-3” blinds.
Additional features include Bluetooth/iOS and Android app access, automatic light and temp. sensors (which can automatically adjust based on season), and a peel and stick wall switch, which controls up to four sets of blinds. The motors can automatically recharge using a solar panel, or via a traditional charging cord.
Compared to all of the other options we’ve explored, Somfy requires expert installation, although it can be controlled via smartphone and also integrates with many other home automation products and platforms.
Why did we save Blind Magic for last in this list? Because we wanted to briefly outline some of the key information available for the competition.
Comparatively, the website and commercial provide little information about what you’ll get for your money in this instance. For example:
- Is it battery operated? If so, what types? How long will they last before needing replacement?
- Exactly how many blinds can one remote control? Will all shades perform the same action at the same time? Can you only adjust one at a time when multiple shades are connected?
- How adjustable is the light sensor (e.g., only opens blinds a certain amount, or all the way)? Does the light need to be direct in order to trigger the sensor?
- Is there any size or weight restrictions?
- How noisy is the device when in use?
- Are there any built-in safety features to prevent harming children or pets?
We called and spoke with several customer support representatives during our research, none of which were able to provide any additional insight.
How to Decide If Blind Magic is the Right ‘Smart Shade’ Option For You
Taking a look at the close competition, we can see that Blind Magic comes in as the least expensive. But does that necessarily mean it—or any of these retrofit options—is necessarily the right choice for you?
We had the opportunity to speak with Nick Picklo of Picklo Homes, a custom home builder and home automation expert, who emphasized that the first thing you should do is maintain realistic expectations. In other words, keep in mind that “none are going to be as reliable as automated shades,” he says.
As far as remote or app-controlled devices, he points out that you should consider whether you’re looking for a single-room/single window solution, to control multiple windows in the same room, or multiple windows throughout the house. Why?
Bluetooth signals and radio waves can only travel so far, so if you want to control a window on the other side of your house, the signal might not reach far enough. Furthermore, switching channels when using a single app or remote to control multiple windows can be time-consuming.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a bare-bones method of controlling just about any blinds or shades in your home, Blind Magic seems to be the least expensive option around. Telebrands also stands behind it with a 30-day refund policy.
But if you’re looking for something that can connect to your existing automation setup (thereby creating a truly ‘smart’ home), can be controlled via an app, or that can be programmed to perform automatic functions, one of the higher priced competitors might more closely meet your needs.