Blinds and window treatments are the cherries on top of any building’s décor. Most spaces don’t have a finished appearance until the windows become framed with whichever choice of covering is installed.
Due to the staple that blinds, window coverings, and treatments have become, several companies are out there to fill this need. Here, we’ll be taking a comparative look at two of them- Hunter Douglas and Lutron.
These brands have a reputation for being expensive and well worth the money from a high-end quality standpoint. They use quality materials and cutting-edge technology, both of which make them more pricey but with a better, longer-lasting product. Also, they come packed with all the bells and whistles involved with automated window treatment systems.
So, let’s have a look at these competitors, starting with Hunter Douglas.
Hunter Douglas Window Treatments
The history of the Hunter Douglas company stretches back to 1919, in a way, being founded by a man named Henry Sonnenberg in Düsseldorf, Germany. Originally, Henry started up the company to manufacture and distribute machine tooling.
After being in business for several decades and making a couple of relocation decisions, Henry established a joint venture with Joe Hunter in 1946. Incorporated into the business was the production of continuous aluminum casting, which evolved into the production of aluminum slats for Venetian blinds, thus launching Hunter Douglas.
Their product line has grown and evolved with the changes of the times decade after decade, as they continue to produce top of the line products for their customers.
Hunter Douglas Window Treatment Products
Hunter Douglas’s line of sheer shades gives the appearance of the blinds floating in mid-air. Their construct is a row of “s” shaped blinds with clear to slightly-tinted fabric connecting them on the blinds’ face and rear. The idea is to give you privacy while enjoying the natural outdoor light at the same time.
Hunter Douglas currently has three lines of sheer shades- Silhouette, Pirouette, and Luminette.
Cellular Honeycomb Shades
The benefit of cellular honeycomb style shades is their insulation value. Between both surfaces of the shade is a series of air pockets that insulate the indoors from outdoor weather.
The line of cellular honeycomb shades is called Duette. They are available in a 100s of fabrics and colors to choose from.
Roman shades operate similarly to a honeycomb or any other drawstring shade but are made from fabric with deep folds.
There are three lines to choose from at Hunter Douglas- Vignette, Solera, and Design Studio.
Roller and Solar Shades
Roller shades are the classic type of shade that most of us are used to, but those found at Hunter Douglas are more stylish than the regular old white pull-down.
In all, there are five lines to choose from- DesignerRoller Shades, Designer Screen Shades, Design Studio, Designer Banded Shades, and Sonette.
Hunter Douglas has crafted woven wood shades to complement a traditional style décor along with more contemporary styles.
In this category of shades, there are two product lines- Provenance and Alustra Woven Textures. These are available in different material types as well as a variety of different colors.
These indoor shutter type systems are mounted to open and close over your window from the inside, with wood louvers that can be open and shut via a pull.
Palm Beach, Newstyle, and Heritance are the three lines of this product.
Known to be the best or most popular choice for large windows or sliding glass doors, vertical blinds have been a classic window covering solution.
The four product lines of vertical blinds at Hunter Douglas are Skyline, Cadence, Somner, and Vertical Solutions.
Wood and Metal Blinds
These are the classic blinds that we’ve all used or owned in the past. Horizontal blinds open and closed with a rod and are pulled up and down with a drawstring.
Their lines under this category are Parkland, Everwood, and Modern Precious Metals.
Side Panels and Drapery
Side panels and drapes beautify your windows over the shades, making your house look more like home.
Their overall product line for panels and drapes is called Design Studio. They are available in numerous styles, materials, colors, and patterns.
The majority of the categories of window coverings above can operate fully automated when purchased or used with automated motion systems. They have their own apps to operate these via tablet and also operate via remote control. Additionally, the tech is designed to synchronize well with existing smart-home systems.
Lutron Window Coverings
Two words can sum up the story of Lutron- lighting control. The desire and fascination with means to control light are what launched Lutron in 1960. Just before Lutron’s launch (1959), the company’s founder created one of the first light dimmers that could be easily installed into a home.
Over the years, Lutron has been the epicenter of hundreds of lighting innovations. Somewhere along the way, they began creating innovations for window coverings and manipulating outdoor, natural light.
Because Lutron has always had a technological core, it should come as no surprise that when it comes to window coverings, they’ve excelled in automated systems and have made technological advancements in that particular industry.
They remain a staple in the lighting industry with their dimmers, switches, and other hardware that goes into lighting systems, and have built a strong name for themselves in the window treatment arena.
Window Coverings Available at Lutron
- Manual and Motorized Roller Shades
- Drapery Systems
- Horizontal Sheer Blinds
- Roman Shades
- Wood Blinds with Independent Control of Lift and Tilt
- Tensioned Shades
- Cable Guided Shades
What Makes Lutron Different
You’ll notice that Lutron carries many of the same types of window covering and treatments. However, there’s a notable thing Lutron can do that makes them unique.
Lutron didn’t start as a window treatment company, but a more focused company on technology that adopted making window coverings over time. In my view, this is reflected in their product.
If you go to their website and check them out, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of options that have anything to do with the word “manual.” Yes, they do make manually operated coverings. But overwhelmingly, you’ll find that their focus is in the automation field.
That isn’t to say that they neglect the window coverings themselves. They offer several different material options and 100s of different fabrics and colors for all flavors of décor. According to an overwhelming majority of reviews I’ve found about their products, their craftsmanship and quality are comparable to other high-end manufacturers.
So, just because they play on their strengths in the technological end of automated systems doesn’t mean that they’ve skimped on the quality of their shades or other covering styles.
The most impressive thing about this company is their all-in-one lighting system that incorporates window shading systems with their interior lighting. The lighting desire in a room can be manipulated through an app that uses the window treatments in conjunction with the lighting to achieve the desired room ambiance.
So, who’s better?
In my opinion, though they both compete in the same industry, they’re two different animals. And as is usual, whichever is better hinges on the need at hand.
Suppose you’re into a fully automated home and find it as cool as I do that you can achieve a home’s ambiance by pressing a couple of buttons on your tablet. In that case, you can go the extra mile and purchase through Lutron.
I believe the Lutron automated systems to be better thought out and more robust than that available at Hunter Douglas.