Hunter Douglas Aura’s Illuminating Design Simulates Sunlight With the Shades Closed

12.19.23 | By
Hunter Douglas Aura’s Illuminating Design Simulates Sunlight With the Shades Closed

Many of us do everything to welcome as much light into our homes during the day, especially with the increasingly shorter span of daylight during late autumn through winter. Even so, as evening arrives, the lights come on and the window shades come down. But what if you could accomplish both needs with a single solution? Hunter Douglas Aura Illuminated Shades are an innovative window treatment solution serving those two needs, capable of simulating the comforting presence of natural light while also retaining the sense of privacy the evening promotes.

Living room with high ceiling and two sofas facing one another, with light blocking window shades drawing down.

Initial impressions of the Aura Illuminated Shades are similar to any other Hunter Douglas automated window shade. And that’s intentional, as the best window treatment should be handsomely innocuous rather than an attention grabbing presence. The Aura’s design offers the same convenience as the brand’s other PowerView Gen 3 Automation powered products.

Living room with high ceiling and two sofas facing one another, with light filtering window shades drawing down.

Just like any other Hunter Douglas window covering, the Aura can be used to filter or block out light using the brand’s user customizable PowerView Gen 3 Automation system.

But Aura hides a novel integrated feature that makes it stand out from any other window shade solution: a parabolic reflector and a reflective liner engineered to evenly disperse light from an LED array. Shining from the top down, the result is a window shade capable of simulating the presence of sunlight while closed.

The photos of the same room staged for yoga, showing three different lighting brightness and color temperature settings made possible by Hunter Douglas Aura window shades.

Hunter Douglas’s system allows users to adjust the brightness anywhere between 0% to 100% and the color temperature of light from 2200K to 6500K, all adjustable from the brand’s PowerView app.

Hunter Douglas Aura window shade options shown on a phone using the brand's PowerView app, with sliding controls for brightness and light color temperature.

A wide gamut of other lighting moods combining brightness and lighting temperature – all without any evident hot spots – create the convincing ruse of sun shining in.

Hunter Douglas Aura window shade options shown on an iPad using the brand's PowerView app, with sliding controls for brightness and light color temperature, alongside controls for opening and closing the window shades.

Hunter Douglas Aura Illuminated Shades PowerView Automation app allows for granular control while opening and closing the shade, along with the option to turn up the brightness and adjust the color temperature of the Aura’s integrated LEDs. \\\ Photo: Jacob Snavely

White Hunter Douglas Pebble remote control set on round wood side table near two potted plants.

If you prefer the tactile to purely app-based controls, the Pebble Remote offers a pleasing in-hand option. Voice activated controls are also supported for hands-free operation. \\\ Photo: Jacob Snavely

So what does one do with shades equipped with integrated lighting beyond the cool party trick of living the “shades down, lights up” lifestyle? Like other Hunter Douglas automated solutions, the Aura Illuminated can be programmed to follow specific routines and a user determined schedule to open, close, light up, and turn off. An obvious application is scheduling the Aura as a silent and luminescent alarm, using lights rather than a nerve-rattling alarm tone to gently awaken the senses by simulating the increasing radiance of a sunrise.

Even when the day’s forecast doesn’t call for a particularly bright morning, the Aura can be customized to introduce just the right amount of light, rather than the soul-draining 110% brightness typically associated with office lighting. An additional bonus is that Aura’s even illumination should prove beneficial for those required to jump onto regular Zoom calls.

Exterior of wood clad home's windows with the shades partially drawn down and integrated LED lights on.

With the LED component turned off, the Aura Illuminated’s room-darkening liner helps create an inviting sleeping environment (shown here with the Vignette Modern Roman Shade). Photographer: Jacob Snavel

Aura is available in a variety of Hunter Douglas shade styles – including Vignette Stacking Roman Shades, Sonnette Cellular Shades, and Designer Roller Shades – with the addition of a variety of fabric options to further complement nearly any room. For more information, check out

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at