By: Theo Jamieson
Imagine being able to raise the shades in your living room when you’re on vacation 4,000 miles away. Or suppose you remember your bedroom blinds need to be closed while you’re at work. Actually, you can accomplish that task right from your desk in just a few clicks.
Just as smartphones revolutionized options for communicating, motorization brought window treatments to the next level. Today, it’s possible to operate shades and blinds with your phone, tablet, remote, wall switch, or common home automation hubs. Some applications even allow you to control motorized window blinds and shades on a set schedule and from virtually anywhere in the world with an accessible data connection.
Convenience isn’t the only bonus you get from automatic blinds and shades. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a house loses roughly 30% of its heating energy through the windows in winter. In the summer, about 76% of the sunlight hitting your windows converts to heat that enters your home. When used properly, window treatments help insulate your home, which means you don’t have to use your furnace or air conditioner as often. Unfortunately, about 75% of U.S. homeowners don’t operate their window treatments every day, which means they miss out on the great energy-efficiency benefits. Motorized window treatments that are programmable or easy to operate solve that problem (and help cut down your energy bill, too).
As the name explains, automatic window blinds and shades rely on a concealed motor that runs on either battery (standard AA or specialized rechargeable) or electrical wiring (concealed in a side-hand drape or cable track, or hard-wired behind the wall). The motor is designed to partially or completely open and close the blinds or shades.
So how do you operate the motor in your window treatments from across the room or across the world? It might be through a radio wave connection from a hand-held or wall-mounted remote device, so operating shades or blinds is as easy as changing TV channels. You can also control motorized window treatments through a data connection. This is a more flexible option that enables you to move your blinds and shades with a smartphone, iPad, or one of the many home automation systems currently available—anything that uses Internet technology, and from virtually anywhere in the world so long as you have access to a data connection such as a cellular network or Wi-Fi. It’s innovative technology that makes your smart home even more ingenious—with home automation, blinds, or shades can be run on the same control system as your lights, security cameras, and smart thermostat.
Here are four types of window treatments that can be motorized and automated to address any kind of decorative or practical need:
Roller Shades: These window treatments are known for their versatility, and that quality is enhanced even more with motorization. Shades come with an assortment of light control options–from very sheer to total blackout–as well as fabrics that range from touchable textiles to playful patterns. You can also select fabric, wood, or metallic finishes on the valance, and many different hem styles and pulls. Because they provide so many design choices, roller shades are ideal for dens, living rooms, home offices—virtually any space that calls for a blend of decorative form and practical function. They’re especially handy if you use several blackout shades in a bedroom or home theater because you can raise or lower all of them at once.
Cellular Shades: Does the idea of being more environmentally friendly appeal to you? If so, cellular shades can be the ideal motorized choice if you’re looking for energy savings anywhere in your home, since they reduce heat loss through windows by up to 40% in winter, and block up to 80% of unwanted solar heat coming through windows in the summer. From a style standpoint, cellular shades also offer many design options, 4 opacities, and the option of Top-Down Bottom-Up lift systems, among other desirable features. They also have a distinctive honeycomb pattern that offers a different kind of visual interest compared to regular shades.
Solar Shades: If your windows get a lot of sunlight, solar shades are an absolute must. They do a stellar job of blocking the sun’s rays that can fade wood flooring or furniture, as well as upholstered pieces that get direct sunlight. Without this kind of protection, the quality of your interiors can deteriorate over time. These shades also reduce glare and offer options that reflect heat out of the house, reducing cooling costs. And If you want to preserve a beautiful view, motorized solar shades let the sunshine in while keeping heat and harmful UV rays out.
Wood Blinds and Faux Wood Blinds: Blind automation is a particularly good choice for rooms where both light control and privacy are key. These blinds come in an assortment of paints and stains to enhance any decorative look. Wood and faux wood blinds are available with different slat sizes —from 1” to 2 ½ “—to suit windows of any size. And the handy motorized feature on automatic blinds ensures those slats always open and close with ease. Our wood blinds give a modern look to a room; faux wood blinds provide the same look as real wood but are easier to care for and withstand high humidity. They’re both terrific options.
Motorized window blinds and shades give you consummate control over your window treatments. Our Stoneside professionals aren’t just design experts—they are also knowledgeable about all of the options for automation. They will advise you on what system will work best in your home, according to your needs.
When you order automatic window blinds or shades, it’s important that they are installed properly for optimal function. That’s one reason why Stoneside uses an in-house installation team—never a third-party company—for every project. Our skilled technicians are specially trained to handle even the most complex motorization installation, and they will make sure you know how to operate your window treatments before the job is done.
Technology has transformed the world of custom window treatments, and those motorized window blinds and shades can transform your home. Want to learn how automated blinds or shades will modernize your home? Contact us today for a free design consultation.
Cellular (Honeycomb) Shades
Wood Blinds and Faux Wood Blinds
Want to learn how automated blinds or shades can modernize your home? Contact us today for a free design consultation.