Motorized Drapery and Shade Solutions
You’re redecorating, building a custom home or moving into a new home or condo. You have to cover your windows anyway. You could put up old fashioned blinds or curtains, just like people have for hundreds of years. But smart home owners are realizing that the benefits of motorized controllable window coverings can be yours for little more than the price of a good quality regular drapes.
It’s the motors that make the difference. By attaching window coverings to motorized rollers and tracks, you can command them from a hand held remote, touch screen, smart phone or tablet.
Benefits of Motorized Drapery and Shade
Save your floors and furniture
Your fine furniture and beautiful floors can be subjected to fading and yellowing from the bleaching action of the the Sunlights. Motorized window coverings can be programmed to follow the Sunlights schedule and protect your home from sunlight.
Drapery and Shade or Window coverings are an important part of your Climate control system. Shades limit or maximize sun exposure and form an important form of insulation on the windows, the place where most heat is lost in any space. Shades with foil linings can be used to reflect the sun’s rays, while blinds with air pockets can provide amazing warmth in cold weather.
Enjoy your privacy
Using dual shade systems, you can see everything outside during the day and use the opaque blind for complete privacy at night. By using side channels on the window frames, you can even achieve total blackout anywhere you want it.
Watch TV or play games without any glare
Motorized drapery or Controllable window shades are an essential part of a top quality home entertainment system. They can be adjusted during the day to keep glare off a TV screen. At night, opaque blinds give you total privacy. Imagine the fun of having controllable drapes in front of your giant home theatre screen that part automatically at show time.
What a great feeling at the end of the day to simply take out your touch screen remote or touch the keypad or use your smart phone to close every shade and curtain in your space.
Beyond aesthetics, injury and death from entanglement in blind control cords is a very real concern. The best solution is to eliminate cords, made possible by motorized shades. Automated shade systems can even operate on a timer customized to your child’s sleeping habits. All you need is a smart phone or tablet.
How to you decide which motorized Drapery and Shade Solutions are the right ones for you?
There are many names when it comes to motorized drapery and shade. If you do your research, you may end up with 4 very competitive companies who has been in the industry for over a decade. Mainly Lutron®, Crestron®, Somfy®, Hunter Douglas® and many more.
Crestron® Electronics is an American privately held multinational corporation founded in 1971.
Lutron® was founded in 1961, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, United States.
Hunter Douglas® N.V. is a Dutch multinational corporation founded in 1919, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Somfy® is a French group of companies that were founded in 1969.
Key points to consider:
- How easy it is to install the motorized Shade?
- Can you integrate them with automation system?
- How do you operate them? Remote, Keypad, Touch screen, Smart phone or tablet?
- What is the maximum width you can order?
- Are they wired or wireless?
- What is the warranty period? What is covered in the warranty?
- What are the available styles?
- What kind of fabric options do they offer?
- How noisy are the motors?
- How easy it is to program or set a schedule?
How easy it is to install motorized Shade?
Some of them are fairly easy to install. I can install a 14 ft wide Crestron motorized shade in 30 minutes. Some are a bit complicated to install. As you may consider getting it installed by a professional installer – we will skip all the details about install part.
Can you integrate them with automation system?
Yes, major brands are mostly compatible with the automation system. If you want to know exactly which model works with which automation system, you may need to do further research by calling the relevant company or you may contact us.
Crestron® motorized shades works with Crestron Home™ natively. I like the Crestron native automation feature as all the headache of integration is gone.
Somfy® is compatible with Crestron® control systems.
Lutron® integrates seamlessly with Crestron Home™ specifically, RA2
Hunter Douglas PowerView® automation allows integration with Crestron® control system.
How do you operate them? Remote, Keypad, Touch screen, Smart phone or tablet?
When you integrate with Crestron, you have the option to operate it using Remote, Keypad, Touch screen or smart phone app.
What is the maximum width you can order?
Crestron motorized shades are up to 180″ inch wide. They can be coupled together for desired extension.
Lutron shades are up to 108″ inch wide.
Somfy shades are up to 120″ inch wide.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the width infomation for Hunter Douglas motorized shade.
It should be noted that, these are the information available through their websites. If you want to know the exact size for the model you are considering, I suggest you contact them directly.
For rest of the article I will be focusing on Crestron motorized shade. You may wonder why?
Here are the reasonings:
Consider you are moving into a new home or building a new home or condo. You have plans to make your home a complete smart home in the near future. Meaning you would like to add audio, video, conferencing, climate control, doorlock, video doorbell, security. You have budget only for Security system and motorized shade this year. You will add audio and video next, and then continue adding the next item.
So let’s start with the motorized shade automation. What you will need to do that?
You will need a Control system
Yo will need motorized shades for your windows and some door.
You need to do some wiring if the home is not finished already.
What is a control system?
A control system is an optimized mini-computer to do routine task on your behalf in an automated or pre-assigned manner. It also has some sort of smaller scale AI built-in.
So how do you select the best Control system for your home or office?
For control system the choices are a bit easier for me as I have been programming control system since 1999, just over 21 years. Before that I was a computer programmer for 8 years. I have been programming since 1992. If you are new to this, it’s kind of a very confusing subject as everyone is trying to control everything, no authority to standardize anything. There are different platforms, its so complicated that now there are IFTTT® to make one system talk to the other systems – it’s whole lot of a complex discussion for another day.
So how do you go about it? Well, I will try to make it easier for you. George Feldstein, an Electrical engineer in 1971 found a Control system company called Crestron Electronics. From a one person company today Crestron is a $2 billion USD privately held multinational corporation.
Question is, if a company is in business for 50 years making the Control system and related sub-items, from 1 employee to 5000 employess, would you trust them? Well, my opinion is, if a company is privately held for a decade or more, they automatically earns public trust. Without public trust can a company grow big?
As I have been programming Crestron for over 21 years, you can say I am a bit biased. Aren’t we all biased about something when it works for us?
As Crestron control system now makes everything required for residential and commercial automation, my vote is now more inclined to them. In the old days when Crestron used to make only Control system, I remember spending all night on the job site integrating drivers for 3rd party devices. I was working on the UOIT programming, next day was the opening ceremony of the university in 2002.
Why am I talking about Crestron? Because, today Crestron makes everything you need for your home, office, school or any space you can imagine. The benefit you get from using Crestron is, you or your programmer doesn’t need to spend time integrating 3rd party drivers for your system. If one of the driver is outdated, you know what is going to happen to you right?
How about, Saturday night you have invited your family and friends for a movie night. 15 minutes into the movie, your audio system fails. You call your system integrator, he/she being very kind checks into your system remotely on a Saturday night to discover one of the 3rd party device is not responding. This happened due to auto update of the driver. What do you do now?
Haven’t we all faced similar situation in our life at some point?
So my suggestion is to go with an automation company who makes it all. Be it Crestron or someone else. Benefits? No compatibility issues, no integration headache, chance of failure is less than 1%. If you used 10 manufacturers items to build one system, even at 1% failure rate it becomes 10% probability to fail.
If you select Crestron as your control system, next year you can add audio and video, and keep adding to it. Nothing to worry about compatibility, everything built-in to work natively. After initial setup, you can do all the setup by yourself uing Crestron Home. I hope now you know, why I was talking about Crestron.
Are they wired or wireless?
Crestron motorized shades are wired and wireless. They are powered by low voltage AC or battery powered.
Lutron motorized shades are wired and wireless.
What is the warranty period? What is covered in the warranty?
Crestron guarantees the materials, workmanship, and operation of its mounting hardware, shade fabric, and QMT® shade motors. Details can be found here
What are the available styles?
Motorized Drapery and Shade can be categorized into four styles.
Roller shades are ideal for a flat clean look. It can also be combined with decorative drapes. Roller shades are available in widths up to 15 feet. If you have larger windows, they can be coupled together to meet the requirements of any project.
They are precision control – you can stop it exactly where you want. Silent Crestron® Exclusive Quiet Motor Technology™
Crestron Draperies add a soft, elite touch to your décor. Crestron Drapery Track is elegant and provide convenient operation. Drapery tracks can be curved or straight. Control Pinch Pleat or Ripplefold styles.
You can select any fabric you want from your favourite fabric store. Motors are hidden at the end.
Roman shades is more than just blocking out sunlight. The beauty of a Roman shade can make it a focal point of a room. Crestron Roman Shades are quiet.
One touch control from a keypad, touch screen, or Apple® or Android™ device.
Crestron® horizontal sheers are fabric vanes floating between two layers of sheer, knitted fabric. Digital QMT® motorized operation provides silent operation.
One touch control from a keypad, touch screen, or Apple® or Android™ device.
What are the Fabric Types?
Transparent fabric transmit light 3-10%. Objects are seen through the fabric.
Translucent fabric transmit diffused light 0-1%. It provides enhanced privacy. Objects are seen partially visible as shadows.
Blackout fabric provide higher light blockage at 0% . Improved privacy.
If you are planning for Bedrooms, additional accessories or custom design is required to create a complete blackout solution to prevent light leaks along the window jambs and sill.
Crestron® shade fabric library is second to none. You can order free sample from Crestron through us. You could use your favourite courier company if you are not our client. Just send us a note for your free sample fabric. We recommend you select the fabric online before ordering a sample.
Crestron offers more than 400 fabric selections to choose from. To view Crestron fabric collection online, Click the button Find Fabric.