Twenty years ago motorized window coverings were unusual and something to be awed by. They were complicated, cantankerous and expensive. Today, they are everywhere and are reliable, easy to use and affordable. Not only can you operate you blinds or shades with a switch or a hand-held remote, but it is becoming very common to operate them with your phone or iPad. And while you’re at it, why not set up a “scene” where the shades in the bedroom open when your alarm goes off or one where the living room solar screens come down when the afternoon sun hits the window? It is getting so easy and affordable there is almost no reason not to automate.
There are lots of ways to power and control almost any type of blind, shade or awning today. There are reliable battery motors that can run roller shades, solar screens, honeycomb shades, pleated shades, roman shades, wood blinds, metal blinds and privacy sheers. There are even solar-powered motors that can run some of these products! The great advantage of battery and solar powered shades is that you don’t need an electrician to run wires through your wall. And these types of shades can still be integrated into a home automation system through a variety of radio frequency technologies.
For larger shades and in new construction where running wires is easy and cost-effective, hard-wired shades still provide the best options. In many homes the shades are an automated aspect of a larger home environment system that optimizes heating and cooling through control of the HVAC system, lighting and shades taking into account the time of year and day, occupancy and other factors.