Motorized

Motorized control options are the fastest growing category in shade control. As motorized control continues to gain momentum costs continue to come down. This is by far the best option for child safety and convenience.

Did you know the average home in America has 17 windows and if you raised and lowered those shades each day it would take you one full 24 hour day each year? How much is your most valuable asset, your time, worth to you?  

Ready to explore how we can get you 24 hours of your life back this year?

Motorized window treatments are the ultimate in convenience and control, plus they're really cool!  Motorized shades may appear complicated but getting help from our in-home design team is easy.

Looking to create the perfect ambiance in the bedroom or maybe you want to binge watch your favorite show on the weekend and reduce the glare in the family room?  With the push of a button, the swipe of a smartphone or the spoken words “Alexa, movie time” you can keep yourself planted on that comfy couch.

Maybe you want to cut your energy bill or make it appear you are home while cruising the seven seas? With timers and schedules you can do this right from your smartphone or tablet anywhere in the world.  

Keep the kiddos and fur babies safer by eliminating unsightly hazardous cords while increasing the value of your home.

Have high window or skylights? No problem, you can now eliminate that annoying afternoon sun without getting up. Power these puppies by batteries, solar power, low voltage or even hard wiring. You can even tie in our motorized products with virtually any existing automation system on the market or even retrofit your existing shades.

Confined to a bed or a wheelchair? Automated shades give you full control with the push of a button or the sound of your voice.

Technology is changing the way we live, allow us to show you how.

What Type of Window Treatments Can Be Motorized?

The answer is simple we can motorize virtually everything we sell.  

Bring romance to the bedroom with motorized roman shades or sleep in like you do in Vegas with motorized blackout draperies and bedside controls. 

Allow your kids to sleep longer with room darkening battery operated cellular shades. Maybe you have the opposite problem and you want your teenager to get up before noon?  Set a schedule to have those roller shades come up at the crack of dawn.

Need simplicity and like good ol’ 2” wood blinds? No problem, we have tilt and raise solutions for those as well.

Bathtubs are great, but many times you have to step into your tub to operate your shades, very annoying!  Let the light in while still maintaining privacy with elegant motorized sheer shades. During the day you can see out, but others cannot see in.

Hit the wall switch and use that patio to enjoy the blissful cup of coffee you have been waiting for with motorized solar shades or a retractable awning to block that morning sun.  

You might live in a downtown loft or have floor to ceiling windows, motorized vertical blinds or sheer draperies can give you that privacy and light control you have been looking for. Just give them a quick tug without a remote and let the motors due the rest.

For a more relaxed feel motorize those natural woven wood shades and give your family room a beachy vibe while filtering in the natural light while controlling them from your smartphone.    

The possibilities are endless!

Integrate with Home Automation

Imagine waking up to the beautiful day ahead with the push of a button. You then go into your bathroom and your shades automatically opened from the top down giving you that wonderful natural light but yet still giving you the privacy you need to get ready for the world ahead.  

You finish up in your bedroom and you walk downstairs to your kitchen to get that well deserved cup of joe.  You say “Alexa Start My Day” and the lights on your kitchen go on, your favorite morning acoustic blend from Spotify starts playing and the shades in your kitchen and living room go up.  Wanting to be eco-friendly while at work you have set a schedule for your shades to go down during the day so your house remains cool during the hot summer heat and your air conditioner and pocketbook get a well deserved break not to mention that sun is not fading those interior finishes.  

Before you arrive home you love the outdoors and the last bit of light so all of your shades go up without you even having to think about it.  You finish dinner, homework, walking the dog, bath’s for the kids and your moment has arrived. “Alexa Movie Time” Your shades go down your lights dim and it’s time to watch episode 35 of the show you just binged watched last weekend on Netflix.  

We can even integrate with systems like Crestron, Control 4, Lutron, Savant, Samsung Smart Things, Wink, Amazon Echo, Google Home and many more.

Control Options

So you have decided that you want to push a button or make your shades go up or down with your voice?  There are many ways that you can control your motorized window coverings. Those options include handheld remote controls, wireless or wired wall switches, wall timers, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer control and voice control.  You only need one way to control your shades but it is convenient and recommended to have multiple ways to control your motorized shades. Imagine having to fumble around looking for a remote that is in a drawer somewhere or fallen behind the bed when a wall switch is always there, in the same place, every time.  Our experts can help you figure out what controls are best for your situation. Window coverings is all we do and we are masters of motorization.

Did you know by 2022 voice enabled smart devices also know as smart speakers or voice assistants will reach 55% percent of US households?  If you are unsure what this is, quite simply raise or lower your shades with your voice. With the birth of devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod and Sonos One to name a few it has become so simple for many consumers to integrate every aspect of their home and shades are no different.  Now most consumers can buy a Philips Hue light module, Ring Doorbell or Nest Thermostat and integrate these devices no problem. These devices are very much plug and play. Motorized shades are getting there but for the average bear you still will need an expert to get all your shades talking with the rest of your smart home goodies.  

Most motorized shades systems need a translator between your voice assistant / smart speaker and your motorized window covering. Common translators include Somfy MyLink, Wink, Samsung Smart Things and Hunter Douglas PowerView. These translators take the signal from the motorized shade and interpret the signal for your Amazon Echo or Google Home.  This is what allows you to say “Alexa raise bedroom shades” The good news is these translators are very inexpensive (less than $100) and they give you much more than shade integration.

These devices allow you to set routines or “if this then that” (IFTTT) commands where the possibilities are endless. This will allow many consumers to be their own automation integrator without needing a minute of training.   For example, you can set a routine called “movie time”. You are sitting on your couch and you say “Alexa movie time” and your lights dim, your shades go down and your TV turns on so you can forget the day and get lost in your favorite show. A favorite routine is “Alexa good morning” which turns on your coffee maker, starts playing your favorite music or news feed, turns the heater on, raises your shades and turns on your kitchen lights.  

The bottom line, if you want to set shades in motion with your voice you have come to the right place.

The easiest,  most common and cost effective way to control your motorized shades is with an radio-frequency (RF) remote control.  The days of having to point your remote at an infrared sensor is over. There are many types of RF remotes including handheld, timer and wall switches.  These remotes can control one shade or a hundred shades. They come in a single channel version or up to 20 channels depending on the remote. Think of a channel as a single skill and each skill can be raising/lowering one shade or 10 shades that is how versatile handheld remotes are.  

Maybe you have a single shade in a bathroom window or you have 6 shades in your master bedroom, you can set each channel to control each shade individually or you can set one of the channels to raise all the shades, the choices are all yours. Bedrooms, media rooms, living rooms, kitchens, and patios are common areas RF remotes work well.  RF remotes typically have a range of 30-50 feet and can be extended or doubled with RF repeaters. Remotes can not only raise and lower blinds and shades but some also have a separate tilt function depending on the remote.

Somfy is the leader in RF remotes and you will find their controls in many window covering brands like Graber, Mechoshade, Levelor and Hunter Douglas.  RF remotes are just not handheld they can also be wall mounted or you may choose to do both.

There is no electrical work or wiring needed, we just cut in a new box in your existing drywall and have it as a standalone switch or we just add it on to a bank of existing switches. The nice thing having both options is when you misplace your handheld remote, the wall switch is always in the same place you left it, in the wall.  There are also RF timers which allow you to set timers for your shades to go up or down or put it on a random schedule to make it look like you are home when you are on vacation. Remotes are powered by watch type batteries and typically have a 5 year life and they are easily replaced, even the wall switch batteries.

Motorized shades can also be controlled with ANY tablet or smartphone.  We always recommend a second option for shade control and this is a great option.  99% of the time we always know where our smartphone is so why not control your motorized window coverings with it?  Many brands like Somfy, Graber, Lutron, QMotion, Horizon Shades and Hunter Douglas all have apps that give you the ability to raise and lower shades, set timers or scenes at your fingertips.  

All systems need a WiFi connection and a translator like Somfy MyLink, QMotion Qsync, Lutron Smart Bridge, Hunter Douglas Powerview Hub or IFTTT control for Graber Virtual Cord. For large homes or offices you can even extend the range of these translators with repeaters, similar to WiFi repeaters.   Once these translators are connected you can virtually control your shades from anywhere in the world.

We don’t know about you, but mornings can be pretty hectic. Packing lunch, making coffee, and getting the kids in the car, it’s easy to forget to close the shades while you’re gone, no worries just launch your smartphone or tablet app and in seconds you can remedy the problem.  

This is the simplest form of control for your motorized window coverings. This option works great for installations where guests need to control the shades such as vacation rentals. 

Power Options

There are a number of ways to power your motorized window coverings and there are many factors to consider.  It used to be that any motorized shade needed a hard-wired connection that required an electrician to run expensive wiring not to mention tearing up your walls to do so.  Hard-wiring is actually taking wire from a power source to the head of your motor.

Today more than 90% of the motorized blinds on the market can be powered by batteries.  The biggest factors that come into play for power options are size and weight. Size and weight can vary considerably depending on the product you choose. For example a 96” x 96” roller shade is going to be a heck of a lot lighter than a roman shade or woven wood shade of the same size.  In this case you could operate the roller shade with a battery motor, but the roman and woven wood would require a hard-wired motor. When given a choice it is always better to hard-wire a motor since hard-wired motors rarely have power problems whereas batteries will die. Battery life once again depends on the size and weight of the shade as well as frequency of use.  Typically if you raise and lower your 34” x 64” shade each day you can expect anywhere from 1 -5 years of battery life. That sounds like a big range right? Again it depends on size, weight and frequency. Many homeowners report that 2-3 years is the norm. We always warn customers that your first set of batteries usually goes the quickest because you are constantly showing off the coolness factor to your friends.  

There are 4 main types of power options to consider:

  • Battery
  • Solar powered battery
  • Low voltage (DC or Direct Current)
  • Line voltage (AC or alternating current)

To further clarify think of low voltage wiring like your speaker wire and line voltage as the thick wire that goes to all of your light switches and electrical outlets in your home. Depending on the motor system battery motors come in all shapes and sizes.  

For example the QMotion system uses D-Cell batteries which tend to have a longer life and can raise more weight whereas the Somfy or Graber Virtual cord systems use AA batteries. The bigger batteries come at a cost, that cost is versatility. Whereas smaller AA can work in most shades.

There are 3 main types of battery systems:

  • Standard replaceable batteries
  • Solar powered batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries

Batteries are loaded into a battery tube which is usually attached to the back of the shade.  Systems like the Lutron Serena integrate batteries in the headrail whereas Qmotion motorized shades have the batteries located in the roller shade tube. Solar powered batteries still require a battery, but the batteries are charged by a small concealed solar panel that mounts to the top of the window. Expect about 5 years of life on the solar battery systems. Other systems like the Rollease and Somfy motor systems have rechargeable battery options where the batteries are imbedded in the motor. These systems recharge similar to your cell phone but typically require charging every 6-12 months.

Enough talk about batteries now let’s talk about hard wired motors. As we explained before hard-wiring is always the top choice, but it does come at a cost. That cost varies greatly on where you are in your project. It is much cheaper to run wire when you have bare wood framing vs. a house that has finished walls with Venetian plaster. Most good electricians are like magicians and can run wire on existing construction with minimal drywall damage. The keyword here is minimal. You will still need to patch, texture and paint which is an extra expense.

Direct current or DC motor systems require low voltage cable similar to speaker wire and alternating current AC systems require beefier wire otherwise known as romex wire. With the price of copper these days beefier wire does cost more.

The benefits to hard-wired systems are reliability and versatility. Motorized drapery systems for example are only hard wired and simple rule of thumb is any shade over 96” wide by 96” tall will require hard wired motors, but there are exceptions. Solar/Roller shades, sheer shades and cellular shades depending on the fabric selection will accomodate sizes up to 120” x 120”.

Pin It on Pinterest