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At Home with Technology Automated Window Shading Solutions

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Automated Window Shading Solutions.

Last week as we waited at the airport to fly out to our holiday in Caracas, a friend kept fiddling with her phone, completely immersed in it ….I thought her very unsociable and demanded if she meant to keep it up through the holiday. And she turned to us, quickly apologizing, saying that she was checking that all was well at home – she’d installed CCTV cameras at home, being a spinster and all, living in a busy neighborhood with lots of boisterous youngsters around! So she was remotely accessing her home to see that nothing was amiss. Now, I’d heard of stuff like this, but until that day, it was still the stuff of fiction to me!


Remote technology.


Interestingly, a look at the origins of remote technology shows that it all began with Nicola Tesla and his experiments with the use radio wave to operate a boat, way back in 1898. Fast forward to 1950, when Zenith, the TV maker found that the TV could be operated with a wired remote control, the remnants of which was used to operate remote controlled toys when we were young, in the late 70’s and early 80’s.


We’ve come a long way today, riding that “perfect storm” to progress from the single purpose remotes for TV’s to the app driven commands – anything that uses electricity can be remotely controlled with simple elegance that has led to the most significant trend in home automation – convergence!


Technology has arrived – we are on the threshold of complete, glitch-free control, what with plug-and-play hardware via USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity that have made all things possible! The Nintendo Wii console and other gaming devices are just precursors that suggest how a wave of the hand can make magic! We all know that burglar alarms that contact the local police have been around for a long time, as have affordable timers to switch your lights on and off to create the impression of an occupied home. But now you have the means to look into your house while you’re a continent away via CCTV, and you can activate lights and blinds remotely to suggest that you are at home. The proprietary mesh technology from Ideaworks tailors automation and its control to the user’s lifestyle and preferences.



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Automated Window Shading.

Automated or motorized window covering has been around for a while now, the most notable of them the automated drapes one sees in theaters – lush folds of fabric moving in slow motion to finally overlap in the center, blocking the artists from view. Engineered for precision in timed window shading, automated versions offer numerous benefits that are now offered at very little cost. A handheld remote, wall switch or programmable timer can be used to control a home’s window shading from any room, anytime. Cellular Shades, Roman Shades, Roller and Solar Shades and Natural Shades can be remotely operated, even with TDBU options. And get this! Even Venetian Blinds in metal, wood and composites have motorized vanes, but no lift and lower options. Ditto the Plantation Shutters. The features of automated window shading are as follows –

. Operate multiple window coverings with a simple touch of a button and/or timer
. Seamless operation of hard-to-reach and wide window coverings
. Compatible with virtually all home automation systems
. Expensive hard-wiring not required
. The best deal for homes with children or pets as there are no cords attached
. Enjoy peace of mind while away by making your home look occupied
. Cordless design results in a clean, uncluttered look
. Smooth, quiet operation is perfect for family rooms, home theaters and bedrooms


The functions of automated shading are wonderfully exciting. Imagine a scenario where you start the home theater and the shades lower automatically, or the vanes of the shutters or blinds close automatically in unison with dimming lights that create the perfect movie viewing experience at home! And when you’re not in town, the shading can be remotely operated or timed to raise and lower to mimic that you’re home! It is recommended for use by the US Dept of Energy to maximize daylight in order to do away with artificial lighting during the day, at the same time economizing on the use of the HVAC system and ultimately saving on utilities. Exciting indeed!


The Z-wave radio technology interface can be plugged in to be make shading compatible with other Z-wave based home automation systems to control up to 16 individual or grouped shading. The power sources are many – a 12 volt battery tube, a 12 volt DC plug-in transformer or a solar power kit, with a variety of ways to control your blinds and shades – the best way to go would be to use a single control to operate multiple window coverings. A five channel remote control or wall switch can operate shades independently or in groups, in a single room or multiple rooms. The programmable timer enables blinds or shades to be automatically at any desired time. It has a security mode that operates the shading randomly to make it seem like you’re home when you’re away.


The recent announcement that IMAX has readied a version of its spectacular cinema experience for home installation suggests that there are no limits. Get Smart. Use automated shading and save yourself a whole lot!


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