Covers Canada Window Covering Automation

Are Automated and Motorized Shades Different? 

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No matter by what name you know these shades or blinds; automated, remote-control, or motorized; they represent the future of the cordless world of window coverings. 


Motorized window treatments have been helping people move their shades up and down for more than 25 years. Initially, you could only control motorization from a remote or a hardwired switch on the wall near the blinds. 

Programmable or simple automation, though, is a new way to control automation. The use of apps on a phone or a tablet means you can control or program the motorized blinds or shades in your home to open and close at certain times with independent options for each room or specific users’ individual preferences. You can even use voice control.

“All window coverings, whether blinds, shades, shutters, or draperies that move independently of your hand, are powered by a motor and therefore motorized. Automation refers to one of the ways to control the motorization of the window treatment.” 


All types of window coverings are controllable through motorization:

  • Roller shades
  • Roman shades
  • Dual and Zebra shades
  • Venetian blinds of wood or faux-wood
  • Honeycomb or cellular shades
  • Draperies


There are several ways you can provide the power for the motor and three ways to control the powered movement of the motor.


Types of power sources to control your motorized window coverings:

A motor raises and lowers blinds or shades (or gives power to any motorized window covering) through three primary power sources; a battery pack, a motor with an integral rechargeable Li-Ion battery or hardwiring. (There are a few other ways we’ll mention at the end) 

1) A rechargeable internal battery is the simplest way to provide power to motorized window coverings: A port that accepts a USB or dedicated power cord is incorporated into the motor housing. The charger is plugged into a nearby outlet, recharging the motor. Label the charging cord and keep it in an accessible location.

2) A battery pack is a simple way to offer power to a motor: A motor can have a small battery pack on the outside and be plugged into the motor housing. The battery life of the battery-powered motor (usually AAs), if compared to a rechargeable motor, is approximately 6- 12 months, depending on the size of shade and frequency of use. 

3) Hardwiring your motorized window coverings is an excellent option for new-builds: Hard-wiring for shades can vary from running on standard house current (120v) but low voltage (18-24v) is preferred for most household applications. 

For existing homes, wiring can be retrofitted, but running new wiring for motorized window coverings may be costly. In this case, the aforementioned rechargeable option makes the most sense.

4) Other power options are less familiar: DC-powered motorized window coverings can also use an adapter plug permanently attached, and that requires the window to be located close to an outlet. Small solar panels in the window can also be used in some applications to keep the batteries charged. 



 

Three ways you can control the powered movements of the motor:

1) Remote controls: Remotes directly control your window coverings – either single or multi-channel remotes are available depending on your needs. Further options customize privacy and time controls for different people in the home or office. A remote allows for remote control of up, down, or tilting functions. 

2) Apps that you can download to a phone or tablet: Smart automation is always connected to wifiAutomation systems have been developed by most blind and shade manufacturers and are referred to as app control, Smart apps, or Smart control. In some cases, a manufacturer introduces a hub that allows third-party app systems like Alexa to sync with the company’s automation, allowing the integration of voice control.

3) A wall switch or hardwired pad: If you have opted for a hardwiring option, a wall switch can incorporate further options associated with apps like timers.




Both an app and remote control can be used together at the same time with the same windows. 


In the sort of way you can override the programmed temperature on a programmable thermostat to increase the heat immediately, you can also override the Smart Control of your window covering by picking up the remote.

Whether you choose to control movement only by a remote or go the automation route through an app, both are uncomplicated in design, with helpful visuals, and a range of options. Control light with tilt functions or move the shades to specific set positions. 



Let an app tell your window coverings to wake up your sleepy heads in the morning and lull them to sleep at night.” 


Let the Smart Experts at Covers Designers’ Edge guide you through the motorized and automated process.

Here are some things you might want to consider before speaking with a Smart Designer:


There is an expense to motorization. Realistically, does it make sense to have all of your window coverings motorized, or just the blind that is impossible to reach in the great room?

Does it make sense to hardwire? If you have very large windows or wish to motorize shades throughout your home, consider hardwiring. This is most easily done during construction while other electrical wiring is being installed. (Always consult with us before building to ensure the wiring meets the requirements of the shades/draperies being considered.) Read more about hardwiring under Power Sources above. 

Automation for several window coverings makes sense if you’re often away from home. The expense of automation may be offset with the peace of mind you’ll have knowing lights and blinds are automated so that your home appears lived in while you’re gone.




Covers Designers’ Edge has its own SmartPlus motor and WiFi hub. We have all the automation covered:

Covers Designers’ Edge offers our own SmartPlus motor. For simple requirements, we have in-line rechargeable remotes that are non-wired or 24-volt and 120-volt options that require hard-wiring. 

Covers Designers’ Edge is an authorized Somfy Expert, providing Somfy solutions for every type of indoor or outdoor shading system. 

Covers Designers’ Edge also offers the SmartPlus system with a hub for Smart Home applications that includes operation with Amazon Alexa, Google, and more.

Covers Designers’ Edge offers the full line of Hunter Douglas with Powerview motorization (exclusive only to Hunter Douglas shades.)

Covers Designers’ Edge offers Bliss motorization on all of our Alta by Shade-O-Matic shades. 

Covers Designers’ Edge offers Maxxmotors on all our Maxxmar products.


We offer a full range of supply and install services to commercial builders and contractors throughout Ontario. Please call our Contract division at 519-652-0222 x227


Benefits of app-controlled window coverings:

Going away for a weekend means your plants and animals live as usually as possible. Of course, you’re thankful to have someone pop in to feed the four-legged family members while you’re gone. However, automation means you don’t have to close the blinds before you leave. And that makes for happier animal companions and plants.

You can control when to keep the hot sun out and warmth in. Energy efficiency saves you money and protects interior fabrics from sun fading.

No cords provide you peace of mind, significantly eliminating concerns for children. Accidents involving cords and children have caused Canada to rethink the use of cords.

Burglar-proof your home. Automation makes anyone with nefarious intentions think twice when they see lights turning on and off and window coverings opening and closing.

Protection of the window coverings. Even the most careful of us have grabbed something when our hands were dirty. Automation eliminates the need to touch the blind or shade, and it also protects from the accidental rearrangement of slats or louvres or uneven function from hand-controlling the movement.



Covers Designers’ Edge can even add automation to your current window coverings. Please contact a Covers Designers’ Edge near you to find out how we can help.


Please find a Covers Designers’ Edge design store near you:

 

Sarnia, 1362 Lambton Rd, Unit 12 (519) 542 0960

London Southwest, 297 Exeter Rd. (519) 652 0222

London North, 1950 Hyde Park Rd. (519) 660 3661

Kitchener, 500 Fairway Rd. (519) 894 3455

Burlington, 2500 Appleby Line (905) 333 8121

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