Installation of roller shades on the windows of your home is a very easy home improvement project that you’ll find quite inexpensive. Roller shades prove to be one of the best ways to complement your windows. Apart from giving an improved look to your room, they also enhance privacy and improve energy efficiency. Moreover, during summers you can get extra shade by lowering down the shades to suit your needs.
Roller shades keep that annoying glare away while you watch TV during the day. Since they prevent sunrays from falling directly on pieces of furniture and other accessories in the room, such items last longer. The normal design of roller shades for windows allows for their manual adjustment via a spring system and a tug at the bottom. However, these days you also get motorized versions of roller shades which can be operated on batteries or low electric voltage.
The operation of motorized rollers is controlled through switches. They prove ideal for installation at windows which are otherwise difficult to access. They are perfect for providing safety to your children. Depending on the point of installation, these rollers are categorized in different categories like decorative, solar or blackout roller shades. Solar roller shades offer a cool effect when viewing outdoors. Decorative shades, on the other hand, add to the décor of the room while blackout shades enable you to get a complete blackout effect.
Quite like their traditional counterparts, roller shades come in a variety of materials that include vinyl, laminate and fabric. These can be installed in almost any room. The thickness of material used varies accordingly. For instance, decorative shades are thin but the insulation variety is made from thicker material. You get an amazing variety of motorized roller shades. You can surely find something that matches your requirements of color, pattern and design. Motorized roller shades can be incorporated while the house is under construction or at a later date in the available windows. When looking for motorized roller shades to be fitted in your existing window, you need to measure the window accurately so that the shades fit perfectly well.
When looking for motorized roller shades to be fitted in your existing window, you need to measure the window accurately so that the shades fit perfectly well. It’s important to know the drop length and width of the shades to ensure their accurate fitting in your windows. The other specifications that you should not overlook at the time of purchase are the operating voltage and the warranty period. Usually, these operate on 12 or 24 Volts DC. You also get the option of procuring motorized roller shade that can be operated through a wireless remote. The shades may be programmed individually or in a group by using the same remote.
The kits for motorized roller shades for windows come with a complete installation manual to facilitate their installation. If you follow the given directions, you need not hire the services of any professional for getting the installation done. Some of the important benefits of motorized roller shades include low or practically no maintenance, reasonable price and high durability. These rollers have very limited number of components, housed in different assemblies. So, in case of any malfunctioning, you simply replace the defective assembly as per the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
Normally, skylight windows are provided on the top floor of a house or on the roof of its attic. They are ideal for letting in some natural daylight in your space and viewing nature. They offer brightness and warmth all through the day. Such windows go well with almost any type of interiors. Nevertheless, you need to install blinds on these windows. Window blinds are available in a variety of materials like wood, metal, plastic or fabric as per taste and requirements of the users.
It’s nice to have skylight windows in your home but if you don’t cover these with appropriate blinds, you’ll find scorching summer heat very unbearable. Skylight window blinds provide that much needed relief. Procuring and installing appropriate window blind is imperative for making the skylight windows attractive and useful. Procuring blinds made from the right materials for such windows may be a bit more difficult than those needed for normal windows. The blinds for these kinds of windows can be tailor-made.
Skylight Window Blinds Installation
Installation of skylight windows is an interesting experience. However, you need to appreciate the difference between blinds of skylight windows and normal windows. You wouldn’t like to cover your skylight window with a normal curtain as it would awfully look like a flag that has been hung down! That’s because the material of skylight window blind needs to be under tension for it to operate effectively. A very distinctive feature of skylight window is that it has a swivel action and the entire thing moves around a pivot. That’s why you can’t have normal window blinds for such an application. You need to have an opening sash offering unrestricted movements. Though you can have customized blinds that are operated manually, some of these are tailor made to include an electric motor which can be controlled using a remote control for convenience of operation.
Roll Up Blinds
Skylight roll up blinds make the most economical option for covering windows. These are provided with a spring loaded barrel, working under tension to keep the blind tightly close to the window. For superior installation, the roll up blinds are kept in position with help of wooden side pieces and nails or clips.
The awning blinds for skylight windows are quite different from others. Such blinds function as an extension of the window and thus prevent the room from getting direct sunlight while allowing natural light to come in. It’s a normal practice to enclose awning blinds in dark black color that substantially lessens the intensity of incoming light. Eventually, they prove to be the best blinds for your attic.
Plisse Blinds, also known as pleated blinds, are made from fabric that can be folded in pleats, quite like concertina style. A wire or string is used for working of pleats, as in case of vertical blinds. However, you should carefully choose this kind of blinding material as certain materials are not very durable.
These days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get venetian blinds of good quality. That’s mainly because they operate within the tracks of windows. The problem is very acute with plastic blinds as plastic is unable to bear too much of heat and tend to get bent or broken. It is better to patronize aluminum blinds. Venetian blinds that come with hanging poles should always be avoided as they spoil the beauty of the skylight window itself.
Blackout Window Blinds
This design of blinds offers cent percent resistance to light. If you have a baby at home or your job brings you back home at the end of a tiring night shift, you should ideally opt for such blinds. These blinds are made from aluminum sidings with cartridges. Definitely, blackout window blinds are the most selling skylight window blinds.
Window blinds are available in almost any color you may like to have, making it easy for you to choose one that really gels with the interiors of your home. Any homeowner could get skylight window blinds within the predetermined budget, howsoever small. Why not buy one from one of the window treatment shops close to your place?
Once you decide to freshen your house a bit, you need to bear a couple of things in mind. Apart from having a plan of what to refurbish and how, you need to know where to get the items you need, how to get them at a cheapest price possible and, finally, how to fit them all adequately with the rest of the furniture and household.
For starters, it is amazing how lighting can give life to any kind of interior, when manipulated properly. An excellent way of achieving this wonderful effect that gives an additional perspective to the rooms in your home is blinds.
Speaking of blinds, there are a couple of different types of these useful window decorations and protections. For example, if your windows are high, making it hard to access them physically, motorized blinds are an excellent solution. These are operated with a remote controller easily and instantly, allowing you to adjust them to your liking. Due to these characteristics, remote controller blinds can fit workplaces, bedrooms, living rooms and various other premises perfectly.
Once you set up your blinds the way you like them, you can move on to other important parts of your home. Naturally, taking into consideration that we use our homes mostly for spending our leisure time in, sleeping is one crucial action which takes place in our houses and flats. You can buy a brand new bed and enjoy the comfort it provides. However, this can be quite expensive. Thus, if you are thinking about some alternative purchases, do not neglect new mattresses.
Basically, our beds remain more or less in one piece after years of usage, but their mattresses get worn out. Therefore, getting new mattresses is an excellent step to take. The market is full of different products of this type, so there are many possible choices for you. If you are looking for cheap mattresses, putting quality and low price at the top of your requirements, doing some research online can prove to be an excellent step to take.
Buying a discount mattress online can be a fairly easy task. All you need to do is find a good, reliable supplier or manufacturer and make your purchase. Yet, before this can be possible, consider yourself advised to read through the product descriptions available, as well as through the user and buyer reviews, since these are often real testimonials of satisfied and dissatisfied customers.
Once you make your choice as far as mattresses are concerned, do not forget to invest in mattress toppers. These are additions to your mattresses, making them even more comfortable and pleasurable. They come in different sizes, matching your bed. Also, they can be made of different materials. For instance, you can opt for a memory foam
mattress topper or a latex mattress topper, both of which are excellent and provide proper support for the body, improving your sleep.
To sum it all up, the most important basic parts of your interior are the window blinds you use, due to the lighting effect they deliver and your sleeping quarters for the sheer importance of a good bed and a comfortable mattress. Once you have taken care of these two factors, the rest of your restoration and home improvement will go smoothly.
Jeremy Haze is a blogger, interior designer, and green activist, collaborating with a number of eco-conscious companies, Skybrite Skylights being one of them.
The usage of remote control is not confined to only operating your electrical and electronic devices like television, DVD player and air conditioner because it can also be used for operating motorized blinds at your office or home. Using a remote control you can carry upward or downward adjustments of blinds without having to leave your seat. The motor needed for movements of blinds is located in the roller tube and is not visible to the onlooker. This is another technological development that is available at reasonable prices and you should not be hesitant or have any apprehensions of using this system for your window blinds.
If the windows in your office or home are high, motorized blinds with a remote control are your best bet for privacy and security. These can also be used in windows of media rooms. You may also have motorized blinds that have remote controlled automatic timers as an added feature. Should you decide to have automatic blinds, they come with a lot of different features. For example some are meant for just raising or lowering the blinds while others have only raise and tilt or lower and tilt features only.
You can have your kind of blinds and get them custom made to work on electric or battery operated motors. The other options include light filter, sunscreen, or blackout features. Apart from remote control, you may also have a sun-sensing timer. You may use a wall switch also for operating the automatic blind. As you can see there are a lot of features and options available but each serves a specific requirement.
There is another variety of electrically operated horizontal blinds or vertical blinds that have motors fixed in the head rail. The horizontal design has two-foot slats of aluminum. Because of the electric motor, installing motorized blinds is slightly more complex than the ones operated by batteries. If you like to do it on your own, you should follow the given instructions very carefully. Yet, it’s better to hire the services of a professional in case you decide to install motorized blinds.
Depending upon the kind of motor and the blinds that you opt to have, the price starts from $200 and goes up. In case you want to economize on the cost, you would better opt for the battery operated version. However, keep in mind that the battery operated version causes recurring expense for batteries.
It’s not difficult to imagine the benefits of having installed motorized blinds at office and home. Suppose you were writing an important memo at office or going through some interesting book at home and enjoying coffee when suddenly glare of the sun enters through the window and diverts your attention. With a remote control by your side, you don’t have to get up and adjust the blinds. You can very conveniently adjust the positioning of the blinds without having to get up from your chair. Moreover, it proves to be cost effective by controlling the sunrays that enter to warm your room.
Motorized blinds are of great help if you have an elderly person at home, as also a disabled or handicapped person affected by arthritis or gout. Motorized blinds are certainly a big relief because of the hectic lifestyle of most people. They surely add to your convenience and make life a bit more comfortable. It will be in order to conclude that motorized blinds are no more a luxury but a necessity.
Lutron’s proprietary motorized shades known, as Sivoia QEDs are superb. QED stands for Quiet Electronic Drives. It’s a well-made product, which includes the shade material, bracketing components to the quiet motors and reliable controls. No other company provides such a “one in all” product. Lutron makes the motors, controls and even the wire needed for its shades.
A motorized shade comprises of: motor and its controls, brackets, wires and of course the shade itself. Most other manufacturers just outsource these components from different manufacturers, assemble these and sell it as their product. Now, that may be a smart business idea, but what about the dependability of such a product that relies on a number of producers for its making? Apart from the dependability, the overall looks and finish of such an assembled unit is not as good as that of Lutron. Generally, the shades are so located that you really don’t see much of them, but ‘finished’ look concept goes further to what Lutron is offering, as I’ll explain later. Lutron has features that no other manufacturer provides. The most important feature is that these shades are really quiet, and hence the ‘Q’ of QED. Over the years other manufacturers too developed not-so-noisy products, but those are not silent really.
The motor installed in Lutron’s QEDs also has intelligence (a microchip), which informs the control the positioning of the shade at any given time (this is called feedback). Other companies provide motors with similar facility but only in some selected applications. Apart from conveying the position of the shades, the microchip performs one more important function. It’s called ‘’intelligent hem bar alignment’. Simply put it means that the shades in case of Lutron are perfectly aligned.
Rooms that have multiple shades of different sizes, this feature provides a very ‘finished’ look. Perhaps now you can better appreciate that ‘finished look’. But, there aren’t many users who really care for a precise alignment of the shades. The competitive brands are close to that but they just remain’ close’ but don’t have IT.
For the purpose of simplicity let me give an analogy. Lutron procures and mixes right the key elements and cooks the food for its dealers. It has excellent kitchen [read assembly] facilities and experienced chefs that have proven capabilities. The company’s dealers just serve this enjoyable food to their clients. The motorized shade solutions provided by others are more like parts of the meal, which the dealer has to merge before serving the same to its customers. That makes it easy to understand that a Lutron dealer has to pay more for a pre-cooked meal and charge more for this product. Undoubtedly, if price were not a major factor most of the consumers would prefer to buy Lutron.
Lutron helps the dealers to sell better by enabling them a better presentation of the product.
Continuing with my analogy, Lutron helps their dealers by preparing and printing the menus for them. Their quotes are prepared with a custom designed software program called the Shade Configuration Tool (SCT) that has all the useful diagrams and details a customer could ever ask. The non-Lutron dealers fail to provide such solutions in such a manner to their prospects. Lutron makes available food samples that are known to tempt diners. Lutron marketing tools are outstanding, both visually appealing and informative.
Lutron delivers quality sample binders that are complete and professionally assembled. Lutron has heightened the experience of selecting a motorized shade. It has successfully narrowed down the gap for purchasing quality product. The logic behind Lutron’s unique sales approach and business model is a matter of academic discussion. I’m here to discuss only the difference of pricing. And since the price is all we want to hear about, don’t forget I tried explaining the reason why Lutron costs more. It all depends upon your budget, needs and requirements, and what are you willing to let go for the sake of acquiring what you wish to have!
There’s none denying one fundamental aspect of marketing that any product that requiring installation will fail the company if it does not have competent professionals for doing the needful. Perfect installation backed by excellent standards of customer care forms the two essential prerequisites for this business of motorized shades.
There are two producers for tubular motors required for motorized movement of window shades. These are Somfy and Lutron. While Lutron offers both, the motor and the shade, Somfy provides only the motor that can be used with any window shade. Both the companies offer the needed controls like wall switches, remotes and interfaces that are needed for the operation of their respective motors.
In late 90′s, Lutron introduced its QED (Quiet Electronic Drive), and sold it with its own brand of shades (roller shades mostly). The product created a stir in the market, being almost noiseless and almost redefining the parameters of competition in this segment of industry. Prior to the introduction of noiseless motors by Lutron, the consumers never thought that noise level would ever influence their purchase of motorized shades. It’s only during the last few years that Somfy too started production of such motors with a slight difference of noise level on the higher side. The difference is negligible and for most of the customers it’s not a deciding factor.
Two versions of ‘quiet’ motors required for motorized operation of window shades are available from Somfy. There’s an AC powered version, ST50 and another recently introduced DC powered version ST30. Ac Motor works on high voltage whereas DC needs a low voltage for its operation. The power supply that comes to your home or office is AC and a motor working on AC can just be plugged in to your socket. Low voltage DC motors can also be plugged into any socket, but you necessarily have to use the original cord provided with the motor because that houses a transformer for bringing down the voltage and converting it to DC voltage. The cord is like your computer cord or cell phone cord that come with a built-in arrangement for power conversion. The advantage of low DC power is that it involves no issues of building codes and you don’t need the services of an electrician for wiring of low voltage powered motorized window shades. So, the absence of an electrician brings down the cost and the complexities of wiring.
The QED comes in three different capacities. These are the QED64, QED100 and QED225. The numbers at the end represent the area in square feet of fabric that the motor is designed to lift up. It means that the QED64 can carry up a shade of 8X8 feet; the QED 100 would lift a shade of up to 10X10 feet, whereas QED 225 is made to lift a shade of about 15X15 feet, though such sized shades are rarely used in residential buildings. It is experienced that the motors are generally able to carry more weight than is indicated by the numbers. The capacity of the motor has a direct bearing on its diameter that determines the diameter of the tube that the motor moves. Tube diameter in turn decided the width of the shades that can be lifted without getting them bent in the process. It is understandable that if the tube bends, it will not be able to lift the shades uniformly and causes the fabric to sag and thus develop creases. So, the motor size not only decides its lifting capacity but also the width of the fabric that has to be moved. Here are the sizes for Lutron motors: QED64 has a 1 5/8″ tube, the 100 uses a 2 ½” tube and the larger 225 comes with a 3 1/2″ tube.
Somfy’s quiet motors, called the Sonnesse line, also use different tube sizes. The ST30 has a 1 1/2″ tube; the ST50 may have a 2″ or 2 1/2″ tube. The lifting capacity of the ST50 can vary from 100 and 225. For very large applications Somfy offers larger motors, but so far they have not been included in the Sonnesse (quiet) product line. For interior applications, a motor larger than an ST50 is rarely needed, and that holds good even if the same motor drives multiple shades.
Both, the QED and Sonnesse motors have proven to be reliable. Both come with a warranty of 5 years.
Having a remote to control the functions of a blind is an aid to comfort ant not a necessity. It allows you to raise or lower the shades or to open and close the slats of your blinds my merely pushing a button. And, how does one operate those blinds and shades placed at difficult to reach places, for example skylights.
Before going into the details of a motorized control of window blinds or shades, let’s understand the kind of motion or movement that each kind is subjected to. Window blinds allow the control of light by their opening and closing. This motion is called tilt and can be achieved thru a motor that can be remote controlled. Likewise, window shades may be motorized to facilitate their raising or lowering by making them unroll or roll up. This kind of a motion is known as lift. In short it is possible to motorize both the movements, the slit, as well the lift, and the motor in turn can be remote controlled.
The motor incorporated in blinds or shades, for being controlled remotely, would necessarily involve the purchase of a remote control for it to function. Yes, one may often operate a number of motorized blinds or shades with the same remote control.
Depending on the desired functions that a motor may have to perform, the design of a remote control could vary. There are two different principles of operation. One uses the principle of infrared or “line of sight”, whereas the other uses transmission at radio frequencies. It becomes evident from the name itself that the latter can be used without having to point it out in the direction of the object, that is a shade or a blind in the present case.
Having understood the technicalities, these are the types of window shades available with motorized lift option: cellular shades, pleated shades, solar shades, sheer shades and pleated shades plus the woven wood blinds, more popularly called as bamboo shades. Cellular or cell shades often addressed as honeycombs are good for providing better insulation thru windows. Pleated shades though look similar to cellular do not provide the same level of insulation. Their small crisp accordion like pleats fold up rather than rolling up. Solar shades while blocking incoming light preserve views. Their level of opacity varies from three to fourteen percent, the higher this level the more is the visibility. Solar shades offer maximum protection against UV rays of the sun and also help to restrict solar heat. Sheer blinds are not too well known. These are like hybrid shades comprising two sheer fabric facings over soft fabric vanes. Sheer vertical blinds, on the other hand, have light filtering material between hanging fabric or vinyl vanes.
You may have blinds with motor controlled tilt motion in these varieties: mini blinds or wood and faux wood blinds. Mini blinds are too well known and need not be described here. Wood or faux wood blinds come with real hardwood slats or vinyl slats with the appearance of real wood. These are available in different slat sizes, depending on the size of the window that needs to be covered. The thumb rule is the larger the window, the bigger the size of the slat. The slat size may vary from just1/2” for mini wood blinds to 2 ½ “ for bigger windows.