Motorized window treatments can add the element of elegance and ease to your home. Peachtree has been trained in the area of motorized windows treatments in Atlanta and can assist you in motorizing virtually all types of window treatments.
Which Window Coverings Can Be Motorized?
All shade types can be motorized. Roller shades, cellular / honeycomb shades, banded / zebra shades, sheer shadings, Roman shades, even 2″ blinds! Exterior products such as exterior roller shades, porch shades, outdoor motorized screens, and awnings are options as well.
Hunter Douglas products are available for motorization as well. Hunter Douglas Powerview is a proprietary operating system designed specifically for Hunter Douglas products only. Hunter Douglas Silhouette, Vignette, Duette, Pirouette are just a few.
How Does The Motor Work and Which One Do I Need?
Motors need a power source to operate your window treatment. That source will be either direct electric 110v (hard wire), low voltage 24v or 18v (electricity basically “dumbed down”) or battery powered. Which one do YOU need? Well, size of the opening is the first consideration.
Battery Powered: Lithium double A batteries are the preferred choice for inexpensive motors where the coverage is not greater than 100 square feet. This means a battery could cover a window that is 10′ x 10′ Somfy offers a Sonesse wire – free 30 motor that can accomplish operation in an opening that size. Battery operated motors cost on average $250.00 to $350.00 per motor. On average if you operate your motorized window treatment 2 times a day you will will need to change the batteries every 10 to 14 months. It is easy to change the batteries as they are in a tray clipped to the back of the window treatment. But are they easy to reach?
This is where new solar technology comes into play. Some motors, NOT ALL, can be continuously “topped off” by adding a solar panel that captures a trickling of sunlight. This panel is 18″ wide and is visible from the outside of your home. Each motor would need its own solar panel. A solar panel adds $100.00 to each motor but will pay for itself in the long run by eliminating the cost of batteries and the hassle of changing them.
Rechargeable Motors: Just like all of your technological devices like your cell phone and tablets, motors can now be “recharged”. If normal usage occurs with operating your treatments 2 times a day, the motors will need to be recharged every 10 to 14 months. This can be accomplished by simply plugging them in to a nearby outlet. Or is it simple? Same issue as the batteries if they are hard to reach. Normal charging takes approximately 6 hours to bring the motor back to 100%.
Low Voltage Motors: Low voltage is ideal in the new home construction phase. The house is framed, the walls are open making the running of the wire much easier and affordable. A location in the home will be designated the “home run”, typically an out of the way place where all electronics and wiring will initiate. For low voltage to work, a 110 volt outlet is needed to provide the initial surge of power needed. It travels through a transformer, transforming the 110 current to 24 volt, i.e. lower voltage… The 24 volt OR 18 volt current runs through essentially speaker wire, either a 14 * 2 gauge or 16 * 2 wire. These wires are run to the inside of where your window treatment will be installed. PERFECT! NO BATTERIES, RECHARGING, OR LADDER CLIMBING! Low voltage motors cost on average $450 to $500 per motor.
110 Volt Motors: Sometimes openings for coverage whether it be interior or exterior and cover large spans, sometimes upwards of 24 feet! At that distance full power will be required to operate that treatment. A motor that carries 110 volt to the opening can be installed with a true 3 prong plug or the exposed wires can be tied and connected to the wires of the shades. Products like motorized awnings, outdoor porch shades, outdoor motorized screens fall into this category. These motors cost on average $475 to $550 per motor
Now I Have Power, How Do I Work My Shades?
Remote control of course! The remote controls offer a multi-channel options. This means each shade or multiple shades can occupy an individual channel. This allows the homeowner to group certain sections of their treatments to move together. Typically the last channel is known as the “all” button and lets you move all of your shades at the same time! SIMPLE! Some remotes can have a timer that will “wake” up your shades at certain times to open and close without you being in the room. Remotes can be hand – held or others are wall mounted to eliminate the potential to lose the remote in that couch that seems to eat everything. Remotes can typically cost upwards of $75 to $175 for wall mounted.
Seems easy but I just want to give a command to raise and lower my shades. STILL EASY! Whether you prefer Alexa, Google Home or any other similar device, voice commands can activate your treatments. A seperate device such the MyLink from Somfy or the Hub from Hunter Douglas will need to be purchased. Typically just 1 of these devices is all that is needed and typically costs $250.00 It serves to act like a translator so your favorite home device understands the language of the motors. In larger homes and spaces, a “repeater” will carry the signal through the house. This will even allow you to activate your shades from anywhere in the world you can access an open IP address. Hunter Douglas has perfected the ability to create “scenes” where treatments can even be synced to the sunrise and sunset, arrival times and departures from the home.
I have my own home automation that I want to use…Can I? Absolutely! That same MyLink or Hub will allow your home automation system like Harmonic Homes, Control 4 or any other system to control your treatments right along with your lighting, security and other systems.