Smart Shades

One of the most convenient and instant wow factor things you can add to your Smart Home is motorised shading. This technology is nothing new but with the release of Ikea shades, it is becoming far more affordable. There are a number of well known motorised shade brands. Not all are created equal.

Motors that run on mains voltage are easy to control and can be more cost-effective, the downside is the motors are loud and lack the ability to have pre-set stop points. Digital motors, running on DC, are much quieter and have the ability to count the number of rotations allowing for accurate stop points.

Probably the best-known mains voltage shades are Silent Gliss, they offer a wide range of fabrics and are compatible with virtually all control systems that include mains relays.

Qmotion and Somfy offer smart shades that are compatible with the best known Control Systems including Crestron and Control4. Qmotion offers both battery-powered wireless shades as well as a wired option.

If you are building a Crestron Smart Home it makes the most sense to use Crestron Shades. The motors are virtually silent, you can choose from their wide range of fabrics or even use your own.

Lutron also offers smart shades under their brand Sivoia, these have been around a long time and are probably the best known and highest regarded of the professional shading systems.

How to measure for Shades

To make sure you get shades that fit it is vital that accurate measurements are taken. You need to know the width of the shade you require as well as the drop. If the shade is to fit within the window reveal then the width will be the smallest measurement taken from the top of the window. When measuring the drop measure what you need then add a bit more, whatever you don’t need will stay on the roller.

You also need to take in to account any obstructions which may foul the blind like handles. If you can’t mount the shade far enough forward to avoid them then you may want to consider a reverse roll. This is where the fabric falls off the front of the roller rather than the back. You cannot simply take a regular roll shade and run it backwards as this will create a ridge where the fabric attaches to the roller and over time will cause creases to form in the fabric.

Shades mounted outside the reveal will need to cover the whole window, aside from that you can be a little more loose with your measurements.

The other thing you need to consider which side the motor or clutch will be situated, this will be the same side the cables are brought to.

You can download my pdf form to help you make sure you cover everything when making your measurements.

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