Systems that simplify control over lighting in the home, corporate or hospitality settings are widely available. Wherever possible, thought should be given to control over the natural light in too, using motorised window treatments such as blinds, curtains or shutters. Wall keypads and intelligent automation allow light levels to be managed reliably and with ease.
During the early design stages of a project, architects will be carefully considering every detail of the build, ensuring the finished property looks and performs exactly like it should. With your technology provider appointed at that same early stage, it allows time for detailed design and planning on the technology elements too, so that associated construction work can be carried out, improving performance or the overall aesthetic.
Sheer Roller Blinds
There are many fabrics available for roller blinds, with sheer options being popular as they allow natural light through, yet maintain privacy, with the ‘openness factor’ determining how much light can pass through. Residentially, these are a great solution for living spaces as it is rare that full blackout is required, but it is nice to close off the space when it is dark outside. The colour of sheer fabrics also plays a part in how the light enters the room and the level of privacy, we can demonstrate the various affects using our array of fabric samples. We often use these in bedrooms alongside a secondary blackout fabric, allowing the room to be more private during the day, yet plunged into total darkness on a night.
Blackout Roller Blinds
Blackout shades, as their name suggests, block all natural light and are perfectly suited to bedrooms and cinema rooms. Our design team still need to eliminate any gaps around the fabric, which means running the blind down in side-channels and into another on the sill. If we are involved early enough in the project, we will work with your architect and contractors to have slots built into the window reveal, for a totally seamless finish, far neater than a side channel.
Roman blinds are another popular option in a residential setting as they have a more traditional look, with endless fabric options. Although we don’t offer a Roman blind manufacturing service in-house, we do supply the motor and tube for the controlling element, with the sewing of the chosen fabric and final assembly done by a third party, we’re happy to recommend some of our partners for this.
Motorised curtain tracks are available with various profiles, the smaller ones used for sheer curtains and the larger ones used for big windows or heavier fabric selections. The tracks can be either wall or ceiling mounted, and we have great results when recessing them into the ceiling for a more contemporary look. Again, being involved early in the design process allows us to work with your architect and construction team on this. Curtain tracks can even be custom curved to follow the shape of the room and are built for your own application. Centre-draw, left-draw or right-draw are all options, with pinch pleat or ripple fold styles offering true aesthetic flexibility.
In most cases, motorised blinds and curtains are used on projects where the lighting is also being controlled, and care should be taken to ensure that the two systems work happily together. With wall keypads controlling lights, additional buttons on those can open or close the window treatments. In a residential setting, it allows a button at the bedside labelled as ’Goodnight’ to ensure that all the blinds and curtains around the home are closed and the lights are turned off when going to bed. Similarly, in a commercial environment, a ‘Hello’ button can open all the blinds and set the perfect lighting scene ready for work. If lighting control isn’t being used, we can offer completely wireless keypads. These can be mounted anywhere you need them, communicating without wires and powered by internal batteries that last many years.
In large buildings, automation of window treatments can be a real time-saver. Intelligence built into the controllers allow us to open or close them at specific times of the day or based on sunrise and sunset times. Using the astronomical clock feature, changes can be made relative to the sun rising or setting, with no need to make adjustments because of the days shortening or clocks changing. The Lutron system that we use has an additional level of intelligence too, known as Hyperion, which tracks the sun’s position in the sky throughout the year, based on the buildings location and orientation, with the ability to automatically lower sheer shades to ensure rooms aren’t flooded with too much daylight, protecting furnishings, keeping rooms cool and reducing glare at workstations or television viewing spaces. Once the sun moves and the risk of glare has gone, the shades will automatically raise to bring back views of the outside, helping create a more harmonious environment.
There are many benefits that come from automated window treatments, there are the obvious ones related to the convenience and timesaving, but the list doesn’t end there. With automation of sheer shades reducing glare into the building and the associated thermal gain, there can be an energy saving element too. With the window treatments helping to keep spaces cooler, air-conditioning systems can be used less which helps reduce energy costs and the negative environmental impact of that.
If you need help with motorised window treatments or lighting control technologies for your home, office or hospitality project, get in touch with our expert design team today email@example.com