The world of window treatments has certainly changed over the years — thanks to technology. We started with motorization. Then we added remote controls and apps. And we now have the ability to fully integrate those controls into a connected home.
So, what’s next in window treatments? Thanks to advances in low-voltage power, all of the window treatments in your home can be powered by the equivalent of speaker wire — which is why we’re seeing more “smart homes” being prewired for whole home integration.
Hunter Douglas has been on the leading edge of motorization for window treatments, and Shannon Scarella, Manager of Hirshfield’s Window Fashions, has enjoyed a front-row seat. She shares her thoughts on the latest changes in the world of window treatments — and the way it may change the way you plan your next home project.
More than Motorization
Call it the smart home or whatever you want, but consumers today are looking for convenience. Why not have convenience when it comes to window treatments? Just about anything can come motorized these days, but how do we make it work in your home?
We can operate window treatments a few different ways — either manually by hand, with a remote control, or now with an App and some pushes of a button. We can go even further and set up scenes based on our window treatment preferences and let the technology of the window treatment and the app do the work for us!
Hunter Douglas has come out with the new proprietary PowerView motorization system. This system can work off a Pebble remote, a wall switch, or the PowerView App.
All three can work together, but there are differences between them. The Pebble remote and the wall switch are virtually the same thing, except one of them is mounted to the wall. In either case, if you push the button, your shades can be operated individually or in groups.
The Hunter Douglas PowerView App works with your remote or independently from it. The App allows you to set scenes for each room or different scenarios. These scenes can work while you are away from home, as well.
The App allows us to connect into the kind of Home Automation that is being put in the homes to operate lights, thermostats, televisions, speakers, you name it. You know, those Smart Homes.
The App is compatible with most Home Automation systems on the market: Nest, IFTTT, Logitech, Control 4, UPC, Elan, Savant, RTI, and Creston.
Beyond the increased connectivity of motorization, the latest advances include power. Specifically, low-voltage power.
There are three different power sources that are used to operate Hunter Douglas PowerView Shades.
- Battery Operated — Most of Hunter Douglas window treatments are able to be operated by AA batteries or C cell batteries. (with the exception of the vertical applications – Skyline, Luminette, Verticals, etc as they require the option listed next)
- DC Plug-In —These use a cord that connects to the headrail and then plugs into your household outlet.
- Low Voltage — Low Voltage is gaining in popularity. Low Voltage operates off the same wiring as speakers, would in your home (14/2 gauge wiring). This wiring connects to a control panel in your home. The control panel supplies the power to the window treatments.
Make the Connection
We are seeing more and more homes being wired to be a “smart home” from the start. When you think about it, there is no reason that window treatments should not be considered when wiring a home.
If you are in new construction or remodeling, the best time to have a Shop at Home designer to your home to give some guidance is before the sheetrock has arrived. We can discuss features and benefits of products and how these would work in your home, but more importantly we can give some insight on where the wires need to be run to the window. If we can come in and consult with you and your home automation specialist, the success of your project will be much greater. We can help speak the language with the home automater!
If your home is already wired, we’re happy to come out to your home and see if motorization for your window treatments is an option.
Questions for Hirshfield’s Shop at Home? You can reach us at 651-366-6969.
Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.