Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Beginners Guide to Smart Shades
An Expert Guide to Finding the Perfect Shading Solution for Your Home
Start here for everything about motorized shades.
At Bravo AV, we always are working with New Jersey homeowners to enhance their properties through smart home technology. One of the most common requests we receive is adding motorized window treatments to a house. After all, there’s no better way to add convenience, security, and interior design value than through a smart shading solution. Often, though, many homeowners don’t know where to begin with their shading project. There’s plenty to consider – and it all starts with the types of blinds you can choose from. In this post, we explore the basics of four of the most common types of motorized shades you can feature in your Morris County, New Jersey home.
Interested in finding out more? Keep reading below.
Controlling Motorized Shades We at Bravo AV proudly partner with Lutron, the industry leader in motorized shading, for our custom window treatment projects. You can control Lutron shades with your smartphone, tablet or an in-wall keypad. Lutron has more than 20 keypad colors and several finishes you can choose from, so you always can find the perfect keypad for your space. Using the Lutron app, you can configure your blinds to raise or lower, either at the tap of your screen or automatically at a set time of day. Lutron shading also integrates seamlessly with the brand’s premier lighting control systems. Above is one of many different keypad configuration options you can include in your home. In this example, you may select up to three groupings of shades, and then choose to open/close and raise/lower the selected groups.
Roller Shades Roller shades are one of the most common types of shading fabrics. Because of their popularity, there are a variety of colors, patterns and motor-encasing options you can choose from that might suit your space. But roller blinds also feature far more benefits than just being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. For example, you can customize how much natural light is entering your interior based on the fabric you select. You can select between dozens of fabrics from Lutron, or you can supply your own. You can choose from sheer blinds (which allows natural light to enter your space) translucent or privacy blinds (which allows for little light transfer) and blackout shades (with blackout channels installed, there is no light transfer). The best way to tell how much natural light a shade might allow is by examining its opacity. The higher the openness factor percentage is, the more light the blind allows through. Openness factors typically range from 0 to 10 percent. This could be a critical aspect as you decide whether you want to maintain a view of the outdoors while your shades are lowered. You also can select motorized roller shades that are environmentally friendly, such as solar shades that are GREENGUARD Certified and PVC- and lead-free. Most roller shades are available either battery-powered or are wired. Batteries typically last several years and are very easy to change. Ultimately, you have plenty of options to choose as you consider a roller shading solution.
Honeycomb Shades Honeycomb blinds are ideal for efficiency due to their pleated nature. During the summer and winter months, these pleats provide insulation – helping to optimize your home’s energy output. In warm weather, honeycomb shades will retain cooler air. In colder temperatures, they will prevent heat from escaping your home through your windows. Much like roller blinds, you can choose from a variety of honeycomb shade options. You can opt for sheer honeycomb blinds that still allow for natural light to pass through. Or you can select a room-darkening shade more ideal for privacy. Another decision to make when considering honeycomb shades is whether to select a single-cell or double-cell solution. The main difference, here: Double-cell shades deliver twice the energy-efficiency performance of single-cell blinds due to their two pleat layers for insulation. Honeycomb shades also are similar to roller blinds in that they can be powered through a long-lasting battery or through a hardwired solution. Either way, honeycomb shades are both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly.
Wood Blinds If you’re looking to establish a more natural and sophisticated look within your Morris County home’s interior, wood motorized Venetian blinds are an ideal option. Choose from wood blinds featuring a decorative tape or slats with a stained or painted appearance. That way, you always can find the perfect blind that complements your space’s interior design. With wood blinds, you also can customize the amount of light entering your space. Of course, you can roll your blinds up and down with just the press of a button on an in-wall keypad or smartphone or tablet. But while your wood blinds are down, you also can adjust the tilt angle to achieve the ideal lighting levels in your space. Don’t worry, either, about adding harmful chemicals to your space if you use painted or stained wood blinds. Lutron offers painted and stained slats that are both PVC- and lead-free. Unlike honeycomb and roller shades, though, wood blinds only can be powered through a hardwired system.
Roman Shades Much like roller shades, Roman shades feature a plethora of styles and colors you can choose from that range from sheer to room-darkening lighting levels. Unlike roller blinds, though, they are designed using a thicker material and include layers that add sophistication and drama to your shading. They deliver a timeless look and an overall elegant appearance. You also can include reflective backings with Roman shades that help insulate your home, as they prevent heat from escaping during the winter and reflect sunlight from entering your space during the summer. Because of their layered nature, though, it’s especially important to use a motor system designed for Roman shades. Lutron, in fact, offers a shading system designed specifically for optimizing Roman blind performance – ensuring smooth and virtually silent movement as you adjust the blinds. We at Bravo AV are certified Lutron shading experts and are ready to assist in your Morris County home improvement project. If you are interested in adding motorized shades to your new construction or existing home, we encourage you to reach out to us today. Our team will work with you to find the perfect shades for your property through consultation and a variety of custom shade samples (including the types discussed above and more), but we also can expertly handle the installation for you.
For additional resources, please visit our page on motorized shades and Lutron smart blinds with articles like this on everything you need to know. Additionally, you can check out our photo gallery on the same page to explore our previous work.
Bravo AV is proud to be an HTA (Home Technology Association) Certified Installation Firm and professional A/V experts. Tom Curnin, the owner of Bravo AV, is a CEDIA Professional Designer, a certified THX Level 1 home theater professional and a member of the Home Acoustic Alliance trained to Level II. You can contact Tom directly at (908) 953-0555 or through email at Tom@BravoAV.com.