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Adding home automation to your blinds brings comfort and convenience to your smart home, but also helps reduce your energy usage and increases your home's security. And, it's not just blinds - any awning, sun shade, shutter or even garage door can be controlled automatically or remotely.
Your blinds can be set to automatically close when the sun goes down, making your home more cosy and comfortable. In the morning, they can open slowly, or even to a preset position to wake you gently.
No need to go around your home opening and closing blinds, they can look after themselves based on automatic schedules, or you can operate them from your smartphone whether you're at home or away. You'll never forget to close them again - even if you're on holiday!
You can significantly reduce your energy costs by automating your blinds to react to temperature and light level. Lowering the blinds, when the temperature rises with the sun streaming through the windows, will lower the room temperature - saving air conditioning costs. Opening them during cold winter months to harvest heat from the sun and then closing them as night draws in can save heating costs.
Having shutters and blinds close automatically at night or when you're away from home increases your home's security. The less of your valuables that can be see from outside, the less chance that a burglar will take a chance on breaking into your home. If you're away on vacation, you can have the blinds open and close at irregular intervals, making it look like you're still at home.
New legislation has been introduced governing how blinds that operated by chains or looped cords are installed. This follows a number of tragic incidents involving young children becoming entangled in blind cords/chains. Wirelessly operated blinds have no cord or chain, so there is no hazard to young children as they are 'Child Safe by Design".
Manually operating blinds, whether it's pulling them down or pulling a chain, takes a toll on the blinds. And if you've ever seen how children slam them down, you'll know what I mean. Sooner or later they'll need maintaining or fixing as they've broken. Motorised blinds work in a smoother way, minimising wear and tear, and extending their life. Automating your blinds and shutters saves money in more ways than one.
Bringing wireless control to your blinds and shutters has real benefits and it's relatively easy to do using home automation systems from Vesternet.
Our Z-Wave systems offer a great range of home automation features allowing them to expand with you and control many more things around your home.
Z-Wave is a wireless home automation technology supported by many vendors. It enables you to easily build a system that covers your complete home and it will automatically tell you which blinds and shutters are open or closed - you always know what's happening in your home.
There are lots of types of blind and shutter systems available, so it's best to research your options and choose them carefully. We have products that work with almost all kinds of blind and shutter, including Roller, Roman, Venetian, Vertical, Shutter, Awning and even garage doors. As well as the products listed below we have a huge range of installation and configuration guides, all backed by our renowned technical support.
There are two broad categories of blinds - ones that have motors or controls fitted so they can work open and close automatically, and those that have no motorised control.
These blind systems already have an integrated motor to open/close the blinds. In these systems you just need a way to control the motor from your home automation system.
These are one of the most common systems available. They're operated by having the motor directly powered via a wireless controller, this drives the motor in either direction and allows you to pause it or send it to a 'favourite' position.
Low-voltage blinds typically work on 24V. There are two main types of DC motor used in blinds.
Polarity Reversal motors only have two wires, the 'polarity' of the DC power supply is reversed to make them move in one direction or the other. The other type of motor typically has five wires, they have a fixed power supply and then have external (wall) switches to determine which direction it moves.
Many low-voltage systems also include an InfraRed controller. These systems may include a wired control unit, in which case you may use a wireless Relay like the previous example. The alternative is to use a IR adapter that enables your home automation system to send IR commands to your blinds. The benefit of this approach is that it's quick and easy, with no wiring involved.
There are a number of systems coming to market that have in-built wireless control. These are rarely Z-Wave compatible, but they do often use wireless systems that can be controlled from the home automation controller. These can be controlled by combining the home automation controller with an additional transceiver.
These blinds are the typical type of blind installed in thousands of homes. They don't have an integrated motor so you need to look at how motorised control can be added.
Roller blinds are probably the most common blinds available, pretty much every home will have at least one fitted. Adding automatic and remote control to these is relatively easy using the Soma BlueTooth blind controls.
These guides and videos show how these various systems can be integrated with Vesternet's home automation products. Many are based on Somfy systems, but the same principles apply whichever blind system you're using.
We can advise you on all aspects of home automation, and even though we don't sell blinds and shutters, we can recommend some companies that will help you select the right blinds for your home - including custom made solutions.