Curtains Making A Comeback

Curtains in general have fallen out of fashion somewhat in recent years, with model flat panels and rollershades being the order of the day for many designers and architects, but this week Anne Marie Chaker reports in the Wall Street Journal that many interior designers are looking to women’s fashion to create windows with real sex appeal.

Translucent, softly layered window treatments are showing up in urban and suburban homes as energy- and cost-efficient alternatives to old-fashioned drapes and blinds. These neutral-toned window treatments feature clean lines and literally no frills—and no puddles, swags, jabots (cascade of ruffles) or lambrequins (decorative valances), either.

The article goes on to address heat reduction and solar protection for large windows through combining sheer curtains with either uv window film or solar shades.

The owner had window film applied, followed by white “sheer-weave” motorized solar shades to filter light but leave the view intact. Shades operating by wall-mounted controls disappear into a recessed ceiling pocket when not in use. Sheer, white-wool side panels hang in room corners and “soften the overall effect”.

For the full article, please click here.

Motorized Shades a Remodeling “Must Have” According to Houzz

Home design community and website Houzz have announced their 2012 best of remodeling winners, as chosen by the Houzz community.

The Best of Remodeling award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from landscape architects to design-build firms. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the 1.2 million members, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 16.5 million professional images to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site and iPad/iPhone app. With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated vendors, but also those whose work visually aligns with their own design goals. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and evaluating their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community.

Houzzers have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot in home decor, and have identified remodeling and decorating trends:

Houzzers’ wish lists and must haves include practical choices like motorized shades; a central vacuuming system; dedicated craft room; radiant heating; well-placed outlets, switches and thermostats; and an integrated gadget charging station for phones and more.

To see the original press release, visit http://www.marketwatch.com/story/houzz-unveils-2012-best-of-remodeling-winners-2012-03-19

Somfy Tahoma Control System Now Hitting Window Covering Showrooms

CEPro reports today that Somfy, probably the most prolific brand of motors for awnings and window treatments has just wrapped up training the first batch of dealers for their new system. The Tahoma Home Automation and Energy Management System was announced last year, which is essentially a simple control system that can also control home lighting and all Z-Wave enabled products.

Programming and control of the devices can be done in the home through standard wall and table top controls, or “anytime, anywhere” via iOS apps and a standard web browser.

CEPro’s Julie Jacobson spoke with  business development manager Steve Iommi at last week’s Electronic House Expo.

About one-third of Tahoma dealers have window-covering showrooms, “and most of those are investing more in showing Tahoma,” according to Iommi.

To read the original article see http://www.cepro.com/article/somfy_brings_window-covering_pros_into_ce_channel/

Somfy Tahoma IPAD shade control

Tahoma controls on the IPAD (from somfytahoma.com)

Small and Convenient Z-Wave Compatible DC Shade Control Module

The Cooper Wiring Devices RFSCMDC1 Aspire RF Shade Control Module is a great retrofit solution for your motorized shade or screen project. Providing control for DC Motorized window shades, awnings, and screens, it does the job well with it’s super small casing which provides excellent versatility and gives you plenty of mounting options.With two easy to use buttons for control and easy integration with Z-Wave, you’ll be up and running in no time.
DC Shade Control Module

Additional Features

  • Exclusive auto calibration feature during Z-Wave inclusion process, saves time on job
  • Allows for custom intermediate stops as a percentage of shade travel
  • Supports tilt function on horizontal blinds and tilt-only shades
  • Less than 1W power consumption provides energy saver solution
  • Load monitoring for status updates
  • Single motor control
  • Safety timeout
  • LED indication of Z-Wave communication; LED can be disabled
  • Can be included in Scenes and Events
  • Can be controlled by up to 5 devices through device association feature
  • Single button programming
  • All on/all off inclusion
  • Power failure memory
  • Embedded with reliable Z-Wave intelligent wireless technology
  • 24V power supply can support up to 3 shade control modules

Additional Info

Owners Manual

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Leviton Wireless 2 Channel Shade Controller for Shades and Blinds

The Good

  • Receives wireless RF signals from your LevNet RF Transmitters
  • Robust 315MHz RF signal with a range between 50-150 feet
  • Self powered control needs no wiring or batteries
  • Controls up to two different shade motors

The Bad

  • Works only with the LevNet series of transmitters
  • May be prone to RF signal interference

Leviton is well known for it’s lighting controls and switches, and have made home automation installers take notice with it’s new 2 channel shade controller system, LevNet.

Leviton 2 Channel Shade Controller

This product is the controller, which receives signal and power directly from the transmitter. That’s right, no batteries or wiring are needed at all which significantly cuts back on install time. Just install the transmitter as normal into the switch j-box and the controller “harvests” power using technology licensed from EnOcean. The rest of the LevNet line includes occupancy sensors, lighting controls, etc.

We tested the WS0RC-S00 LevNet RF 2 Channel Shade Controller running two Somfy motors on a recent retrofit job in a bathroom where wiring was a problem and the homeowner decided they didn’t want to have to worry about changing batteries.

This system was perfect for this application, and while we only used it to control one shade, we can say set up was a breeze and the system responded well to the transmitter commands (wall switch) without any interruption.

The controlled environment of the install didn’t make for any interference, but we have seen radio systems react badly to RF interference to other home control systems or common household devices in the past, and this one should be no different.

For an affordable and easy to use retrofit solution, the Leviton Wireless 2 Channel Shade Controller seems to be a winner.

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Specifications
Manufacturer Leviton
Manufacturer Product No. WS0RC-S00
UPC 078477484760
Range 50-150 feet
Radio Frequency 315MHz
Power Supply Input Rating 8-30 VDC, 40 mA
Output Rating 0-30VDC, 130mA max
Relay Driver 30 VDC max, 100 mA max
Dimensions 2.88” W x 1.30” H x 0.67” D (73.15mm x 33.02mm x 17.02mm)
Channels 0-in/2-out
Antenna Attached whip antenna (5.85”)
Radio Certification FCC (United States) SZV-TCM2XXC IC (Canada) 5713A-TCM2XXC
Warranty Manufacturer 5 year limited

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