Can window shades be smart? Well, that depends.
Looking back, window shades have come a long way from the days of manually-pull-the-cord-twist-the-stick. Shades are evolving to be part of an ever-growing home automation system – a growing market that includes many devices for automating control of your HVAC, lighting, security, and entertainment systems. According to Transparency Market Research, this market was valued at $3.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $16.4 billion by 2019.” Not too shabby.
This is good news for you and the planet. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, In 2013, 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial buildings. So products that manage your home environment more efficiently – when you are home and away – are a win.
What a difference a shade makes
While home entertainment systems may be the “sexiest” part of home automation, more mundane things – like automated window shades – can make a surprising difference to your comfort, safety and energy bill. For example. Somfy offers automated shades with quiet, battery-driven motors that power up and down at the touch of a button. These shades offer benefits like:
- Safety – there are no cords for kids or pets to get tangled in.
- Convenience – you can raise and lower all your shades at once, rather than running from window to window to manually adjust them.
- Cost savings – motorized shades that can sense a sunny day in January – and open wide to capture that solar heat indoors – can reduce your heating bill. Likewise, the shades can be programmed to block the sun in the summer, and even detect a cloudy day and open partway.
- Serenity – if waking up to an alarm clock jangles your nerves, you can program the shades to open in the morning and wake up to natural light. A nicer way to start your day!
If you’ve dealt with window cords that tangle or rods that break, windows that are out of reach, or a living space that freezes or roasts while you’re at work, motorized shades may become a “must-have item.” The fact that they also help you reduce electric waste and save money too is just icing on the cake.
So take a moment to marvel at the possibilities of motorized automatic shades – that keep you comfortable, safe, more efficient, and frugal – all at once!
Interested in learning which smart thermostat would best complement your automatic shades? Check out our Earth911TV episode on smart thermostats.
Feature image courtesy of Andrew Black