Motorization & Automation
Motorization, when applied to window shades and coverings, refers to automating the functions of the window covering so that they will raise, lower, traverse, or rotate at the touch of a button or through a sensor or computer command.
Iris Window Coverings is proud to be recognized as the expert not just in the Pacific Northwest, but nationwide, for providing motorized window shades and coverings.
In fact, we enjoy a UL approved assembly facility for shade controllers on site. We are pleased to have established partnerships with the world's premiere manufactures of shade and lighting automation:
Iris Window Coverings can motorize almost any window treatment system.
To accomplish this, a motor is added into the head rail of the desired window treatment. Roller shades typically have the motor built into the tube that the roller shade wraps around. Window treatments that move side to side, such as drapes, require special tracks, and have motors that hang down from the rail on one side. There are also motors that can be attached to the draw cord of the treatment.
As with many electronic systems, it's best to plan for motorized window treatments as early as possible in the construction process. When constructing a new building, whether commercial, industrial or residential and motorized window treatments are being considered, we recommend that electrical and control wires be installed prior to the interior walls being installed. This is usually part of the electrical design, and is installed by the electrician. These wires run through a controller, which will then control any accessory systems that are being included in the building. Iris Window Coverings' electrical department is always available to aid in the electrical design of motorized window shades and coverings. We can even supply wiring diagrams to the project electricians for their use.
Motorized window treatments can utilize either line voltage motors or low voltage motors.
Line voltage motors, which run on standard AC, are better suited to move heavier window treatments. Low-voltage motors, which run on DC, are somewhat safer and allow more flexibility in design, but require extra control wiring between the switches and the motors. Many DC systems can also be wired inside the walls to transformers that convert the AC to DC.
Iris Window Coverings recommends using AC for all applications, but especially for large windows or heavy fabrics. When DC is used, it should only be utilized for smaller windows and light fabrics. We generally do not recommend using DC for more than 10 pounds of material. DC motors may also seem to run louder, as they often must work harder. If pre-wiring is being included in a building without a specific window treatment in mind, we always recommend wiring for high-voltage, in case any window treatments that are installed later require more power to lift or move them. DC motors can be operated on high-voltage wiring but AC motors will not operate on low-voltage wiring.
Retrofits can be complicated, but are not unattainable. Since wiring inside existing walls is a problem there are DC motors that run on batteries or that plug into wall sockets. Even though these motors are controlled by wireless infrared or radio-frequency remote controls integrating an entire home's wireless window treatments will have limitations.
Iris Window Coverings has been involved in automating window shades and coverings in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years now, and is a recognized leader in the field of Window Covering Automation and Lighting Control Interface.
A general definition of automation is the use of an electronic control system or systems to manage various processes in building and home environments.
In the case of window shades and coverings, this refers to the operation of motorized window coverings. In commercial and industrial applications this entails linking the window coverings with the lighting controls, sun sensors, indoor light meters, occupancy sensors and/or HVAC controls, so that the window coverings are automatically opened or closed as the buildings interior environment requires.
There are, of course, manual overrides to this automatic control. But there are many benefits to automating, especially when combined with Daylight Harvesting Window Coverings. Chief among them is the reduction in energy costs, and optimizing comfort in the workspace or at home.
Many of the systems and techniques utilized in commercial automation are also used in home automation (such as light and climate control, security and surveillance systems).
There are many additional functions that can be integrated into a home automation system that are not typically used in a commercial environment, such as control of a multi-media home entertainment system, automatic plant watering, or automatic pet feeding. Also, home automation usually uses a more user friendly control interface than does commercial.