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What to Know About Motorized Shades for Windows

What to Know About Motorized Shades for Windows

The modern household is bustling with everyday activity, so why not make the utilitarian ins and outs of your home as easy as possible? This is where companies like Hunter Douglas, Graber, and Rollease Acmeda come in with their motorized automated shade systems. Their products make raising and lowering your shades at the ideal times of day, saving money on heating and air conditioning, and creating the perfect ambiance in your home a simple and carefree process. As with any new addition to your humble abode, you have myriad options to choose from in the realm of automated shading systems. This is a novel prospect as now you can select the option that best suits your home, family, and/or roommates’ needs. 

General Overview of Contemporary Shade Motorization 

The majority of motorized shades are battery-operated and a typical motor requires a total of 12 AA batteries which need to be changed approximately once a year. However, recent developments in the field have led to the invention of rechargeable motors, eliminating the need for batteries. Rechargeable motors last longer than battery-operated ones for a ballpark estimation of 500 rotations. Another benefit to this new shading innovation is that the motors—which are located in battery wands—only need to be charged about once every 18 months. 

Charge time elapses for ~4 hours, but, in perspective, this is a very short amount of time considering that the charge lasts about a year and a half. Compared to charging your smartphone and laptop every day, this is quite a low-maintenance situation. You’ll know when it’s time to charge your battery wands when they start responding to your voice control commands and programmed automation at a slower pace than expected. 

Manufacturers such as Hunter Douglas Installers, Graber, and Rollease Acmeda outfit their motorized shading systems with a battery wand that plugs into the wall. The battery wand is not mounted to the back of the shade; instead, it is typically mounted on the rear of the headrail. It must be kept plugged in at all times to ensure the smooth operation of your automated shades. 

Introducing the Hunter Douglas Powerview® System

The Powerview® system allows you to program your shades to automatically raise and lower at scheduled times you set yourself based on your daily agenda. For example, you could let glorious sunshine pour through your windows in the morning for a natural wake-up call and allow them to drop halfway at noon, the brightest part of the day if the sun’s rays produce a glare on your computer during your Zoom meetings. Then program them to rise back up to the top for a beautiful view of the sunset in the evening and drop back down for bedtime.

 Hunter Douglas Installers won the Red Dot Product Design Award for their industry-leading engineering in developing their Powerview® motorized shades. This award is highly competitive in the window treatment field; thus, you can rest assured that Hunter Douglas’ shading products are reliable, cutting edge, and long-lasting. 

How does the Powerview® work exactly? Well, there are a few different variations depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Customizable Options for Motorized Hunter Douglas Shades 

The company’s automated shades can be programmed through smart home systems such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. Download the Powerview® App on your smartphone or tablet to create customized Scenes that raise and lower your shades to your preferred positions to cultivate ambient lighting situations. Don’t worry about constantly changing your scheduling on the app to match the sunset’s varying times, with the simple click of a button you can schedule the Scenes to move with the sunset or sunrise based on your location. Your phone or tablet communicates with the Powerview® Hub, an elegant device, to move your shades using wifi. The Powerview® system can be activated through voice control with the Amazon Alexa or the Google assistant.

Powerview® shades can also be programmed and used with the Hunter Douglas Pebble®, a remote control that comes with your shading system. It can pair with up to 6 different window treatments and comes in a wide array of understated colors. The Pebble® can be controlled like a mobile app such as the one for the Amazon Firestick used to connect to your television, or if you’re concerned about misplacing it, it can be mounted to the wall for a stylish, non-intrusive, yet functional addition to your home. 

Save Money on Energy Costs with Hunter Douglas Powerview® 

Automated shades prevent your home from overheating in the summer and alleviate frigid temperatures in the winter. Programming your shades to close at high noon keeps your home from reaching uncomfortable, furnace-like temperatures, and scheduling them to open during the day in the winter will draw the warmth from the sunlight into your home. Allowing your house or apartment’s windows to interact with the light in this naturally efficient way reduces the need to turn on your air conditioner and heat, saving you money on your energy bills. And since no one has to physically raise and lower automated Hunter Douglas shades at the appropriate times each day, your shades will stay on a routine schedule that you can adjust to the differing conditions of the seasons on your smart home device or the Hunter Douglas Pebble®. Thus, your lowered energy costs will stay consistent throughout the entire year with minimal effort on your part. 

Sync Your Contemporary Shades to Your Life with Rollease Acmeda

Similar to the Hunter Douglas Powerview®, Rollease Acmeda’s motorized shade product, the Automate, integrate with popular home automation systems and voice control assistants such as Apple Home Kit, Google Home, and the Amazon Alexa. Another characteristic the Automate shares with the Hunter Douglas Powerview® is that it can also be programmed with Scenes. The Automate diverges from the Powerview® with two unique features:

  1. It can synchronize your shades to the temperature. For example, you can set a rule to lower your shades whenever the temperature reaches above 80°F (or whatever temperature is your personal sweat-dripping tipping point). You can take this feature even farther and synchronize the temperature and your shades to other aspects of your Smart Home such as setting the thermostat to 72°F (or your preferred temperature) and turning all the lights off after drawing the shades to keep your home as cool as possible.
  2. Rollease Acmeda’s “Connections” feature makes predictions about your shade preferences based on events in your digital calendar. For example, as you’re settling down on the couch with your family and a bowl of buttery popcorn for movie night, the Automate will prompt you to close your shades for a more cinematic experience. Rollease Acmeda uses IFTT, a free online service that uses these sorts of connections to trigger responses from your smart devices that cultivate more comfortable home experiences. 

Graber: Convenient Operation, Quiet Maneuvering, and a Wide Range of Style Options for Your Contemporary Shades 

Like the Hunter Douglas Powerview® and the Rollease Acmeda Automate, Graber’s motorized shades have their very own app so you can control your shades from anywhere. They can also be connected to your smart home devices such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Home for use with voice control technology. Or alternatively, they can be maneuvered with remote control. Motorization is available for a broad array of fashionable Graber shades including cellular, solar, pleated, roller, sheer, and layered styles.

 Hunter Douglas Installers’ model tends to be more popular, but there are two key features that make Graber’s version stand out in comparison to both the Hunter Douglas Powerview® and the Rollease Acmeda Automate:

  1. The Z-wave motor is incredibly quiet. It’s 30% quieter than Graber’s previous model with smoother starts and stops. Thus, it achieves the same robust performance while reducing the likelihood of disrupting your train of thought or conversation. 
  2. Unlike other brands which don’t have a precise battery gauge and instead require the user to notice it's slowing down to realize that they need to charge it, Graber’s motorized shades come with Z-wave, a technology that monitors the battery level. You can check the battery level on the Graber Motorization app. 

Window Trends is Here to Help You Outfit Your Home with a Symbiotic Shading Solution 

Our expert shading specialists at Window Trends, Morris Plains, and Window Trends, Chatham, NJ are well-equipped with window treatment knowledge that runs the gamut from interior design to utilitarian considerations. Feel free to stop by our Morris Plains or Chatham showrooms to consult with one of our representatives about what specific features you’re looking for from your shades, or simply to learn more. We proudly sell the Hunter Douglas Powerview® and Graber automated shades and have found that they satisfy and excite most of our customers, but we recognize that they may not be the ideal fit for everyone’s shading requirements. No matter what motorized shade system you ultimately choose, we’re here to guide you towards the best decision for you. 

Give us a ring at (973) 401-9048 between the hours of 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday through Friday, or fill out our contact form on our website for a complimentary at-home consultation.