Smart Home Trends – Motorized Shading Control

Rising energy costs and the trend to “go green” have increased demands for products that reduce energy consumption. Installing motorized shades or blinds in your home or commercial space will allow ease of light management and help reduce utility bills while better controlling indoor temperatures.

“Smart” motorized shades can be programmed to adjust automatically throughout the day, so there is no need to remember to lower or raise shades. QMotion’s automated roller shade and cellular shade collections are a great addition to any eco-conscious home. These easy to install, battery-operated shades add a sleek and elegant look in homes or commercial workspaces.

Want even more savings? Try QMotion’s roller shade fabrics with KOOLBLACK™ technology. These advanced fabrics are patented to enhance dark colored yarn’s heat reflectivity for a 23% improvement in solar heat gain reduction.

Both automated roller shade and honeycomb collections are available with intuitive timing systems that automatically raise and lower with your local sunrise and sunset times. Use the timer remote to create a customized schedule or enter your ZIP code for smart control.

Because QMotion’s window fashions are battery-powered, there is no need for re-wiring or an electrician for installation. You can incorporate stylish automated shadins in your home within minutes. Lean more about QMotion Advanced Shading System’s eco-friendly shades here.

 

Automated Roller Shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabric.

QMotion automated roller shades with KOOLBLACK™ technology fabrics.

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September 23, 2014 · 5:00 pm

QMotion’s Innovative Products Receive Multiple 2014 WCMA Awards

QMotion Advanced Shading Systems is proud to announce its recent recognition at the 2014 Window Coverings Manufacturing Association Awards. Our innovative window fashions are developed with simplicity, function and elegance in mind. The annual WCMA Awards recognizes the industry’s best window coverings products and merchandising programs. This year, QMotion was recognized in four categories for best new technical enhancements, best technical innovation, best new style concept and most innovative overall.

 

Cellular-Shades-Best-New-TechEnHM-6Cellular Shades – Our innovative automated honeycomb shade collection won the Best New Technical Enhancement Award. These elegant and energy efficient window shades run on standard, alkaline batteries hidden within the headrail, which means no exposed wires and battery packs. Because all of QMotion honeycomb shades are spring counterbalanced, the motors move very easily and quietly.

 

MotoMotorization-Best-Tech-Inn-6rization – Our motorized Venetian blinds were recognized in motorization for the Best Technical Innovation in 2014. This new line operates via remote, smart phone or tablet and is scheduled for release Fall 2014. QMotion automated venetian blinds are the only battery-operated motorized blinds that not only have the tilt function operated by remote control, but also can be raised and lowered with the remote.

 

Motorization-Best-New-Style-Con-6Motorization – QMotion’s motorized drapery rod collection took home the 2014 WCMA Best New Style Concept Award. These automated drapery rods are the industry’s first track-less design. We removed the external wires and motors to create an elegant drapery rod that will add elegance to your residential or commercial space.

 

MotorizaMotorization-Most-Inn-Overall-6tion – Our motorized drapery rods were also recognized as the 2014 WCMA Most Innovative Overall product. This groundbreaking technology uses touch to open or close draperies with our patent-pending Touch Wand Activation.

 

Stay tuned for the latest from QMotion Advanced Shading Systems!

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Timer Remote for Easy Automation

While it may be easy to control Qmotion Shades from the transmitters, smartphones, or by hand, there is still another way to manage shading.

Consider the Qmotion Timer Remote.

This simple device allows a user to program, through a very simple Windows interface, as many as six scenes. This offers a level of convenience previously only available with premium automation systems.

A scene is a selection of a shade position at a particular moment. This means, if you want the shades to go to the half way position at noon on weekdays- this is a scene.

The Timer remote may be programmed with sunrise and sunset based actions, so astronomical clock functions are easy.

Even though it is a transmitter, it is low powered, so we recommend mounting it close to the shades to be controlled.

So, if you want the ability to automate your Qmotion Shades, the Timer remote may be your solution.

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Why so many colors and styles?

Our new fabric book offers over 180 colors, bringing our total offering to over 200. So, when some of the competition has fewer than 100, why does Qmotion want to show so much style and color.

As we started into this adventure, to take a new approach to shading. This involved focussing on new technology, including the most innovative way to automate shades created in years. Other novelties included our effort to bring the innovations to the masses, by designing in a way that made installation faster,easier, and less obtrusive. Our automated shades rapidly became a sought after product.

With fabrics, we quickly learned that our customers, those who saw the function as great and “for them”, wanted more style. We had requests for colors, more screens, and different options for blackout fabrics. So, we listened and we acted.

The new screens include those which use a polyester core thread, and even adds several that are 100% PVC-free.

The blackouts collection went from 2 styles to 6 styles.

And we added a new category of decorative materials, showing as many colors as imagination can consider, and even some metallic styles. And our natural designs are even in there with our eclectic designs.

So, why so many fabrics? Because we have learned to like the designs that they offer. Beautiful Qmotion Shades are even better than standard Automated Qmotion Shades.

In fact, we like having this range of color and style so much, we think we will add more.

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Qmotion Timer Remotes Provide Comfort, Ease

When talking to friends about what I do and the company I work for, many are surprised that automating shades is possible. However, once the understand it, questions start to come, quickly. While often the questions revolve around how to buy them, and colors available, commonly people want to know if the action of the shades can be “set to automatic.”

It seems that many people want to have the shades raise, or lower, at the time and moment that works for them, but without ever reaching for a button. This level of function used to be available exclusively for those with full automation systems, but now, thanks to the QMotion Timer Remote, I can tell people it is easy. USB Remote

This neat little device is a true mini-powerhouse. It can send up to 6 different timed commands on any or all days of the week. These commands can be to send the shade to any of the 5 preprogrammed positions (top, bottom or one of the three intermediate stops), and it can do this based on time or sunrise/sunset. The solar settings are based on the location where the shades are installed, and the unit can be reprogrammed as regularly as wanted, with the use of a simple Windows application.

Mount it near the shades, or use a Qrelay to repeat the signal, and it can be used to keep the room comfortable by lowering the shades before the sun gets too intense, or raising them in the morning, as a gentle wake-up with the sun.

And, for those who have sophisticated automation systems, this simple add-on can provide a quick solution for guest spaces or other applications when the full power of the system may not be required.

Now, the convenience of automatic shades, with simple configuration and cost.

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The Comeback Curtain: Roller Shades

By ANNE MARIE CHAKER
Some interior designers are looking for inspiration to women’s fashion—specifically to the wispy, sheer blouses and pullovers more women are layering over camisoles and tank tops. The result is a layered, see-through window treatment, whether sheer curtains over half-opened shades, or textured curtains over sheer shades. One legacy of the real estate boom in many suburban homes has proven hard to live with – dramatic floor-to-ceiling window. Created to maximize light, these windows are a tough interior-design assignment. Anne-Marie Chaker explains on Lunch Break.

The window look? “Sexy,” says New York-based interior designer Mindy Miles Greenberg. Ms. Greenberg recently helped Alyssa Kallenos with window treatments for the master bedroom in her 5,500-square-foot Mediterranean-style house in Hewlett Harbor, N.Y. The 42-year-old physical therapist wanted her bedroom, with three 7-foot windows and a fireplace, to feel “glamorous.” “I don’t want it to look like a kitchen,” Ms. Kallenos says. Ms. Greenberg steered her to a moss-colored Hunter Douglas Silhouette semi-sheer shade for privacy, with an overlay of sheer, iridescent silk panels that just touch the floor.

“It’s like a bra peeking through a shirt,” Ms. Greenberg says. Make that a designer bra: The total cost of the bedroom window treatments was $7,500, Ms. Kallenos says. 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 simplified silhouette and color palette mean the look can be executed beautifully without custom fabrics, which is appealing to clients, even in luxury homes, who are still keeping a tight rein on costs, designers say.

“Custom drapery is extremely expensive,” says Kim Chapman, whose Chicago firm, Urban Environments, recently designed a bedroom bay window with four roller shades and panels of a sheer polyester for about $4,500. The client could easily have spent twice that much using more-conventional drapery fabric, Ms. Chapman says. “People are staying as minimalist and as cost-effective as they can.”

The Comeback Curtain
The layered look has evolved alongside a broad trend in home design toward emphasizing windows. “The thinking is all about bringing the outside in, and ‘outside living,’ ” says Laura Larkin, an interior designer in San Rafael, Calif. “You’re able to do that with big windows.” Floor-to-ceiling windows can, though, make a room too bright, too hot, too cold or too exposed to nosy neighbors and passersby. Sheer layers as window treatments can provide privacy and energy efficiency yet also preserve the panoramic view or wide-open feel. The look has few elements to collect dust. But window fabrics, no matter what kind, require dry-cleaning every two-to-five years, says Linda Farahnik, showroom director for Distinctive Window Treatment Plus, a custom fabricator in New York. Periodic light vacuuming helps with dust control.

Smith + Noble
Retailer Smith and Noble says it added more texture and color to its solar-shade offerings as they became more common in residences. These are some of the considerations Nancy Crabill, 39, had in mind when addressing the bay window in the master bedroom of the home she and her 8-year-old son moved into last May. Working with Ms. Chapman, the Chicago designer, she placed a cream-colored Juliette sofa next to the window, made up of four 6-foot panes overlooking big trees on a sunny sidewalk. She enjoys reading and sipping coffee there one morning a week. “It’s my most uninterrupted time,” she says. Ms. Crabill wanted a sheer layer of drapes overlaying roller shades in a pearl color; she wanted blackout shades for maximum light-control at night. When the shades are up, the drapes filter the daylight softly and billow pleasantly if the windows are open. They look like “a flowy, sexy dress that always makes a woman look amazing,” Ms. Crabill says. Many sheer window treatments incorporate a high-tech layer of protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can penetrate regular window glass and damage skin, discolor fabrics and overheat rooms.

A layer of protective film, like the kind once found mainly in cars, is mounted onto the glass window panes. High-performance window film typically is cut to size and professionally installed by a dealer-representative affiliated with a manufacturer such as 3M Corp. or Solar Gard. The total cost for a 2,500-square-foot home with 30 windows near New York City is approximately $1,500 to $3,000, or $50 to $100 per window, with an estimated 15% annual savings in cooling costs of about $186, according to 3M’s online cooling-savings calculator.
Window films generally can cut down glare by more than half and block up to 99.9% of UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation in New York. (The foundation vets products that claim to be UV-protective and recommends those it believes pass muster, including window films.)

A “solar shade” is frequently used as a sleek second layer of UV protection, even in a traditional window design. Semitransparent when pulled down, solar shades filter UV rays and heat, creating an effect something like putting sunglasses on a window. Drapes layered over shades ‘are like a bra peeking through a shirt,’ says designer Mindy Miles Greenberg. Popular for a while in commercial buildings and industrial-looking condos, the shades have been showing up in mainstream residential designs, says Brooke Traeger, associate chair of interior design at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C. “They replace the old look of vertical blinds with a very clean aesthetic,” says Ms. Traeger. Or “you can use them in addition to a soft drapery and you don’t even know it’s there.”

Catalog retailer Smith & Noble last year more than doubled its solar-shade offerings, adding more textures, colors and styles. Solar shades “started very techie-looking and didn’t fit into every residential application,” says JoEllen Ropele, merchandising manager. Now, though, they are available in soft, fashionable fabrics “that are more acceptable in the residential market,” she says. The final layer is often panels of loose-weave or sheer fabric hanging in soft drapes to the floor. Panels of metallic-link drapes, which have been common in sophisticated restaurants and hotels, were until recently rarely used in residences. One reason may be price: Metal-link drapes on one standard-size window recently cost one of her clients $1,300, Ms. Greenberg says.

Alene Workman, an interior designer in Hollywood, Fla., is using solar shades on the 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows found in every room of a 10,000-square-foot, 26th-floor penthouse in an ocean-front building in Bal Harbour, Fla. “You can see Cuba on one side and New York on the other,” she says. Her assignment was to design windows with protection from bright light and baking sun while preserving the clean décor, including off-white fabrics, marble floors and contemporary furniture made of stone and honey-toned wood.

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,” Ms. Workman says. In traditional drapery, the rule of thumb is to measure fabric at three times the window width, resulting in folds of excess fabric known as the “stack.” Once, the stack might have covered up to a third of the entire window. “Now, I want to get all the fabric off,” says Ms. Larkin, the California designer. Instead of measuring fabric at three times the width, she measures the sheer outer layer at 1½ times the width. Designers warn that sheer layers can look chintzy if relying solely on inexpensive fabrics. The look can also skew industrial if done with just sleek solar shades and no softening layers, says Ms. Larkin. The trick is to take a little sleek and a little soft, and coordinate, she says.

Qmotion Shades also offers of full line of sheer fabrics and their shades are compatible with all Phifer “sheer weave” products. They also offer a level of integrated motorization never before seen in the roller shade industry. With no external battery packs the simplistic look of Qmotion is a great option for the functionality of motorization combined with beauty of sheer shades. To check out more visit www.qmotionshades.com or call 877-849-6070.

A version of this article appeared March 28, 2012, on page D1 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Comeback Curtain. Qmotion Shades does not take credit for this article or media contained in this post. Full credit goes to the author ANNE MARIE CHAKER.

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