In designing and installing a smart business or smart home, naturally a lot of attention goes to electronic devices, entertainment systems and active energy systems such as Lutron Shades, lighting and climate control. But some of the most innovative and powerful technology goes into a passive system that is easy to overlook: shades.

Lutron Sivoia Shades are wireless and don’t require physical connections to the control center, which means there’s no need for intrusive construction to install wiring. With their own power sources and wireless controls, Sivoia Shades maximize the use of passive solar lighting and heat, while offering attractive finish to a room in a variety of styles.

Sivoia Shades are available in the form of roller shades, traditional draperies, Venetian blinds, tensioned shades, horizontal sheer blinds, pleated shades, Roman shades, Kirbé Vertical Draperies, and fashion honeycomb shades. They can be set up for a single room or for multiple rooms, ultimately for an entire home, coordinating the shading through a central control system such as Control4.

Saving Energy

Shades potentially represent a big energy efficiency boost. The reason has to do with solar energy coming into the building through the windows. Sunlight offers both light and heat. During the day and at some times of the year, more solar energy may be offered through the windows of the building than you want.

By setting the shade controls to adjust the light permitted for time of day and season, the amount of energy that has to be expended to light, heat, and cool the home or office can be reduced far below what would have to be done if the shades were uncontrolled, adjusted manually, or operated by a “dumb” automatic system.

Motorized Shades

The central wizardry of Sivoia Shades is that they are motorized. Built-in electric motors adjust the slant of the shades, and can also open or close them. Recent developments have dramatically lowered the cost of these systems so that they’re affordable for homeowners.

Motors need electric power, of course, but Sivoia Shades are battery powered and so self-contained. They run on four to six D batteries, which last up to five years of normal use, thanks to Lutron’s patented energy saving technology that draws only a tiny fraction of a watt in standby mode.

Stand-Alone or System Version

Sivoia Shades are available as a stand-alone treatment for a single window, but what fun is that?

More impressive by far is the Sivoia QS System version equipped with a control protocol that lets them be incorporated into a smart home design. Lutron has its own proprietary control systems, but the QS shades are also amenable to third-party smart home systems: Control4.

Integrating motorized window shades into a smart home design allows for adjusting artificial lighting to accommodate the amount of sunlight being let in, and using or blocking the sun’s heat to keep things comfortable with accordingly-reduced energy use for heating or air conditioning.

Easy to Install

One of the best features of the Sivoia QS System shades is that they are so easy to set up. Because the entire motorized device is a self-contained package, and because it’s controlled wirelessly, for installation purposes it’s a shade, period. There’s no complicated wiring or other connections to be installed. You attach a couple of brackets to the wall, pop the shade into the brackets, and you’re good to go.

That effectively reduces the price of Lutron Sivoia shades even further. The rest is just programming your system to control your shading. After that, all you need to do is clean the shades every so often (which would be necessary with anything from curtains to simple Venetian blinds as well), and change the batteries once every few years.

Lutron Shades Used to Be Pretty Expensive. What Happened?

We can assure you that what brought the price down wasn’t a compromise in quality. These are the product of 20 years of research and development.

A lot of the development involved battery life, which mostly meant maximizing the efficiency of the system when it wasn’t actively in use. A certain amount of energy has to be drawn when the motors are actually running and adjusting the shades, but during most times the system sits passively. Drain on the batteries during those times is what causes them to run dry, rather than the few moments per day of active use.

In addition to perfecting energy efficiency so that the shades draw only 1/1000 of a watt of power when not in active use, other research and development ensured that the shades are extremely quiet in operation and that the control system works as a stand-alone, as a Lutron-only integrated shade control system, and when incorporated into third-party smart home systems.

Thanks to all that hard work, Lutron Sivoia shades are affordable as well as beautiful!

Where to Install Them

The best rooms to benefit from Sivoia Shades are those that have several windows and a facing that lets in lots of sunlight. That’s especially true when the room needs a lot of light at certain times of the day, where visibility is at a premium.

This allows you to control the natural light and heat so as to provide the most natural illumination, while making the best use of passive solar heat.

That said, these are actually great things to install in any room that has windows.

Visit us anytime at www.homevisionsolutions.com or call 770-271-1900 to learn more.