Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | August 31, 2010

Smart Windows

Technology has come a long ways in the past decade and while many are aware of Smart Home construction as it relates to lighting, heating and sound, the concept of Smart Windows is still in its infancy.

The intent is for your window coverings to watch the weather and/or time of day or movement and to do what they need to do to keep your home protected from Mother Nature and/or prying eyes.

Programming technology is built into what we call programmable controllers, which have the intelligence built into these devices rather than into the physical motor operating the shade. Programming can allow the user to choose what blind will do what and when it will doit.

As example, the blind can close in increments as the sun rises, and then close when it is dark. The user will always have control to override the programmed options with either hand-held remote devices or wall switches.

Costs for such a project start first with the types of window covering products you chose to use, the amount of power each unit will require, and the integrator required to establish a wiring schematic for your electrician to follow. It generally uses 14/3 wire and then a flat 6 wire or CAT5 computer wiring for wall control boxes.

While control devices can be as simple as a standard switch, touch pad, or motion sensor to timer, they can also engage the home computer with a “GUI” (graphical user interface) software. Above all things, when giving consideration to this technology, flexibility in design is desirable.

The process can work from a retro fit perspective but is ideally suited to new construction as the wiring schematic can be somewhat complicated even without drywall cluttering the walls.

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