Readers of a certain age will likely recall one of three window covering products in their home while growing up: curtains or draperies, spring roller vinyl shades that made it from the bottom to the top in a split second (when mom wasn’t looking), and the functional but boring (yes, I said it) mini blind.
However, the window covering industry has seen dramatic innovation and progress over the last 30 years. This blog focuses on the most recent area of mass innovation: automation (also known as motorization).
Why Automated Window Coverings?
Automation is expanding across the window covering industry. More than a third of all new window covering sales include automation in some form. There are some very good reasons for the growth. Let’s look at five of the biggest:
- Convenience. Automated window treatments can be controlled with a remote, a smartphone app, or even through voice commands via smart home system. They can also be set to operate on a schedule. This functionality means you don’t have to get up to manually adjust your window treatments, which can be especially useful if you have hard-to-reach windows or individuals in your home with physical limitations.
- Energy efficiency. Automated window treatments can help regulate the temperature in your home by opening and closing to let in or block out heat and sunlight as needed. This can lead to big savings on your energy bills and improve the comfortability of your home.
- Increased security. As mentioned previously, automated window treatments can be programmed to open and close on a schedule. This has security implications. Blinds opening or closing can give the appearance that someone is home even when you’re away. This also allows you to “set it and forget it,” when it comes to closing all window coverings at night. No one wants a stranger being able to see into their home at night.
- Improved sleep. Automated window treatments can help block out light, heat, and noise during your sleeping hours, which can improve the quality of your sleep. Also, setting your window coverings based on a schedule can improve the chances that your sleep routine won’t be interrupted.
- Enhanced aesthetics. Automated window treatments can add a modern touch to your home by removing messy looking cords and wands from the equation. This enables your window treatments to become a more valuable piece of your home décor.
Overall, automatic window treatments can make your home more convenient, energy-efficient, secure, fashionable, and comfortable.
Now you understand the benefits of automated window treatments. But where is the industry innovation heading in the future? A good way to know may come from considering their history, development, and features.
A Brief History
Somfy pioneered window covering motorization in 1969. Yes, you read that correctly. Motorized window coverings were first introduced in the same year that human civilization landed on the moon.
Now fifty years after introducing window covering motorization, Somfy is an international industry leader in window covering motors and automation. They operate in 57 countries and boast nearly 9,000 employees. Somfy motors and automation components are ubiquitous among the major window covering manufacturers: Hunter Douglas, Graber, and Alta. They are also featured in every brand of window covering that Bumble Bee Blinds offers.
Smart, Efficient Features
What makes Somfy automation so great? For starters, they have an option for nearly every scenario. Their motors can be powered by reloadable battery wands, rechargeable battery wands, solar powered batteries, plug in cords, low voltage hard wiring, and low voltage hard wiring. They integrate easily into your home, as their motors can be controlled by wall switches, handheld remotes, smart phone apps, and even through home automation systems like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. The innovation doesn’t stop there, as their motors can be programmed to operate on a schedule, react to wind sensors, and even be controlled from thousands of miles away.
What Does the Future Hold?
While motorized window coverings have existed for over 50 years, they have really become prominent in the last 20 years. Earlier I mentioned that more than a third of new orders feature motorization. I believe that the number will exceed 50% by the year 2025. Automation doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, and Somfy is positioned better than anyone to take advantage of the growing market.
It’s the best time for you to take advantage of the beneficial features and innovation happening with automated window coverings. It’s easy to discover more. To learn more about Somfy, visit their website here. Your local and trusted Bumble Bee Blinds professional can assist you in considering the right window coverings for your home, including automation. To find a Bumble Bee Blinds location in your local area, click here.
Luke Schwartz is the Brand President of Bumble Bee Blinds. He and Stephen Vest, the owner of Bumble Bee Blinds’ founding location, come from families with more than 60 years of experience in the window covering industry. Each month, Luke shares this experience and perspective through informative blogs about the window covering industry to educate our customers about products, features, and questions to consider when buying window treatments. Regular readers hopefully won’t have to ask, “Where do I start?” when in the market for window coverings.