Motorization Monday

motorization monday | Image property of TraVerse Enterprises, LLC.

For years, personal trainers and business coaches have been using the term “Motivation Monday” or some variation because alliteration makes a phrase easy to remember (alliteration means having words that start with the same letter or sound). With that in mind, welcome to “Motorization Monday” for a discussion on motorized window treatments.

We probably won’t publish one of these every Monday, but we might. If you are afraid you might miss out on something, hit that subscribe button at the bottom of the page. 😉

History of Motorized Window Treatments

Motorized window treatments have been around for a number of years – at least as far back as the 1980s. Some of the first window treatments to be motorized were roller shades and honeycomb (also called cellular) shades.

Roller shades typically use what’s called a “tubular motor” because the motor is inserted into the metal tube that the shade cloth is attached to… not because it was created by an 80s surfer-dude named Brendon who thought it was “totally tubular bro.”

Motorized cellular shades frequently utilize a small servo motor that attaches to a shaft inside the headbox of the shade. This basic design has not changed much since it was first implemented. However, many of the motors today are more powerful, which allows them to be used on larger, heavier shades.

Current Motorized Window Treatments

Today shades with tubular and servo-style motors are still available. There are also options to motorize the “tilt” function of your wood blinds. However, due to the weight of a wood blind, very few companies can offer a motorized lift system.

There are also companies that offer motorized rods for custom draperies.

Power-up Your Treatments

To power your motorized window treatments, you now have multiple options (depending on the size, type, and weight of the product).

Small tubes containing AA batteries are still one of the most common power supplies for motorization.

In recent years, several companies have introduced rechargeable lithium-ion power packs (similar to the power supply in your mobile phone) as well as motors that actually store a charge and can be recharged as needed.

As the window coverings get larger or heavier, some products can also run off of 110v AC power – either from a power cord that you plug into a nearby outlet or directly wired into your home’s electrical system.

Home Automation Systems

In addition to simply offering an easier way to operate the window treatments, some of the more recent motorization systems developed will allow you to integrate your window treatments with a home automation system (such as Control4) or even communicate with a home assistant like Alexa, Google, or Apple Home. There are also mobile apps that allow you to operate your window treatments when you are away from home and create automated operation schedules, such as opening all of the shades at sunrise every day.

Motorization Costs

The cost for adding motorization to window coverings continues to improve as more vendors and innovators enter the industry. There are also some companies that are developing “aftermarket” motorization options that allow you to add motorization to your existing window treatments – without having to replace what you currently have. However, not all window coverings are compatible with these aftermarket components.

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