Smart control of external blinds: which type should you purchase and how does it work?
By connecting the external blinds to the smart home system you save time and energy. Systems exist that do not require any building interventions and you can install them at any time within a few minutes. Read about the options for controlling blinds intelligently and precisely how they work.
If you do not want to manually control blinds using a crank or string, choose ones with an electric motor. You connect them to a remote control device and control the slats from the couch or bed. So far this does not represent a smart home system because you can only use the remote control device to set the blinds. Moreover you cannot do it far from home because the remote control device cannot function from elsewhere.
Acquire the Smart Home system for automatic control of your blinds. Using the system, you get all the important elements in your household under control. Apart from shading, you can also add lighting, garage doors, alarms, radiators, garden irrigation or security locks to the system. Connect them to a single control unit and control it from the application on your mobile phone, tablet or computer — from anywhere, easily from work or when you are on holiday.
Plan the classic Smart Home system already in the project
Most standard Smart Home systems work via cables that carry your commands to the household end appliances and elements — for instance, to the blinds. If you are thus building or refurbishing a house, think about connecting to the Smart Home system already in the project. You’ll thus avoid additional interference with the walls because of electrical installations.
If you want to build such a system in an already finished building, prepare for partial demolition of the walls and installation of cables from the electric motor of the external blinds to the control panel in the interior. This panel is usually installed permanently in the wall and you cannot install or relocate it just like that without interfering with the wall.
You can make a retrofit connection of the Somfy TaHoma System even without cables
But more modern systems also exist which you can connect to the blinds at any time without demolishing the walls or modifying the electrical installations. They are based on wireless radio technology. Thanks to this, you control the blinds or other household equipment from anywhere if you have access to the Internet.
How does it work in practice?
When you have external blinds with a radio-controlled motor it suffices to acquire the Smart Home Somfy TaHoma radio system. It looks like an Internet modem — it is a small box which you connect to a socket and router. You subsequently download the application, register and pair all the motors in the home just with a few clicks. You configure everything yourself — without any complicated installations that would require the help of an expert.
You then control the entire home via a single application, also remotely. When you are leaving work, you can, for instance, open the blinds for sunlight to heat the living room before you reach home.
You also have a remote control device at your disposal — it is battery-operated so you can locate it anywhere in the household.
“Thanks to the fact that the Smart Home systems are not dependent on cables, you can attach the remote control device, for instance, to the side of the bed. I comfortably control the lights and blinds in this way before I go to bed and also when I wake up in the morning. You can also attach it to the wall — and when you start reconstruction of the house or just replace the furniture in several years time, you can relocate the controller because it is not fixed in a given location,” Somfy product manager Jan Hrnčíř describes the product.
You can connect up to 200 different devices or household elements to the TaHoma system, which is enough for any house. In the process, the blinds are considered as one unit even if you, for instance, have ten windows.
If you opt for the Smart Home system, first check with the manufacturer as to which motor and other household equipment and appliance brands can be connected to it.
If you have the Smart Home system, you work with scenarios
Moreover, smart systems allow you to create your own scenario. For instance, when you drive out of the gate, the garage doors lock, the lights in the house go off and the alarms are automatically activated. You can also work with the blinds in the same way.
It works best when you outfit the house with solar or wind detectors. When the sun is too hot in summer, the blinds automatically close to prevent overheating of the interior. In windy weather, the slats automatically open to prevent damage to them. The sensors work even without being connected to the SmartHome system. But when you connect them to the SmartHome system, you can send even more sophisticated commands to the blinds without a problems and set the scenario. Moreover, you can define which blinds should respond to the command.
“Apart from scenarios, it is also possible to use a calendar. You simply enter the commands in the application according to your habits on work days and at weekends. For instance, for the system to open the blinds at six in the morning during the week when you normally wake up, or close them everyday just before sunset,” says Hrnčíř about the options.
You can also connect screen rollers to the Somfy system without a problem.
Advantages of smart control of blinds
Thanks to the Smart Home system, you get control over the entire household even when you are not at home. Moreover:
- You save time. You set the system once and the blinds automatically close or tilt precisely according to your scenarios.
- You save energy. A smart home regulates consumption according to your requirements. Thanks to this, you do not let sunshine heat areas of the interior where it is unnecessary, and you thus do not overheat the interior. On the contrary, in winter you get more light into the interior.
- You are safe. External blinds connected to a smart home create the impression that you are at home, even if you are on holiday. You set scenarios where the blinds automatically open or close several times a day — in combination with automatic activation of the lights, thus creating the illusion that someone is present in the house at all times.
If you are planning a smart home, contact our partners directly — Somfy, for instance, has a showroom where you can practically test the smart control of various parts of the house and find a solution that precisely suits you.