Luxury motorised blinds
Here’s a question: what motor will you specify for use within the motorised blinds on your project?
There’s several things you should consider before choosing a motor. Consider the points below:
Choice of motors
Compare the features of each motor:
- Are any of the blinds going to be fitted side-by-side such as in a bay window or towards bi-fold doors? Select a motor with automatic hem-bar alignment. So when all the blinds are lowered or raised, the bottom of the blinds are completely in alignment. This may sound simple, but only a couple of suppliers do this well. There are differences to:
- Motors can be out of alignment by over 20mm in some cases
- Some motors will only align when fully opened or closed but be misaligned at any point in between.
- Is noise important? Motors operate at different noise levels. Some motors are pretty loud and an Orangery full of 10-20 motors operating at the same time can be very loud, if the right system isn’t chosen.
- Does the motor suit the cabling that’s being supplied?
- Will the motor talk to the home control system and provide full functionality?
How are blinds powered and controlled?
Each blind (or curtain track) will require one cable to supply power (and usually control) The cable choices are typically:
- 2 core cable for low voltage 24v blinds (with the exception of Lutron motor). Typically for small blinds on boats, battery powered blinds and shaped conservatory roof blinds
- 3-4 core cable for 230v mains powered blinds. This is a safe choice for any building project. It provides complete flexibility when it comes to choosing motorised blinds and curtain tracks at a later date. 1 core for ‘up’, for ‘down’ for ‘earth’ and ‘neutral’.
- 5-7 core cable for Lutron blinds. Considered the best blind motor available, this is usually chosen in co-ordination with the home control system (to make sure the hardware is available to power and control the Lutron blinds).
Once the motor and cabling is specified, it’s usually very easy for an AV Integrator to control blinds and curtain track using a ‘relay’ or ‘motor module’. The right allowance needs to be made for each window and each floor. I usually specify two cables per window.
Large windows, curtain tracks and skylight blinds
These products do not follow the general rule of ‘one cable per blind’.
- Large windows can be divided into smaller sections (so require more cables).
- Large windows can be covered using a very large roller blind (up to 6.5m wide). This will require just one cable.
- Large curtain tracks can often be split into two smaller track, with one motor at each end. If the window is being fitted with electric sheer curtains and curtains, then that’s a total of four cables required, two in each corner!
- Skylight window blinds require at least one cable, sometimes two cables for larger systems over 3m long.