Somfy offers a wide range of systems to automate Roller Blinds and Solar Screen Shades. With
4 major types of systems: Wired Technology, Infrared Technology, RTS Radio Technology Somfy and Inteligent Wired Technology.
Each system varies in the way each shade gets powered and in the way it is controlled.
In the past most systems were High Voltage 110V AC systems, however in recent years there is a move towards Low Voltage 24V DC systems that will eliminate the need for wiring by a certified electrician. In addition low voltage systems such as the Sonesse™ 50 and Sonesse™ 30 feature quiet motor operation at a level of 44 dBA from 3 feet away (1 m). For smaller applications a Battery Operated LT30 Motor can be used.
With the advantage of eliminating wiring comes the burden of replacing batteries every 1-2 years.
Wired Technlogy, the oldest and arguably traditionally most reliable where each shade would have an AC motor wired to a Decorator IGC Switch. The switch will be hardwired and will power the shade sending a signal for up or down movement. For multiple shades installed in a single room and IGC/3N Decorator Switch will act as a group control to operate all shades as one. Integration with a third-party system would be done via a contact clusure componenet, see integration bellow.
Infrared Technology came later to accomodate using a remote control to operate each shade.
This technology uses a "Point and Shoot" operation where an infrared reciever eye would be attached to each shade and a Single or Eight Channel Transmitter would be used to control the shades. Infrared motors typically will be hardwired or connected to an Ifrared IGC switch. An Infrared IGC switch will act as an alternative way to control the shade as well as eliminate the need for an Infrared reciever eye which is part of the switch.
Radio Technology Somfy which is the current standard uses Wireless Radio Frequency waves(RF) for control. With this technology each shade powered via hardwiring and control is done with a RTS Telis Hand-held Transmitter or a DecoFlex Wireless Wall Switch. There is no more need to wire between the shade and the switch. And controlling the shade is made easier with more reliable RF waves that eliminates the need for "Point and Shoot".
RTS has opened the door for more easier third-party integration via a Universal RTS wireless interface see more about integration bellow.
Intelligent Wired Technology, the newest in the market offers easier integration options with home automation systems that uses Z-Wave or ZigBee technologies to control each shade via computerized software
Somfy motors are inserted into a 1.5" / 2" / 2.5" Roller Blind Tube depending on the shade size and fabric weight. Bigger shades and heavier fabrics requires a bigger motor with a larger Torque (Lifting capabilities) value. Mounting brackets are typically bigger than those for manual roller blinds and so are the light gaps on each side. To eliminate light comming into a room when a blackout effect is desired special side channels can be ordered
In many case shades can be coupled with an Intermediate Support Bracket to create a 2 panel shade that will be operated via a single motor (to save on the cost). There is even a 90 degrees Intermediate Bracket will accomodate corners.
Each shade manufacturer is using a different tube with single or multiple grooves thus requirig different adapters to be mounted on the motor prior to inserting it into the tube.
A top cover or a Metal Fascia is typically used to hide the roll and brackets and wiring.
Metal Fascia is available in White, Vanilla, Bronze, Black and Annodized.
Phifer SheerWeave and Mermet fabrics are commonly used with Roller Blinds and Solar Screen Shades for a list of available fabrics visit our Fabrics Search Page.
Controlling electric Roller Blinds system can be done via wall a switch, a hand-heald transmitter, a timer, a sun sensor, a group control and a third party home automation system.
Choosing the right controls depends on the number of shades in the system, weather an Infrared
or RTS system is used, the budget of for the project and if a third-party system is added to create a full home automation system. Sometimes its just about the design aspect since after all a hand-held transmitter is the actual interfact between you and the system.
All the types of controls can accomodate the 4 technologies mentioned above, a Decorator Switch may be available for a wired System but an IGC Ifrared switch will respond to a IRT803 8 Channel Infrared hand-held transmitter. A DecoFlex switch is fully RTS competible
and requires no wires for installation. It is powered by a battery that requires changing every 2 years (depending on use). A new DecoFlex Tabletop is out on the market with a new design.
Telis hand-held remote transmitters are the standard for RTS technology and with time the design has imporved from the old Telis to a newer Telis Pure and Telis Lounge (see above). The first versions were able to conrol 1-5 groups of shades but now there is a new Telis 16 to control up to 16 groups of shades.
Impresario Chronis and Chronis Comfort are 2 timer based remote transmitters using RTS technology to control rasing and lowering Roller Blinds System at a desired time of day.
When going to sleep at night the shades are lowered. In the morning at a desired time (not too early) the shades are raised to let the sun in and help to wake up.
Sunis Sun Sensor may be used to schedule operating the shades based on the weather and the amount of sun. On a clowdy day shades will be raised to let more light into the reoom and on a sunny day a SheerWeave Solar Screen shade will be lowerd to protect the furniture and eliminate glare.