Motorized Shades Experiences - How are yours? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 4Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 41 Old 04-27-2015, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Northeast22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Question Motorized Shades Experiences - How are yours?

I have a big picture window that faces Southwest. The morning sun blasts into the house and directly in line with my Founten automated thermostat, causing the system to think its much warmer than it really is. So, I need to install automated roller/solar shades because the window is about 15 feet up on the wall. The shades will be battery operated and the window is about 7ftW x 6ftH.

The prices I'm getting for automated shades are off the charts. I looked at Lutron, Hunter Douglas, Qmotion and Somfy. I'm going to install myself, but the estimates are between $600 and $800!! This will be a stand alone unit, not tied into the home automation.

Would appreciate any recent experience with motorized shades that you would be able to share.
Northeast22 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 41 Old 04-27-2015, 06:08 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeast22 View Post
I have a big picture window that faces Southwest. The morning sun blasts into the house and directly in line with my Founten automated thermostat, causing the system to think its much warmer than it really is. So, I need to install automated roller/solar shades because the window is about 15 feet up on the wall. The shades will be battery operated and the window is about 7ftW x 6ftH.

The prices I'm getting for automated shades are off the charts. I looked at Lutron, Hunter Douglas, Qmotion and Somfy. I'm going to install myself, but the estimates are between $600 and $800!!
These are good prices. One of the least expensive options here is probably Serena shades, and no-frills no-options roller shade with cheapest fabric will run you $580. You can check it out yourself at serenashades.com. Anything else from Lutron or Hunter Douglas is going to be more expensive than Serena.
notek is offline  
post #3 of 41 Old 04-27-2015, 08:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 554
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 205 Post(s)
Liked: 59
Shades are just expensive, period. Good quality non-motorized of that size would probably be $400-500 anyway.
FlyingDiver is offline  
 
post #4 of 41 Old 04-28-2015, 05:08 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Mr.Tim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 2,844
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked: 192
I bought a motorized solar shade for a giant window behind the whirpool tub (had to step in the tub to open/close blinds) at our last house. It was a while ago but IIRC I got it from blinds.com. I think it was 3 or 4 hundred with the battery powered roller and remote. The shade was shearweave.

Tim
nj1420 likes this.
Mr.Tim is offline  
post #5 of 41 Old 04-28-2015, 06:50 AM
Member
 
Travisleo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post
I bought a motorized solar shade for a giant window behind the whirpool tub (had to step in the tub to open/close blinds) at our last house. It was a while ago but IIRC I got it from blinds.com. I think it was 3 or 4 hundred with the battery powered roller and remote. The shade was shearweave.

Tim
Motorized shades are one of the coolest things we do! Clients love them and even though they are expensive, they have a tremendous amount of utility. Many of our clients have told us that is their favorite element of their "automated" home.

Travis Leo
Denver, CO
Residential Systems, Inc.
www.ResidentialSystemsInc.com
Travisleo is offline  
post #6 of 41 Old 04-29-2015, 05:34 AM
Senior Member
 
XJBaylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 383
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisleo View Post
Motorized shades are one of the coolest things we do! Clients love them and even though they are expensive, they have a tremendous amount of utility. Many of our clients have told us that is their favorite element of their "automated" home.
We have had the same experience. Lots of Lutron, and now Qmotion, shades installed with 100% happy customers. For a standalone application you can't get wrong with either Lutron or Qmotion. Both are reliable and very quiet.

Lutron offers the slim Pico remote or the ability to control with Caseta. Qmotion offers a +/-$100 "Timer Remote" that will allows you to program a schedule for the shade with a minimal investment.
XJBaylor is offline  
post #7 of 41 Old 05-01-2015, 05:13 PM
Member
 
ELECTRICDON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I have Qmotion in my house and I love them.

The prices you were quoted were extremely fair if not lower than they should be. Pull the trigger my friend. It will be something you appreciate every day.
ELECTRICDON is offline  
post #8 of 41 Old 05-01-2015, 08:58 PM
Newbie
 
jmarty32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Northeast,

Shades don't have to be expensive.

I purchased the motor from rollertrol for around $90.00 (i have the same size window as you) . You will provide the tubing and the fabric so i think in total i have spent around $150.00. I control it with a vera edge and it works great. I originally wanted to go battery but decided to instead get it hard wired. If you want to go battery just purchase a 12 volt home alarm battery and a solar power charger. Hope this helps.
jmarty32 is offline  
post #9 of 41 Old 05-03-2015, 08:05 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,809
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked: 145
My Lutron motorized shade is my favorite part of my kitchen remodel. Down at 8P, up at 6:30A, controlled with RA2.
Neurorad is offline  
post #10 of 41 Old 05-03-2015, 09:00 AM
Senior Member
 
sharding's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 25
I'm curious, how long do the batteries last in these things? I have a few where getting to them to replace the battery would be a major hassle, so if it is required too often it's going to be a problem. But the fact that no one has mentioned that issue so far leads me to believe they last a decent amount of time?
sharding is offline  
post #11 of 41 Old 05-03-2015, 09:55 AM
Senior Member
 
XJBaylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 383
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 117 Post(s)
Liked: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharding View Post
I'm curious, how long do the batteries last in these things? I have a few where getting to them to replace the battery would be a major hassle, so if it is required too often it's going to be a problem. But the fact that no one has mentioned that issue so far leads me to believe they last a decent amount of time?
3-5 years, assuming reasonably light fabric choice and operating the shade 4x/day.
XJBaylor is offline  
post #12 of 41 Old 05-04-2015, 03:47 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,809
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked: 145
My kitchen shade is hardwired. I don't want to deal with batteries.
Neurorad is offline  
post #13 of 41 Old 05-04-2015, 09:35 PM
Member
 
max90034's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: US
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I bought motorized outside shades with solar panel from Costco. Works well so far. They use Somfy motor so integration to Insteon was fine.
ToddBantigo likes this.
max90034 is offline  
post #14 of 41 Old 05-21-2015, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Northeast22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks everyone for your input.

I decided to go with the Lutron Serena. They were offering a 20% discount and free shipping. I will install it next week and let you all know how I like them.
Northeast22 is offline  
post #15 of 41 Old 05-21-2015, 09:49 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,809
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked: 145
One of the reasons, I think, that Lutron shades are regarded as very high quality is because they're usually installed by very experienced installers. Anyone can hang a shade, but some experience helps ensure a top-notch final product.

----------------------------------------------
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #16 of 41 Old 05-21-2015, 04:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
One of the reasons, I think, that Lutron shades are regarded as very high quality is because they're usually installed by very experienced installers. Anyone can hang a shade, but some experience helps ensure a top-notch final product.
It isn't that hard to install a Lutron shade. It is literally as easy as screwing a bracket with few screws to the window/above window, and snapping the shade into place. Anyone can do it.

Where you need to be careful and take your time is when you measure, quote, and then place the order. Experience helps here.
notek is offline  
post #17 of 41 Old 05-21-2015, 06:28 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,809
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by notek View Post
It isn't that hard to install a Lutron shade. It is literally as easy as screwing a bracket with few screws to the window/above window, and snapping the shade into place. Anyone can do it.

Where you need to be careful and take your time is when you measure, quote, and then place the order. Experience helps here.
Absolutely. Specifying is more than half the difficulty.

I can't say enough good things about our installer. Super helpful, very experienced, great guy. Made the install easy, working very well with the other subs during the remodel.

Met him at the first local BLAST training 6 years ago, kept his card.

----------------------------------------------
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #18 of 41 Old 05-29-2015, 09:48 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
pgwalsh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tauranga
Posts: 2,320
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 481 Post(s)
Liked: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeast22 View Post
Thanks everyone for your input.

I decided to go with the Lutron Serena. They were offering a 20% discount and free shipping. I will install it next week and let you all know how I like them.
I must have just missed that sale. I was thinking of ordering the same shades. One of the things I like about the Serena is that the battery pack is in the headrail.

Builds: Maelstrom 21 Ottoman Build, Dual Opposed MFW's x 2, Statements, SEOS-12/TD12M x 5. Home Theater
On-deck: Finalists, The AviaTrix (soundbar), Statement II's, UM18x4
pgwalsh is offline  
post #19 of 41 Old 06-02-2016, 10:34 AM
Member
 
blkicevic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Biloxi Ms
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 35
I am getting excited about the arrival of my new shades and was curious if those with the lutron serena shades have experienced any issues since this post was created. I got a free smart bridge L-bdg2-wh and 20% off with mine and they should work with my Homekit and Alexa setup. I AM looking to get the smart bridge pro though but they seem to be in scarce supply. I almost purchased one on Amazon but when i asked to confirm that it was a PRO they replied that the add was a misprint. I believe I am going to need the pro for roomie/simple control integration.

I do not condone what i do, but i will not deny myself the pleasure!
blkicevic is offline  
post #20 of 41 Old 06-04-2016, 09:47 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeast22 View Post
I have a big picture window that faces Southwest. The morning sun blasts into the house and directly in line with my Founten automated thermostat, causing the system to think its much warmer than it really is. So, I need to install automated roller/solar shades because the window is about 15 feet up on the wall. The shades will be battery operated and the window is about 7ftW x 6ftH.

The prices I'm getting for automated shades are off the charts. I looked at Lutron, Hunter Douglas, Qmotion and Somfy. I'm going to install myself, but the estimates are between $600 and $800!! This will be a stand alone unit, not tied into the home automation.

Would appreciate any recent experience with motorized shades that you would be able to share.
Sounds about right. Just make sure the Motor is strong enough.
Also, battery powered may be a little loud as compared to hardwired.

Thanks!

JOE MATTERA
http://matteradesigninc.com
MatteraDesignInc is offline  
post #21 of 41 Old 06-04-2016, 02:32 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 277
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeast22 View Post
The prices I'm getting for automated shades are off the charts. I looked at Lutron, Hunter Douglas, Qmotion and Somfy. I'm going to install myself, but the estimates are between $600 and $800!! This will be a stand alone unit, not tied into the home automation.
This are really low prices... did you get these from a dealer or somewhere on the internet?

James Babin - System designer (http://www.myeasytek.com).
Like us on facebook!
JT Babin is offline  
post #22 of 41 Old 06-11-2016, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Northeast22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 10
UPDATE: Installation Complete

So the installation was completed a few months ago. It was very easy. If you can install non-motorized shades, you can easily do this. My only hurdle was that I had to go rent some scaffolding from Home Depot. The shade was so wide that I wasn't able to do it with just one ladder. My shade took 8 D batteries. A lot, I know, but hopefully I won't have to replace for a few years.

I'm very happy with the Serena shades. I got the little Pico remote with it. The shades are very quiet. The remote works from 25-30 feet away.

All in all, a great DIY project. Like an earlier post, I think the only risk is that you measure correctly. I made sure I measured at 3 different locations because windows aren't all perfectly straight. The reason is so important is because these are custom made. And if you rush the measurements and they are off, you are stuck with an expensive shade that either won't work (too big for the space) or leaves wide gap. Good luck with yours if you decide to go for it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	serena.JPG
Views:	623
Size:	58.3 KB
ID:	1491217  
Northeast22 is offline  
post #23 of 41 Old 06-11-2016, 09:40 AM
Member
 
blkicevic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Biloxi Ms
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 35
What translucence are those? My serena pallette shades arrive thursday and I hope they are alittle more light blocking than yours. Not blackout but i believe they are around 3%.

I do not condone what i do, but i will not deny myself the pleasure!
blkicevic is offline  
post #24 of 41 Old 06-12-2016, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Northeast22's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blkicevic View Post
What translucence are those? My serena pallette shades arrive thursday and I hope they are alittle more light blocking than yours. Not blackout but i believe they are around 3%.
I think they were 3%. Its a large east facing window. So the morning sun blasts into the house. My thermostat was right in the path of the sun, so it jacked up the temp and caused my a/c to run hard. That problem is solved now. You can not see through the shade, but does allow light (not sun) through. Good luck with yours
Northeast22 is offline  
post #25 of 41 Old 06-15-2016, 08:55 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
NickTheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 2,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Liked: 285
Appreciate the update. We just got new windows installed, and I'm going to look into shades soon.

I don't need them to move, but it would be pretty cool . . .
NickTheGreat is offline  
post #26 of 41 Old 06-15-2016, 09:38 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked: 156
Very happy with the 25+ Lutron Serena motorized shades in my house. Very quiet and the wireless reliability has been 100% for me (along with the rest of the lutron system). They use regulated spectrum (unlike the other protocols), which is part of the reason for the reliability. I used to have Somfy motors which sounded like chainsaws compared to the Lutron ones.

What really sold me was the pico remotes. IMHO they are very good looking and are the same size as standard wall switches so they can be easily added right next to existing switches. They also don't require any cutting into the wall like Somfy's wall controls. Plus, you use their nice little stands and put them on a table. I have a 4 button pico mounted on the wall in every room so they can be controlled off schedule as needed. I like the 4 button with shade engraving http://cdn3.volusion.com/krfyq.gnkuo...jpg?1423081366 because you can set 4 different levels with just one button press.

Most people don't realize that you don't need the arrows on the remote to set the shades at a non preprogrammed level. Any second button press on the remote stops the movement. So if the shades are open and you want to lower them to a specific point, just press the closed preset button and then press it again whenever it hits the level you want.

I didn't want to deal with dealer programming/training at all, so I have a hybrid Maestro wireless and Caseta system. I get around Caseta's 50 device limit by using 2 hubs and I get around it's awful hardwired switch selection by using Maestro Wireless switches. You add the pico remotes directly to the Maestro Wireless switches(no hub involved). So let's say I'm leaving the house and I want to turn off every light, I press the off button on the pico and it turns off the selected caseta switches + all the Maestro switches it's programmed into. The Clear Connect range is great and works for me even 30ft outside my house.

There are 2 group picos that are great because they save space. You can have one wallplate slot and control both lights and shades in a room etc.. Again you don't need the arrow buttons because you just press the raise/lower button a second time to stop it.

I also get around their limited engraving options by ordering a pico they allow to be engraved, then moving the engraved buttons(or the circuit board into the engraved remote)into the remote that I need. This has been great for my 2-group models because they don't allow engraving on them.

PS: There's usually only a week or 2 between the serena 20% off sales, so just wait if there's not one at the moment.
NickTheGreat and SMHarman like this.

Last edited by duckymomo; 06-15-2016 at 01:15 PM.
duckymomo is offline  
post #27 of 41 Old 06-15-2016, 02:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post
I get around Caseta's 50 device limit by using 2 hubs
There is also an app for this, you can add both hubs to one app and program a button on your iPhone to toggle a scene on both hubs at the same time. Works great.
notek is offline  
post #28 of 41 Old 06-15-2016, 04:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Liked: 156
Another thing you can do with the Serana motorized shades, is order them with the manual mounting brackets, so they hang with less gap at the top and don't have the (imo ugly) plastic tab sticking out. Just be aware that the motor unit sticks up about 3/16" from the top of the shade headrail. You may need to put some washers under the manual brackets so that there's a gap between the motor unit and the jamb. You don't want it to be pressed up against anything that could make the whole shade headrail out of plumb. I used washers with all of mine anyway to level the brackets, but you can install it without washers first, then add them if needed.

Also, be prepared for them to never actually ship the shades with the manual brackets despite ordering over the phone and adding it to the order notes. I think I was 0 for 3 and required a separate shipment with the brackets each time.

Last edited by duckymomo; 06-15-2016 at 04:54 PM.
duckymomo is offline  
post #29 of 41 Old 06-17-2016, 10:39 AM
Member
 
blkicevic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Biloxi Ms
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Got my shades in and had time to mount one. works great, looks great, simple install. Pairing with the Lutron bridge was crazy simple and it works both on/off network. Having problems with getting apple Homekit and siri to control them though, and i just found out that Amazon Alexa only works with lights and not the shades. Bummed

Update: well that didn't take long. Siri now controls the shades. I logged off of icloud and rebooted the smart bridge pro and the apple tv. Its all good now, yayyyyy!!! cmon amazon!

I do not condone what i do, but i will not deny myself the pleasure!

Last edited by blkicevic; 06-17-2016 at 10:53 AM.
blkicevic is offline  
post #30 of 41 Old 07-01-2016, 04:03 PM
Member
 
Bob 99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Question for those who have bought / installed the Serena shades. Are they available in custom widths? I'm looking at the price list, and it says 32", 36", 42" etc. When you actually order, are they still fixed?

I'm setting up multiple shades across a large bank of tall floor-to-ceiling windows in a condo. Want to make sure they'll fit perfectly.
Bob 99 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Home Automation

Tags
diy , shades

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off