The main enchantment of motorized top-down/bottom-up sun shades is their skill to open and shut in two instructions: They may be able to open via shedding the highest of the colour down from the window’s head to the sill, and via lifting the ground of the colour up from the sill to the pinnacle. However Hunter Douglas couldn’t justify the lofty ticket of its Duette with PowerView Automation sun shades except they had been additionally probably the most sumptuous and cutting edge sun shades we’ve reviewed thus far.
Most sensible-down/bottom-up sun shades are an implausible choice as a result of they support privateness with out utterly blockading gentle from coming into the room. In case your window faces a hectic boulevard, you’ll be able to decrease the colour down from the highest to confess gentle with out exposing your room to a view from the road. Or you’ll be able to drop the highest of the colour down within the early morning, so the room is bathed in morning daylight with out impeding your skill to transport concerning the room freely—someone having a look towards your window will most effective be capable to as a lot of you as you want to divulge. And because those are motorized good sun shades, you’ll be able to create computerized schedules to reposition the sun shades as time and again on a daily basis and night time that you just’d care to program, together with at first light and sundown.
This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the most efficient good sun shades, the place you’ll in finding opinions of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you must imagine when looking for this sort of product.
I had this colour put in in a visitor room that has the similar southern publicity as my house theater (the place I’ve a Graber Digital Wire Motorized Colour put in), so I decided on Hunter Douglas’ Duette honeycomb colour with a room-darkening mobile material (there are a bunch of different choices to make a choice from). The place Graber’s sun shades use two cells made with metalized material to support the material’s skill each to dam gentle and to cut back warmth switch into the room, Hunter Douglas’ Duette sun shades use a cell-within-a-cell design consisting of material laminated to Mylar. Lutron, in the meantime, strains its mobile sun shades with aluminum, however like Hunter Douglas, provides most effective single-cell building. Hunter Douglas says its design lets in the cells in its sun shades to be higher—this colour has .75-inch cells, however 1.25-inch cells are an to be had choice—whilst bettering the colour’s power potency and room-darkening skill.
Insulation and room darkening options
The usage of a Westward 1VER1 non-contact laser infrared thermometer, I recorded ambient temperatures 12 inches from the window with the colour open after which closed and noticed a warmth aid of 6.five levels Fahrenheit with the colour closed. My grasp rest room window, the place I’ve a Lutron Serena honeycomb good colour put in, and my house theater window, the place I’ve the aforementioned Graber good colour put in, all have the similar southern publicity (albeit with other overhead eave widths), so I carried out the similar measurements in the ones rooms. The Serena colour diminished the ambient temperature at one foot via three.five levels, however the double-celled Graber colour slashed it via 13.five levels.
All 3 sun shades did a very good task of darkening the rooms they’re put in in, even supposing there was once some gentle leakage across the edges in each and every case, as a result of I selected to put in them throughout the window body. This wouldn’t had been a subject had I selected an outdoor mount, however I didn’t wish to quilt up the ornamental molding that’s round all of the home windows in my area.
That mentioned, the Hunter Douglas leaked the least quantity of sunshine at its height rail, and Hunter Douglas additionally provides an added-cost choice that may considerably ameliorate the problem: The corporate’s LightLock gadget is composed of U-shaped facet channels that mount to the window sill and the left and proper window jambs. The corporate says micro ridges on those panels take in and deflect incoming gentle, and that the ground panel overlaps the back and front of the colour’s backside rail and have magnets to create a safe closure. I didn’t review this feature, which provides $35 in step with foot for the vertical panels and $eight in step with foot for the ground panel (costs are decided via the period and width of the colour). If I had been putting in this colour in my house theater, I’d spring for the extra charge.
The Hunter Douglas colour appears higher when considered from outdoor the window than Graber’s colour does, however the non-compulsory panel you’ll be able to purchase for Lutron’s Serena colour utterly hides its mounting hardware. And Lutron’s battery compartment is throughout the headrail—available from the entrance—so that you don’t see that, both. Hunter Douglas sun shades can also be hardwired for energy or they may be able to run on battery energy, with two choices to be had. You’ll acquire a battery pack that makes use of alkaline batteries, however the more sensible choice is the corporate’s rechargeable “battery wand.” This mounts to the again of the colour’s headrail, just like the battery pack on Graber’s colour, however a magnet secures the battery to its socket. When you want to switch a useless battery, you simply achieve up, pluck it out, after which snap in a freshly charged alternative.
The battery wand isn’t the most affordable answer—it provides $65 to the cost of the colour if you select it as the facility supply—and the battery-charger choices charge additional. It’s, alternatively, probably the most subtle energy answer I’ve observed on this house. There’s a $50 charger that connects at once to the fastened colour, which means that you’ll see a hanging twine whilst you recharge the battery. The $95 Twin Charging Station that Hunter Douglas supplied with this overview unit is a much more sublime answer. You’ll put it any place there’s an electrical outlet, and it might probably fee two battery wands concurrently. Spare batteries charge $70 each and every, so for a blended charge of $135, you’ll by no means want to concern about now not being to function the colour because of a useless battery. The charging station is much more helpful if, as can be most likely, you’ve gotten multiple colour put in in your house.
Talking of energy, this can be a just right time to speak about how a lot noise Hunter Douglas’ colour motor produces throughout operation. I registered an eight.85dB build up in noise stage whilst the colour was once opening from totally closed to totally open, in comparison to an eight.3dB build up for the Lutron Serena colour, and a nine.6dB build up with the Graber colour. Base line: All 3 sun shades function very quietly, and none of them are prone to wake you from a shut eye, however Lutron’s product is the quietest of the 3. The Powershades TruePoE colour, which makes use of energy over ethernet as an alternative of batteries, has a significantly louder motor. It’s very speedy, however I registered a 16dB build up in noise with that product.
Good house integrations
Hunter Douglas’s PowerView good house integrations run the gamut from DIY (IFTTT, Logitech Unity House, and Apple HomeKit) to professionally put in (together with Control4, Crestron, Elan, and Savant). You’ll additionally management them by means of voice instructions (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant), however you’ll want the corporate’s $285 PowerView hub, despite the fact that you most effective intend to make use of its personal distant controls (extra on the ones in slightly).
The hub creates a proprietary community the usage of spectrum within the 2.4GHz frequency vary. If in case you have a big house, Hunter Douglas provides sign repeaters that reach the PowerView hub’s achieve. Those plug into any outlet and give you the added advantage of an LED nightlight that casts a pool of sunshine at the flooring beneath it. Graber’s Z-Wave-powered good sun shades can also be managed via maximum any Z-Wave-compatible good house hub (e.g., Samsung SmartThings, as an example, or the Vivint Good House gadget I exploit) or the corporate’s personal $180 Z-Wave hub. Lutron’s Serena sun shades, in the meantime, rely on Lutron’s $80 Caséta Good Bridge.
The sophistication of Hunter Douglas’ motorized colour providing involves the fore while you imagine the 2 sorts of round distant controls it provides, each and every of which is available in both a hand-held or wall-mount shape issue (technically talking, there are 4 remotes to make a choice from). The corporate equipped the hand held variants—the PowerView Pebble and the PowerView Pebble Scene Controller—for this overview. The wall-mount variations are the similar gadgets as the hand held gadgets, however they’re fitted into sockets that connect to the wall. Those remotes have the phrase “Floor” appended to their names. All of the remotes function on two CR2032 coin mobile batteries.
Programming the PowerView Pebble distant ($70) involves first arranging all of the sun shades in your house into teams, the usage of Hunter Douglas’ PowerView app (to be had for Android and iOS), after which assigning each and every workforce to one among six buttons organized in a part circle across the fringe of the distant. If in case you have a lot of sun shades, you’ll be able to deploy more than one remotes at the similar community. You’ll additionally deploy more than one remotes with the similar purposes, so you’ll be able to depart them in several rooms. To management a bunch of sun shades, you press the numbers that constitute them: workforce 1 most effective, any aggregate (teams 1, three, and six; for example), or “all” to make a choice all of the sun shades in the home. The gang numbers at the distant will illuminate to suggest they’ve been decided on.
You’ll now open or shut all of the sun shades in that workforce, or you’ll be able to elevate them from the ground up or down from the highest. A button in the course of the distant stops no matter motion has been initiated, and a center button can also be programmed to recall a favourite scene involving one or more than one sun shades. The $100 PowerView Scene Controller too can management one or many sun shades, nevertheless it’s equipped with an LCD show that presentations the names of the scenes you’ve created within the app. Urgent the left and proper arrow keys scrolls during the scenes, and urgent the Make a choice button turns on them. You’ll additionally program two favourite scenes and turn on them with one-touch center buttons.
Costs and base line
Hunter Douglas’ PowerView Duette are the most costly motorized sun shades we’ve reviewed. They’re additionally probably the most sumptuous and probably the most subtle. The highest-down/bottom-up function is a boon to privateness, the battery-wand choice is supremely handy, and the remote-control choices are fabulous. While you imagine the fee tag, which I’ll get to in a second, keep in mind that it features a skilled session to resolve your want and desires; having a technician come to your house to accomplish all of the measurements; after which having them come again a number of weeks later to put in the sun shades, program your hub and distant controls, and orient you to how the whole lot works. There is not any DIY choice to be had, and Hunter Douglas does now not promote direct to customers—you’ll want to paintings with one among its sellers or a certified good house gadget integrator.
The 58 x 58-inch colour provided for this overview prices $1,274, together with the motorization choice. The PowerView Hub required for good house integration prices an extra $285, the wi-fi repeater is some other $60, and the Pebble distant and scene controller opt for $70 and $100 respectively. That brings the overall charge for this undertaking to an eye-popping $1,789. Realistically, alternatively, I may have simply achieved with out the remotes (a sensible speaker would’ve labored simply as smartly) and the repeater (which I didn’t want anyway, for the reason that the room the place I put in the colour is at once throughout from the room the place my community house run—and the PowerView hub—are positioned). That might deliver the real-world charge for the colour and the hub all the way down to $1,559. That equates to about $22 in step with inch (widthwise) in comparison to the self-installed choices we’ve reviewed thus far: $10 in step with inch for the Graber Digital Wire, $13 in step with inch for the Powershade TruePoE, and $14 in step with inch for the Lutron Serena. (The price of hubs, remotes, and different choices isn’t incorporated in my per-inch calculations to make apples-to-apples comparisons.)
Obviously, having anyone else measure and set up the sun shades prices so much. Then again, having anyone else carry out the ones steps method you’re off the hook in the event that they make a dear mistake throughout both step. I’ve measured 3 of my house’s home windows and put in new remedies to this point and haven’t begun to goof, however that doesn’t imply I’ve stopped stressing about it—even now that I’ve graduated to the usage of a laser measure for the duty. Realizing a mistake will waste a number of hundred greenbacks will do this to you.
However for many of us, understanding the DIY path can save a number of hundred greenbacks is all of the motivation had to recover from any lingering lack of confidence. And there are many different individuals who simply have extra self assurance of their DIY talents. It’s additionally value noting that the producers of each and every of the opposite good sun shades we’ve reviewed be offering the choice of ordering thru a broker with skilled set up.
The true base line is that you just’ll want to make a decision which camp you’re in and what kind of comfort, luxurious, and class are value to you. As for me, I believe the upper charge of the Hunter Douglas product is justified.