Technically, home automation only applies to the electrical items in your home: lights, appliances, security systems, and so on. But that hasn’t stopped engineers from looking for new, innovative ways to automate the home.
If it’s not electric, just make it electric so that you can then make it smart! That’s what they have accomplished with windows. With home automation windows, you can upgrade your home to become more energy efficient and comfortable at the same time.
There are two kinds of windows automation: automated windows shades and smart glass windows. In other words, you can automate both the shades and the glass itself in order to provide maximum comfort and energy efficiency.
Automated Window Shades
Automated window shades and automated window blinds offer you a number of advantages that you simply cannot get from normal shades and blinds. Smart window shades can do a number of cool and useful things like:
- Coordinate with your thermostat and lighting. When you leave the house, your thermostat, lights, and shades will automatically do what they need to do. This will save you a lot of time and cut down on your energy usage so you also save money.
- Light blocking ability. Many automated window shades are made using quality materials that are more effective at blocking out light than normal shades. Better shades means less money spent on cooling the home in summer. It also keeps your furniture, rugs, and decorations protected from sun damage.
- Scheduling and programming so that your shades will adjust to your preferred positions according to your schedule. Once they know the schedule, you won’t have to fiddle with them again.
- Automatic settings. Coordinate your shades with your home theater system. When you put on a movie, your shades will automatically go down to get rid of glare and set the right atmosphere for watching a movie.
- Easily cover hard to reach windows. If you have windows high up that are difficult to reach but still let an annoying glare from the sun in, you can save yourself the effort and stress of trying to close those hard to reach shades by replacing them with automated ones that can be closed with the touch of a button.
- Solar sensors can automatically trigger your shades to close once the light level in the room reaches a certain level that you specify. This can mean automatic closing by nightfall or automatic closing during peak sunlight hours to protect furniture and keep your home cooler.
- Remote control your blinds from your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are.
With automated shades, you get convenience, efficiency, and increased control over you home. These are great for security, cutting down on cooling costs, and protecting your furniture and décor.
In addition to your shades, you can even automate your glass. Smart glass technology allows you to tint the glass to block out light and engineers are developing smart glass that is also able to block out the heat from sunlight.
This will dramatically cut down on cooling costs in the summer as you can effectively shield your home from light and heat. It also means you can go for a window shade free look without sacrificing privacy or shading functions.
Some of our favorite features and benefits of smart glass include:
- Automatic tinting in response to sunlight
- Remote control the window tinting with a dedicated control or your smartphone.
- Blackout glass that can block more than 99% of UV light, more than blackout shades are capable of blocking.
Samsung is even producing a smart window that does far more than block light. Their smart window doubles as a transparent LCD touch screen. During the day, the screen is illuminated by natural light. At night, it illuminates itself with its own lighting.
On the Samsung window, you can use all of your favorite apps right there on your window. You can also open and close virtual blinds with the swipe of a finger. And these aren’t just decorative, they actually block out the light.
And if you’re worried about privacy, the glass will work like a one way mirror so that people outside cannot see what’s displayed on the window inside—even when it is in transparent mode.
But if you aren’t looking for a flashy gadget like the Samsung smart window and you prefer something more like a regular window, the smart glass that just simply blocks out light and heat is great. Some even offer different color options so you can coordinate the tinting with your interior décor.
They can also offer different settings in case you don’t want to completely blackout all the light. And if you are on a budget, some companies offer an adhesive film that you can place onto your window. This gives you the electric smart tinting options of smart glass without the expense of actual smart glass.
Home window automation can save you a lot of money on your energy bill by blocking out sunlight to keep your home cooler and protecting your furniture and decorations from sun damage.
With all the different options available now, there is something on the market for just about every budget from expensive super flashy touchscreen smart glass to an affordable electric smart tint film. Automated home windows will make your home more comfortable while saving you money at the same time.