How to Automate Your Shades This Winter

Do you know what automated shades are? It’s important to note that they are not the same as motorized shades–see our handy guide here for a breakdown. Automated shades are shades that can be pre-scheduled to raise and lower, typically at different times of the day, due to a change in sunlight or temperature.

These shades are convenient for you and enhance safety in your home. With automated shades, your window treatments effortlessly raise and lower with or without the touch of a button, depending on your programming. Automation is perfect for simulating a presence at home by raising and lowering your shades to make it look like you’re home when you’re not. Like motorized shades, automated shades are cordless, which eliminates a potential hazard for your children and pets.

Energy efficiency is also a tremendous benefit of automating your shades. Research has shown that automated shades can reduce your energy bill because they control room temperature –they can do the work so that your heating and cooling systems don’t have to.

Given New England weather, this winter is the perfect time to automate your shades!

The first step of shade automation is motorizing your shades. Some of the manufacturers we work with offer easy installation kits to convert your manual shades into motorized shades in a matter of minutes. Once your shades are motorized, you will be able to set up your automation.

Many manufacturers offer integrated automation control through your smartphone (Lutron’s Serena and Triathlon Shades can be controlled by Apple’s Siri!) or voice control, such as through Amazon Alexa. Automation schedules can be set up daily, or even weekly, and customization can vary by manufacturer. There are a lot of options to play around with to find the perfect automated shade match for your home.

All it takes is installation and programming, then you’re ready to go! Automated shades not only offer style, safety, and convenience, but they can help keep your home warm this winter.

Stop by our Boston showroom in Fort Point Channel and let our design experts show you the power of automated shades!

Ver-Tex Helps Shed Light on New Harvard Campus Center

In Spring 2018, Harvard University will be opening the new Smith Campus Center, a new center of University life designed to bring the Harvard and surrounding communities together in new ways. Ver-Tex is currently helping shed light on this new center by providing both design support and installation.

Named after its donors, Richard A. and Susan F. Smith, the center will “serve as a welcoming and vibrant entrance to the University for visitors and the Cambridge community,” according to the Harvard website, featuring both indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, study areas, food options, and a variety of exhibition areas for events and performances.

Ver-Tex originally became involved through the London-based architect, Hopkins Architects, who also partnered with local firm, Bruner/Cott, to provide support budgeting the skylight shades, a very complex Levolux shade system. By becoming involved in the early conceptual stages, and providing early budgets to help design the system, the Ver-Tex team was selected to partner with GC Consigli Construction on the project. Ver-Tex became a very active participant in design meetings with Hopkins, Bruner/Cott, GC Consigli Construction, and Harvard University, assisting with identifying costs and providing design support.

The Levolux shade system is a high-end system from the UK, chosen to help control light and glare, since the ceilings in the main building are all glass. In addition to the Levolux shade system, Ver-Tex also installed standard MechoShades and supplied Division 10 items such as toilet partitions, bathroom accessories, lockers and wall protection.

“We’re very proud of our work on this high-profile project with Harvard University and Consigli Construction,” said Jon Harrington, Ver-Tex’s Vice President of Sales. He added, “This allows our range of capabilities and expertise to stand apart from the competition, as our team has clearly demonstrated the ability to not only provide design support, but also to handle this complex installation. The team did a fantastic job.”