Well, I finally did it!..... I attended a training seminar for Somfy motorization. I'm official, and I'm very excited about it!
Somfy is an industry leader in motorization of window treatments. For us, the primary application will be fabric shades and draperies. This session today provided the information needed to identify which of Somfy's many products is the right one for a specific job.
I was amazed at how well developed the product line has become since I first heard of it some years ago. Somfy motorization can be as simple as a hand-held remote operating a single shade by infrared, or as complex as systems for large homes or commercial buildings such as offices or restaurants, that control not only dozens of window treatments but also awnings or outdoor heating systems. There are wind detectors for awnings, and solar detectors for awnings and window treatments. A single channel can control one window, or all the windows in a group. For example, all the western exposure window shades in the whole house could be programmed to lower at the same time when the sun comes around that side of the building in the summer. An integrated system can allow the window treatments to be controlled by the customer's computer or remote control that also controls other building functions, such as audio or television.
And besides the soft window treatments we fabricate here, Somfy motors are used for blinds, cellular shades, woven woods, roller shades, and many other hard window treatments. It's even possible to retro-fit many existing manually operated products that are already in use.
There will be a learning curve for me, but Somfy's customer service is great and I'm very excited about being able to offer this product to my clients.
If any of you readers have any advice on motorization from your own experience, I'd love to hear about it.