September 21, 2009
| by Lisa Montgomery
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of technology when you’re a window shade, drape or blind.
That wasn’t the case at this year’s CEDIA Expo, however. Lutron Electronics introduced a bounty of innovative motorized shading solutions at the Atlanta-based show. The most unique was a system called Kirbe. Instead of traversing a panel of draperies to the left and right, as is done with conventional system, the motorized roller moves the material up and down. In the up position, the fabric rolls out of sight behind a valance.
This gives Kirbe an edge over traditional drapery designs, in that it blocks no portion of the window. When the drapery is lowered, which is done by touching a button on a handheld remote or keypad, inconspicuous weights within the sheer pinch pleat or ripple fold fabric help maintain the shape.
Giving another twist to ordinary window treatments is Lutron’s new CERUS (Cord Eliminating Roman Uptake System) technology. As its name suggests, CERUS precludes the need for the unsightly cords ordinarily used to lift and lower Roman shades. Strips of mesh fabric sewn into the back of the shades take the place of the cords, making the CERUS system not only more attractive but safer.
In addition to solutions for obstructed views and unsightly cords, Lutron, known for its lighting control solutions, has introduced a motorized shading system that mitigates problems associated with fitting motorized rollers and tracks into out-of-square window openings. Entirely self-contained, the shade comes preinstalled inside an aluminum frame which installs directly within the window opening.
With so many motorized shading options to choose from, Lutron expanded its line of fabrics to include a wider variety of designs, colors and textures. New to the portfolio are metallic sheers, sculpted fabric, and translucent materials. Many of the new fabrics are PVC-free and some are made from recycled materials. Cornices are new to the Lutron’s offerings, too. They are available in five styles and can be covered in one of the company’s fabrics or your own.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.