September 02, 2011 by Steven Castle
Motorized shades and drapes don’t have to be limited to windows or home theater screens. They can also be used as privacy screens, like a moving wall.
In this Miami home, a Lutron Sivoia QED motorized drapery track allows drapes to close between a master bedroom’s sitting area on the second floor balcony and the upper part of the living room.
With the drapes open, “it extends the master suite out into the common space,” says Marc Lewin of home systems installation company Visual Acoustics in Miami, which installed the home’s shading systems. When the drapes are closed, everything behind it is private.
There are two parallel tracks, each with a sheer gold fabric. Drawing only one of these closed creates a sheer, translucent partition that still provides substantial visibility through the fabric. Drawing the second reduces this visibility and provides greater privacy.
The upstairs area borders the corridor to the master bedroom, so each of the draperies has a preset to stop it at the end of the sitting area without extending into the corridor. Other presets include:
• Both open.
• Both fully closed, including corridor.
• Single fully closed.
• Single closed up to but not including corridor.
• Both closed up to but not including corridor.
“You might assume that this level of functionality requires lots of buttons, but all these presets are programmed onto a single Lutron keypad button,” says Lewin. The button is programmed so each sequential push advances the draperies to the next scene in the sequence. The button is also available on the home’s Crestron and iPad controls.
In addition, shades on the east side of the house stay closed until noon to help keep the home cool. Then they open and shades close on the west side. At sunset they all open for spectacular views of the bay and Miami.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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