Bringing out the best in natural light
by Steph Vaughan
The idea of lighting control has become more prevalent in recent years, and has advanced beyond the small niche market it once occupied. However, its place in consumer consciousness has been almost exclusively in the realm of electric light - i.e. dimming - which marks an incomplete understanding.
The concept extends from the wallbox to the windows, since control of electric light cannot be fully appreciated without control of daylight. Deploying total control at the press of a button, automated shades perfectly embody the concept of function meeting fashion. Shades move in sync and in silence, fabricated in beautiful materials to lend aesthetics to practical demands.
From protecting interiors from fading to reducing heat gain for comfort, shades provide a controllable filter to enjoy natural light’s benefits. They can also reduce it for privacy, or eliminate it entirely for glare removal. Just as with electric light, the appropriate levels of natural light vary by activity, therefore require control.
Most people have endured premature weekend wakeup calls thanks to east-facing windows, or subpar picture quality while viewing midday movies or sporting events. Inadequate control of the sunlight streaming into a room can negatively affect - or completely prevent - the homeowner experience.
This lack of daylight control can also damage interiors. Many know too well the visual effects of UV rays shining unfiltered through an uncovered window, resulting in faded hardwood floors, discolored upholstery, etc.
Covering a window with manual shades or blinds offers a middling solution. Fabric or slats block the sun, yet often remain unmoved. A window with a fixed shade amounts to little more than an expensive version of a wall, and do little to offer the aesthetic or emotional benefits of daylight.
With automated shades, the results are visual magic. The daylight in the room becomes alive and dynamic, an integral component appropriately modified and interwoven into every activity.
Activities are meant for differentiated layers of light, and controlled shading offers that with the ease and convenience of pressing one button. The comfort of a room, the quality of a picture, the emphasis on artwork, the ambiance of a dinner party – all are optimized when experienced in the right light. What is “right” varies by activity, necessitating a transition as fluid as it is transformative.
Taking automation to the fullest extent enables these transformations to occur without the need for even a button press. Particularly convenient for evening privacy and late-afternoon sun protection, shades can lower according to time of day or the sunset. Conversely, shades can raise each morning to let sunlight in, as a natural and soothing alternative to an alarm.
Beyond the practical applications for automation, the aesthetics are equally significant. Whether contemporary roller shades or more traditional soft treatments, the sensory effect of window treatments silently moving in unison is a stunning visual.
All of this is displayed in custom-cut materials, curated from fabric mills around the world to complement any decor. Fabrics used on accent pillows can be replicated as shades, or matched to any Pantone color. The fashion matches the high-tech function, putting any style in effortless motion.