Home automation trends

One of the latest interior design trends is a move towards cleverer houses with technology integrated into the very fabric of the building. This technology could be heating, lighting, a sound system, security or electric curtains, built in and operated from a single point in the house, or even functioning on its own.

Lighting

Anyone who’s seen Grand Designs recently will have seen the elaborate lighting systems being installed in new builds. At the touch of a button the lights can be set to suit different moods and times of day. For an intimate dinner you could just have the table dimly illuminated, while coloured lights can be turned on for a party. Light sensors mean the brightness can be set to change automatically, or you could have a switch by the front door so you can turn every light off on your way out. These clever ideas can make things more intimate, more exciting or more practical.

Music

Music systems spanning the whole house are also popular. Audio can be set to play in every room at once, a single room or even outside. Gone are the days when you had to listen to music in the room the hifi was in: you can listen to anything, anywhere. And as the speakers and cables are hidden in the walls, the house has a cleaner, more minimal look.

Electric curtains

Electric curtain rails are among the most useful home automation products available. While fancy lighting schemes and music players are a luxury, motorised curtains are a virtual necessity for people with mobility problems, and are particularly useful for delicate curtains that don’t like being handled. Washing silk drapes is difficult, so keeping grubby fingers away from them is a definite plus.

Electric curtains are motorised so the nylon gliders move along the track on their own, eliminating the need to use a cord or pull them by hand. The mechanism can be operated by remote control, timer or light sensor. Sensors allow the curtains to close at night or in strong sunlight, keeping the house warm in winter and protecting books and artwork from damaging UV rays.

Security

Alarms, video cameras and intercoms can all be linked to a home automation system. These are controlled from a central point, and gates can be opened remotely so visitors don’t have access to the property without your say so. Lights and electric curtains also have a security function, as thieves often target properties they think are empty. If lights turn on and off and the curtains open and close on their own, potential burglars will think someone is in the house, even if you’re on holiday.

Although a complete lighting, entertainment and security system can be difficult to install, electric curtain tracks are easily fitted to any window, without fuss. Our specialists will help make sure you get a rail that fits, even if you have an awkwardly shaped, square or curved bay window, and our packages include light sensors and timers if required. Visit the electric curtain tracks page for more information.

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