Every Broadway spectacle is a magic trick of sorts; audiences marvel at the elaborate costumes and opulent sets, while the hustle of production goes unseen and unheard, behind the stage. Flawless execution of cues keeps the show moving at its frenetic pace.
Far from Broadway’s glitz, but in the same category of discrete yet integral operations, is the work of Somfy Systems, a manufacturer of specialty motors and controls for residential and contract automation projects.
For more than 30 years Somfy has been leading the development of motors and controls for interior and exterior window treatments, projection screens, retractable awnings and rolling shades. Mostly unseen and unheard, Somfy motors and controls power the window treatments and automate applications that many designers in the custom integration industry consider “must have” add-on sales for their projects.
Somfy’s industry cachet is a result of its long history of dedication to home control product development the company’s international reach. Somfy was originally founded in the Haute-Savoie (Mont Blanc) region of France, and is currently present in over 50 countries abroad, with over 10,000 business partners.
The main production site for Somfy tubular motors is located in France, and three others sited dedicated to the automatic control range are established in France, Germany and the U.S.
Somfy’s range includes new control innovations such as the Inteo line, as well as established products such as the HRC-RF, a compact 110VAC control that features a built-in radio technology receiver. It can be mounted within an industry standard 2-inch headrail or external enclosure, and is capable of both lift and tilt functions for a variety of interior window treatment applications.
Another popular Somfy innovation is its new RTS 25 DC control system, which features an advanced radio receiver that’s compatible with all wireless Radio Technology Somfy (RTS) controls and can be mounted inside or outside a standard or decorative headrail. It can be used with all lift/tilt and lift only blind applications. Up to 12 controls can be memorized in the memory of RTS 25 DC allowing individual and group control.
Somfy’s low-profile, Euro-styled Inteo range of automatic controls are available with wired technology or wireless RTS using either direct current (24V) or alternating current (120V). Designed with the same features of Somfy’s LT motors, a remote control receiver has been incorporated within the motor allowing the user remote capability without the added wiring. Somfy also offers an American-styled equivalent of the Inteo line of controls.
Somfy is currently focusing significant attention and resources into targeting the builder and integrator markets. With pre-wire specification packages, home automation dealer and integrator programs, custom and production homebuilder programs and independent, Somfy has positioned itself as the ideal partner and consultant for customizing control in the home.
“There are many excellent companies making lighting control solutions and window treatments. And we make them move,” said Somfy Systems market development manager, Christopher Kahler. “This is a lifestyle enhancement. Motorization and automation of blinds and shades makes life simpler. You also conserve energy, protect furniture from sun damage and provide an extra dimension of security. Every custom home installer should offer that sophistication to their clients.”
“Somfy guarantees push-button control,” Kahler said. “Just one touch to open shades, one touch to close them. Our favorite motto is ‘KISS’–Keep it Simple with Somfy.”
To further solidify its reputation in the home builder/custom integrator arena, Somfy has partnered with lighting control manufacturer LiteTouch Inc. to create the Total Lighting Solution program (TLS).
According to Somfy, homeowners can now select any motorized window control and have it wired into their homes during the initial home design process. This early specifying and installation eliminates the hassle of additional construction after homes are completed.
The TLS partnership gives building planners all of the tools they need to streamline the initial lighting control specification process for the homeowner. Somfy and LiteTouch provide building planners with product specs, installation guidelines, marketing materials and the highest level of customer support.
“The Total Lighting Solution program ensures that pre-wiring and motorized control specifications can be achieved early in the decision making process,” Kahler said. “Having the homeowner, systems integrator and window covering fabricator working together early simplifies the installation and guarantees customer satisfaction. The TLS program is designed to encourage the customer to consider natural and artificial lighting control as an integrated system that provides all of the benefits of a Total Lighting Solution.”
Additionally, Somfy has informally allied with control systems providers like Lutron, Crestron, AMX, CentraLite and Vantage in its Expert Program. The Expert Program works with same methodology as TLS, ensuring total product compatibility to offer a completely integrated solution.
For more information, visit www.somfysystems.com or write to SOMFY Systems Inc., 47 Commerce Drive, Cranbury, NJ 08512.
Margot Douaihy is the managing editor of Residential Systems.