Motorized Retractable Patio Awning
Motorized retractable patio awnings have all the benefits of manual systems with the additional advantage of easy and quick control.
The industry offers various models, sizes and production materials to choose from. What are the most significant advantages of a motorized outdoor awning? What can it do for you, and who is it appropriate for?
Definition and characteristics
Motorized outdoor awnings have the same primary characteristics as the manual models. They aim to provide shade, reduce heat and electric bills, and protect you from light rain.
The main difference between a manual patio awning and a motorized patio awning is that the latter works thanks to a small, powerful electric motor. Thus, such automated awnings require electricity to function correctly. However, most models offer a manual backup override used in the case of loss of electricity from an impending storm, for example.
You can operate retractable motorized awnings using a remote control, a mobile smartphone or tablet app or a simple interior or exterior wall switch or a more advanced home automation system. Additionally, you can customize electric awnings for decks by integrating special weather sensors, LED lights, spotlights, heaters and more.
For example, wind and motion sensors automatically detect predefined levels of wind speed or movements of the awning to retract it back automatically and effortlessly. There are also sun and rain sensors offered on the market.
There are two significant factors to consider when choosing the size of your motorized retractable sunshade – width and projection. The width refers to the side-to-side measurement, running parallel to the house or building, while the projection is the coverage from back to front, running perpendicular to the house or building.
The larger the size, the better to invest in an automated awning. Large frames and heavy fabrics are challenging to operate with a manual hand crank. That is when a motorized outdoor canopy comes in pretty handy.
Motorized patio awnings may vary in size, shape, structure and production materials.
Freestanding motorized retractable systems such as pergola roofs/covers usually consist of metal, vinyl or wooden beams and posts/columns/stanchions that form the frame. This frame supports a motorized retractable canopy that can be solution-dyed acrylic (water-resistant) or PVC vinyl (waterproof), or polyester. However, I do not recommend investing in polyester canopies since they have a very, very low resistance to fading and mildew.
Wall-mounted electric retractable patio awnings without additional support posts should be made of lightweight but strong aluminum arms with stainless steel chains supporting a high-quality solution-dyed fabric such as that from Para in Italy. All other components such as brackets and bolts must be 316 stainless steel and rust-proof.
The best motors for electric awnings are the European brands Somfy and Simu. They are powerful, silent and quick. In general, there are two types of motors – wired or wireless. Wired motors are connected to a receiver control box and then hardwired or plugged into a 110v GFI outlet. Wireless motors avoid the receiver control box (less labor to install) and are also either hardwired or plugged into a standard 110v GFI outlet. Wireless motors are the newer technology and have the receiver built into the motor itself.
Wired technology is outdated and is used only in specific circumstances when needed. I recommend wireless options using a remote control, wall switch and mobile apps for ease of use and comfort.
Benefits and advantages
Motorized retractable shades’ main benefit is the ease of control. You can partially extend the canopy to any point of the projection just by clicking a button. You don’t need to use a manual override hand crank which is especially useful when dealing with large and heavy fabric retractable awnings and loss of electricity.
Additional weather sensors help preserve outdoor motorized awnings longer by automatically retracting them back into the cassette or under the hood/cover when unexpected weather conditions occur. Their function also helps put your mind at ease so that you don’t have to think twice about leaving your retractable patio awning extended or partially extended when leaving the site.
A motorized awning can make your outdoor living space more usable and functional for family, guests or customers. They create a luxurious outdoor environment and a comfortable shelter. The wide variety of models gives you the option to protect people, outdoor rugs and furniture from the blazing sun or light rain while increasing privacy when using a long valance.
Who are they appropriate for?
Automatic retractable awnings combine convenience and style, making them appropriate for residential and commercial purposes. They are beneficial in cases where you need to cover a large-sized area and you don’t have the time or want to deal with manual operation.
Motorized awnings are an excellent solution for real estate agents, landscape architects and architects. They elevate curb appeal and make the property more attractive for potential buyers. Business owners with large patio and deck areas (e.g., outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes) should invest in automatic outdoor awnings, especially to attain additional space due to Covid 19 concerns.
If you are a homeowner, you might be interested in electric awnings for homes. Electric motors are beneficial even for smaller-sized shades, allowing the elderly or disabled to operate them effortlessly.
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