You’ve probably seen remote controllable dimmers and switches that can be controlled from the comfort of your couch, but what about the curtains? Fear not, that too can be automated just like your water sprinklers, thermostat and light switches. You’ll want a split curtain (two sides that join together in the middle) especially if you’re using a heavy curtain material and the motorized curtain kit itself.
We use Makita kits but there are others on the market (BTX, Hunter Douglas etc.) these motorized drapery kits can be found for as little as $300 for the entry level models and on up to $500-$600 for the Makita kits that handle average sized curtains. The nicer kits seem to handle heavier curtains a bit better but I certainly wouldn’t rule out using the budget kits.
Installation of the motorized curtain kits is pretty straightforward; you simply hang the new rod, attach the curtain and then install the motor on one end. After that it’s just a matter of interfacing the curtains remote or control interface with your universal remote. Then modifying the start-up and shut-down macros to include the curtain opening and closing with the start and finish of the movie.
We’ve come a long way from the “clicker” of yesterday, today’s remote control systems can process complex macros, sense power and or current state and even transmit two way data in some cases, luckily they don’t have to be nearly as complex to operate as they sound. Remotes are available in more shapes, sizes, functionality levels and price points than at any other time since the products glorious invention some 50 or so years ago.
Listen this might sound a bit obvious but the best way to determine if a remote is right for you or not is to sit down and write out how many devices you need to control, what interface the individual components use for control (i.e. infra-red, line level, RF or similar) and then plot out how you’ll need to send the commands in order for your equipment to work properly. Then compare those needs to the remotes capabilities.
Like I said I know it sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people get caught up in a certain feature or function of a specific remote; while ignoring the fact that the remote in question may not be right for them in other respects. In a nutshell a little homework up front can save you hundreds of wasted dollars in the long run.