The first half of 2020 sparked an evolution as we rapidly shifted to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dark bedrooms best suited for sleeping became the new workplace, and daily routines changed. This shift impacted the smart home, causing a spark in demand and adjustments to existing systems.
Smart lighting choices became more important as people quickly discovered the challenges of achieving the right lighting to support productivity. Remote work introduces new lighting needs, where the afternoon sun causes glare and makes screens hard to read, and video call quality suffers from poor lighting. As workers settle into their home offices for the long-term, they’re looking to smart home technology that can solve these problems for them. Many are discovering the benefits of automated shades, which lend a unique balance of function and beautiful aesthetic to promote productivity. The category has been growing overall in smart homes as automated shades offer privacy, convenience, energy savings, and comfort.
Connectivity isn’t the only consideration for smart shades – style is also important. Some shades fully darken a room, while others filter the light. Hunter Douglas offers over 20 automated shade styles, each offering a unique effect and benefits for a home office. For example, Silhouette Window Shadings feature S-Shaped vanes that tilt to elegantly balance the exterior view and the sunlight coming in. With PowerView Automation, the shades can be scheduled to automatically tilt to filter different amounts of light throughout the day and provide privacy. If workers are heading into a video meeting spur-of-the-moment, they can also press a button or use a voice command to adjust their shades, getting the perfect amount of lighting for video collaboration.
Remote work is transitioning beyond a temporary setup, and applications for automated shading will continue to grow. Customizable options will open the opportunity for smart home integrators, who can use smart shading to gain new business as well as increase revenue with upgrades for existing clients. Through the Hunter Douglas Custom Integrator program, dealers can gain access to training in the category along with Hunter Douglas’s full shade portfolio to suit the technological and design needs of any smart home. With smart shades in their toolbox, integrators can ride the influx of smart shading projects and help create a more productive, comfortable home office for employees.
About Scott Stephenson
Scott Stephenson is a veteran of the home automation and smart home space, bringing over 13 years of experience in product design to bring solutions that delight both end-users and professionals. Joining Hunter Douglas in 2016, Scott manages the product and integration strategy for all automated shading solutions. Prior to joining the Hunter Douglas team, Scott spent seven years at leading global smart home provider Control4 as a senior product manager for their lighting and comfort products, where he managed both their award-winning lighting control solutions as well as all shade integration.
Scott holds an electrical engineering degree from Duke University, an MBA from The University of North Carolina, and was named one of the “Young Turks of CE” by Technology Integrator Magazine.