The ‘I Can See You, You Can’t See Me’ Game

The ‘I Can See You, You Can’t See Me’ Game

Why do we use curtains in our homes? In this article, we don’t just look at the function of curtains in our home, but also at the way in which we can control them electronically using the Integrated Home System (IHS).

Primal Behaviour?

Our behaviour of wanting to see, but not be seen, is probably a throwback to behaviour inherited from our forefathers. We had to be able to see a long way in order to detect possible dangers, such as other tribes or predators. On the other hand, we wanted to be seen as little as possible so as not to fall victim to some form of danger.

In this modern age, we still exhibit this behaviour, albeit usually for other reasons. For example, from our home we like looking outside in the daytime to see what is going on in the neighbourhood, and that is a result of our inquisitiveness. However, in the evening and at night we are more visible to the outside world due to the use of indoor lighting. In that case, things are reversed and we are exposed.

We hang curtains to deal with that and they give us a cosy, sheltered and safe feeling as well. People cannot look in from the outside and our privacy is guaranteed.

Reasons for Electrical Control

There are several good reasons for choosing electrical controls for the curtains in our home, the most obvious being an increase in convenience and comfort. With just one press of a button on a wall switch or a remote control, we can open or close individual curtains, carry out a group operation for all curtains in the same space, or even throughout the entire home.

Courtesy of Goelst
A remote control (right) ensures you need not engage in acrobatics over your sofa to open or close the curtains (left). (Courtesy of Goelst)

Furthermore, sometimes curtains are difficult to access for manual opening and closing. This can be due to a sofa in front of a window or a difficult-to-access corner with a window. High skylights also cause the same problems. Obviously it is not a realistic option to put a ladder up every day.

Older people with mobility problems have the same need for privacy, and if they are no longer able to manually operate the curtains themselves the question arises as to whether it is time for them to move to an expensive care flat or a rest home. Electronically-operated curtains can therefore be a solution for enabling continued independent living at home.

The Systems

Besides the traditional, free-hanging, rail-mounted curtains, there are numerous other curtain systems such as roller blinds, vertical or horizontal slats, plissé curtains, skylight curtains, etc. An electrical control can be supplied for each type of curtain.

For traditional curtains, a special rail is placed above the window. A silent motor is then mounted on the rail, either on the left- or right-hand side. The power supply consists of a 24V or 230V connection, usually combined with a power socket or a remote control. Besides individual curtain operation, many brands also offer the convenience of carrying out group operations or general operations.

Other Control Options

If required, a timer with an Astro function can be used. The curtains can then be opened or closed, taking into account the different daylight times in your region. As a user, you can of course ignore this automatic opening or closing function by operating a push button. By also linking to an Integrated Home System (IHS), the curtain controls can be included under the mood settings keys.

Even if you are not yet installing electronically-operated curtains in your new construction or thorough renovation, it can still be sensible to provide the necessary cabling at this stage. This will save you chopping and breaking work at a later stage.