Stay Healthier at Home Through Sunlight and Motorized Window Treatments | Digitized House

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Stay Healthier at Home Through Sunlight and Motorized Window Treatments

Stay Healthier at Home Through Sunlight and Motorized Window Treatments
Natural daylighting is healthy for you, and motorized window treatments can bring smart controls to make it even better. Image: Nice Group USA.
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Along with brightening our moods, sunbeams can lengthen our lives and certainly make them happier by improving your health. You can get even more out of sunlight by adding motorized window treatment (MWT) systems to your home while getting additional benefits.

These systems enable room occupants to manage sunlight in a smart, integrated, and convenient way, especially if they are part of a smart home system. Also, shades and blinds can be adjusted to personal tastes for light and warmth. 

Before we cover the benefits of motorized window treatments, here’s a look at what sunlight adds to our lives. 

In this modern living room, motorized Coulisse Roller Blinds by Nice Group contribute to a highly automated and inviting space. Image: Nice Group USA.
In this modern living room, motorized Coulisse Roller Blinds by Nice Group contribute to a highly automated and inviting space. Image: Nice Group USA.

What a Dose of Sunlight Gives You

Though it is great to get outdoors for the invigorating sun, breezes and fresh aromas, most of us spend 90% of our time indoors, whether at home or at work. That time means we are missing out on the supplement that makes our inside lives healthier is sunlight, because…

The Rhythm of Life

The sun has a significant influence on our bodies’ circadian rhythm. This pattern influences our sleep cycles along with the release of hormones such as the antitoxins in the form of melatonin and serotonin for positive mood.

These rhythms also affect eating habits and digestion, along with body temperature. Disrupting circadian rhythms can lead to cardiovascular events, obesity, bipolar disorder, and depression. 

Vitamins Not Out of a Bottle

Natural light boosts your body’s vitamin D storage. This vitamin has a long list of benefits including promoting calcium absorption for bone growth, and fighting diseases such as autism, cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, and depression.

Better Eye Health

A lot of what we do involves what you are doing right now. Looking at a computer screen. These, plus smartphones and fluorescent light can bring on permanent eye damage. The dopamine that sunlight exposure can produce in the eye aids in healthy eye development for children and young adults.

Sleep Tight

The light you are exposed to during the day can help you get the most out of your zzzs when you go to sleep at night. Surprisingly, that light is best when streaming into your window early in the morning. 

Mold—Down for the Count

For members of the household with allergies, sunlight reduces the amount of mildew and mold growth. This aspect of the sun is especially crucial for homes that may have been previously water damaged from leaks and natural disasters. The sun is a natural antiseptic. 

The plants like it too. Increasing natural sunlight in the home enables plants to grow year long. The oxygen given off by plants and the presence of vegetation freshens up rooms and uplifts the spirit.

More Than Skin Deep

Sunlight brightens complexions. Internally, natural light boosts white blood cell counts while at the same time increasing both red blood cells and blood circulation as well. 

With the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows in this dining space, motorized window treatments enable fine-grained control over daylighting, privacy, and solar heat gain. Image: Nice Group USA.
With walls of floor-to-ceiling windows in this dining space, motorized window treatments enable fine-grained control over daylighting, privacy, and solar heat gain. Image: Nice Group USA.

The Concept of Daylighting

The question of how to capture more sunlight for better health has been answered by the design strategy of daylighting. The process of reaping it is called daylight harvesting. Daylighting strategies are in increasingly in demand by designers, especially in areas where sunlight is obstructed by buildings or trees. 

According to a recent article in Architect Magazine, start with the shape and orientation of the house. The most light comes from southern exposure. A narrow building is best to receive the most light with the long axis running east-west to minimize afternoon sun. 

A successful daylighting set-up for the home goes beyond installing windows. The key is the direction the house faces, window placement and size, window glazing, along with wall placement and wall paint color or fabric coverings. Though artificial lighting will augment sunlight, the benefits of natural lighting go far beyond illumination. 

A prime driver for daylighting design is saving energy—and reducing energy bills and its impact doesn’t have to be just from solar panels. The more sunlight that can enter a house, the longer the occupant can keep the lights off. If the outdoor temperature hits the 50s, solar heat gain inside the home through the windows can be a benefit or a curse…

Automating Sunlight

Lighting up and warming rooms is for sure an ancient idea that goes back to the creation of walls and windows, but now MWT systems provide a whole level of control beyond rolling shades up and down or spreading blinds. For your home, MWT systems, especially if you have a smart home system, offer many benefits that enable you to benefit fully from the boost to your health from sunlight. 

Sun Dial Effect

All the features mentioned above for daylighting are static, but the position of the sun changes, throughout the day and from season-to-season. The sun, of course, stays where it is in the center of our solar system, but the Earth doesn’t. The MWT system can adjust shades and blinds position to capture available sunlight. Thanks to light sensors or scenarios set to take advantage of or shade from the sun, this means that…

Getting Just the Right Amount of Sun

Too much sunlight can create glare or make a room uncomfortably warm. While everyone welcomes sunlight pouring through the windows in winter, this is not the time of the year you want to be running the air conditioning. You can control the MWTs to change position if the room gets too hot. MWT systems will also save energy by working with the existing smart home system to close the blinds and shades when the temperature climbs past a set level. However…

You Control the Sun

Even though the level of solar illumination might be too high for reading or using the computer, you might want to bask in the glow of a warmer sun. There a variety of remote-control devices to override the MWT program. There are, of course, push-button wall stations and transmitters that conveniently and effectively allow you to control your MWTs. . Mobile apps are also available to control your shades and blinds and check on the positioning—from anywhere, at any time.

Smart Lighting

Controlling shade position means you get the right amount of light you need. Given that around 10% of the energy used in the home is for lighting, MWT systems can help reduce the amount of time the lights are on. 

More Sun Is Great But

Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can travel through windows and cause sunburn and some skin cancers. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV damage is cumulative. The UV rays also fade upholstered furniture, carpeting, and expensive artwork. More importantly, UV radiation. Exposure to sun shining through window glass, even in the home or office, can lead to significant skin damage over time. When shades can close automatically during peak daylight hours, both the furnishings and the occupants benefit from added protection.

One More Safer Thing

Along with comfort control, an MWT system can make you more comfortable about your child’s safety. Manual blinds and shades have draw cords which are a potential choking hazard for small children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this is one of the five most dangerous hazards in the home. Recently, in the U.S., legislation went into effect to mandate most window coverings be cordless or have short, inaccessible cords. But there are still millions of homes with blinds or shades that are still operated by these dangerous cords, which MWT eliminate. 

Make Them Think You Are Home

Because your shades can move up and down in response to the sun or during particular times of the day based on “scenarios” you set up, any intruder eyeing up your home will think someone is there. The shades’ random operation gives the idea that the house is occupied. Or, if you prefer, you can remotely close your shades at night via a smartphone app.

Motorized Window Treatments: Your Investment in the Future and Your Health.

Installing these systems in your home adds convenience, style—and good health.

Though a good share of your week might be spent at work, your time in a healthier home can lead to higher productivity on the job. And if you have kids, most of their time is spent in the house.  In addition to the convenience of MWTs, the benefits of managing your home’s sunlight will significantly improve your family’s comfort, physical health, and state of mind.

About Nice Group USA

Nice Group USA is part of Nice S.p.A., an international home and building automation company, headquartered in Oderzo, Italy, offering a comprehensive range of smart, integrated automation solutions to control gates, garage doors, parking systems, wireless alarm systems, solar screens, awnings, blinds and shutters for residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

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Scott Blue

Scott Blue is Chief Operations Officer for Nice Group North America.