Installing a Motorised Solar Screen with a Light Sensor
When the owners of an attractive Guildford property decided to extend the rear of their home, they knew they wanted a large doorway featuring three sliding doors. Before the work got underway, they took the opportunity to talk to Phantom Screens about their options for dressing a large opening - a challenge that now faces many self-builders and renovators.
The new extension was to feature clean, modern architectural lines that wouldn't be best suited to curtains. Moreover, the amount of fabric required would be too heavy and bulky to be feasible. Instead, our experts suggested including recesses around the new doors during the build. A large, automated Phantom Screen could be installed in this space, which would hide the housing of the screen, leaving only the mesh visible. The screen could be lowered or raised at the press of a button using a remote control. When not in use the screen would remain out of sight, resulting in minimal impact on interior design.
The family decided that a recessed, motorised door screen was the right solution for their needs. Phantom Screens worked with the builders to ensure the recesses matched the screen's specifications. The motor was then installed above the door and the side rails recessed into the walls.
As well as using a remote control to operate their screens when inside the house, this family also opted to install a second control panel on the wall between the screen and the door. This would allow them to operate the screen from the outside when spending time in the garden without the need for a remote control. They also chose to add a compact and unobtrusive light sensor to their setup. This attaches to the window and measures the light entering the house. The sensor then sends a signal to the screen when the sunlight reaches the user's chosen brightness level. This signal instructs the screen to close, which reduces solar gain inside the property and protects furniture from the effects of sun bleaching.
Passive cooling is a key topic of conversation among architects, for whom the economic and environmental benefits are an important consideration. By automatically closing when the sunlight is strongest, Phantom Screens can reduce solar gain and glare. Additionally, even when the screen is closed, air can still pass freely through the mesh to improve ventilation in the house. This provides an excellent method of passive cooling that reduces the need to use air conditioning units and other electronic devices to cool the interior of their home.
The particular mesh used in this screen is designed to keep flies and other insects from entering the house, while also providing a degree of UV protection. This means the homeowners can open their sliding doors fully and enjoy a connection with the outdoors, without worrying about bugs and garden detritus getting into their kitchen and dining room.
As a result of the installation, this family is enjoying more comfortable summers and improved ventilation. They are now considering the many possibilities of smart home integration. These include the ability to operate the screen via voice commands to their smartphones, as well as the option of controlling the amount of light entering the room on a timed schedule or in response to local weather conditions.
If you're trying to decide whether to choose traditional blinds or door screens, take a look at our handy infographic.
To talk to our team or to arrange a free on-site consultation, get in touch via our contact page or call us on 0800 096 3015.