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Sensors equal efficiency. Sensors tie into the retractable awning motor and trigger an automatic response to extend or close the awning in reaction to ever-changing weather conditions.
Instinctive automation has two distinct advantages:
Increased comfort. Sensors allow the retractable awning to naturally respond to and control glare and sunlight and maximize passive cooling.
Improved protection and longevity. Some weather events can potentially damage a retractable awning, and sensors can react immediately to protect the awning from damaging weather like rain and wind (not gusts).
Most sensors relate to exterior events -- sun, rain, wind, and motion. RetractableAwnings.com also offers a line of Somfy sensors that allow exterior retractable awnings to respond adaptively to interior conditions (light and temperature) that result in bioclimactic control (according to Somfy). From cozy living rooms to contemporary office spaces, bioclimactic control increases the comfort and usefulness of any area.
Note: The only rain sensor that is available, is Simu's hard wired rain sensor. To use a rain sensor, you must also use wired sun and wind sensors, a hard wired motor, and Simu's wired wall mounted control panel, which can handle up to eight sensors. The wind sensor is not designed to detect gusts.
RetractableAwnings.com offers Somfy's Sunis sun sensor. This wireless sensor is solar-powered, so it never runs out of power. You set your own brightness levels to extend and retract the awning.
Somfy's wireless Eolis wind sensor automatically retracts the awning when wind speeds hit any predefined level, form 12mph to 31mph. The sensor checks the wind speed every 12 minutes, and when the winds slow down to a safe level, the sensor will re-extend the awning automatically. All of Somfy's sensors use wireless radio technology (RTS). These allow sensors to be placed anywhere that is convenient and still be able to connect to the Somfy RTS wireless motor. Note: The wind sensor is not designed to detect gusts.
The wireless Eolis 3D motion sensor detects pressure or movement on the retractable awning arms. Any abrupt movement causes the awning to be closed immediately. This provides added protection for areas that may see sharp, changeable winds.
Both wind and motion sensors are battery-operated.
Simu's wired rain sensor is ideal for situations where an awning cannot be installed with a steep pitch. An adequate pitch (angle) is essential to allow rain to run off the awning. If the angle is too shallow, rain pools on the awning and stretches the fabric. A rain sensor automatically retracts the awning when it begins to rain, which prevents pooling. Another way the rain sensor can be used is when enough pitch is available on the awning. The wires on the sensor can be reversed so that the awning extends when it begins to rain. This is used when one wants to keep furniture dry for example.
Somfy's Soliris sensor is a combination sun and wind sensor. This single accessory can be programmed to respond to both light levels and wind speed. Like the Sunis sun sensor, this sensor is solar-powered.
Indoor sun sensors measure light levels inside a room and automatically extend or retract the awning to maximize protection against interior sun and glare. This battery-operated sensor is installed in a convenient interior location. Interior sun sensors can improve the ambiance and comfort of spaces like offices, storefronts, and commercial properties where a pleasant, productive environment is vital.
Somfy's ThermoSunis sensor combines the interior Sunis sensor with a temperature sensor, so that the awning can respond organically to interior heat gain as well as glare and brightness. Along with increasing comfort, this combination sensor improves energy efficiency (and energy savings) along with improving comfort.