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systems that connect software to its shading hardware. After analyzing a building, its orientation, the dimensions of its façades, and the shading needs of each
façade, Lutron’s algorithms can completely automate the building’s shading for
optimal energy efficiency, temperature control, and the comfort of the people
using the space. “Based on the orientation of the building, [the software] knows
the exact position of the sun, and adjusts the shades so there’s no direct sunlight
or glare on a worksurface,” explains Ed Blair, the company’s vice president and
The software changes the shading throughout the year, based on the building’s exposure to the sun. It’s also able to react to changing conditions day to
day, with wireless sensors mounted on the mullions or the window itself that
can override the algorithm during unexpected bright or dark moments.
Automated shading has been one of Lutron’s highest growth areas for the
last decade, according to Blair. And he’s expecting this trend to continue, in part
because the costs of the technology continue to fall, but also due to a growing
desire among design professionals and homeowners to better optimize interior
spaces. With these new technologies, people are thinking differently about how
to both embrace and control natural light.
“Window coverings have been traditionally viewed as a furnishing,” says
Blair. “When you think about their role in buildings, they need to be viewed as
a performance system.”
Nate Berg is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist who covers cities, design, and
technology, among other topics.
5. Shading systems minimize glare, maximize
privacy and can be automated to react to