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Ask the Boss - Roof Lantern & Skylights

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Ask the Boss about Roof Lantern & Skylights Blinds

  • I have a glass roof, what blinds do I need?Welcome to 90 Seconds With The Boss. I'm Ellen, and I'm here to help you live wiser. Today's question is ...

    I have a glass roof, what blinds do I need?

    We have a whole range of solutions for glazed roofs, and the roof phantom blind, the top light blind, and the skylight blind, and then down to traditional conservatory blinds.

    We've been installing roof blinds for 30 years, and we are experts at it. You're not going to find anybody who's got a bigger range than we have.

    To choose between all the different types of blinds, it depends what kind of glazed roof you have. Have you got an orangery with a roof lantern in it? Have you got a traditional conservatory? Or have you got a lean to roof space?

    Once we know that, we also want to look at what the problem is that you're trying to solve. In the winter, is your conservatory too cold? Blinds can help with insulation. With any roof glazing, there is a big expanse of glass, which is always going to be cold in the brickwork.

    In the summer, is your room just too hot and too bright? Can you not watch the TV, or even just sit in there and enjoy the room? Again, blinds will definitely help. Each of the types of blinds has different properties, and we can help talk you through those.

    Probably. E glass is great, but it's static. You have to choose the tint, and you can't change it. With our blinds, they obviously can move. And so you've got flexibility in them. If you have a north facing roof glazing and the room is getting too cold, E glass isn't really going to help. On a sunny day, with a nice bright light, some heat will come in, and it will get retained in that room. But what you will then find is the hot air rises, hits that large expanse of glass, cools rapidly, and drops. That can actually cause a draft.

    With south facing glazing, you've got the problem of it being too bright and too hot. The E glass can be tinted to various levels, but if you've really got an issue and you have a very strong tint, then that tint is only going to work on the brightest days. Otherwise, it's going to seem a bit dull in your room.

    The other problem with E glass is, it lets the heat in, but it doesn't let it out. So that room can become unbearably stuffy.

    Time's up. If you've learned something from this, please like or share. If you've got a question for a future episode, please leave a comment below.

  • Do I need a blind for the skylight in my bedroom? Welcome to 90 Seconds With The Boss. I'm Ellen, and I'm here to help you live wiser. Today's question is ...

    Do I need a blind for the skylight in my bedroom?

    If you are having a skylight in your bedroom, you will definitely need a blind. That is unless you like waking up at 4 AM in a nice summer's day as the sunlight floods in. If it was painted black of course, but then, that pretty much negates why having a skylight in your bedroom. Some of the windows that are put in are standard. So things like Velux, Facro, Keylight, and we can do blinds that are standard for those windows. They are actually standard sizes, and very easy to do. And you can motorize them.

    Otherwise, if you have a horizontal skylight with a flash board up stand, we have our skylight blind. And this is perfect for blacking out so that you can get that goodnight sleep. We always recommend that you have it motorized, but what we do is have a solar panel. So you have batteries in a wand that goes up by the blind, and these are rechargeable lithium batteries. You then put this solar panel up to the sky and it recharges those batteries, so you get a very very long life after them. You can lie on your bed, press a button on the remote control, and the blind opens, letting you wake up nice and gently. You can have it manually, but typically if skylights are over a bed, it's rather difficult to operate with a pole. So we always recommend for ease and for that bit of luxury in the morning as you're gently waking up, go with the motorization.

    That's it. Time's up. If you've got another question about a skylight in your roof, please leave it below. Otherwise I'll see you next time.

  • Will I need an electrician to install my blinds? Welcome to 90 Seconds With the Boss. I'm Ellen, and I'm here to help you live wiser. Today's question is ...

    Will I need an electrician to install my blinds?

    It's unlikely that you'll need an electrician. Unless you're doing something that requires part P certification, such as putting a new fuse spur then no.

    What power source do I need?

    The power source that you need depends on the type of blind and what you've got at the window already. If you're got nothing, very simply you can probably have a battery. These can range from double A batteries to the standard or rechargeable ones. We add in a solar panel and the battery is recharged. The next step is a 24 volt battery motor. That will need a transformer if it's coming off mains because you see we have 240 volts in this country. And finally, we have the standard 240 volt main power supply.

    What would you recommend?

    We would always recommend to go mains power these motors are always quieter, they have a lot more power in them so they can lift heavier blinds and for longevity, reliability and ease of use I would always go with main power.

    If you haven't got any main power, don't worry we usually can find it somewhere in your room or in your house, we can come from outside and drill through a wall. This is all covered by our fitters.

    Time's up, if you've learned anything from this episode please share or like. If you have a question for a future episode please comment below.

  • How much does a roof lantern blind cost?

    How much is a roof lantern blind?

    It depends on the size, so from the smallest, about two thousand pounds up to about 10 thousand pounds, and that is fully installed by our experts and includes VAT.

    A skylight blind can cost between a thousand to two and a half thousand pounds, and again that includes our expert installation and VAT. They are ideal for shading smaller roof lanterns and skylights.

    Yes, but it depends on the size like everything that we do. You can have up to 2.4 meters of the longest width without any cable.

    A toplight blind is a way to shade your roof lantern, and it's ideal for side returns in particular. It is completely wire-free, so when the blind is closed, you won't see any cables in the opening.

    Well, that depends on what it is, how many, and where it is, but usually it can be from a couple of hours to a whole day, and it can be one man or a lot. Sometimes we have to go up very high, and obviously, we're working at heights, so we use scaffolding, and a few men will be there to put that up. Other times, it's just a kitchen window, and you can allow an hour for that.

    Well, no. Somfy are a motor company, and they make motors and controls, and then we put them into our blinds, but yes we are Somfy experts.

  • What are my options with controls for my blinds?

    Hi, I'm Chris from Wiser Interiors, and I just wanted to talk to you today about controls for your blinds. Now, I'm sure a lot of you understand there are manual options, but there are plenty more exciting things available for you for your shades.

    So in the good old days, you had a manual blind that you have to adjust. And recent regulations, well, actually, it's a few years old now, means that they all have to be child safe. So they need a P clip or a child breaker in them. When the blinds get bigger, you have to go round and manually adjust them by hand or you have a breaker in them. When they're larger, the breakers can present a problem and make them difficult to use.

    And the stuff now that gets me really excited is to get away from all those manual blinds and automate them, make them motorized. So I don't even have to go up and adjust the blind to the right position. And to that end, you end up with a mixture of remote controls. Everybody remembers the time, or maybe this is showing my age, where you had to step up and press the button on the TV to change the channel. Then it went to remote controls and you could just sit in your lounger chair and do it.

    Well, you can do that now with your blinds. Simple remote control. Press the button. The blind comes down. Press the button. The blind goes up. And you can adjust it to where you want it. There are other controls there, as well, that allow you to adjust the frequencies, so that you can control multiple blinds, one at a time, or all together.

    But there's one thing with that. If I come into a room and it's already too hot, putting the blind down is not going make any difference to the temperature of the room. How do I solve that? Well, it's done easily, with a device like this. This device monitors the temperature or the light levels in your room and will adjust the blind to the level that you want. Likewise, with light levels. If you're looking to protect your oak floors, it will drop the blind to prevent the UV damage that's occurring with high light levels.

    There's another thing with that, though. I've still got to get involved, in terms of adjusting the blinds and making sure they're in the right place. This is where these things start to come in: home control for shading. Again, you have multiple channels here, so you can come in and adjust the blind as you want. But if you press this button like that, this now becomes an automation remote control device. Your blinds can be adjusted on autopilot. You don't have to worry about going around the three or four blinds over your bifold doors to adjust them. It does it for you. And even if you go on holiday, there's a feature in here that's called Simulated Occupancy. So it will adjust the blinds in a window during the day, so that anybody looking at it will think, "Actually, is there someone there or isn't there?" Great stuff. You just put it in the drawer and forget about it, and the blinds do their thing.

    You can now use your Smartphone to control your blinds. So to that end, you can program all the blinds and you can adjust them independently, just by tapping on the app, causing the blinds to move. But more excitingly, and the bit that I really love, is about the fact that they will move and adjust without me having to get involved. So if the room is getting too hot, the blinds will close. If the room is getting too light, the blinds will close.

    You can also set scenes, so that when you're leaving home, you can say, "Ah, I'll just make sure all the blinds are shut." With a simple tap on the icon, the blinds will close in several windows for you, allowing you that peace of mind that everything is under control.

    With the hubs that we have available to us now, means that we can integrate not only blinds, but your lights and your heating and other elements, into the same hub. So those of you that are more technically minded are already thinking, "Oh, good. I've managed to open up a couple of ports on my router."

    The hubs that we provide you will control you blinds, will allow you to control lights, will allow you to control cameras. And also, you can plug in leak detectors and smoke devices, to ensure security and safety in your home all together.

    Having got one of those, the new big thing, and the new thing on the block is voice control. Well, if you wanted to do that, you can do that too. "Alexa, turn on night time." "Okay."

    So I hope that's got you excited about how you can control your blinds. You don't have to do it manually any more. You don't even have to think about having to adjust them every time it gets hot and cold or light or dark. The systems can do it for you.

    So have a think about that, and I'll see you next time.