Coopersburg, Pa.-based Lutron’s Serena cellular shades are battery-powered and remote-controlled to allow homeowners to create the perfect movie-watching environment in living rooms, ensure privacy in the bathroom and turn bedrooms into a secluded retreat.
The shades feature patent-pending Triathlon power technology, which extends the shade’s battery life up to three years. The technology combines high-efficiency electronics, regular store-bought batteries, and the ability to store and reuse energy to supplement the batteries. On a 3- by 5-foot light-filtering shade, assuming the shade moves up and down twice a day, 365 days a year, the shade has the potential to move more than 4,000 times on a single set of batteries, according to Lutron’s calculations.
The shades use alkaline D-cell batteries, which have a shelf-life of up to seven years. The units also utilize ultra-low standby power—the electricity that’s still drawn by electronics even when you turn them off. Old electronics, like TVs, may draw 10 watts of electricity or more when the device is in standby. Modern “green” devices draw up to 1 watt of power when in standby. Serena shades, by comparison, draw 1/1,000 of a watt in standby.
Digital control circuitry ensures two adjacent shades move at the same speed. This circuitry can compensate for battery voltage differences; a shade with new batteries next to a shade with old batteries will still move at the same speed.
Lutron offers a traditional infrared (IR) remote, like a TV remote, but homeowners may opt for the Pico wireless control with Clear Connect RF technology, which operates in the 434-megahertz band. By comparison, cordless phones, security systems, baby monitors and microwaves operate in the 900-megahertz and 2.4-gigahertz frequencies. IR and RF remotes will work 30 feet from the shade.
Homeowners also may be able to use universal IR remotes, according to Lutron, because many are capable of learning new IR commands. The company suggests checking with the remote manufacturers’ websites for instructions.
When it comes to preventing heat loss, shades can make an impact and are an easy way to conserve energy. Serena cellular shades have air pockets that trap heat, providing insulation when lowered. The shades come in a variety of styles that deliver varying R-values depending on the style.
In addition, the shades are available in styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. Three fabrics, which allow different levels of light to filter into a room, are offered: single-cell light filtering, double-cell light filtering or single-cell blackout. More than 50 colors are available.
The company also offers cellular shades in a system version known as Sivoia QS Wireless. When these shades are part of a Lutron whole-home control system, the shades and lights can be controlled with a single-button press on a keypad or from a mobile device. Sivoia shades are embedded with additional technology that requires design and programming offered through the Lutron network of qualified dealers.
Serena cellular shades are only a part of a collection of automated window treatments from Lutron, including roller shades, Roman shades, vertical and horizontal draperies, and Venetian blinds with independent control of lift and tilt.