Is a Smart Home Practical in 2018?

When we say “Smart Home,” your mind probably starts working a mile-a-minute. You probably imagine a Jetsons-like, technologically advanced home that responds to your every command.

While that concept is certainly understandable, smart homes in 2018 look less like auto-retracting walls and floors that automatically absorb messes and more like homes with convenient, easy-to-use home integration and home automation systems.

home automation system

The practical uses of smart home automation and integration systems are much different than our sci-fi imaginations. And while you might think that smart home technology is simply a way to boost the wow-factor in your home, it can actually make your home life more efficient, more relaxed, and eliminate some elements of stress in your home.

In this article, we’re going to explain what home integration means, how you can make your home compatible, and why some versions of smart homes can be incredibly pragmatic. We’ve laid out costs, logical smart home devices, and reasons we believe that smart homes can be practical in 2018.

If you’re looking for practical home automation that won’t break the bank, does more than just provide your home with the “cool factor” and can make your life easier, read on!

What is a Smart Home Anyway?

automated smart home integration

It’s hard to set aside romantic, technologically-advanced ideas about what a futuristic smart home would be like, but what we’re referring to is really more of pragmatic home automation and integration system.

A home automation system is simply:

  • A linked network of devices, appliances, and other items
  • That are connected together
  • To provide seamless control over all aspects of your home

Think about being able to control your washing machine, sound system, window treatments and thermostat all from your phone. That’s a smart home.

Everything is connected and communicates to the other connected items.

Coldwell Banker and the tech journal CNET teamed up to produce the following definition of a smart home:

A home that is equipped with network-connected products (i.e., “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.

The home must have a smart security feature or a smart temperature feature in addition to a reliable internet connection. It then must include at least two features from a list of smart options, including appliances, entertainment, lighting, outdoor sensors, and safety detectors.

Smart homes give you control, communication, comfort, and convenience, allowing you the options to control almost all aspects of how your home functions.

This includes things like:

  • Adjusting the thermostat from an app on your phone
  • Opening your blinds with a remote
  • Closing doors with voice commands
  • Arming your security system from your phone
  • Closing doors with voice commands

Essentially, smart homes allow you to use digital devices to perform tasks that are traditionally done manually.

Window Shutters, Cloud Cams, Smart Bulbs, and More

automated home shading

How you design your home automation system is entirely up to you. If you’re looking for impractical, cool-factor things, you can certainly build them into your home automation systems.

However, there are a few very practical home integration systems available on the market that are designed to simplify your life, save you money, and help your life move along at a smoother pace.

Amazon Cloud Cam

What kinds of devices? Consider products like the Amazon Cloud Cam. The Cloud Cam is one the most functional, practical, home automation tools. This security cam can provide a live feed of your home, protecting your family and belongings even when you’re not there, sending you motion notifications and free, 24-hour clip storage.

Somfy Window Shutters and Roller Shutters

Somfy allows you to motorize and automate blinds, shutters, awnings, solar screens, and much more. Once you’ve implemented Somfy’s system, you can control all these things with the touch of a button or even your voice.

Smart Bulbs

LED smart bulbs that you can place in your light fixtures and control with a remote allow you to easily control the light levels in your room.

The Smart Hub

A smart hub can be paired with a smart home app to automate, schedule, and control various elements of your home. Consider a smart hub like the Amazon Echo Speaker or the Wink 2. These speaker hubs allow you to vocally control most of your other home automation devices.

Want to control the thermostat? Give your speaker a holler. Want to dim the lights or shut the blinds? Let your speaker know.

If you’re not interested in a voice-controlled hub, consider a universal remote like the Logitech Harmony Elite. This remote connects to the Harmony Home Hub to control other bluetooth, wi-fi, and other infrared devices in your home.

Other examples include things like the Amazon Dash buttons, which allow you to reorder products with the push of a button. These buttons connect to your wifi network and immediately place an order with Amazon when you press the button.

Is a Smart Home Actually Practical?

practical smart home automation

Our answer to this complicated question? Absolutely. A smart home can be incredibly practical. Because the design and functionality is completely up to you, it can be as practical as you want it to be.

For example, there are numerous practical functions you can implement with home automation systems, such as:

  • Automatically turning on the fan in the bathroom when the shower starts
  • Automating the blinds to receive or block sunlight
  • Alerting you to doors opening and closing
  • Closing skylights when it begins to rain

Save On Energy

You can also save significant amounts of energy by implementing home automation technology. Smart technology allows your home to act intuitively and automatically. Think about how your house heats up in the summer with the additional solar rays entering your home through your windows.

Adding motorized window treatments like retractable awnings, solar shades, and blinds that you can control through a smart hub allows you to set a specific schedule for the blinds to close, eliminating additional heat entering your home throughout the day.

Increase The Value Of Your Home

Adding home automation is also practical because it dramatically increases the value of your home. According to a study done by Coldwell Banker, about 64 percent of current buyers are interested in automation, and that number is expected to continually increase.

Improved Security

More than that, implementing home automation can provide a much better, more advanced security system that works in your favor regardless of where you are. Smart surveillance cameras that you can control from anywhere via your smartphone allow you to view live footage of your home at any time.

You can use smart locks on your doors and windows, full control to your home’s security system from anywhere, and set up a combination of alerts that can keep you, your family, and your belongings safer than ever.

It’s also convenient and practical to have simplified control of your home at the touch of a button. Close all your shades at one time, set up scheduled feeding times for your animals, shut and lock your doors with the touch of a button. In an integrated home, you can experience customization and comfort on a practical level.

The Verdict: Smart Home Tech Can Be Perfectly Practical

smart home technology

Home automation, home integration, and smart home tweaks for your house can be pretty cool, but more than that, they can be incredibly practical. Home integration features can help you to save costs on lighting and air conditioning, keep your home perfectly controlled, and even protect your home from intruders when you’re not there.

Sure, you can implement all the wow-factors if you’re looking to make your home as cool-as-can-be, but remember, there are always practical solutions in the form of security, light bulbs, voice automation, scheduling and timing mechanisms, and much, much more.

Home Automation: Do Somfy Motorized Shading Products Work with Amazon Alexa?

Somfy shading automation is now compatible with Amazon Alexa!

Amazon’s Alexa has taken center stage in smart home technology. The voice-driven virtual assistant integrates with smart home security systems, thermostats, home entertainment systems, sprinklers, lighting systems, and now – home shading systems.
somfy alexa mylink home automationAlexa and Somfy have teamed up to allow users to voice control shades powered by Somfy motors. Home shading automation provides the ultimate experience in home convenience and comfort.

Visit our showroom in San Jose, CA for a demo on how we use Amazon Alexa to control our shading solutions!

Alexa and Somfy Shading Automation – Together at Last for the Ultimate Voice Controlled Shading System

Previously, Alexa was not compatible with Somfy shading products. However, with the new Alexa integration, Somfy motorized shading automation is now accessible through voice activation via Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap or other devices with Alexa.

Any Somfy-powered RTS products, such as awnings, rolling shutters, solar screens, and pergola covers can be controlled with Alexa using voice commands once it is set up in the Somfy myLink app.

somfy alexa shading automationAutomated Retractable Awnings with Somfy RTS Motors & Weather Sensor Installed by European Rolling Shutters

To get started, a Somfy myLink app with connected shading products powered by Somfy is required. An Alexa device connected to an Amazon account and Android or iOS device is also needed.

How to Connect Alexa to Somfy

  1. Make sure all systems are up-to-date
  2. Open the myLink app and click on “Amazon Alexa” in the menu
  3. Select “Link a New Account”
  4. Open the Amazon Alexa app and search for Somfy myLink
  5. Click “Enable” and enter Amazon account info
  6. Return to the myLink app and login with Amazon to complete the account linking process

After this simple setup and connecting process, homeowners can say “Alexa, ask myLink to raise bedroom.” Just like that, the bedroom shades will raise automatically. There are dozens of possible commands you can say to Alexa to control your shading solutions.

European Rolling Shutters is a Somfy Platinum Expert authorized dealer that offers Somfy powered shading solutions needed for the ultimate Alexa smart home experience!

Get a FREE in-home consultation and estimate

(408) 629-3740

Not only can you control one shading product, Somfy RTS motors also allow control of multiple motorized shading products – thanks to Somfy RTS multi-channel capabilities.

Single channel RTS operates one individual shade while multi-channel permits full control of multiple individual and/or groups of shading products.

For example, the multi-channel feature allows homeowners to extend awnings on one side of their home while rolling up solar screens on the other side without the need to go to each side of the home. Now, with Alexa, homeowners are able to do the same thing simply by speaking.

The Smart Shades Experience Just Reached a New Level

The benefits of Alexa-enabled automated shading were futuristic fantasies not that long ago. And now, the long awaited Somfy shading automation with Alexa is a reality. Homeowners can be relaxing in the living room and with a simple voice command, they can extend or retract their motorized patio awnings.

somfy alexa smart shadesRetractable Motorized Pergola Covers with Somfy RTS Motors & Weather Sensor Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Aside from the ultimate convenience, it’s just fun to control every aspect of your home shading so easily. “Speak it and it shall be” is the ultimate experience smart home owners are now having with this technology.

In addition to voice activate smart shades, you can also have Somfy weather sensors automatically retract or expand awnings, pergola covers, and solar screens – even when you’re not home! These weather sensors utilize Somfy RTS technology to automatically protect your shades during extreme weather.

The future has arrived – it’s convenient and a lot fun. Contact ERS to get your home upgraded with Somfy shading automation via Amazon Alexa!

Get a FREE in-home consultation and estimate

(408) 629-3740

The Modern Pergola – Maximize Your Backyard Space in Style

A pergola is both a functional and decorative outdoor feature for any home. Typically attached directly to the home or constructed nearby, a pergola can add definition to your exterior space and shade a deck or patio to create a comfortable outdoor space for relaxing.

Traditional vs. Modern Pergolas

The traditional pergola is often a simple structure that is open on all sides and does not have a roof, but features exposed rafters. Many homeowners grow plants near their pergola and winding vines are a popular option as they grow to cover the rafters across the pergola, providing some shade.

traditional-pergola-exposed-raftersTraditional Pergola with Exposed Rafters

With just exposed rafters, traditional pergolas do not offer much shade from the sun. While aesthetically attractive, homeowners cannot use their pergola as often or as long as they truly desire due to the limited shading.

ERS can help transform your simple, exposed pergola into a modern pergola that offers the following advantages:

  • Retractable pergola covers convert the space beneath your pergola into a relaxing, shaded space
  • With over 150 pergola fabric covers to choose from, you will definitely find the perfect style for your home
  • Integration of automation technologies such as weather sensors are available for added convenience and durability of pergola covers
  • Additional sun protection with a sleek solar screen attachment

The result modern pergola offers is a contemporary, low-maintenance outdoor space for you and your family to relax without worrying about sun damage!

modern-pergola-fabric-coverModern Pergola – Notice How the Addition of a Pergola Cover Transformed the Space into a Cool, Shaded Space!

Modern Pergola – Evolved Appearance for Enhanced Experience

Pergolas have become more sophisticated and functional without losing their charm! Contemporary pergolas embrace new materials and technologies to put a modern spin on a classic concept. The addition of sun protection features such as fabric covers and/or solar screens enhance both the appearance of pergolas and functionality. Both of these features make the pergola more comfortable on those hot, sunny days by blocking out a great amount of UV rays.

  • Attractive Pergola Fabric Covers
  • Transform your outdoor space into a cool, shaded retreat
  • More comfortable and requires less maintenance than natural coverings such as leaves, plants or vines. No cleanup of fallen leaves needed!
  • ERS’s fabric covers feature Sunbrella fabrics, a recommended product by the Skin Cancer Foundation
  • ERS offers more than 150 fabric styles from bright colors to eye-catching, enabling you to find the perfect style for your home décor
  • Functional Solar Screen Attachments
  • Add an additional layer of protection from the sun by blocking out the sun’s glare
  • Reduce excessive heat without blocking the view
  • ERS offers a variety of solar screen styles that will fit your design requirements, including motorized solar screens for added convenience

modern-pergola-design-solar-screensModern Pergola Design with Solar Screens Attached

Modern Pergola – Better Durability & Convenience with Contemporary Technologies

The latest automation technologies such as weather sensors, remote control, wall switch, and more are available for ERS’s motorized pergola covers and solar screens. These high tech features allow you to enjoy the benefits of your pergola while keeping maintenance low. Nothing beats having your pergola covers and/or solar screens automatically controlled even when you’re away from home!

  • Convenient Weather Sensors
  • Weather sensors can be installed on motorized pergola covers or solar screens to automatically retract or open them in response to weather changes
  • They offer automated protection from weather damages even when you’re not home
  • Customized Somfy Automation
  • ERS motorized shading solutions can be paired with Somfy automation
  • Your pergola covers and/or solar screens can be controlled simply with a remote, your smart device, wall switch or timer for convenience

contemporary-pergola-automated-weather-sensorContemporary Pergola with Automated Weather Sensor

Get the Perfect Pergola Covers with European Rolling Shutters

We offer a wide selection of fabric covers and solar screen attachments for your modern pergola designs. The automated shading technologies we offer can truly enhance your outdoor living experience, not to mention the value of your property. What makes ERS unique is that everything we do is custom. We custom design, fabricate and install all our shading products from start to finish!

Get a FREE in-home consultation and estimate!
(408) 629-3740

Contact the ERS with your modern pergola ideas for a free quote and to see our extensive line of shading solutions such as retractable awnings and exterior rolling shutters.

Beat the Heat with Outdoor Kitchen Awnings

With so many sunny days in the Bay Area, there are ample opportunities to host barbecues and get-togethers with your extravagant outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a rewarding, but usually expensive addition to a home, so it makes sense to take the proper steps to get the most out of your investment.

Any outdoor backyard kitchen would be incomplete without the addition of shading. There are plenty of barbecue shading ideas, however, retractable awnings and pergola covers offer some advantages other shading solutions lack.

outdoor kitchen awningOutdoor Kitchen Awning in the Backyard Offers Sun Protection, Safety, Style & More
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Installing an outdoor kitchen awning will not only provide comfort and protection to your family and friends when the sun is shining relentlessly, but it will also offer an array of benefits such as safety, flexibility, convenience, and more. Whether you’re having a backyard birthday party or just relaxing on a nice day in your backyard, awnings and pergola covers are the perfect shading solutions you’re your outdoor kitchen.

Keeping Your Cool

If you’re looking for backyard kitchen shading or you really just want a nice space to enjoy being outside without sweating, a motorized retractable awning is an enticing option to help you stay comfortable.

Cooking outside on a hot day can be unbearable with the sun beating down on you, so adding outdoor kitchen awnings to your space can make grilling much more enjoyable. Besides helping to drop the temperature a few degrees, retractable awnings and pergola covers also protect your skin from harmful UV rays. You and your family can relax and enjoy each other’s company in the backyard without worrying about getting a sunburn.

backyard kitchen shadingBackyard Kitchen Shading with a Touch of Elegance and Style the Awning Fabric Offers
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Flexible Functionality for Relaxation and Safety

An outdoor kitchen shading should be designed with function and flexibility in mind to make the best out of your investment. In addition to fighting the sun, a motorized awning makes it easy to protect your outdoor furniture and stay safe.

Retractable awnings are advantageous over other shading solutions because of its ability to be adjusted in any position. Fully open them or partially retract them, it’s perfectly flexible for your activities.

This flexibility is especially important for any outdoor kitchen shading. Being able to partially retract your awnings to expose the outdoor grill offers many benefits. Besides protecting you from the sun while cooking, the partially retracted awning will also be protected from getting damaged by the smoke and grease since the grill won’t be directly beneath the awning.

Additionally, the openness allows plenty of air flow for your grill. Thus, reducing the risk of the shading catching on fire. Proper air flow also helps prevent carbon monoxide from getting trapped under the awning. This is a safety precaution anyone with an outdoor kitchen directly adjacent to a window of their home must take as the trapped carbon monoxide can possibly creep inside your home via an open window.

barbecue under awningBarbecue Under Awning in the Backyard – Relax in the Cool Shade the Retractable Awning Provides
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Built to Last

It’s natural to be concerned with the durability of a product that is always outside, but ERS motorized retractable awnings are designed to be long-lasting. The hardware is durable and can last for decades. The awning fabrics can last over 10 years, but can certainly last even longer with minimal care. As long as the awnings are properly maintained with simple awning care, rest assure you will be able to enjoy your shades for many years to come.

Convenience at Your Fingertips

ERS awnings can be enhanced with Somfy automation and weather sensors to make your shadings last even longer. Automation allows you to fully control your backyard awnings while you’re inside the home with the following options:

Hand-held remote
Wireless wall switch
myLink app on a smartphone or tablet
Somfy timer

Weather sensors can automatically retract your awnings or pergola covers once extreme weather is detected – even when you’re away from home. These enhancements help protect your shades from weather damage and will increase your awning’s longevity.

Do it with Style

Completing your outdoor kitchen with ERS retractable awnings adds a stylish and eye-catching feature to your residence. With over 150 awning fabrics to choose from, you’ll definitely find a style and color that is perfect for the theme of your home and backyard.

outdoor kitchen shading with awning and solar screenOutdoor Kitchen Shading with a Solar Screen Attached to an Awning for Extra Sun Protection
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

If you want to go a step further, you can even attach retractable solar screens to the awnings for a nifty looking extra layer of sun protection. With a variety of options to choose from, it’s easy to construct the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

ERS Awnings and More

Outdoor kitchen awnings and pergola covers are among the many products that ERS has to offer. ERS also specializes in other retractable shadings such as exterior rolling shutters and solar screens to help you and your home stay cool. Whatever you need, ERS is certain to have a shading solution for you.

Contact us for a free in-home consultation and estimate!
(408) 629-3740

The Advantages of Retractable Awnings in San Jose, CA

It’s no secret that the San Francisco Bay Area boasts some of the nation’s most agreeable weather thanks to a mild year-round climate that generally doesn’t have severe events such as blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes. However, Bay Area residents, especially those in the sunny South Bay, must always be mindful of one nemesis: the sun.

It might seem a bit cold-hearted to look upon our provider of beautiful sunshine and pleasant temperatures with disdain, but the fact is UV rays from the sun can do considerable damage to not only the body, but also the home.

The simple solution is to grab some sunscreen for a day under the sun, but continually slathering lotion on can be bothersome. And it still doesn’t protect your hardwood flooring or furniture from sun damage.

Instead, there’s a less greasy and more fashionable way to ward off sunrays from the skin and home: motorized retractable awnings.

This Green and White Striped Motorized Retractable Awning in San Jose Creates a Comfortable, Shaded Backyard
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Perfect Climate for Motorized Awnings in San Jose, CA

Installing an awning for dealing with the summertime heat in San Jose, and the Bay Area in general, is a great idea, but the city’s climate makes getting an awning an ideal choice regardless of the season.

San Jose has an average of 300 days of sunshine per year and the average temperature for the year hovers around 60.5 degrees. This means ample opportunities for enjoying a nice sunny day throughout the year.

However, an abundance of sunshine means two things: plenty of UV rays and heat.

No matter the time of year, it’s hard to enjoy the outdoors with the sun beating down. With a retractable awning in San Jose, shade and safety can be had with the simple push of a button.

A retractable awning not only blocks harmful UV rays from the skin, it also stops sunlight from reaching the home’s interior, helping to save energy on cooling and heating costs, as well as protecting furniture and other valuables from being damaged due to constant exposure to sunlight.

Just check out all this shade made from one of our San Jose Awnings:

San Jose AwningsMotorized San Jose Awnings Provide Shade Which Help Protect Furniture from Sun Damage
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Although retractable awnings offer perfect protection against the sun, they’re not meant to withstand extreme weather such as heavy rain, wind or snow. Such extreme weather conditions can cause great damage to opened awnings. Because the weather in San Jose and the Bay Area is mild, you don’t have to worry too much about your awnings getting weather damaged, so these San Jose awnings provide an excellent shading solution year-round.

Simple Awning Maintenance

Another advantage of the Bay Area’s favorable climate and lack of extreme weather: awning care is easy.

Only proper care and handling with basic awning cleaning is needed for ERS retractable awnings to be long-lasting. The durable hardware and frames used require only minimal care to keep your motorized awnings operating smoothly for decades.

We source our awning fabrics from Sunbrella, a product that is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Custom, Crazy & Unique Awning Designs

ERS offers hundreds of striking patterns, colors, and styles of awning fabrics. However, for customers who are looking for something extra special, ERS can help add a touch of creativity via specific color themes or business logos for commercial awnings.

retractable awnings san joseRetractable Commercial Awnings with Customized Business Name at Left Bank Restaurant at Santana Row in San Jose, CA
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Many folks in the Bay Area are sports fanatics, and we can even match colors for all the major teams in the region. Wow your tailgate buddies when hosting barbeques with a custom Sharks, A’s, 49ers, Raiders or Giants themed awning!

ERS motorized retractable awnings use motors and controls produced by Somfy, a company that has produced more than 150 million motors since it was created. Somfy awning automation can be set up to be controlled by mobile devices such as a smartphone and tablet, providing another layer of customization and control.

Get in Touch with ERS Today for Awnings San Jose!

There are plenty of companies in the Bay Area that offer awnings, but European Rolling Shutters in San Jose is unique because they are one of the few exterior shading companies in the entire country that manufactures, sells, and installs ALL their own products.                                                                                      

Founded in 1983, ERS Shading’s factory and showroom is located in San Jose. They service the entire Bay Area from Southern Marin Country to Monterey County and offer free in-home estimates.

All the materials they use are imported directly from Europe, and all the assembly and manufacturing of their products is done in-house at their factory.

Besides awnings, ERS also offers retractable pergola covers, rolling shutters and solar screens. Whatever the problem is, ERS is sure to have the answer. Get in touch with us today!

Retractable Commercial Awnings in San Jose

Installing an awning for your customers is a simple and value-building way to provide a greater customer experience.

A commercial awning installed at a restaurant in the heart of San Francisco can provide relief from sun or light rain for foodies waiting in those long lines.

The summer heat can be easily beat by our commercial awnings in San Jose and other south bay cities – providing relief both indoors and outdoors.

Commercial Awnings Allow Comfortable Outdoor Dining at LB Steak located at Santana Row, San Jose, CA
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Retractable awnings from European Rolling Shutters can serve as a multipurpose solution for a business that wants to expand their outdoor space, while providing interior comfort and energy savings.

ERS Shading commercial awnings work perfect for all types of businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Kiosks / Stands
  • Coffee Shops
  • Stores
  • Gyms
  • Bars
  • Offices
  • Hotels
  • Schools

From visual to functional advantages, strategic placement of commercial retractable awnings will offer nothing but convenient benefits for your business.

The main function of awning is, of course, to provide shade and comfort. Prior to air conditioning, many homes and businesses relied on awnings to help keep cool.

Retractable commercial awnings minimize solar heat gains. According to the National Park Service Presentation Brief, motorized retractable awnings can reduce heat gains up to 77 percent in east-facing windows and 65 percent in south-facing windows.

Awnings offer a simple solution to keep your business cool which decreases the need for excessive air conditioning and ultimately lowers that monthly energy bill. They also will protect your curtains, floors, rugs and furniture from sun damage.

Customized Motorized Commercial Awnings with Business Name Help Increase Visibility at Left Bank located at Santana Row, San Jose, CA
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Match your Logo or Building Colors with Versatile Awning Designs & Fabrics

ERS motorized awnings are available in an array of styles, fabrics, and colors.

Whether your business needs solid colors, stripes, textured or tweed fabrics, ERS offers over 150 awning fabrics to choose from. With an attractive design and color combination, your business will certainly grab the attention of anyone passing by.

Some of ERS’ favorite fabrics for retractable awnings

Additionally, Businesses can work with ERS to determine the best awning fabrics and styles for their needs.

Our awnings can provide extra space for additional marketing materials. We can even customize the fabric to include your logo, custom color and messaging.

Additional Functional Perks of Commercial Awnings

In addition to offering your business energy savings and a polished look for a striking first impression, ERS retractable awnings also increase space and give businesses flexible options. They instantly offer comfortable outdoor, shaded seatings which is advantageous for businesses that require more space to accommodate customers.

Commercial awnings have come a long way. Today’s high-tech awnings offer added convenience and control over dated fixed awnings, metal awning or crank-based awnings.

Our retractable awnings can be installed with awning wind sensors and other weather sensors. These weather sensors on retractable awnings will automatically retract the awning during extreme weather to prevent damage.

Somfy automation system allows business owners to conveniently control connected motorized awnings with a remote, wall switch or the Somfy myLink app on their smartphone or tablet.

Retractable Commercial Awnings at Jake’s of Saratoga with Matching Business Theme Colors
Installed by European Rolling Shutters

Businesses can also opt for the addition of our retractable solar shades that drop down from the end of our awnings. This unique combination minimizes sunlight hitting your customers and reduces glare while maintaining a clear outdoor view.

Retractable Awnings are Compatible for All Businesses

Retractable awnings can be a beautiful and functional addition to any type of business.

  • Restaurants benefit from exterior rolling shutters and retractable pergola covers to offer convenient outdoor dining, or to keep sun glare and heat to a minimum for indoor diners.
  • Retailers adore commercial awnings for the added style, option to customize for marketing, and energy savings.
  • Office buildings, healthcare facilities, government buildings and more can also take advantage of the energy efficiency and sleek looks of today’s commercial awnings.

ERS Shading also provides additional exterior shading products. Click to learn more below:

Contact European Rolling Shutters
, the Bay Area’s exterior shading expert since 1983, for more information on how to choose the best shading solution for your business or home.

ERS Shading: Awnings, Roll Shutters & Solar Screens Powered by Somfy Motorized Shading Automation

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been synonymous with scenic sophistication – offering breathtaking views in every direction. There’s nothing like taking in a glorious sunset from the comfort of home, and our motorized shading products allow homeowners to enjoy the view while providing privacy, comfort, and UV protection.

Somfy Platinum ExpertEuropean Rolling Shutters offers several exterior shading products including retractable awnings, exterior roll shutters, retractable solar screens, and retractable pergola covers to conveniently protect your family, home, and business from sun damage. As a Somfy Platinum Expert authorized dealer, all of our products are controlled centralized automation from Somfy.

With Somfy automatic shade motors and controls, you can control your ERS motorized awnings, pergola covers, shutters and screens with the touch of a button on Somfy’s myLink® app, remote or wall switch.

somfy mylink app iphone ipadsomfy telis remote controlsomfy decoflex wall switch
Control our awnings, shutters, & solar screens with Somfy automation

Behind the Somfy Awning, Shutter & Screen Automation Technology

Somfy awning, shutter and screen motors and controls empower home and business owners to adjust ERS shading products from multiple locations with ease.

Much like a garage door opener, the handheld universal remote control or wireless wall switch operates shading products installed with Somfy motors located within their approximate 65 foot range.

In addition, the controls can be operated without the need to point at the shading motors due to the omnidirectional nature of the technology. This solution, known as Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS), completely eliminates the need for wiring between the shade motors and controls, providing a convenient and reliable solution for shading automation.

Somfy Awning, Pergola Cover, Shutter & Screen Highlights

  • 65 foot range
  • Control Multiple Products with one Control (max 16 channels or groupings)
  • Program Timers or Settings
  • Wireless

ERS retractable awning with somfy automationMotorized Retractable Awnings Installed by European Rolling Shutters Overlooking the San Rafael Bridge in Richmond, CA

Somfy RTS controls are available as either single channel or multi-channel to enhance the organization of your motorized shading products.

While a single channel RTS remote operates either one individual or one group of motorized shading products, a multi-channel remote permits full control of multiple individual and/or groups of shading products.

For instance, the multi-channel feature allows homeowners to extend awnings on one side of their home while rolling up solar screens on the other side, all with the convenience of a single remote control and without the need to go to each side of the home.

With the maximum number of 16 channels available with the Telis 16 RTS remote, it’s never been easier to centralize your automatic shading control!

somfy automatic shading controls house diagramDiagram of Multiple Somfy Automatic Shading Controls Including Remote, Wall Switch, and Somfy myLink App

Experience Shading Automation the Way You Choose

All RTS motors and controls are designed to be compatible with one another to provide a seamless automation system for your shading products. This feature allows you to use and combine any Somfy automatic controls according to your own preference.

summary of somfy automatic shade controlsSummary of Somfy Automatic Shading Controls

  • Press a button on the hand-held remote
    • The Somfy remote control doesn’t require users to point or aim the transmitter, since RTS uses radio waves that can easily travel through walls. This allows you to roll down the solar screen in the living room while staying in your bedroom or extend your pergola cover without stepping a foot outside.
  • Press a button on the wireless wall switch
    • The Somfy wireless wall switch provides a convenient method to operate motorized products when entering or exiting a room. These battery-powered units don’t require any electrical work and can be installed in seconds.
  • Tap the myLink® app on your smartphone or tablet
    • Smartphone and tablet users can install the Somfy myLink® app to transform their device into a sophisticated remote control capable of operating motorized products from any location. Homeowners who arrive at work – only to realize they forgot to retract their shades for the day – can operate all of them with a simple tap of the app.
    • The phone/tablet can be used to operate any unit from one device anywhere, anytime while at home also.
    • The MyLink has several built in timers that eliminate the need for stand-alone timers.
  • Set a timer
    • With the Somfy timer, you can schedule any shading to extend or retract per day – with different weekday and weekend schedules. Schedules can automatically activate motors at any time of the day or on any day of the week. While default times are preprogrammed at the factory, the automatic operation of motorized applications can be programmed or changed quickly and easily with the press of a button. Manual mode allows users to override the programmed settings at any time.
  • Install an outdoor weather sensor
    • Automatic weather sensors, also from Somfy, can protect your shading products from wind, rain and sun damage. Installed weather sensors utilize RTS technology to automatically retract awnings, solar screens, and pergola covers during extreme weather. For example, with the Eolis 3D awning wind sensor installed on a modern awning, Somfy awning motors can automatically retract the awning via RTS as the sensor detects strong winds to protect them from damage.

One of the features of the Somfy platform is the ability to program your favorite shading preference with Somfy’s “my” function.

For example, instead of completely extending or retracting an awning, you can program it to extend only 40%, 50% or 60%. With the variety of Somfy controls and the versatility of the “my” function, the customization power is all yours.

somfy my function with ERS motorized awningsERS Green & White Retractable Awning Portraying Somfy’s Exclusive “my” Function for All RTS Motorized Awnings

Find the Shading Solution with an ERS Shading Expert

We’ve been manufacturing and installing our shading products in the SF Bay Area since 1983.

We offer shading solutions from retractable awnings to rolling shutters, solar screens, and pergola covers.

Powered by Somfy motors with versatile control options, ERS shading products can offer any home or business increased comfort, privacy, energy savings, and exceptional convenience.

To learn more about the benefits of ERS motorized shading products powered by Somfy automation and get a free in-home estimate, simply contact us or call (408) 629-3740.

Our factory is in San Jose, California, but we service all of the Bay Area from Marin to Monterey.

Modern Awnings for the Home

The Modern Awning

Modern awnings are functional as well as beautiful – making them the perfect way to match your contemporary home – creating shade for windows, doorways, patios / porches, decks, outdoor BBQ islands and more!

The modern awning is constructed with luxe fabrics, heavy-duty metal, weather sensors and remote-controlled retractable technologies.

Our contemporary retractable awnings improve the value, appearance and functionality of your home by creating additional outdoor living areas without the cost of building a permanent structure.


Modern Retractable Awnings by European Rolling Shutters

Awnings Through the Ages – A Short History of Awnings

Awnings have come a long way since ancient Egypt where woven mats were suspended over doors and windows to block the sun’s heat. Their popularity underscores both their utility and aesthetic appeal.

Fast forward to the 19th century and you’ll see fixed awnings first being used commercially for the comfort of customers in shops, inns and restaurants. Operable awnings evolved soon afterwards in order to provide more control and flexibility and extend the lifetime of the canvas. Today, motorized retractable awnings are widely used in homes and businesses not just for cooling and shading, but for increasing the home’s value and creating convenient outdoor entertaining spaces as well.

Transform Your Backyard Without Construction

The primary benefit of modern retractable awnings is that you can improve the value, appearance and functionality of your home by creating additional outdoor living areas without the cost of building a permanent structure.

Benefits of Retractable Awnings from European Rolling Shutters

  • Cools your home and reduces energy costs, blocks harmful UV rays
  • Single awnings can be built up to 23 feet wide by 13.5 feet deep
  • Custom designed and manufactured to suit any home’s style and decor
  • Can be added to existing metal awnings and pergolas for additional shading
  • Freestanding arms (instead of poles) will not obstruct the view, barely noticeable when retracted
  • Made with the beautiful and virtually indestructible Sunbrella outdoor fabric, includes a 10-year limited fabric warranty
Stylish Striped Retractable Awnings Over a BBQ Patio

Stylish Striped Retractable Awnings Over a BBQ Patio

Design Ideas for Modern Retractable Awnings

Modern awnings for the home come in a multitude of designs, materials, fabrics, colors, options and styles. From luxe fabrics, architectural glass and metal, to remote retractable technologies, awnings have never been more affordable, durable, low-maintenance or stylish. Here are some ways awnings can completely transform the look of your home…

Accessorize Your House with Attractive Colors

Bright and stylish awnings fabrics can make your monochromatic house pop with color and personality. Canvas awnings also soften the hard texture of brick and stone walls, creating a flowing, indoor/outdoor transition.

Dress Up Your Pergolas
Awning fabrics can be woven through the slats of your existing pergola to maximize shade and create a more contemporary look. Full-coverage, retractable pergola covers are also attractive and practical.

Add Character to the Exterior of Your Home
Cheery, brightly striped Bistro-style fabrics for your porch, patio or deck awnings will make your house look cheery and inviting. Use a café awning to replace a traditional window treatment for a more dramatic impression.

Enhance Flat Walls with Shape and Depth
Installing awnings on south-facing windows can make up for insufficient roof overhang in blocking heat – with the extra benefit of breaking up straight lines with dimension, shape and pizazz.

Create a Natural Vibe with Wood
Retractable awnings too modern for your rustic home? Fixed wooden awnings add a rustic look to gardens; timber awnings glow beautifully with light fixtures attached to them; woven awnings and natural wicker make perfect patio covers in rural or coastal settings.

Go Ultra-Modern with Metal and Glass
Frosted glass combined with custom ironwork make unique and artistic entryway canopies; aluminum beam awnings add contrast and elegance to timber decks.

Decorate with Light
You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style; retractable awnings that provide shade in the summer disappear when not in use.


Green and White Retractable Awning with the White Somfy Eolis 3D Weather Sensor

Advanced Features of Modern Awnings

Beauty is important, but we believe that awnings should, above all, be flexible and functional.

Motorized retractable awnings offer many advanced features to insure top-of-the-line functionality and ease of use:

Although modern awnings come in many shapes, sizes and types, we believe the best awning provides the most functionality, comfort, energy savings and UV protection – and always looks marvelous!

European Rolling Shutters has been the Bay Area’s exterior shading expert since 1983. We invite you to visit our San Jose showroom to see our entire selection of shading solutions which includes:

California’s 1st Net Zero Energy Home Stays Cool with ERS Retractable Solar Screens

The Cottle NZE Home

The Cottle Zero Energy Home in Willow Glen, California by One Sky Homes

The Cottle Zero Energy Home in Willow Glen is the first Net Zero Energy (NZE) new home built in California – and the first to be recognized by the California Energy Commission as one of the highest-performing energy efficient homes in the State.

This visionary contemporary home resets performance standards for indoor air quality, comfort, energy and water efficiency, and of course, modern style and luxury.

Exterior View of ERS' Solar Screens

Exterior view of ERS’ solar screens on the Cottle NZE Home’s window

European Rolling Shutters, the Bay Area’s leader in shading solutions since 1983, is proud to provide the energy saving solar screens that contributed to the NZE home.



ERS’ retractable solar screens help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without sacrificing your view. They can block 90% of the sun’s UV rays which decrease the sun’s heating effect more effectively than traditional interior window blinds – sometimes by 15 to 20 degrees. This is the reason why solar screens were chosen to optimize the energy efficiency of the Cottle Zero Energy Home.

The Cottle Zero Energy Home was built by One Sky Homes, a Silicon Valley residential design/build contractor specializing in high-energy performance custom homes and whole house remodels. The company uses sustainable building practices and “green” rating systems, which include:one-sky-homes

So what is Net Zero Energy?

Basically, it’s the gold standard of green energy. It means that whatever energy is used in a home is offset by renewable power produced on site, namely solar electricity and solar water heating. Hyper-efficient energy use comes from optimizing thermal energy flow throughout the house and, in this case, the use of 28 solar photovoltaic panels, super-insulating triple-pane windows and motorized solar screens.

If going off-the-grid is not for you, don’t worry; Zero Energy Homes stay connected because at times, like on an overcast day, the house may use some energy from the local utility company. Throughout the year, however, the Zero Energy Home will produce enough surplus power to sell back to the utility, off-setting the amount purchased, resulting in a net-zero annual energy bill!

Net Zero is an emerging building standard, not just a fad. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) developed the Residential New Construction Zero Net Energy Action Plan, which requires all new houses built beginning in 2020 to meet the Zero Net Energy requirements. Motorized solar screens block most of the sun’s UV rays, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning. As builders strive for compliance, you will see solar screen much more frequently in new homes.

Interior View of ERS' Solar Screens

Interior view of ERS’ solar screens on the Cottle NZE Home’s window

Besides being energy-efficient, European Rolling Shutters’ retractable solar screens limit the sun’s damaging effects on your skin, furniture and floors. Best of all, you don’t have to compromise on style or deal with the strings of traditional blinds. Your solar screen fits attractively in a box right above your window or sliding glass door and comes with automatic controls. Super-efficient solar powered screens, like the ones on the Cottle home, are also available.

If you want more information on the energy saving value of solar screens, check out the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) Energy Study. It shows how solar shades reduced annual cooling costs up to 86% for homes in San Francisco. Solar shades are also recommended by the US Department of Energy as an energy efficient window treatment (Source:

European Rolling Shutters’ Can Cut Your Energy Bills – Whatever the Age of Your Home

Not everyone can afford a custom home, but European Rolling Shutters can help any homeowner reduce their energy bills. Our retractable solar screens can be applied to all glass windows and doors to block the sun’s glare and excessive heat, cutting back on air -conditioning and lowering your PG&E bill.

ERS' Retractable Solar Screens

ERS’ retractable solar screens – a worthwhile investment that adds value to your home

Although thin, our solar screens are durable, corrosion-resistant and very long lasting. And unlike our aluminum rolling shutters, solar screens are semi-transparent, which lets you enjoy the sunset without baking like a potato.

Some Benefits of Our Retractable Solar Screens:

  • Reduce cooling costs instantly – more efficient than blinds and shades at absorbing heat.
  • Reclaim living areas lost to bright light and too much heat – maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the house.
  • Increase home value and create a stylish, elegant look.
  • Easy operation with Somfy® automatic controls.
  • Large color selection of screens and frames including white, beige and dark brown.
  • Block skin-damaging UV rays while preserving the view outdoors.
  • Easily combined with our retractable awnings, pergolas and rolling shutters.
  • Rot and mildew proof – our PVC-coated fiberglass material lasts for years.
Enjoy the Shade

Enjoy the shade and sun protection WITHOUT sacrificing the view!

European Rolling Shutters has been the Bay Area’s exterior shading expert since 1983. We are a family owned and operated business with a manufacturing facility and showroom located in South San Jose. We offer a range of energy saving products in addition to solar screens:

Exterior Rolling Shutters
Retractable Awnings

Retractable Pergola Covers

Contact us for a free in-home consultation and estimate!

Phone: 408-629-3740