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What you need to know about Motorized Shades vs. Manual Shades

Smart home technology is designed to simplify day-to-day tasks, reduce costs while increasing safety, allowing you to add convenience to your lifestyle. One of the most evident examples is through how you can manage your home’s window treatments. Sure, you can control your shades manually, but a better option exists: motorized shades.

Window shades are an essential part of your home’s functionality and design. It can help regulate temperatures that come with the Ozarks four seasons and its often unpredictable weather. They can also protect against UV rays, reduce glare on TVs, and prevent the outside world from looking into your house when you want private time.

Manual shades can be a hassle to operate, and if they’re not lowered at the right time, they don’t offer any protection. Those problems are eliminated with motorized shades, which operate automatically depending on the settings you program into your home control system.

Read on to discover how motorized and manual shades compare in three different areas: ease of use, customization, and convenience

Ease of Use = time and money

Motorized Shades: Control your motorized window treatments with your smartphone or tablet, so you never have to get up to adjust them. They’ll move to the exact position you choose in the control system, and you can even program your system to move to different settings automatically, depending on the temperature and time of day. SCS Home Entertainment is trained on how to install these. Contact us today to learn more.

Manual Shades: When was the last time you struggled with the string on a set of blinds that would not click into place? How about pulling down retractable shades that refuse to go back up again? Manual shades can be very frustrating fixtures that often refuse to operate the way they are intended. And often times, they break, causing added expense.

Customization Means it’s Just for You

Motorized Shades: As mentioned earlier, Lutron motorized window treatments can be fully customized with different settings to suit your specific needs. Want your shades to drop as you prepare to watch a movie? Program a home theater scene in your control system.

Save money: Automated settings are even more valuable, and you can customize your shades to automatically change with the movement of the sun. Temperature fluctuations can also activate the shades, and you set the thresholds for when that occurs. This can keep the temperature in your home ambient, lowing electric bills.

Not home but you want it to look like you are? You can program your shades to raise and lower during day and night hours, making it look like the home is occupied.

Manual Shades: If you want your manual shades to adjust to the position of the sun, you have to do that all yourself. Nobody wants to get up every hour to make sure that that the blinds are in the optimal location, and even then, it’s a pain to make all your blind levels line up evenly.

Convenience When and How You Need Them

Motorized Shades: Some people choose not to put shades on their highest windows because they won’t be able to adjust them easily, but all it takes is the tap of a button to lower the shades in those hard-to-reach places. Like the rest of the shades in your house, these can also be activated automatically.

Manual Shades: Have fun grabbing a ladder so you can reach those high-up windows that are letting sunlight in all day long. This can also be dangerous, causing physical harm to you and damage to your home.

To learn more about how motorized shades can enhance your home, call one of our many highly-trained specialists today.

Celebrate Summer and DAD with the BEST Outdoor Speakers for your Outdoor Oasis!


Summertime brings two things that most of us really enjoy: warmer days and great outdoor concerts. There is nothing better than being outside on a beautiful evening and listening to your favorite band under the stars! Some of us are even lucky enough to be able to enjoy outdoor evenings most of the year.

Pairing wonderful music with your outdoor entertainment during the warmer months takes the entertainment experience to another level.

Finding the right speakers for you

So, what is the best way to bring your favorite music outside? Well, of course, you will need some speakers, and there are lots of options out there. Let’s go over the possibilities. Hopefully, we can help you determine the best for your outdoor living space.
The first thing to consider about outdoor sound is the harsh environment. It does not make sense to take your nice indoor tower speaker made out of wood and put it outdoors. You would have a mess after the first downpour!

Covered or Open Patio Areas

The most flexible space for outdoor music is a covered or screen porch. In-ceiling speakers now come in marine versions, so if you are building or remodeling, this might be something to consider for your porch. Another great option is outdoor speakers that mount to the wall, the floor, or parts of your decking.

Outdoor speakers look similar to an indoor speaker but are made out of plastic and are usually rounded to allow water to run off. If your porch has walls on three of its sides and is under about 20 ft in length, you will probably be fine with one pair of in-ceiling or outdoor speakers. If your porch is longer and open on each end, sound is going to escape more easily easier and you may need two pairs to get good coverage.

Larger Outdoor Area’s

This is where things get trickier. If you have a large outdoor entertaining area with more than one seating area, you have probably worked hard on hardscape and landscaping getting it to look great. Here’s a couple of options to consider…

Rock Speakers

A few years ago, the only option was to use speakers disguised as rocks, and this still remains an option that many use. There are several brands making these, and they that come in a variety of sizes. While we have never seen anyone mistake one of these speakers for an actual rock, they can blend better into your exterior space than a conventional looking outdoor speaker.

Your backyard has no walls or ceiling, so sound has nothing to reflect off of. If you have ever been to an outdoor concert, you have probably noticed that the scale of the speaker system was far larger than the system for an indoor venue. You have two choices outside. You could get a pair of speakers that can play really loud to let everyone hear your favorite tunes. However, the people sitting close to them are not going to be able to carry on a conversation, and the people sitting far away will barely hear them. We feel the better choice is to provide an even level of sound across your area.

How can you do this without having a bunch of speakers all over your yard? Well, a few years ago, someone had the brilliant idea of making speakers that resemble a landscape light. One problem presented itself. This type of design had great midrange and treble, but no bass. Fortunately, this problem was addressed with the brilliant solution to combine a big subwoofer that could be buried in the ground to provide the deep bass we all want.

Martin Logan Outdoor Living Series

Martin Logan is a leader in this new type of outdoor sound technology. When you think about the concept, it just makes so much more sense. It is very easy to hide a small object that looks like a landscape light in your natural areas. By spreading them evenly around the perimeter, you can cover your entire space with sound. No one will be blasted, and everyone will get the same volume of great sound no matter where they are sitting or standing to enjoy your party!

When using this type of speaker technology, there is no limit on the size of your outdoor area that can be covered with great, even sound. These types of systems provide sound quality that will amaze you and your guests. Martin Logan comes from a heritage of making outstanding speakers of all types. They applied their acoustic knowledge to their line of landscape speakers. The deep bass you get out of their in-ground subwoofers is just simply amazing. Couple this with multiple pairs of small speakers and you have a system that can rival concert sound when you want to really crank it up, and alternatively, can provide a nice background level of sound that will be consistent all over your outdoor area.

FREE Consultations Available! Call us today to come out and view your backyard and discover the best place to put your speakers for the PERFECT surround sound!