• Light bulb moments

    Posted on 1st June 2013 by Andy.


    A watershed moment for any designer is when they look at an object, which is so familiar it barely registers as you go about your daily life, and begin to ask questions. Why is it the shape that it is? Could it be made more affordable/ durable/ eco-friendly/ comfortable/ interesting? It may be something that is so widely used that we all accept it is the way it is because that is its most optimal form. Take the humble electric light bulb for example, for decades, despite progress in manufacturing techniques and materials, it has maintained the same shape. When energy saving light bulbs were invented they changed the form but the simple practicality of needing to fit into existing sockets and lamps meant it had to be a certain size.

    The Plumen light bulb is a prime example of a designer, in this case Samuel Wilkinson working with Hulger, looking at an object and asking ‘Why is it like that? Does it need to look like that and could it be made better?’ Their elegant solution is literally an energy efficient electric light bulb with a twist, so that it also looks like a piece of sculpture. They’re so dramatically different from any other light bulb they invite attention. You actually want these light bulbs on display. When deciding how to furnish your home, remember the Plumen bulbs. Look for something familiar or mundane and present it in a strikingly different way so that it becomes the focal point of the entire room.

    Click here to find out more about Plumen light bulbs:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with bulb, energy, light, plumen, saving

  • Savvy Window Shading Solutions

    Posted on 16th January 2012 by Jules.

    Somfy Thermosunis RTS Sensor

    Although our Winter so far has been relatively mild, it will not have escaped
    your notice, that the wind has been unprecedented! The wind chill factor has made it seem much colder than the thermometer might suggest.
 So as temperatures drop and fuel bills inevitably increase, just imagine if half of your precious heat was escaping through your windows!

    From my years as a practising interior designer, I would have banked on fully interlined curtains in a heavyweight fabric having greater insulation properties than a roller blind, I would be wrong!  In mind of keeping warm, I read an article recently
 that I found quite surprising; curtains can cut heat loss by 14% whereas roller blinds are double that at 28%.  wooden venetian blinds offer a very impressive 50% reduction in heat loss, as wood is a natural insulator.

    The key to energy efficiency, is the ability to control the energy either created or consumed. Thoughtful use of solar shading is a highly efficient way to achieve such control.

 Remote control blinds create a minimalistic method of trapping a layer of still air between your windows or doors, and the internal room space; reducing heat transfer in both hot and cold conditions.
 Opening the blinds during the day in Winter, allows natural warmth from any available sunlight to warm the interior; this is known as solar gain.  Closing the blinds at night, reduces the possibility of that heat escaping.

    At the other end of the scale, the blinds repel the sun's heat in Summer, preventing unwanted solar heat gain and maintaining a more consistent temperature internally.  These very simple steps can reduce the need for heating and air-conditioning, 
in turn saving you money.

    This control process is known as the "shading coefficient"; careful choice of window treatment greatly influences the shading coefficient value, thus lowering your heating and cooling expenses. In fact, adding wooden venetian 
blinds to your window is comparable to installing double glazing in terms of heat conservation!

    Controliss Blinds are available in a vast array of fabrics and finishes, whether they are mains powered or battery operated. Not only do they make an impressive interior design statement, combined with the ultimate convenience of remote control; they can ultimately save you money by increasing the shading coefficient of your home.

    At Controliss, we
 have all solar reflectance and transmittance values for all of the fabrics and finishes we use.

 We can offer an additional stage to increasing your thermal shading requirements, by incorporating  a programmable remote control, this facility permits 6 user programmable timed operations per day.  The benefit of this programmable feature actually simulates occupancy in an empty house, and will enable the thermal properties of the blinds to utilised even when you are away.

    For the ultimate in window blind shading control our wireless Somfy Themosunis indoor sensor will raise or lower the shades automatically according to sunlight levels or sunlight and room temperature. The wirefree easy to use sensor is compatible with all Controliss mains powered blinds and a single sensor can operate up to four Controliss Roller blinds or wooden Venetian blinds.

    This Post was posted in Window Blinds and was tagged with blinds, controliss, electric, energy, heat, roller, shades, solar, somfy, themosunis, venetian

  • Energy Efficient Glass

    Posted on 17th May 2011 by Andy.

    Over the weekend whilst watching the television, I noticed a lot of commercials advertising and promoting Energy Efficient Glass. Although not a new creation, energy efficient glazing and windows has now been given a platform and increasing numbers of people are considering using this when replacing existing windows or at a new build stage. In the past few decades the implementation of double glazed windows has helped tremendously with reducing the cost of heating and energy bills, and there are a number of  options for different types of specific coatings on the glass like Pilkington's Activ Self-Cleaning glass and low emissivity energy efficient glass such as the energikare by Pilkington or Planitherm. Here’s how energy efficient glass works… Believe it or not up to 26% of your houses energy is actually lost through the glass! That’s a quarter of your houses energy! Although double glazing does improve reducing the loss of energy there is more you can do with the type of glazing you choose. As the natural rays of the sun stream into the rooms of your home, they create warmth. Normally the warmth could escape through the pores in the glass, but Energy Efficient glass has a special coating on the inside of the pane which reflects the warm energy back into the room.  This not only includes the natural energy from the sun but also heating from radiators and fires already in the home. This then enables you to turn the heating down in your home.  There are plenty of companies currently providing energy efficient glass like Pilkington and PlaniTherm. If you're one of the lucky people who have sun streaming through and it all gets too much then you could consider putting up a beautiful Controliss remote control blind. Then you can control how much sun comes into the room and how warm and bright you want it. They will work hand in hand with energy efficient glass and look amazing too. Not only can you transform your windows and decrease the use of the heating in your home, but you’re helping the environment with less energy escaping from the home and therefore a decrease in your carbon footprint.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with blinds, efficient, energy, energy efficient, glass, glazing, home, Remote Control, window, windows

  • Cosy Up With Electric Blinds

    Posted on 1st December 2010 by Lee.

    Winter has finally arrived in the UK, bringing with it strong winds and flurries. While winter may conjure thoughts of children’s laughter amidst merry snowball fights, it may also bring up not-so-merry thoughts about subzero temperatures, severe weather warnings, and the subsequent rise of electric and gas prices as households try to keep warm in subzero temperatures. As snow wraps the country in its cold embrace, there are simple measures you can do to keep your home warm while keeping your energy bills down. Here are a few tips to keep your home winter-proof and keep the chill out without depending too much on your heating systems: Keep your windows and window blinds closed. It’s amazing how something as simple as keeping your window blinds lowered can prevent heat from escaping through the windows, minimising the amount in your energy bill. Check for leaky windows. Warm air can escape from a loose window pane. You can caulk or tape the edges of the loose pane. Alternatively, you can prevent warm air from escaping through the windows by installing metal or plastic weather-stripping in the area between the window sash and frame. Keep draughts from entering through  doors. Just like windows, doors can also be culprits when it comes to heat loss. Draught-proof your door by weather-stripping or caulking between the door frame and the wall. Aside from this, heat can escape through bottom of the door, so draught-proof your door by covering the space with a door sweep or draught-proofing strips which are available in hardware stores. Clean your radiators. The dust in your radiators can absorb some heat so always keep your radiators clean from dirt and grime. Remove any objects, such as furniture or books to make sure that the vents are not blocked. Curtains can also block the radiators that are installed beneath windows , so keep your window coverings simple. Vertical blinds and venetian blinds are ideal window decorations because they only cover the window itself. These basic tips will keep your home cosy without driving up your heating bills. They are a sure fire guarantee that your house will be inviting and comfortable even in the coldest of temperatures.

    This Post was posted in Electric Blinds and was tagged with blinds, electric, energy, window, windows

  • Home Efficiency Lower Your Window Blinds

    Posted on 18th November 2010 by jenny.

    Looking to lower your energy bills and be more efficient? Then, lower your window blinds. Thermal imaging cameras directed at Edinburgh historic buildings show that buildings with lowered window blinds or drawn curtains show up as deep blue, signalling that little heat escapes. Buildings with raised window blinds or open curtains show up as a high red and orange hue showing that this simple practice can lead to heat loss. In fact, this simple technique can be just as effective in keeping heat in as double glazed windows. This interesting study was conducted by the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust which aims to show that historic buildings are designed well and easy solutions can be made to make these buildings perform as well as modern buildings. The Edinburgh researchers also include other solutions such as draught excluders to keep historic buildings energy-efficient. According to Chiara Ronchini, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust’s energy efficiency expert, improving the energy efficiency of historic buildings will help in reducing carbon emissions and contribute to combat fuel poverty in the future. Ronchini further advises home owners to keep their window blinds closed at night to make sure that heat energy does not escape through the windows. If you find that lowering blinds every night is a chore, consider purchasing electric blinds that can be lowered, raised, or tilted with a remote control. We have remote controls that can control up to 99 different blinds with the same handheld device. With Controliss blinds, lowering your blinds will be so hassle-free that all it takes is a mere touch of a button. We have an extensive range of electric blinds to suit every decorating style, be it modern or traditional. So visit us and choose from the best designs in electric blinds.

    This Post was posted in Window Blinds and was tagged with blinds, buildings, efficient, electric, energy, heat, home, window

  • Energy Saving - Interiors Advice

    Posted on 2nd November 2010 by jenny.

    For most of us, the idea of renovation often entails some new pillow cases, a fresh coat of paint, or new flooring. However, renovation does not only mean transforming your home into a visual haven; you can actually shave off a few pounds from your annual electricity bill in the process of your interior makeover. According to energy-efficiency experts, a few changes in your lighting and window coverings can lead to significant energy savings. We let you in on a few of these cost effective and do-it-yourself energy-efficient secrets. 1.    Install blinds with good quality light efficient fabrics on windows that are vulnerable to the sun. The sun’s hot rays during summer will drive air-conditioning bills sky high so install new window blinds that will help block out the sun. The Controliss blackout roller blinds including Estrella Acorn and Estrella Ice in luxurious fabrics are great neutral-coloured remote-controlled blinds that will also help prevent unwanted heat loss during the winter months. 2.    Choose suitable bedding to keep the thermostat stable. Some of the best bedding available allows adjustable layering so that you can adjust according to the room’s temperature. Experts recommend that thermostat should be set from 28-30 degrees during the day in autumn or winter months. For warm months, keep your thermostat setting at 20 degrees or slightly higher, the mid-day sun will soon heat the house up after a brisk morning. Maintaining the thermostat at a low setting can save you up to as much as £200 per year. 3.    During winter, look for ways you can warm up your home without turning up the heating. For example, you can drape your sofas or chair with warm soft throws that can keep you warm. Adding a few plush area rugs to a cold floor made with any type of material can save you some money from your heating bills. 4.    Fans can keep people inside a room three or four degrees cooler and use no where near as much electricity compared to air conditioning. To decide on the size of fan you'll need consider the room size. A room that is around 50 square feet needs a 29-inch fan. For a 75-square feet room, you need a 36-inch fan. Look for an Energy Saving Recommended seal in your fans to find the most energy-efficient product. 5.    Efficient lighting should be foremost in your renovation plans as 10 percent of your energy bills goes to lighting. Consider localised lighting so that you don’t have to rely on overhead lighting for small jobs. Use compact fluorescent bulbs for all your lighting needs as they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs. CFL bulbs are more costly than ordinary light bulbs but they can last 10 times longer and don’t heat up like halogen lights. CFL bulbs can save you around £45 during their life cycle. 6.    Try not to block heating or air conditioning vents with furniture or soft furnishings. Choose window blinds over curtains to prevent fabric from covering air vents. 7.    Energy-efficient appliances with Energy Saving Recommended badges are highly recommended by experts. Consider replacing appliances that are 10 years old (such as a CRT TV) as these appliances cost about 50% more to operate.  If you opt for these old appliances, you may add around £37 a year to your electricity bills.

    This Post was posted in Blackout Blinds and was tagged with blackout, blinds, efficient, electric, energy, green, interior, roller, sunlight

  • Energy Efficiency Explained

    Posted on 5th August 2010 by jenny.

    Energy Efficiency Explained

    We've been talking about how motorised blinds increase energy efficiency in your home. Do you ever wonder how they do this? Here's the science behind energy efficiency in plain and simple terms.

    Insulating Your Home

    Basically, cold attracts heat. During winter, the heat generated from your indoor heaters moves over to your windows and off to the outdoors. In the same way, the outside heat produced by the summer sun flows to your windows and into your air-conditioned rooms. Window blinds can help reduce your energy consumption by resisting the heat flows through your window. This means that you can save on your heating and cooling expenses. Window blinds can also create a more comfortable atmosphere in your rooms by reducing the sun’s glare.

    Controlling Solar Heat

    During winter, you can welcome the sunshine into your home and bask in its warmth. When summertime comes, solar heat can make your room hot and uncomfortable. Because of this, your air-conditioning costs shoot up. Window blinds can deflect solar heat, protecting your rooms from the sun. If you want to enjoy the sunshine, all you have to do is to draw up your blinds. With Controliss motorised blinds, this is just a matter of pushing a button.


    Instead of relying on electricity for your lighting needs, you can depend on natural light. This makes your home energy-efficient. Illumination from daylight can be achieved with easy-to-operate motorised blinds. With a remote control, you can manipulate the kind of light you want for your room. You can create diffuse light from roman blinds made of sheer fabrics. Sheer roman blinds draw soft light into your room. You can also direct incoming light by tilting the slats of your blinds. With blinds, you can increase your reliance on natural light, eliminating the need for artificial sources during the daytime. Insulation, solar heat control, and day-lighting are the three ways that motorised blinds can make your home more energy-efficient. Decorate your home and save on energy costs with these blinds. You’ll never regret it.

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    This Post was posted in Motorised Blinds and was tagged with blinds, energy, home, motorised, Motorised Blinds, window

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