The capabilities of modern home automation have become truly mind-boggling these days. With AI driven grocery lists to smartphone controlled appliances, the smart home has truly reached full stride. Pergola technology has not been immune from these technological advances either. What started with a simple motorized pergola roof controlled with a handheld remote grew into smartphone controlled operations. Now pergola technology has taken a new leap with the voice activated pergola roof. For homeowners and restaurateurs here in South Florida, these technologies bring new levels of hands-free automation to outdoor living and dining spaces.
While traditional pergolas are fabricated from heavy wood or fiberglass, basic DIY kits are often built from vinyl. Advanced pergolas are crafted from high-quality aluminum. The lightweight-yet-strong material combined with durable exterior powder coating are perfectly suitable for high winds, high heat and rainstorms in South Florida. This unique combination of strength and weight allows the R-Blade pergola to be motorized. Replacing cumbersome hand cranks, the motors can open and close the louvered roof without an operator having to break a sweat. When the motor is activated, it gently opens the louvers to allow full sun to reach the patio, or closed to create the perfect balance of shade. The pergolas our manufacturing partner, Azenco, crafts for our custom designs feature a unique dual-walled louver design that is uniquely capable of blocking out all of the rain when closed. Anyone who has spent the afternoon running from a sudden afternoon shower can appreciate the added peace of mind this brings to a day at the pool.
Motorized louvered pergolas brought a new level of control, not just for the louvers themselves, but for other elements of the structure too. Beyond the louvers, retractable privacy screens could be operated electronically for new ease of use. It was not long before automated IoT technologies came to the modern pergola as well. Today’s automated pergola puts louver and retractable screen controls right at the homeowner’s fingertips with a simple smartphone controlled app.
With the addition of a smart sensor array, the structure can go beyond being simply an automated pergola to becoming an autonomous structure. This next level pergola technology relies on a series of thermal, wind, and rain sensors to track changing weather conditions and adjust the pergola roof accordingly, all without human interaction. A rain sensor will watch for the first drop of rain and close the louvers when a passing storm arrives. A wind sensor monitors for potentially dangerous high winds and opens the louvers to prevent damage from updrafts.
With so many pergola features now capable of being motorized or automated, the next generation of high tech pergolas are taking the leap into voice activation. This means homeowners can enjoy a voice activated pergola roof, screens, lights, etc. Virtual digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant have become commonplace in the American home. These IoT devices respond to voice commands to turn lights on and off, play music, and order groceries for delivery. For homeowners that integrate their pergola with these systems, voice commands for their pergola operations are just a shout away.
Leveraging smart home automation on the patio makes your outdoor living more intuitive. Imagine heading to the patio with your cup of coffee as the sun is creeping up over the trees that shade the backyard. You tell Siri to “open the pergola roof,” and the louvers slowly adjust to allow full sun exposure. As the sun creeps higher, and the South Florida temperatures alongside, you tell Siri to “close the pergola roof 50%.” The louvers then angle to block the sun while maintaining your view of the blue sky. As an afternoon rain shower starts to patter on the pool, the autonomous sensor array automatically closes the louver. As rain runs off the roof through the hidden draining system, the sky is getting darker, so you tell Siri to “turn on the pergola lights.” The embedded LED lights slowly ramp up while you enjoy the symphony of raindrops all around you. As the shower passes, the louvers can be commanded to open again revealing a magical sunset. After enjoying the deep pinks and purples, the sun is low enough in the sky to now fill the covered patio with its blinding light. Just tell Siri to, “close the pergola sun screens,” and the sheer material slowly lowers from its hiding place in the pergola frame to adjust the glare as you settle into dinner on the patio.
The elevation of modern outdoor living spaces continues to benefit from advancing technology. The transition has been rapid, from humble beginnings where homeowners needed hand cranks to operate their pergola, to the fully automated pergola with voice activated pergola roof. Adoption of modern pergola technology has and will continue to reshape how you use your outdoor living space. If you would like to explore adding a voice activated pergola roof to your outdoor set up, schedule your consultation today to be connected with our innovative design team.