In recent years, home automation has experienced massive technology changes and been made less expensive and simpler to integrate. We all want this technology for its convenience and the comfort it provides. For most of us probably our first experience was with smart cameras and doorbells like Ring or Blink. Today it has become very easy and affordable to control your Sunair motorized awnings, shades, or Pergola with a smartphone or tablet. You can even control the devices with the sound of your voice with Alexa and Google using a bridge device that is Wi-Fi enabled.  Once the bridge and Amazon Alexa are connected to your network, all you need to do on your Alexa is find the Smart Home tab and ask it to Discover Devices. In the past you would need to engage special “Home Automation” companies that would come out and integrate your homes systems with these devices. Some of these awning and shade motors were hardwired to a control unit that integrated automation. The cost was typically very high and too complicated and unaffordable for most homeowners. Very often adding such systems would only make sense when the installation involved larger homes with many motorized shades, awnings, and the homeowner also wanted additional functions such as lighting, music, security, etc. In the past most of awning and shade owners experience was limited to a remote or wall switch and adding a sun and wind sensor to the device. Or maybe a “timer” that lowered or raised the shades automatically. That is how many of us defined the word awning and shade automation for many years. Fast forward, and today you can create an easy to use  “smart home” solution by adding just a few hundred dollars’ worth of Wi-Fi enabled bridge equipment like a Tahoma By SOMFY and BOND HOME.  Now, you can get smart home functionality without breaking the bank. There are many more smart home solutions available also that integrate with most awning and screen motor solutions.These smartphone and tablet interface devices enable you to easily control all your motorized awnings, screens, or shading.They work with both iPhone and Android devices.  Some systems will enable you to add additional multi-channel remotes to your system as well that are not from the original equipment motor manufacturer. To program your shades and awnings with some systems you don’t even need the remote that your awning or shade came with. For years we have promoted the convenience motorizing our awnings and shade solution for the convenience of our busy lives. Now we can take it a step further giving you the tools to control and balance all the natural light that penetrates your home.  Schedule your motorized blinds and shades to open and close on the schedule that’s best for you and your family. Let the light in when you wake up and keep glare away when the suns intensity is too much, keeping the inside of your home cooler.  Using and scheduling open and closings can even increase energy efficiency in your home by keeping the sun’s rays out when it is sunny and hot, and letting natural light in when it is cooler outside.   Also, let’s say you are at work and realized you forgot to close your awning or shade. Not a problem anymore when your awning or screen is powered and connected to a smart home control system!  You can control it from virtually anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection and smart device. Smart awnings and window shades provide the ultimate in luxury and convenience, giving you total control from anywhere you are.  Some systems will even enable you to see if the awning is in extended or in retracted position. This is very helpful if you are unsure of the awnings position pending an incoming storm affecting the area you live in. Similarly, you can determine your retractable exterior shade position in similar way. Creating a smart home means interconnectivity between all the smart products you use on a daily basis to make life more comfortable and convenient for you and your family. With the simplicity and affordability of these smart solutions today, there is no reason your awnings and shades should not be part of your home automation solutions too.