Somfy Systems is the undisputed top of the class manufacturer when it comes to motors for motorized roller shades. Their motors are used by almost every top roller shade manufacturer and for good reason. Beyond knowing that they are good, what else do you know about them? Could you describe the difference between their motors? More generally, what differences exist between roller shade motors? Is there really that much room for variance?

Answering those questions is what we seek to do in this blog post. Simply stated there are quite a few differences between each of their motors, the variances don’t only pertain to weight as much does with roller shades. Now you can go online and look at the technical aspects of each motor and while there is some very helpful information there, the real key is translating that technical knowledge into decision points. Decision points being the ideas and premises that help you the designer, the procurement agent or hotel owner select exactly what you want for your property.

That is the ultimate goal of this blog, so keep on reading and let us walk you thru the technical aspects because they are the basis for the bigger picture decisions. Finally we will leave you with some key takeaways that you should consider when choosing what type of motor is right for the project you are working on.

Somfy Systems offers 3 basic motors with a few caveats. Today we will be comparing and contrasting the 3 main systems and will make note of differences included in those caveats. The three main systems are the Sonesse 30, Sonesse 40, and the Sonesse 50. The two alternates include a modification on the Sonesse 30 named the Sonesse 30 Wire Free Li-ion and a modification on the Sonesse 50 named the Sonesse ULTRA 50 which is newest model added to the Somfy line.

So without further ado... the facts.

*Price includes a power adapter cord used to charge the Lithium Ion battery.

So what exactly does all the above mean & what are the real practical decision points that are important to know?

Sonesse 30

This system is a low voltage light weight system. The torque, 2 Nm, can handle up to a 16 lbs. roller shade. The difference in sound from all systems except the Sonesse ULTRA 50 would be indiscriminate to any natural ear. The biggest upside of the Soneese 30 comes from the alternate Wire Free Li-ion system. This system is outfitted with a Lithium-ion battery that is housed within the actual roller shade tube, meaning there are no wires to deal with. The battery comes with a charging cord and the life time of the battery is tested at 1 year of usage (assuming 2 uses a day – one up and one down) for just a 6 hour charge. When you aren’t dealing with large treatments this is especially helpful in renovations where sheet rock work is not wanted. This system can be installed and up and running without any cutting of sheetrock, wiring or patching of any kind.

Sonesse 40

This system along with 50 could be described more as a family seperate from the Sonesse 30 system. This system’s torque, 4 Nm, is equivalent to the lift power of a 32 lbs roller shade. This system does not have a battery option and therefore must be directly wired into the electrical or plugged into a traditional outlet, what we call plug-in-play. This system in offering more power also enables multiple shade bands to move off of a single motor, something that the Sonesse 30 cannot do.

Sonesse 50

Finally the biggest motor of the collection boasts the most power. The torque, 6 Nm, is able to lift a 48 lbs. roller shade. This motor must also be hardwired or plugged into a traditional outlet. The alternate version the Sonesse 50 ULTRA distinguishes itself as being the quietest roller shade on the market. At 38 dBA the active functioning of the motor sounds something like a human whisper, meaning unless you have your ear up to the roller shade you are not going to hear anything.

All of the Sonesse motors we have spoken of are controlled by RTS systems with a range of up to 60 feet. The Sonesse 40 & 50 motors can also be hardwired into a switch if that is so desired. Whereas the Sonesse 30 can only be operated by a wireless remote or wall mounted switch. The last extra that may force your hand in a buying decision is the advantage of the Somfy Digital Network which exists in the Sonesse 30 and Sonesse 50 motors. This technology allows for these roller shades to be linked into an integrated building management system. There are many different platforms available but the basic idea is with roller shades linked into one of these systems, a hotel manager can control everything from a centralized iPad or computer.

We hope our summary of the technical details coupled with an outline of the different motors selling points helps you in your next decision. Make sure and remember that we have members of our team that have many years of experience with both roller shade systems and hospitality and commercial drapery setups. We are always open to questions and enjoy the opportunity to consult on any specifications within the decision making process. Our expertise is your expertise, all you have to do is ask.


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