If you are planning to use actuators for lifting heavy skylights, you can offset the weight of the skylight with gas shocks, torsion springs, or external counterweights. You can also double up on the actuators to provide the extra lift.
We have customers that have used gas shocks very successfully (the type used for the rear door of a minivan), reducing the amount of lifting force required to just a push of a finger. The stroke is also adjustable (150mm, 200mm, 250mm, 300mm).
The picture on the left shows how dual actuators can be used to open a skylight to the vertical position.
We also have remote controls for these actuators that use the same system as our skylight and roller shade motors (with z-wave and relay interfacing for automation systems). Our systems work with Vera®, Wink®, Homeseer®, SmartThings®, etc.
External counterweights are another simple way to greatly reduce the force required for opening and closing a motorized skylight.
One of our customers kindly provided the picture at right, demonstrating the use of external counterweights. This method is easy to implement, especially on a flat roof, provided you have access to the roof.
For other applications, here's our standard series 12 volt electric window opener for controlling vents, windows, skylights, shutters and any other item you would like to move with a motorized actuator.
It can be controlled by a simple switch, or with our optional remote controls, and you can also add our home automation interfaces at any later time.
The unit can exert a push/pull force of approximately 20 lbs before the obstruction sensor will stop it.
The linear chain actuator pushes straight out from the fixed housing which lines up unobtrusively with your window frame, fastened in place with mounting screws. Attach the end of the chain actuator to the window with two screws and you're done!
Here's an example of horizontal and vertical sliders (single hung) using Pella® fiberglass windows:
Here's a set of pictures kindly provided by one of our customers, showing some details of his installation:
Here's another example of these actuators used to replace worn out Velux® skylight motors:
The flex link direct push drive has a 300mm stroke (~12"), the opening/closing force is approximately 20 lbs (9 kg), current consumption is ~1.5 A.
Use it to control the motion of anything you want, including windows, greenhouse vents, skylights, etc.
It can be adapted to work with most types of windows: single hung, double hung, hinged casement, skylights, etc. The internal electronics provide motor overload cutoff and travel limit stops.
It should also be noted that the window, skylight or whatever object you want to move should be able to move freely. In the case of windows, for instance, you may have to remove the existing manual mechanism in order to allow the window to move freely.
Please see below for details and photographs showing how to install these units. The installation is quite simple and you can use these with our remote controls for window openers, which gives you the ability to control these units with the same multi-channel remotes that control blind and shade motors and LED lighting.
Please keep in mind you can also use them with our interfacing modules, which further extends control to your phone, tablet, laptop or any other web enabled device (whether at home or away).
This article contains more information about web and wifi enabled control with Z-Wave and Vera:
Care should be exercised when these units are installed where adults or children could get fingers caught in a closing window - serious injury could result. Use of insect screens can help eliminate this possibility.
These units do use safe low voltage (12v DC), with no high voltage shock hazard present.
Please note that we do not supply the adapter brackets shown in the pictures of the hopper and casement windows below; you may need to fabricate an adapter bracket out of stainless steel or flat-bar aluminum.
If you're interested, you can buy starter kits and individual window/skylight openers in our online store.
We sincerely hope you enjoy using these advanced motors; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!