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.
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 picture on the left shows how gas shocks can be used to open a skylight to the vertical position, but this would be problematic if there is any wind exposure, not to mention the limited travel provided by the actuator (12" on our heavy duty wired unit, 5" on battery unit). The gas shocks can be easily installed to provide a much shorter lifting assistance, simply by changing the position of them.
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. The unit can exert a push/pull force of approximately 20 lbs before the obstruction sensor will stop it.
Here's a set of pictures kindly provided by one of our customers, showing some details of his installation:
Here's an example of these actuators used to replace worn out Velux™ skylight motors:
Here's an example of horizontal and vertical sliders (single hung) using Pella® fiberglass windows:
You can also extend our system with the Vera wifi link and use your phone, tablet or laptop to control all these devices (and other items) from home or while you are away.
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!
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 RollerNode controller, 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 web enabled WiFi controller, which further extends control to your phone, tablet, laptop or any other web enabled device (whether at home or away). You can use our Android app or they can be used with Vera.
This article contains more information about web and wifi enabled control with 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.
We sincerely hope you enjoy using these advanced motors; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!