February 10th, 2020

How Motorized Retractable Awnings Work: The Technology Behind the Luxury

One of the best parts about living in Southern California is sitting outside on your porch year-round. You don’t have to worry about the cold ruining a day off!

With motorized retractable awnings, you don’t even have to let the summer heat stop you from relaxing outside with friends and family. These awnings provide you with a nice shaded area to prop your feet up and relax. They can also stop sunlight from causing your outdoor furniture to fade. Instead of having to move your furniture inside on hot days, you only have to open the awning. You can even put a table or bar under it and use the awning as a roof to an outdoor bar!

Have you ever wondered how retractable awnings for decks work? Read on to learn about the technology behind these modern luxuries. 


There are two types of retractable awnings. The first is a manual awning, it requires using a crank to furl or unfurl the awning. These types are less convenient, especially for senior citizens and those with disabilities. Since seniors need shading when outside in the sun, motorized awnings are an important safety feature for their homes.   

Motorized retractable awnings don’t require using a crank, making them easier for everyone. All you have to do is push a button or wall switch. While simple to use, these awnings use advanced motors to function. 


The most important internal part of a motorized retractable awning is the motor. Manufacturers use tube motors because they’re powerful enough to control larger awnings and small enough to fit inside the roller (called the barrel) and out of sight.

A wire passes through one end of the awning and connects the motor to your power supply. Some motors, such as the Somfy RTS motor model, integrate the radio receiver in the motor so that there’s no wiring needed between the motor and the controls. 

The motor winds the barrel, activating the arms, which use either a spring tension system or gas pistons. The arms follow the cover instead of pushing and pulling it.

We use Somfy tube motors, which is the number one producer of awning motors in the world. Our awnings come with a five-year warranty, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that you get the most value for your money. 


You can also add sensors that add another layer of convenience and protection. Our sun/wind sensor monitors both the sun and wind to determine when it should furl and unfurl to provide shade. If the wind picks up and risks damaging the awning, it will automatically retract so that there’s no damage. If you take a day trip to wine country and forget to furl your awning, you don’t have to worry about a storm coming through and ruining it!


As mentioned earlier, the arms follow the fabric instead of pushing it out. While most people overlook the arms, these are an important part of the awning. 

Our awnings feature two-part spring-loaded folding arms that consist of thick-walled tubular aluminium extrusion. We use cast aluminium for the arm joints before powder coating and tumble-polishing them to make them durable and ensure that they can withstand the weather. We also coat the cables and springs in Teflon. This results in arms that will last longer than our competitors. 


When you purchase motorized retractable awnings for your home, you want to make sure that you get the most value for your money. By using state-of-the-art motors, we’re able to provide you with both dependable and beautiful awnings. We also offer up to a 20-year warranty on the arms, a five-year warranty on the motor, and up to a 10-year warranty on the fabric. 

If you’re ready to improve the functionality and beauty of your home, contact us today to get a quote!