Samsung: 15 Minutes With…

Cloud9 Smart is one of the premium technology design firms in New York City, with a long history in both the commercial and residential sectors. Their prolific team is dedicated to perfection and incorporate unique processes for fulfilling client expectations.

We sat down with Chris Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Cloud9 Smart to discuss the company’s philosophy and vision as it relates to their design ethos. We discussed the value proposition for specifying Samsung products and zeroed in on how they position the Frame TV as it relates to the design community.

Samsung Connections: Chris, thanks for talking with us and sharing some of your experiences partnering with Samsung. Before we dive into our discussion, can you give our readers some background on Cloud9 Smart and how your team has built such a powerhouse technology design firm.

Chris Smith: Thanks for including Cloud9 Smart in your initiative and taking the time to interview me! Our history dates back to 2001 when we began as a cable company for small to medium size businesses doing cabling infrastructure. We specialized in analogue telecom for voice, and then data. Our natural progression led us into the digital world, with the advent of voice-over-IP and the general move away from analogue infrastructure. With advances in telecom we migrated to conference room technologies and computer networking, including remote system management services.


New Hire: Brittany Sanchez

Brittany Sanchez joins us this February as Office Administrator. Brittany received a degree in English Literature from the University of Central Florida. Since then she has been living in New York building her career, her connections, and staying creative.

We’re excited to have her bright energy, and considerable writing skills, on the Cloud9 team. (We also fully expect her to turn us onto some vegan snacks.)

Keep a lookout for her upcoming personal blog on natural living!

Lutron Motorized Shades – Considerations

In 2019, Lutron offers two styles of smart roller shades that our clients keep asking for. The key difference is how they are mounted.

  • Standard Roller Shade (Sivoia QS) – Usually mounted out of sight.
  • Palladiom – Mounted proud.

The Trouble with Motorized Shades

It is an unfortunate reality of the motorized shade world that brackets are hideous. Lutron has historically solved this by tucking the roller and motor up into a pocket or cavity. This way the shade is only seen once it drops. 

This is a tricky endeavour anyway, but especially where space is tight (such as in New York City, where most of our jobs take place.) It becomes exponentially challenging when trying to hide rollers for both blackout and privacy in the same cavity. The rollers need to sit as close to each other as possible without any movement being obstructed (often by stacking one on top of the other and having them descend on opposite sides of the roller.)

The Solution

By designing a beautiful bracket system that doesn’t need to be hidden, Lutron has created a new opportunity to mount smart shades proud. This is Palladiom. The brackets come in all sorts of finishes, letting you match your door handle finish, for example. You can also match the hem bar on the bottom of the shade.

Palladiom also makes keypads with gorgeous finishes in metal, glass and plastic. Each button is backlit and engravable. They match the same high quality and minimal aesthetic as the shades themselves, and give a satisfying tactile response when pressed.

While easier to install in many ways, wiring for Palladiom shades is actually more of an exercise in precision. While wire slack for traditional roller shades can get buried in the same pocket, Palladiom brackets are so small that the wire needs to be in the exact perfect location, or else it will be visible after installation and tarnish the aesthetic.

Options and Impact

Because it’s Lutron, options within each approach are practically limitless. Fabrics, colors and transparencies all run a wide gamut of choices. What used to be an obstacle designers and architects had to deal with, is now a design element they can fine-tune.

And the impact should not be understated. If shade transparency is set too low, you don’t allow enough light into the room, but you also don’t grant yourself any more privacy than if you were to increase transparency to say three, five or seven per cent. By choosing transparency meticulously you can ensure privacy while still letting natural light through. Of arguably more importance, you can make your space appear bigger by seeing silhouettes of the world around you through the shades, rather than a single plane of material.

Finally, blocking UV sunlight that can bleach furnishings and overheat your home is of great value. Lutron can automatically do this based on an astronomical clock. Beyond time of day, it knows the latitude/longiture position of the building and can automatically adjust based on the position of the sun.

Lutron even lets you select separate colors for the inside and outside of the shade. Many buildings specify a single color for shades in order to maintain unity from street view. This lets you play with color on the inside of your home while remaining compliant from the outside.


An important question to ask when specifying for shades is whether they should fall to the backside of the roller or the front side. If we’re mounting outside of the window frame, falling to the back of the roller probably makes perfect sense, but if you’re inside the window frame you need to ask whether the window will open and shut. If so, you might have window hardware that can get in the way, in which case the shade falling forward makes more sense.

Why is this so important to determine up front? When we wire the shade for power and control, spinning the whole shade around to flip where it falls will be a huge issue.

Performance and Noise

The mark of a really great shade is not only smooth motion, but sound implications. We’ve listened to other shade manufacturers out there, and were surprised at the audible mechanics present when adjusting the shade. Not the case with Lutron, whose Palladiom and traditional motors are as quiet as they come.

The hem bars on Lutron shades actually align with one another digitally. This lets Lutron know where each shade is in position to the rest, and maintain perfect alignment in movement. Without this technology shades can misalign or “sawtooth,” which is to put it lightly an undesired look.

What about Battery Powered?

When given the choice, we will always choose a hard-wired connection for its rock-solid reliability and independence from your wireless network. When wired is not an option however, Lutron does offer a straight-forward option with their Serena line. Nixing the need for hard wiring makes them far easier to retrofit, and the batteries last for around three years.


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