With the BREL HOME motor, electrical operation suddenly became easy

06 April 2021

Like the rest of the sun protection industry, BREL HOME has also noticed that they are 'on the good side' of corona. “When more money is spent on the home, consumers are more likely to opt for electrically operated blinds when purchasing interior blinds.

Consumers are increasingly in need of having a Smart Home. So controlling interior and exterior sun blinds by means of an electric motor in combination with a HUB is also part of this. The percentage of awnings equipped with an electric motor has been increasing for a number of years. We also see this in our sales. The electric motor in combination with a HUB is really a trend of today.”

The early years of BREL HOME

BREL HOME has been around for 11 years now, but the BREL engine has been a player on the market for much longer. From 2005, Reinoud, who at the time had a sun protection production company, already implemented the BREL motor in his range. In 2010 Reinoud and Erik started the company BREL HOME together. A wholesaler for motors in outdoor awnings. They saw opportunities in the market, which at that time was dominated by one player. In 2012, with Erik's background and 12 years of knowledge in window decoration in mind, they decided to also go that way of the market. A year later, BREL HOME introduced the first battery motor for interior sun protection. “An effective step.” says Erik, because: “We have established our name with that. That product brought us into the market.” And it is a beautiful product for sure. “No cord needed, you can't see anything. Interior blind installers are often afraid of electricity, not everyone understands electricity. With our battery motor it suddenly became easy.”

Hassle-free mounting

“What does the blind fitter like? Hang blinds. But that usually doesn't apply to getting rid of cable ducts or drilling holes in the wall and then hoping that the stucco doesn't come along. The nice thing about the BREL HOME concept is: the battery is in the motor, so you no longer have any external parts. That makes it very easy to install. So mechanics are naturally very happy with this. Moreover, the industry does not have a surplus of good mechanics, so people will be especially happy that they can assemble quickly.” Will this easy way of mounting ensure that consumers will do it themselves more often? BREL HOME does not think so: “The average consumer does not feel like assembling it himself. Maybe there are a few more people who do it themselves. But the customer still wants advice, in most cases simply goes to the specialist and has everything installed.”


A custom motor

Although started with standard motors for awning blinds, BREL HOME established its name with their battery motors for inner awnings. “We are truly a motorcycle specialist. We make a custom motor for every interior sun blind supplier. Outdoor sun protection is a standardized market, but everyone has their own system for indoor sun protection. We make sure that the motorcycle always fits. We succeeded in this with our 3D printers.” Once we had entered the market for roller blinds, expansion followed with motors for roman blinds, venetian blinds, shutters and heavy wooden venetian blinds. “You need a relatively heavier motor for that, which we then also used for screens. When we had a strong position in the market with the battery motors for the interior sun protection, we took our next steps for the exterior sun protection.” In recent years, the outdoor sun protection segment has also experienced considerable growth. “We have been using our first successful motor for outdoor sun protection for about six years now. With a special solar panel that you can easily place on the roller shutter or screen. You don't see anything, and that's how you charge the battery. We now also have a heavier motor, intended for heavier outdoor sun protection, such as roller shutters.”

The lifespan of the BREL HOME battery motor

“We have been making battery motors for interior sun blinds since 2013. In recent years we have sold more than 150,000 battery motors. But we cannot yet make statements about a period of 20 years. Endurance tests with batteries are generally difficult, but we do know that our motors for interior blinds are still performing excellently after seven years. For outdoor sun protection, we know that this is still the case after a number of years. We also give a three-year warranty on our battery motors. If we compare it with, for example, Tesla batteries, the same batteries as in our motors, we know that they are still good after 450,000 km. After five years they still have 80% of their capacity. I am not saying that our battery motor achieves exactly the same, but it does indicate that those batteries are much better than is often thought.”

And have we ever had problems with our engines? Of course, but then it was about the software, for example, or the charging point. Never for the battery itself. It always works without any problems,” says Reinoud Arts. Erik Budding adds: “We supply big names, they are guaranteed to be critical. They wouldn't buy from us if the engine didn't work perfectly. That shows that our engines are excellent.” Then the rest of the market followed. It is truly a beautiful product that runs well. Not only in the Netherlands, but also internationally. BREL HOME supplies a lot to companies across the border.”


The smart motors from BREL HOME

BREL HOME has its own app. Arts: “We actually had that pretty quickly. Then everyone shouted 'not necessary at all, a remote control is enough'. Of course, more parties now have such an app. All our interior blind motors are bi-directional, which means that you can see the position of the controlled blind on your screen. We can control everything with scenarios. Other large manufacturers have not yet realized this feedback for interior blinds. We can do that and it is certainly very useful and essential when controlling and positioning the slat position of blinds. If you want the blinds down 80% and the slats open 60%, you can do that with the smart motors from BREL HOME.

The next novelty on the schedule is the WiFi motor. “You no longer control it purely with a remote control, but with an app. So no more HUB needed. You download the app and you can operate the indoor blinds directly from your phone. You really don't need anything except your phone. And you can link it with Alexa, Google and Siri. This makes it possible to operate your sun blinds from any location.” In the first instance, this novelty is intended for outdoor sun protection. “Because you need 230-volt motors. Wifi uses a lot of energy, which is why you cannot control it on battery power. For the time being it is too heavy for interior blinds, which run on 12-volt motors, then your battery will be empty in no time. That's why we're starting with the outside, but eventually interior blinds will also be controlled via WiFi.”

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