Do you have a preference when it comes to which actuator type you use, or do you let the job in hand decide? In the following article, we discuss the benefits of choosing a folding arm over a linear or chain drive for roof window and skylight automation.

What is the best actuator for automating roof or skylights?

Automating roof or skylights allows natural light into indoor spaces within a building, distributing light offers many benefits to any space. Daylight is proven to improve the health and wellbeing of the occupants; many studies have proven that productivity is also improved in a work environment. The 1990 ‘Light and Health’ research study identified that daylight was crucial for the health of working people. Further studies also found that exposure to natural light improved workplace performance and vitality.

The choice of actuators does vary, and different actuators can be used to carry out the same function. But did you know that there are benefits to choosing one type of window or skylight actuator over another?

Specification of actuators on a roof or skylight application needs to factor in aesthetics, power, and performance.

What are the three types of actuators?

  1. Chain Drive
  2. Linear or Spindle Actuator
  3. Folding Arm Actuator

Chain Drives

Chain drives are most commonly used to open corridor windows and perceived as the aesthetical choice, due to their smaller dimensions, however, chain drives can lack the power to automate most roof or skylights.

Linear or Spindle Motor Actuators

Since linear or spindle motor actuators are more powerful than a chain drive, they lend themselves better to automating roof and skylights.  Although the greater power is an achievement, aesthetically linear or spindle type motors can be intrusive and lack the aesthetical look for modern buildings.

Folding Arm Actuators

At Group SCS, a folding arm is the preferred choice offering aesthetics, power, and performance for automating roof and skylights.

  • Aesthetically, the folding arm is unobtrusive and is usually installed on the side closing edges and can be RAL coloured.
  • Powerful by design, the folding arms are rated up to 1000N and can be paired for heavier and larger applications.
  • The folding arm is precision designed to offer a greater level of performance, durability, and flexibility.
  • It is a ventilation revolution offering safe, reliable opening in under 60 seconds and larger opening angles.

The benefits of Folding Arm Actuators

Folding Arm ActuatorFolding arms drive innovation and are specifically designed to automate roof and skylights, backed with a 3-year warranty and calculation software, ensuring your specification and installation is correct. With kinematics and high-performance gearing, combined with the stainless-steel lever arms, folding arm actuators overcome the resistance to changing wind and snow loading that are rarely factored into designs.

Shop our Folding Arm Actuators online

Unsure which actuator you need?

Try our Actuator Calculator and see which actuators are suitable and compliant for your project.

Under the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) it is a legal requirement to use only certified products for smoke ventilation. It is the responsibility of the installer to ensure installations meet the relevant standards. For more information see SCS Group’s Technical Bulletin here.