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Electric & Motorized Awnings

    electric awnings outdoor application

    Electric & Motorized Awnings

    Electric awnings make up nearly 100% of our product line, the only exception being the Torino model. That said, all of our retractable awnings have an amazing lifespan. Frames are tested for years of heavy use, up to 60,000 cycles, with warranties that hit 25 years. Even retractable awning fabric – usually the most vulnerable component on awnings – have up to 10 year warranties and expected 15 year lifespans.

    How is such durability possible?

    Well, it is partly because of superior components. (We pride ourselves on using only the finest parts from Italy, Germany, Austria - unlike many of our competitors, nothing from China). But a lot of the effectiveness is purely physical – retracting an awning protects it from bad weather and damage from high wind.

    Motorized awnings are the most effective style because they get used more than manual awnings. A lot more. A motorized awning is used 25% more than a manual awning in the same location. That means a motorized awning can have a much longer lifespan than a manual awning.

    The key is ease of use. Motorized awnings are a convenience in most locations – window awnings, door and property front awnings, and some patio awnings. But for large awnings – over most patios, pools, eating areas, and other large areas and our enclosures and freestanding awnings – the size and weight of the awning can make it impossible to operate manually. A motorized awning gives the strength and control that you need.

    Motorized commercial awnings also introduce so many more control options, making it easy and effortless to adjust your motorized awning for perfect shade coverage:

    • Rain, wind, motion, and sunlight sensors for instinctive responses to weather changes

    • Timers and schedules

    • Indoor or outdoor temperature sensors to control heat gain

    • Remote controls with preset positions

    • Wireless wall mounted indoor switches

    • Optional manual control

    • Home automatation compatible

    Almost all of our retractable lateral arm awnings and retractable window awnings are motorized awnings naturally. Each motorized awning uses the finest quality motors from premier international manufacturers in France.

    • Self-lubricating, maintenance-free motors

    • Torque-sensing, for taut fabric and better performance

    • Safety tested by Underwriters' Laboratory

    • Integrated with and invisible inside the fabric roller tube

    Start saving now.  Call today, and reap the benefits tomorrow. Installation is easy, and we ship and install worldwide. No matter where you are,  we are there to help.

    Top quality and superior customer service are essential when it comes to purchasing a new awning. Contact our electric & motorized awning experts in the USA or Canada toll free at 866-438-2964 or outside the USA or Canada at (305) 628-2424 or use the  live help chat tool  to learn more about how drop arm awnings will make all of the difference for your or your client’s exterior!

    Important Note: The FAQ questions and answers below ONLY apply to folding lateral arm awnings from Retractableawnings.com and not to any other product type available on our website or folding lateral arm awnings from any other vendor.

    Are all your folding lateral arm awnings motorized?

    No. We offer manual operation with a detachable crank, motorized and motorized with backup manual override.

    What is backup manual override?

    The backup manual override is used to close the retractable awning in case of loss of electricity in your home, building or neighborhood. This will prevent damage to the awning as you can close the awning manually prior to a storm or high winds.

    Can you partially extend a folding lateral arm awning?

    Yes, our retractable lateral arm awnings can be stopped at any position when being extended or retracted and when operated manually or using a motor.

    What is the difference between the Palermo and Palermo PLUS models?

    • Both models allow the ability to adjust the pitch/angle. On the Palermo, the pitch is adjusted manually with hand tools using a ladder and on the Palermo PLUS the pitch/angle is adjusted using a detachable crank when standing below the arm.

    • The Palermo PLUS models has bubble levels on the front bar to attain a perfectly level front bar and the Palermo does not.

    • The Palermo model can be manufactured with a projection greater than or equal to the width as shown in the first picture on the Palermo model web page. The Palermo PLUS cannot.

    • The Palermo has a maximum projection of 11’10” and the Palermo PLUS has a maximum projection of 13’2”

    What type of fabric do you use on your lateral arm awnings?

    Retractableawnings.com only uses brand name solution dyed acrylic fabrics (such as Para, Dickson and Sunbrella) due to the long lasting color of these fabrics. We do not use traditional tent type canvas, cotton, polyester or duck fabrics as these fabrics tend to mildew, rot and fade very fast. In addition, we don’t use vinyl because even though vinyl does provide shade, it absorbs the heat and does not breathe and thus it is very hot under the retractable awning.

    What is solution dyed acrylic fabric and why is it important to use?

    There are two different ways that fibers for fabric are colored, and each method produces fibers with different characteristics. One way to color fibers is to dip them in a vat of dye afterthey are extruded. This method is great for achieving bright colors, and allows manufacturers to create smaller quantities of dyed fibers. In this method, the dye penetrates just the outer surface of the fiber.  Think of a radish: the interior is white, but the exterior is red. This is the same way a “piece-dyed” or “yarn-dyed” fiber is colored.  Most fabrics and carpet fibers today are dyed in this way.

    The other way to dye fibers is to add the dye to the liquid fiber solution before the fibers are extruded.  This allows the color to be mixed into the solution thoroughly, bringing the color all the way through the fiber once it is extruded.  In this instance, picture a carrot:  unlike a radish, which has color only on the outside, a solution dyed fiber has color all the way through the fiber.

    What difference does the dye method make?  A lot, if you are looking for a colorfast retractable awning fabric with a 10 year warranty!  Solution-dyed fibers are the most colorfast in the industry.  

    Do you heat seal or sew the fabric panels to make up the full width of the retractable awning?

    Retractableawnings.com uses high speed pneumatic machines to sew all of our folding lateral arm awning fabrics using Gore Tenara thread – the absolute best in the world. Gore Tenara thread maintains its strength even after continued exposure to UV sunlight. UV resistance is built into each and every thread, and is not a coating or additive that can wear. In addition, Gore Tenara thread remains flexible and extremely strong in hot and cold extremes. The thread won’t absorb water and it resists acid rain, salt water, pollution, snow and freezing. Retractableawnings.com does not use any other type of sewing thread including polyester as polyester does not stand up to the elements especially UV rays. Based on our testing Retractableawnings.com does not use heat sealing due to the fact that with even low amounts of humidity the fabric separates at the seam. Seams sewn with Gore Tenara thread are guaranteed not to come apart for life.

    Where is the motor located and does it add any additional width to the retractable awning?

    The motor on all of our folding lateral arm awnings is located inside the roller tube that the fabric rolls around and therefore does not add any additional width to the retractable awning. The motor can either be on the left or right side of the awning – your choice.

    What is the difference between the Palermo/Palermo Plus, Venezia and Roma models?

    All models components are from Europe – the very best in the world and nothing from China - the very lowest quality in the world. The Palermo/Palermo Plus models frame tucks neatly under the hood/cover. The maximum projection on the Palermo is 11’10” and on the Palermo Plus is 13’2”. The Venezia model is fully enclosed so none of the hardware, roller tube or fabric is visible. The Venezia also has a sleek appearance and does not allow birds, squirrels, rodents etc. to nest under the hood since it is fully enclosed. The Venezia has a maximum projection of 13’2”. The Roma model is available with either a 14’3” or 16’0” projection (largest folding lateral arm awning in the world). For a more detailed side by side comparison of all models, click on or copy and paste the link below in to your browser address bar. You can make the pdf larger if using Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the + sign or Ctrl +: 


    Which folding lateral arm awning model is right for me?

    That depends on your needs, what type of weather you plan to have the awning extended or partially extended in, where you would like to install the retractable awning, how you plan to use it, the size you need or want (the area you want to cover) and your budget.

    Can I leave my folding lateral arm awning open in the wind and if so, how much wind?

    The very best folding lateral arm awnings in the world like our Palermo/Palermo Plus model can handle +- 20-24mph or 29-38km/hr. (Beaufort scale 5) when extended and in use. Most people are indoors when the wind speed is above 20mph or 32km/hr. and would not be using the retractable awning. To be sure your folding lateral arm awning is not damaged by high wind, Retractableawnings.com highly recommends using either a wind sensor (anemometer) or motion sensor to automatically close the awning. All models except are Beaufort wind load tested.

    What is the difference between your wind sensor (anemometer) and motion sensor?

    • The wind sensor (anemometer) will close the awning when the wind reaches a certain speed. The wind speed can be set to close the awning anywhere between 12mph and 31mph and can always be changed in the future if wind conditions change. The anemometer is a wired device and needs to be plugged in to an outlet.

    • The motion sensor will also close the awning when the wind reaches a certain speed. The sensitivity is based on the movement of the front bar of the retractable folding lateral arm awning and can be changed in the future if wind conditions change. The motion sensor is not a wired device (i.e. it is wireless) sending a radio signal to the motor and does not need electrical power. Instead, it operates using batteries.

    • The main benefit the motion sensor has over the wind sensor (anemometer) is that since it is placed on the front bar, it detects wind (in the form of movement) from either side or the front and under the retractable awning whereas the wind sensor (anemometer) only detects wind at whichever side of the awning the anemometer is installed.

    Can I use or leave my folding lateral arm awning extended during the rain or during the snow season?

    All lateral arm awning models from Retractableawnings.com can be used for LIGHT rain but not for HEAVY rain. HEAVY rainfall is considered more than .30” (7.6mm) per hour per the American Meteorological Society. Water from LIGHT rain will run off as long as there is enough pitch (angle/slope) placed on the arms/fabric. Should you need a product for HEAVY rain, hail protection or snow load please consider one of our retractable patio and deck pergola cover systems designed for these types of weather. Click on or copy and paste the link below in to your browser address bar to see a complete side by side comparison of all 20 retractable patio and deck cover system models on 2 pages. You can make the pdf larger if using Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the + sign or Ctrl +. Here is the link: 


    Can I install your folding lateral arm awnings on vinyl or aluminum siding, stucco, or on masonry (common materials used for masonry are brick, concrete block, granite, glass block, marble, travertine, cast stone, limestone) or to the side of my RV (recreational vehicle) or mobile home?

    All models offered by Retractableawnings.com can be installed in to any of the above. What is extremely important, is to use the correct type of fastener depending on what substrate the awning will be installed in to. Retractableawnings.com provides everything needed for the retractable awning and installation except for the fasteners. The decision on fastener type and length used is to be made locally based on the substrate being installed in to along with building code requirements (if any).

    Can I mount your lateral folding arm awnings to my wall OR soffit / eave / overhang OR roof OR side of the rafter OR to a beam?

    All models offered by Retractableawnings.com can be attached to a wall, soffit / eave / overhang, roof and side of a rafter or beam. We have non rusting (non-corroding) aluminum brackets for all of the above mounting options.

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