What are solar shades

Best Solar Shades | Solar Blinds

October 21, 2021 By Hunter Douglas


What Are Solar Shades?


Solar window shades (also called sun shades) are roller shades crafted with a specially designed fabric that’s woven just tight enough to protect against UV rays while still optimizing your views. If your windows overlook gorgeous scenery and a lot of sun is coming into the room, solar shades will block the annoying glare and reduce heat without obstructing your view. They’ll also prevent sunlight from fading or deteriorating your upholstery, carpet, hardwood floors and artwork—and they may even help lower your energy bills!


Solar Shades: Openness Explained


Openness refers to how tightly the fabric is woven. The lower the openness level and the tighter the fabric weave, the better it blocks the sun—but the less you can see through the shades. The higher the openness level, the looser the weave and the less it blocks the light—however, you have better visibility. Designer Screen Shades come in openness levels ranging from 0% to 14%, so you have options for filtering light.

Unlimited Options


With hundreds of fabrics and opacities, numerous decorative options and a variety of top and bottom treatments, you can customize your solar shades to fit your personal taste. For unusually large windows, Designer Screen Shades are available in widths ranging from 12" to 192" and heights from 12" to 144". They can also fit bay and corner windows. If you have doors in the same room as your windows, you can create a cohesive look by coordinating Designer Screen Shades fabrics with vertical window treatments like Skyline® Gliding Window Panels.


Solar Shades and Color


One thing to keep in mind when choosing solar shades is the fabric color. Even if you compare fabrics with the same opacity level, lighter and darker colors work a bit differently. Lighter colors better reflect heat and illuminate a room, but the view might be a little hazy (similar to that of sheers). So, if you have small windows or want to brighten a space, a lighter color may work best. Dark colors, on the other hand, are excellent at reducing glare and providing better view-through. A darker fabric is a great choice for larger windows that overlook an amazing outdoor setting.


Do Solar Shades Offer Privacy?


Yes and no. The higher the openness level (the looser the fabric weave), the better you can see through the fabric. But during the day, you have a little more privacy—you can see outside, but others cannot see into your home. When your lights are on at night, the effect is the opposite and outsiders can see inside. You might want to consider adding a liner to your solar shades, or for a more dramatic look, layer your shades with curtains.


Since solar shades on their own don’t provide as much privacy as other shades, they work best in more public areas like kitchens, living rooms, media rooms, sunrooms and patios as opposed to bathrooms or bedrooms. You might also notice them in business offices, where they reduce glare on computer screens, or restaurants, where you can take in the surrounding views.

UV Protection and Energy Efficiency


Besides protecting your furnishings from damaging UV rays, Designer Screen Shades can help reduce the amount of heat that escapes a room in the winter and enters in the summer, depending on the color of the shade fabric and how tightly the fabric is woven. And for more light control, you can combine two Designer Screen fabrics of varying opacities on the same shade.


Minimal Light Gap


Even if you choose a low openness level, some solar shades may still let in light through a slight gap between the shade and the window frame. Designer Screen Shades and Designer Roller Shades are designed with an ultra-slim Custom Clutch which, because of its small profile, allows for the absolute thinnest light gap in the industry.

What are Solar Shades? | The Shade Store

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What are Solar Shades and Solar Blinds?

Solar shades and solar blinds offer excellent sun- and light-blocking benefits. If excessive sunlight shines through your windows, then solar shades may be the ideal solution. Solar shades are an excellent window treatment option for windows in rooms that are exposed to the sun. Besides simply blocking the light, solar shades also reduce glare, protect against harmful UV rays, and prevent fading from the sun on carpets, furniture, and household surfaces.

What are Solar Shades Made Of?

Solar shades are made with a coated material that is finely and tightly woven to provide light and heat coverage. Typically this material is made from vinyl, but there are many options to choose from. If you want to compare different types of solar shade materials, you can order free solar shade swatches to find the best match for your home before making a decision.

Understanding Solar Shade Percentages


When it comes to choosing window treatments, you may notice that some solar shades may have different percentage options. These solar shade percentages represent the openness factor, or how much UV rays and light are filtered through the shades. A lower percentage number indicates a greater solar shade opacity.

For example, if you want a significant amount of light and UV protection, you should choose a solar shade with 1% -3% openness. For moderate light control and protection, 5% solar shades are a good choice. However, if you want to allow more light, you can choose solar shades with up to 10% openness.

Do Solar Shades Provide Privacy?

Solar Shades offer moderate daytime privacy and can prevent people from being able to see into your home. Of all the solar shade options, 1% solar shades may offer the most privacy, since they have the tightest weave. If you’re looking for maximum privacy over light control however, you may be better off with a more protective option, like  Roller Shades. You can also get the best of both worlds by layering solar shades with drapery to provide light filtering during the day and additional privacy at night.

Do Solar Shades Block Out Heat?

In addition, solar shades help to reduce heat by minimizing glare and blocking out light. Similar to the degree of light that is allowed in, the level of heat protection from solar shades also depends on the openness of the weave (the solar shade percentage). The fabric color can also influence heat and light blockage. Since lighter fabrics reflect more light compared to darker ones, choose darker fabrics if you want to block more light and heat.

Find the Right Solar Shades for Your Home

Ready to find the right solar shades for your home? Visit one of The Shade Store’s 90+ locations nationwide to meet with a designer or to schedule a free measurement to purchase solar shades for your home.

Filed Under: Solar Shades

Solar blinds: how a Ukrainian businessman became a competitor to Elon Musk The businessman told RBC about what makes Tesla's "solar" tile technology available to residents of ordinary apartments Elon Musk's new product is designed for households who are ready to make their rooftops the main source of energy supply. But Solar Roof and its counterparts are useless for tenants of apartment buildings.

The Californian startup SolarGaps, founded in 2016 by a native of Ukraine, Yevgeny Erik, undertook to solve the problem, offering customers blinds with solar panels.

Eric came up with the idea of ​​a "smart" light-shielding device when he was looking for a way to autonomously provide electricity to his country house, the entrepreneur said in an interview with RBC magazine. He began to look for an alternative in solar energy, but all "home" solutions turned out to be too expensive - the most affordable option started from $ 20 thousand. Then Eric developed his own technology: miniature solar panels are built directly into the blinds. The power of such "curtains" is up to 150 W per 1 sq. m. In an apartment with three windows to the south, blinds can generate up to 4 kW per day per day. This is enough to power, for example, a 42-inch TV. Windows should not exceed 183 x 212 cm.

Photo: SolarGaps

“The system is mounted outside. It takes about 30 minutes to install it,” says Evgeny. “Our main goal was to create a device that everyone can handle.” Blinds can be controlled using a remote control or via a mobile application. Blinds "follow" the sun and, due to the built-in electric drive, adjust to the position of the luminary in order to accumulate and consume energy as efficiently as possible. During the sunny months, the blinds will be even more energy-intensive than any competitor's offerings, assures the founder of SolarGaps. The solution is especially effective for office premises: according to Eric, in one of the business centers in Kyiv, the company managed to reduce air conditioning costs by 70% per month. To start serial production, the company attracted investments from the Kyiv IoT Hub accelerator and the Effective Investments group of Ukrainian businessman Igor Liska in the amount of $1 million, after which it entered Kickstarter. The company collected the required amount of $50,000 in just 12 days. The cost of the device varies depending on the size of the windows and can range from several hundred dollars to $2,000. Eric promises to arrange deliveries to consumers by the end of 2017.

It would have been difficult to imagine such a project five or seven years ago due to high prices for components, the entrepreneur notes: scaling up the production of complex technical elements helped. True, SolarGaps does not yet supply batteries for its blinds, and if users want to store excess energy and not use it instantly, they will have to spend extra money. But in the coming years, solar shutters could outperform even traditional electricity providers, Eric says. So far, the Ukrainian entrepreneur continues to be surprised at the geography of SolarGaps buyers: the target audience, as the Kickstarter campaign showed, lives not only in the sunny southern regions. “Inhabitants of the northern latitudes — Canada, Scandinavia and the CIS countries — are also very interested in the product,” he says.


Roller blinds

Roller blinds do an excellent job of blocking out both the sun and prying eyes. The fabric of roller blinds is treated with a special impregnation that protects them from dust, dirt and fading.

When operated, the fabric is wound onto a roll fixed at the top of the window, or hangs freely from it. Roller blinds can be mounted on the wall or ceiling near the window, or directly on the sash itself.

Cassette roller blinds

One of the types of roller blinds fixed on the window sash is the roller blind cassette system - here the curtain does not hang freely, but moves along the guides located on the sides of it on the frame. Thus, when using cassette blinds on windows that open at an angle, sagging of the roller blind fabric is excluded.

The degree of impermeability of roller blinds varies from 25% to 100% depending on the fabric used

Other types of roller blinds are also available:

Cassette roller blinds on tilting windows


Blinds - one of the first sun protection systems, which has long been popular with many people. Previously, blinds were made of wood, today the variety of materials has increased significantly - this is plastic, aluminum, and fabric, but wooden blinds are still in demand. Blinds are horizontal and vertical, depending on the location of the slats.

Blinds control system - manual or electric.

Blinds are perfect for a loggia, kitchen, bathroom, study, they will also look great paired with textile decor on the windows of the living room or bedroom.

Blinds on the windows of the living room


Awnings are retractable awnings that protect windows from the sun outside the building. Awnings are popular for installation in offices, cafes, shops, private homes. They can also be used as a place for advertising - an emblem or important information about the institution is printed on the fabric. Due to the fact that awnings are located outside the building and are exposed to atmospheric phenomena, their fabric is extremely durable, resistant to moisture, fading, and damage.

Shop window awnings

Roller shutters

Roller shutters - a device that operates on the principle of roller blinds. It consists of a shaft fixed at the top of the opening, and a web wound around it, consisting of metal lamellae. Roller shutters are installed on the outside of a window or door and, when closed, protect the window not only from the penetration of sunlight, but also from burglary. Roller shutters of a certain strength can become the main device for ensuring the safety of the premises.

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