Dark and Light Solar Shades – Which Insulate Better?

Solar shades are a perfect window treatment option to insulate your room from excess heat. These shades regulate the temperature in the room by reducing the amount of light and heat that passes through the windows. Recently, shades have become a popular window-treatment option for many homes due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and energy-saving capability.

Solar Shades Deck Draper

In addition to filtering light, solar shades for windows also block the penetration of UV rays that may be harmful to floors and furnishings.

What are solar shades?

Solar shades are a window-treatment option that filters excess light and also insulates your house from excess heat. This prevents damage that may result from strong UV rays, including fading of furnishings and glare from the reflection of light on bright surfaces.

The beauty of solar shades is that they can be installed in any room, though they are a great solution for windows that are exposed to direct sunlight, like south-facing windows. This aids the filtering of excess heat, while also acting as a light blocker, thus minimizing the amount of light and heat passing through your windows.

Solar shades can easily be confused with roller shades as they are almost identical in appearance. However, you can easily differentiate between solar shades and roller shades because the material used differs. Solar-shade material is manufactured in percentages of “openness” based on the weave of the material. Roller shades have opacity levels from sheer to room-darkening and blackout.

Features of solar shades

Solar shades can be customized to match your interior. This can best be achieved using valances or cornices. Depending on the degree of openness, solar shades are a great option for filtering light and insulating your home from excess heat.

Solar Shades Sunroom Phifer

For tall, high windows, solar shades can be motorized for ease of use. Solar shades can also be cordless to ensure the safety of children and pets.

Automating solar shades also makes it possible to raise or lower them more effectively at certain times of day. You can also adjust the angles of your solar shade as the day progresses to maximize the light passing through.

In addition, the amount of light and heat that passes through solar shades largely depends on the shade’s percentage of openness. A lower percentage shade allows very little light to pass through and is a great option to insulate your windows and prevent the excessive penetration of harmful UV rays. Choosing a solar shade with 1% shade lets you enjoy maximum protection from excess light and heat.

On the other hand, high-percentage shades have a more open weave and are a great option if you want to enjoy the view outside, even when the shade is down.

Do solar shades provide privacy?

While typical solar shades offer protection from UV rays and heat, they’re not the best option for creating privacy or blocking out the light in a room.

While the shades allow you to see what's happening on the outside, those outside your house during the day cannot see through. However, the shades become transparent at night, and can easily allow light to pass through.

You could consider blackout roller shades, which are an ideal choice for any room, even at night. While solar shades may be less effective at night, the roller shades make your bedroom and bathroom private.

What are the benefits of solar shades?

Which solar shades provide the best insulation? Here are some notable benefits of dark and light solar shades.

Filtering excess light

Solar shades generally filter light and also protect your house from harmful UV rays.

Preventing excessive heat from entering through your windows

Solar shades are a great way to prevent heat from penetrating your windows. To optimize insulation, you could opt for exterior solar shades, because they filter light and heat before passing through your window.

Solar shades can help reduce energy bills that may be incurred when cooling your house.

Benefits of light and dark solar shades

In addition to the tightness of the weave, or the “openness” of the shade, the shade’s color plays a role in the end result. A lighter-colored shade — like white or cream — will reflect more sunlight, but the view out will be less visible. A darker-colored shade, like black, will absorb more light, but the view out will be clearer.

This is a factor to consider when selecting which color solar shade will work best with your room. If you have a great view you’d like to maintain even when the shades are down, a darker fabric with a 5% open weave might be a good choice. If you are more interested in blocking the sun’s rays and don’t mind hiding the view, a lighter color with a tighter weave might be the route for you.

At Budget Blinds, we can help you decide which window-treatment option is best for your windows. Our skilled staff will offer you the advice you need to help you make an informed decision.

For all your window treatment options including dark and light solar shades, you can schedule a free consultation, virtual or in-home, with a local Budget Blinds design expert.