This is one of the most asked window treatment questions! And the answer is a confusing yes and no.
Yes, there are privacy window shades, like solar shades, that based on the weave of the shade material, you can see out of during the day and people cannot see in. The keywords here are ‘during the day’! Solar shades are designed to act as a sort of privacy screen, and allow you to see out, but others not see in, providing daytime privacy.
The exact opposite is true at night! When a light is on in the room, people outside will be able to see directly into your home. While a solar shade provides privacy during the day, it will provide no privacy at night. So, in reality the answer is no, solar shades are not “magic” window shades that provide complete privacy during both daytime and at night.
The reason for this is the weave of the window shade determines the openness of the shade, which in turn affects the visibility, privacy and light control of the shade material. Solar shade fabrics are numbered in percentages ranging from 1-25%. The higher the number, the more open the weave, creating a loose sheer-like fabric allowing the most light to pass through and the clearest view to the outside. The tighter the weave, the less visibility, and the more UV protection, heat, glare, and light control.
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right solar shade percentage for your shade. One important factor is the direction your windows face. For optimum heat, glare and UV protection it is recommended that you select a 3-5% shade material for South and West facing windows, and a 5-10% for North and East facing windows.
The color of the shade can also affect how the shade functions. For example, lighter colors provide more privacy than darker colors, this also means your view to the outside is less with a lighter shade. But, one fact remains, you will not have complete privacy at night as the exact opposite is true. The amount of visibility you have during the day is the amount someone outside your home will have into your home at night. So, what if you want daytime views and privacy at night? The good news is there are other window covering options that offer both!
Budget Blinds offers products that combine both sheer, light filtering materials with a privacy room darkening option. Unison shades, shades with an operable liner, and Dual Sheer Shades all give you the option of enjoying views during the day while filtering harsh sunlight. At night, they give you the ability to adjust for privacy and light control.
A Unison shade is basically two shades in one! The top shade is sheer allowing in filtered daytime light with a view to the outdoors, while the bottom shade is room darkening, allowing for privacy at night. Or you can have a little bit of both during the day! Raise the privacy portion halfway up your windows and allow the top half to let natural light in through the sheer portion of the shade.
A Dual Sheer Shade also combines two options in one shade, with alternating sheer and opaque bands of material that adjust to control light and privacy. This clean lined modern shade gives you a range of options with a modern updated style.
Adding an operable liner to a woven shade allows you to have the unlined shade lowered to filter light and enjoy visibility to the outdoors during the day, whereas the operable liner can be lowered for privacy at night.
So yes, you can have a shade that you can see out during the day and have privacy at night, just not in a single solar shade!
With so many options and choices, let us help you! Budget Blinds offers an array of window covering products and will bring the samples to you, that way you can see them in your home and visualize how they will look and function in your windows. Our goal is to be your guide and help you choose the right window treatment for your home that meets your needs, reflects your style, and fits your budget!
*Photo courtesy of Lafayette Interior Fashions