ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Solar Shades 101

Updated on January 22, 2015

Solar Shades Overview


Solar shades, or sun shades, as they are sometimes referred to, offer a great solution for the modern home. The most popular feature is the ability to block ultraviolet rays from damaging your furniture or flooring, usually while maintaining your view. In addition, solar shades do a fabulous job of insulating- that is blocking heat, or even keeping warmth in during the winter. There are tons of options available, from interior to exterior solar shades, multiple brands of material, manual vs. motorized shades - and much more. Solar shading has become a mainstream window covering, from commercial shades to upscale, and even more modest homes. Most window covering companies carry a line of solar shades, but I would really recommend looking for a company that specializes in Solar Shades - like the one I work for in San Diego. As you will see from this article, there are lots of things to consider when choosing the style of shade you want, much more than your typical budget blind man really understands.


UV Protection

Solar Shades come in a variety of materials and degrees of protection. When we talk about fading furniture or flooring solar shades are a perfect solution. Most window tints, even the darkest of tints, don't afford the level of protection you can get with a solar shade. Basically, a solar shade is a mesh material, usually a fiberglass or polyester yarn wrapped in a PVC coating. The tightness of the weave, coupled with the thickness of the yarn correlate to the UV block. Typically solar shades are purchased in the 90 or 95% UV block, but are available in dozens of unique percentages. There are several textile mills that manufacture the material- Phifer, Twitchell, Mermet, Vertilux, and Ferrari are a few.

Interior vs Exterior Solar Shades

The first thing to consider is whether you want your shades on the inside or outside. There are severaladvantages to exterior shades, for example:

1. They afford better HEAT protection - usually in the 80% range, while interior shades fall anywhere from 30-70%

2. Outside solar shades are, quite obviously, invisible from that inside, meaning they do not change the decor of your home

When done correctly, exterior shades are the ultimate in shading. The consumer does have to be careful, however. A lot of "shading" companies use interior materials, or home-made systems on the outside, and they will not hold up. When

considering an exterior solar shade make sure to evaluate an engineered unit designed specifically for the outside- like the CLEARVIEW MOTION SCREEN or the world screen to name 2 of the more popular. In addition- make sure to go with a motorized shade if you're mounting outside. It can be very frustrating otherwise- and heavy!

Why then would anyone go with an interior solar shade? Simple- price. Interior shades are typically less than half the cost of exterior shades. While they are similar in function, they share no components in common. Whether you select manual or motorized interior solar shades still offer an elegant solution to glare and heat, while preserving your view.


Solar Shades cut glare

Besides the UV protection, most people think of blocking glare when it comes to solar shades. Can't see your flatscreen TV or computer? Solar shades can eliminate the glare. It is important to note that color plays a crucial role here.

White shades- or lighter color shades- reflect light, and so they do not cut the glare nearly as well as darker, or blacker shade materials. A lot of designers and window covering "experts" don't understand this- so make sure you see a large sample in your window before you decide on color of shade-cloth.

Solar Shades and Heat Protection

As mentioned above, exterior shades do a better job. Once the heat penetrates the glass, however, interior shades can still combat heat. Again, color plays a factor. Lighter color cloths provide much better heat protection than darker cloths. Each and every solar shade material has a lab rating for heat block- its called the shading coefficient. If the "expert" your talking to doesn't know this- find another.

Manual or Motorized Solar Shades

Manual shades have come a long way from old fashioned rollers. There are lots of companies offering roller shade parts, but I'd stick with Roll-ease continuous chains and clutches. They set the standard in the industry. The same with Somfy and motors- make sure your solar shade provider is a certified somfy expert if you're purchasing motorized shades.


Solar Shade Summary

There are lots of applications for solar shades- commercial to residential. Solar shades offer a great alternative to traditional window shades. Make sure to pick a company that specializes in your application- ask questions, and you'll be sure to get a product that is as functional as it is beautiful.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)