One Name, Lots of Confusion
As you’re researching window treatments and manufacturers, you’ll run into more than a few new terms. At Motion Shading, we try to make your automated window treatment search as painless as possible. Part of this involves parsing the dense vocabulary into understandable pieces for our clients. Often, we’ll have someone ask about “Solar Shades”, a term regularly confused with different products in the industry. In this blog post, we’re going to clear up some of the more common misuses in the hope of simplifying the entire process of searching for window coverings.
What Solar Shades Are Not
Solar Shades are not powered by sunlight. While there are plenty of attempts to create a solar powered window shade the technology simply isn’t to a point where any of the major manufacturers have incorporated it into their offerings. Solar panels are too large and too expensive to make them a viable option for powering your automated shades. Smaller solar panels don’t work well either because they don’t produce enough energy for the motors. Perhaps in the future, this will be consumer-ready, but in the meantime don’t let someone convince you that these are a good option. (Especially for windows that face less-sunny directions)
Solar Shades are also generally not systems that monitor the sunrise and sunset. While reading the amount of light in a room isn’t beyond digital technology, there are usually better ways to perform the same function without an unsightly sensor in your window. Many of the manufacturer’s apps are able to calculate the astronomical time clock. This allows you to schedule your shades based on sunrise and sunset which assures that when the sun is most powerful and damaging to your windows, your shades can lower themselves.
What Solar Shades Are
The term “Solar Shades” is another way of referring to Sheer roller shades. They are a category of fabric. “Solar” simply means that their main attribute is to protect from the harmful UV rays and heat from the sun. While Sheer fabrics allow you to enjoy light even when they are down, they do provide protection for your interiors when it comes to sun damage. A 5% sheer blocks 95% of the sunlight coming through. They also come in 3% and 1% fabrics which block 97% and 99% of the light respectively.
Sheer fabrics allow you to see through them as well. Depending on the percentage and the color of the fabric your view can be sharpened or diminished. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the ability to see through sheer shades changes depending on where the majority of light is coming from at any time. If it’s daytime, you’ll be able to see out through Sheer Shades while enjoying a high level of privacy. However, if it’s night and you have your lights on inside, passersby can see through Sheer fabrics. To learn more, click here for our blog post on Sheer Shades.
The take away here is that the term “Solar Shades” refers to how the fabric manipulates light and protects your belongings rather than being powered by or operated by light. Understanding this will help you know what you’re looking for when it comes to shading options.
For a hands-on demonstration with all the different fabric categories and operating systems come by our Showroom at 2571 Piedmont Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30324. We’ll happily walk you through all of the options and talk to you about your specific needs. You can schedule an appointment or drop in the showroom. We’re open from 10 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday and from 10:30 am until 5 pm on Saturdays.
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