Stoneside Custom Solar Shades

How Choosing Solar Shades Helps You Get the Most from Your Windows

Block harsh sunlight without sacrificing your view (or style).

What are solar shades, exactly?

Solar shades are, as their name suggests, shades that specifically target sunlight. Solar shades help control glare, light dispersion, heat transfer, and UV rays.

Tired of baking in the hot sun coming from your dining room windows? Solar shades with reflective technology can stop that heat in its tracks.

Is your home office essentially unusable during the day? Solar shades are exactly what you need to take on that incessant glare.

Not only that, but solar shades give you the bonus of protecting yourself and your home from the harmful effects of UV rays.

How do solar shades work?

This can get a bit scientific, but it all comes down to controlling solar radiation. That sounds a lot more intense than it is - solar radiation refers to all the elements that make up sunlight. Meaning, the heat you feel, the light you see, and the unseen UV rays commonly associated with being in the sun. Solar shades control all three areas of sunlight as we understand them.

But how?

Solar shades manage solar radiation in three ways:

  • Transference
  • Reflection
  • Absorption and Dispersion

Transference refers to the sunlight moving through your window and solar shades into your home. In some cases, the ideal transfer is actually higher, as you might want some sun to flow into your home and not be blocked completely.

Reflection is pretty straightforward. Solar shades reflect heat, light, and UV rays from the sun back outside, protecting your home from intense sunlight.

Dispersion is where solar shades truly shine. Sunlight gets absorbed into the fabric of your solar shade, and then it is subtly dispersed into your home. Because your solar shade has absorbed much of the solar radiation, you are left with a much softer and approachable look and feel.

What is a solar shade’s “Openness Factor”?

All solar shades are measured with an openness factor. Openness is determined by how tight the weave of your shade is. Essentially, the fabric’s opacity. At Stoneside, we offer 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 14%, so you can choose how much natural light you’d like to see transferred through your shade. The lower the number, the less light gets in.

Do you prefer to have more light control and privacy? Opt for a lower percentage. Want to reduce glare without sacrificing your view? Consider solar shades with a 10% or 14% openness factor.

Stoneside Custom Solar Shades

What color of solar shade works best?

That depends on what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for heat blocking but don’t want your shade to be too dark, light-colored solar shades will be perfect. This is because lighter shades have a higher VLT (visible light transference) so more light can shine through.

Dark solar shades give the best glare control and heat absorption. Solar shades with higher heat absorbance control the dispersion of the heat. Instead of intense heat coming directly into your home, heat gets stopped at the shade, absorbed, and re-dispersed into the room for a subtler effect.

Our solar shades come in a wide variety of colors — we even have some with patterns to bring an extra style element to your home. No matter what color you’re looking for, we’re sure to have the right color for you.

What openness should I get for my solar shades?

This will depend on your overall priorities. If you’d prefer a shade that you can see through, you’ll need a higher openness factor. However, keep in mind that this will affect your shade’s ability to control the heat, light, and any UV rays you might be exposed to.

Choosing an openness for your solar shade will depend on your overall priorities. The best way to make this decision is to make a list of priorities and then speak directly to our design team. We’ll help you navigate your way through solar shades to find one that fits your home’s style, design, and needs. You can schedule your free, no-obligation consultation here.

Which are the best solar shades for blocking heat?

Solar shades are all about control, so if heat blocking is your priority, solar shades will get the job done. Lighter shades tend to have more heat reflection, but darker shades can also give you heat control by absorbing and then dispersing it naturally into a room. However, if you’re looking for optimum heat blocking and glare control, opt for our shades with Koolblack Technology, which reflects heat back outdoors.

Can you see through solar shades at night?

Solar shades prioritize solar radiation (sunlight) control. At night, depending on the openness factor, it is possible to see inside your home if your lights are on. For a solution that gives you the sunlight and heat control you need but the privacy you desire, try layering your solar shade with another window treatment such as custom drapes.

Layer solar shades with draperies for more style and comfort.

Your living room has large windows, capturing the stunning view you always dreamed of having. But every afternoon, sunlight detracts from the beauty by heating up your home dramatically and causing glare on shiny surfaces.

A solar shade with a higher openness factor is exactly what you need. You’ll get a home with less dramatic temperature changes, and sunlight naturally dispersed throughout the room. All this without sacrificing the view you love.

But wait, what about in the evening? Won’t your home be on display if viewed from outdoors?

Other than solar radiation control, the best thing about solar shades are their ability to stylishly pair well with drapery. Adding drapery to your solar shades will give you even more elegance and style than you’d get with one or the other.

Stoneside Expert Solar Shade Installation

Is there a difference between roller shades and solar shades?

Solar shades are a subset of roller shades. Roller shades include many different types of fabrics but aren’t necessarily solar shades. Solar shades are roller shades that specifically target light/heat/uv control.

Sunlight blocking simplified with motorized solar shades.

Motorization is an optional add-on for solar shades, giving you more control than ever. With motorized shades, you’ll operate your window treatment from the couch, around the corner, or even from another room.

If your motorized solar shade is connected to your home automation system, an automatic timer can raise and lower your shades for ultimate convenience with virtually no effort.

Block out harsh sunlight, gain climate control, and optimize your windows with a simple click.

If you’re curious about what solar shade would work best in your space, reach out to our design team. They’ll discuss what your ideal solar shade would look like, and what functions you’re looking forward to the most.

Together, we’ll find the right solar shade for you.