7 Interesting Facts About Solar Shades
What did Shakespeare say? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. We know The Bard was writing about a certain star-crossed lover but we actually think the quote is apt for one of our most popular products: solar shades. Many people don’t realize that these window blinds are known by many names—solar screen shades, solar mesh blinds, solar roller shades, and solar screen roller shades, just to name a few. And the little-did-you know facts don’t end there. No matter what you call them, solar shades remain a sweet option for windows everywhere. Here are 7 facts about solar shades we’ll bet you didn’t know:
- They have an impressive resume. If we tallied up the work that solar shades do, it would come down to three biggies: They block solar heat but still allow light into a room. They reduce the glare that comes from direct sunlight and protect skin, furniture, and décor from harmful UV rays. And, even as they block light and heat, they don’t block a window’s outside view.
- They’re good enough for The New York Times. Did you know that the world-famous, 52 story skyscraper that houses The New York Times Company features solar shades? Automated solar roller shades were part of the Company’s green structure design. The goal was to limit window glare, maximize the view and daylight admission, and to make it so that sunlight only entered a specified distance from the window. They were even able to manage lights to that they dynamically adjust to dim or turn off based on the amount of natural light and customize the level of lighting to fit office groupings on each floor.
- Fabric is a big factor in the role of your solar screen. Solar screen fabric comes in a wide variety of colors and styles but tends to fall into three categories: dark fabrics, light fabrics, and high performance reflective fabrics. Dark fabrics offer the best glare reduction and the best view out, can reduce daytime privacy and absorb heat. Light fabrics offer the best heat management and allow more visible light into a room. High performance solar screen fabrics are designed to be the best of both worlds, with better overall heat control, glare control, UV protection, and view.
- They’re not just summer accessories. The word “solar” makes most folks think that these shades only work during summertime months or tropical climes. Not true! Not only can solar shades keep heat out, they can also trap it. In the wintertime, this can help maintain warmer indoor temperatures and take some of the load off your actual heating system.
- The inspiration behind solar shades is out of this world. Solar shades actually got their start because the same idea is used by NASA to shield astronauts from the blinding light of the sun. Not bad for a technology origin story, right?
- Privacy is dependent on a few things. A solar shade’s transparency depends on the openness or density of its weave. The more open the weave, the more light and visibility. During the day solar shades can provide privacy while still allowing you to see out—but that reverses in the evening. At night, your view will be limited, but if the lights are on inside the building, people will be able to see in. Of course, this phenomenon is dependent on your weave and the color of your solar shade fabric.
- They’ve got a connection to everything from the military to mocha Frappuccinos. Solar shades are widely used in residential homes but that’s not the only place you’ll see them. The military uses solar shades in its offices, bases, and naval vessels to increase energy efficiency, reduce glare, and as an added security measure against surveillance. Even Starbucks is in on the solar shade action: because of their ability to prevent glare, solar shades make excellent companions for coffee drinkers with laptops.
Ready to sign on for solar shades? One of our Strickland’s Blinds, Shades & Shutters experts would be happy to answer any questions you have and help you get the process started.