Norman Soluna Solar Shades
Norman Soluna Solar Shades

Solar Shades, what are they?

Solar Shades are the perfect solution for controlling direct sunlight, especially in large windows. Solar Shades are built like a traditional roller shade, so they are well suited for wide windows, as they are available in widths up to 120″. They also roll up tightly, only using 4.5″ of the windows opening when fully retracted.

The difference between traditional roller shades and Solar Shades is the material they are made of. Solar Shades are specially designed with a sun resistant woven fabric, which among other properties, blocks UV light. Since the UV spectrum is responsible for heat and doing damage to your room, Solar Shades can be the perfect solution for anyone looking to control the sun, but still allow ambient light into their space. Solar Shades are extremely popular in schools, office spaces, and living areas.

Why Do Solar Shades Come in Different Percentages?

When shopping for solar shades you will see difference percentages, and we call these percentages “Openness.” Don’t get confused, openness is a simple concept really. The percentage listed is the amount of ambient light allowed through the solar shade material. For instance, if you ordered a 5% Openness shade, you could expect it to block 95% of light, while allowing 5% of the light into your room. At, we offer solar shades in openness percentages ranging from 1% to 12% to fit any room or space.

Solar Shade Openness Example
Example Of Solar Shade Openness

When deciding on which openness is right for you, consider how much light and UV rays you wish to block, versus how much of your view you wish to remain. If the window gets severe direct sun light, you may wish to install a 1% or 3% shade. If your window gets moderate sun, consider 5%. If your window only gets occasional sun, but has an amazing view, consider a 10-12% fabric.

Do Solar Shades Give You Privacy?

Night Privacy Windows
Home At Dusk

This is not a simple answer… Though I may risk sounding like your dad, I am going to say it anyway, “it depends.” If you want to have privacy during daylight hours, solar shades are an exceptional choice. Not only will they block out direct sun, solar shades are a great choice for an office space, class room, or living area, where daytime privacy is desired. With even a 12% shade down, you will have complete privacy inside during the day.

If, however, you still want privacy in the evening, you may need to consider another option. This is mainly due to the way solar shades are made. Since they are literally a woven product, there are thousands of tiny holes in the solar shade. The size and amount are directly related to the openness, but even a 1% shade has tiny holes. The advice I offer to our customers is this, whatever view you have OUT during the day, is the same view a person would have IN during the evening.

If you think solar shades are perfect for you, but you also need privacy at night, a dual shade may be the perfect answer. A dual shade allows for a solar shade to be utilized during the day, while a traditional roller shade can be lowered at night. These are special order products, so if you are interested, give us a call at 800-313-0614 for a consultation.

Do Solar Shades Really Block Heat?

Yes they do! In fact, the US Department of Energy has done studies on Energy Efficient Window Coverings found that about 76% of sunlight entering windows during the summer, becomes heat. They also found that a solar blocking shade can decrease solar heat by up to 80%!

Obviously, the openness of the shade, proper fit and installation affect these numbers, but the scientific studies are clear. Not only will solar shades help protect the interior of your home by blocking harmful UV light, they will also save you a considerable amount of money in cooling costs during summer months.

Where Should I Consider Using Solar Shades?

These shades are very popular for use in any living space or work space that deals with a large amount of sun. They are also an exceptional choice for any windows with a great view, as they allow the view to be enjoyed, even when the shade is pulled down. Office Buildings, Classrooms, Living Areas, and Commercial Spaces are all excellent candidates. The only windows we would not recommend using solar shades on would be bathroom, bedroom, or any other window where nighttime privacy is necessary. In these instances, they can still be used, if paired with another privacy shade or blind.

How Much Are Solar Shades?

Obviously, like all window coverings, there is a huge price range. For ease of comparison, we will discuss custom made solar screens from major window covering manufacturers. You can expect these products to be custom built to your window measurements, include a warranty, and be made of high quality materials. These shades also will include a choice of control and valance options, for a truly custom look.

If we consider a standard 36″ wide X 36″ high window, you should expect to spend between $105 – $185 for the shade from an on-line retailer. If you want the shade installed by a local window covering expert, the cost could range from $215 – $300.

Measuring and Order Help

We understand that custom blinds can be confusing and you may still have questions. We pride ourselves on our customer service and we are ready to discuss options with you. When you call, you are getting real window covering professionals, based in the United States. We are passionate about what we do and are ready to help you get an amazing result with your solar shade project! Call or email us today, we would be happy to help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *