Understanding Solar Shades: What They Are and Why You Need Them

Solar Shade Spectrum
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Ever needed to block out the sun but don’t want to sacrifice your view? Solar shades may be the perfect solution for you. They are an increasingly popular contemporary window treatment popping up in homes across Canada.

While providing energy-efficient protection from the sun’s harmful rays, solar shades still allow natural light to filter into your home or office space. In this article, we’ll explain what solar shades are and why you need them. You'll also learn about how to choose the right type for your home.


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What Are Solar Shades?

Solar shades are the new, stylish way to protect your home and office from the sun's damaging rays. Their durable, lightweight material is capable of blocking up to 99% of UV rays while maintaining an unrestricted view.

Similar to solar blinds and solar screens, these outdoor window coverings let natural light into the room while still keeping it cool and comfortable. Combine these modern window treatments with the perfect touch of décor to add contemporary style to your space.

Types of Solar Shades

The good thing about this type of window covering is that there are different types to choose from. Depending on your needs, you can select a UV-blocking fabric with either light filtering or blackout quality. Light-filtering fabrics will allow some light into the room while still protecting against UV rays, whereas blackout fabrics will block out the sun entirely for total darkness and privacy.

At Factory Direct Blinds, we offer a wide range of solar shades in various styles, colours, and fabrics. Whether you’re looking for a light-filtering option, roller shades, or solar screens, we have the perfect shade to fit your needs.

How Do Solar Shades Work?

A working mechanism that's built into each shade allows solar blinds and shades to be easily adjusted, allowing you to customize the amount of light entering your home or office. The more you pull the cord, the more closed the shades become and vice versa. This makes it easy to control how much sunlight enters your space while still maintaining an unrestricted view.

The secret lies within its fabric and construction, where the unique weave of solar shades helps to block UV rays. This means that your furniture, carpets and other furnishings won’t fade over time due to exposure to direct sunlight.

Benefits of Solar Shades

Solar blinds and shades provide many benefits, both in terms of style and practicality. But there's more to these window coverings than meets the eye.

Energy Efficiency

Part of asking, "What are solar shades?" is understanding how they help you save energy. The unique fabric of solar shades helps to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as it blocks out direct sunlight while still allowing natural light into your space. This means that you don't have to rely on artificial lighting during the day or use a lot of energy running air conditioning systems.

According to the US Department of Energy, about 30% of heat is lost through windows. And when it's cold, more than a quarter of sunlight that passes through windows is turned into heat.

Protection from Harmful UV Rays

Solar screens also help protect your furniture and carpets from fading due to UV rays. The fabric of these window coverings is designed with a unique weave that blocks out up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet radiation, helping you keep everything looking brand new for longer.

Maintaining a View

Unlike other window coverings, solar screens and shades allow you to maintain your view while enjoying privacy at night and during the day. By closing your solar shades, you can enjoy complete privacy without sacrificing the ambiance of natural light in your space.

Customizability and Aesthetics

This type of shade is quite similar to roller shades and any other blinds for windows – you can customize solar window shades for aesthetics, modern touch, and additional functionality.

To help you do just that, Factory Direct Blinds offers customizable solar shades for windows that can fit any size and match any home decor. We do this for all types of blinds, shades, and shutters, and you can choose from a variety of colours, fabrics, and light-filtering options.

roller blinds screen fabric

Source: Kateryna Kubitsa/Shutterstock.com

How to Choose the Right Solar Shades

When it comes to choosing the right solar shades, there are a few things you should consider, including:

  • Room type: The type of room you’re installing your solar shades in will determine which type of fabric you should choose.
  • Window direction: South-facing windows typically need a darker fabric to prevent glare and overheating, while east and west-facing windows usually require a lighter fabric.
  • Local climate: For heat control, consider the climate and weather of your region.
    Installation: Will you be installing your solar shades inside or outside the window frame?
  • Personal aesthetic preferences: Open-concept homes often require window coverings that are both stylish and functional. But if you're eyeing more of a high-tech look, you can opt for motorized window treatments.
  • Type of window or door: Solar shades can be used for windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and more. Just select the type that best fits your needs and taste.

Factory Direct Blinds offers solar shades from 1% to 14% openness, so you can find the perfect fit for your home. With our wide selection of colours and fabrics, you're sure to find something that will make your windows look great as well.

Should you need help, reach out to us via call, chat, or email for free design consultations. Our team of experienced professionals is here to assist with any questions or concerns you may have.

Installing and Caring for Solar Shades

Solar shades are easy to install. Simply measure the window, cut the shade to fit, and attach it to the frame with clips or brackets. And aside from getting help with your solar screen choices, you can also take advantage of our detailed instructions and customer support to help with installation.

Too tired to clean your shades? No problem. Solar screens are easy to clean and dust-resistant. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth or vacuum the fabric on a low setting for quick maintenance.

Solar Shades vs. Traditional Window Treatments

Solar shades provide excellent glare and UV protection while still allowing natural light to enter the room. They're also easy to install, dust-resistant, and cost-effective. Traditional window treatments, on the other hand, offer more colour and texture variety – but they aren’t as energy efficient as solar screens. Both have advantages and disadvantages; it's up to you to decide which fits your needs best!

Installing solar shades can reduce energy costs by up to 25%, so it’s a great option for homeowners looking to save money. Plus, solar screens require minimal maintenance and last longer than traditional window treatments. See more differences in the table below.

Parameter Solar Shades Traditional Window Treatments (Blinds, Curtains)
Light Control Allows diffused natural light in, reducing glare while maintaining some view outside. Vary depending on material and style. Some options can block out light completely, others allow light in but not necessarily glare reduction.
Energy Efficiency High - Blocks heat from the sun, reducing cooling costs in the summer. Also provides some insulation in winter. Moderate to Low - Can help with insulation but generally not as effective in reducing solar heat gain.
UV Protection High - Can block up to 99% of harmful UV rays, protecting furniture from fading. Varies - Some types, like blackout curtains, can block UV rays, but many others do not offer this feature.
Privacy Depends on the openness factor - Lower openness offers more privacy, but at the cost of the view. Varies - Closed blinds or thick curtains offer full privacy, sheer curtains offer less.
Maintenance Low - Typically require just a light dusting or vacuuming. Varies - Some blinds can be dust magnets and certain curtains may require dry cleaning.
Aesthetics Modern and sleek look that fits well with contemporary decor. Wide range - From classic to modern, depending on material, style, and design.
Installation Can be more complex to install due to precise sizing for optimal performance. Generally simpler, with more room for error in sizing.
Cost Can be higher initially, but often pay off over time in energy savings. Varies greatly - Can be cheaper options available, but cost doesn't usually include energy savings.


Learning how to install roller shades is easier than you might think, and these shades come in colors to match any decor. Plus, roller shades allow you to block out all sunlight. If you would rather stick with solar shades, you can also maximize your privacy by layering another window treatment over them. 

Interested in the Cordless Blinds Options? Find Them Here!

Bringing Light to Your Home: The Solar Shade Way

Simply put, solar shades offer an unbeatable combination of protection and performance. They offer an energy-efficient solution while still allowing natural light to enter your home without sacrificing comfort and style. With so many options available, you’re sure to find something that perfectly fits your needs!

Better yet, you can trust that Factory Direct Blinds' solar shades are of the highest quality and backed by a 5-year warranty. So if you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective way to bring light into your home, look no further than Factory Direct Blinds' selection of solar shades. Reach out to us today to get started.


What is the purpose of a solar shade?

The purpose of a solar shade is to allow natural light into the home while providing energy efficiency and protection from harmful UV rays.

What's the difference between solar shades and regular shades?

Solar shades are made of a special type of fabric that blocks out heat and UV rays, whereas regular shades provide more privacy but do not offer the same level of energy efficiency.

Can you see through solar shades?

Solar shades are semi-transparent, so you can still see outside but with a reduced level of visibility.

Are solar shades better than cellular shades?

They are better at blocking out UV rays and heat, whereas cellular shades provide more insulation and a higher level of privacy.


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