We have different needs for purchasing products. While some of us go by the looks and the luxury factor, many others prefer functional products that give greater returns. Some instead go for products that are budget-friendly. Functionality and elegance are secondary concerns to them. In the world of window treatments, we face a similar kind of dilemma. A product that has all three factors going in its favor (good looks, functionality and cost-effectiveness) is hard to find. However, when it comes to solar shades, you may put all such dilemmas to rest. They are some of the most value-for-money propositions that you can find for your windows. Be it their ability to withstand heat, their dirt-resistant fabric or their minimal look that speaks volumes about their elegance, they are an ideal solution to your window treatment woes.
However, solar shades come with a variety of types too. There may be differences in their design, colors and dimensions. Some are even designed as outdoor blinds for exterior use. One major factor that differentiates them is their openness percentage. In this section, we will identify the different openness percentages and identify why a higher openness percentage might just be your go-to option, especially during the peak of the summer season.
Understanding The Different Openness Percentages
Consider a hypothetical situation, where you have got a lovely garden and the flowers are in full bloom. Your kids are having a great time enjoying their summer vacations, playing with the dog in the garden. The entire view is mesmerizing, and you do not want to miss out on it, as nothing could be more soothing and relaxing for your mind. At the same time, you get to keep an eye on your little ones.
However, the sun’s glare is blinding. You cannot stay out in the open for long, and you cannot keep the windows open. What you can do, instead, is install solar shades – the sun-friendly window treatments whose demand increases during summers. Built from a special heat-resistant fabric, motorized outdoor shades let in natural light, thus saving electricity costs, while also protecting the house against the harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiations of the sun.
The openness percentages of solar shades depend on the tightness of the weaves in their construction. A low openness percentage means the fabric is tightly woven and is much closer to a privacy shade, while a high openness percentage indicates a looser weave.
Blackout Solar Shades (Openness Percentage: 0%)
For those of you who do not like the sun at all, and want utmost privacy with minimum disturbance from outside elements, blackout solar or roller shades are the ultimate solution. They block all the light from coming in and disrupting your peace. They are ideal for a comfortable and unhindered sleep, but you won’t be able to have any outside view when they are installed all the way down.
Low Openness Percentage (1%-5%)
Solar shades with such openness will allow for most light to be blocked from coming in, but they will still allow a minimum level of the outside view. It will be faint, though, and you will not have as clear a view as you get from shades with higher openness percentages. You will be able to see movement and shapes.
Medium Openness Percentage (7%-10%)
These shades do preserve the view and allow for some natural light to come in. You can have a fine view of the outside. With these shades, you will also be able to protect your interiors against harmful rays that can cause damage to your furniture and furnishings. You will be able to see fairly clearly through the fabric.
High Openness Percentage (10% and above)
These solar shades with loosely woven fabrics allow for a maximum possible view of the outside, a good deal of natural sunlight inside and protection against glare and UV radiation. At the same time, you won’t be spotted by anyone who is standing outside the window during the day, thus enabling you to sit and relax in comfort and privacy. You will be able to see very clearly through the fabric, similar to a tinted window.
One thing to keep in mind for all openness percentages is that they allow an easier view from a dark side to a light side. So during the day when it is bright outside, you can easily see outside while it is more difficult to see in. However, at night time when you have lights on inside, you will be able to see into the home, and not be able to see out.
Advantages of High Openness Percentage
The colors that you choose for your fabrics also decide the openness factors of your shade, apart from how loosely or tightly the fabrics have been strung together. Lighter shades reflect light, making the room illuminated, while darker shades, used in blackout shades, absorb more light, resulting in a room darkening effect.
Here are the advantages of high openness percentages in your solar shades that you cannot look away from.
1. An Unaffected External View: This is one aspect of solar shades that makes them unique and different from other window treatments. You can have a proper outdoor view while still allowing some respite from the harsh sunlight and glare. Shades with lower openness percentages do not have this feature.
2. Lots Of Natural Light: With a fabric that allows light to come through, you will be treated to a bright room. Nothing is better than natural light to keep your spirits high and your moods elevated throughout the day. The sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D and is important to proper health.
3. Lower Energy Bills: When you already have enough sunlight pouring in through the heat-resistant fabric of solar shades, there is no need to make use of artificial lighting during the day. This can significantly lower your electricity costs at the end of the month, thus saving you a substantial amount of money.
4. Protection From Glare: Imagine if you were to have natural light inside the room and a clear outside view without being affected by the sun’s blinding glare even when the summer weather is at its peak. Won’t you enjoy the best of both worlds? Well, this is what solar shades with high openness percentages entail. You may have them lowered all the way down and still not be affected when you are working on your laptop or watching TV. Otherwise, the glare can be a major irritant that can disrupt your experience when all you desire is to relax on your sofa to watch your favorite show.
5. Protection For Your Belongings: A window space is a major highlight of your home, and it allows you to experiment with different window treatments as per your liking. However, this might be a make-or-break deal for you. A window, while giving protection, also lets in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation which can damage your furniture, furnishings, photo frames and other items. Solar shades, with their special UV-resistant material, help to reduce UV while still allowing in some light. Their effectiveness depends on the openness you choose.
6. A Sound, Long-Lasting Investment: Being flame retardant and dust-resistant, solar shades are a great one-time investment that requires no special care or additional costs over years. All they need are regular dusting and vacuuming, and they will last you for years to come.
7. Easy Setup and Minimal Design: These shades have an uncomplicated and minimal setup that can be installed without taking the help of any professional. They are operated through aluminum or metallic roller, and that is the only hardware you will find on them. As they can be mounted both inside and outside the window, they leave a lot of space for you to keep your furniture. You can also leave the space unattended and vacant, thus keeping the indoors as uncluttered as possible.
To sum up, solar shades are a home owner’s delight. They entail several advantages and features, and in order to maximize benefits, we recommend getting them in higher openness percentages (10% or above). They are cost-effective, elegant, energy-efficient and entail a great outside view.