Product Spotlight: Solar Shades
Designed to reduce glare and infrared heat gain, Solar Roller and Roman Shades provide a degree of privacy in the daytime while maintaining your view of the outside.
Choosing the perfect window treatments can be a daunting task. With so many options, many homeowners shy away from even beginning the process. As they say, starting is often the hardest part of any project. But that’s why we’re here. So, this week we are going to shine the spotlight on one of our favorite, and not very well understood, window treatments – Solar Shades. Designed to reduce glare and infrared heat gain, Solar Roller and Roman Shades provide a degree of privacy in the daytime while maintaining your view of the outside.
"If you’ve got an amazing view, but your large windows bring in too much sunlight sometimes, solar rollers are the perfect solution…"
Let in the Good Light, Block Harmful UV Rays
Any room with “poor lighting will feel cave like and claustrophobic,” says Wendy Cassidy, Freshome. However, not all light is good light. Sunlight is made up of ultraviolet (UV) rays (40%), visible light (25%), solar heat (25%), and other factors (10%). Over time, UV rays can degrade materials, breaking down their molecular structure.
“Solar Shades are the best invention,” says interior designer Shannon Kirby. “[They are] perfect for daytime to let the light in but keep the heat and harmful rays out.” Solar Roller Shades block up to 90-99% of harmful UV rays. The key is the fabric opacity or Openness Factor. These window treatments are “available in varying degrees of ‘open-ness,’” explains interior designer Mike Strutt. “The more open they are, the more light they let in, and the more you can see through (both in and out).”
Next Day Blinds Solar Shades are available in 1%, 3%, 4%, 5%, and 10% opacity. 1% being the least opaque and giving the most privacy, and 10% being the most opaque and giving the most view. So, “it is not just a choice of light or no light,” explains Sharon Renshall, CEO and President, At A Glance Decor, “there are all the shades in between, so you can decide exactly how much sun you want.”
Better Light Control Means Better Energy Efficiency
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), windows account for 25-40% of your annual heating and cooling costs. In the coming months, the ability to reflect heat is important in keeping your home cool and your energy bills low. Our recommendation: Solar Roller Shades or Solar Soft Roman Shades. The mesh-like weave of Solar Shades helps control heat and light, allowing a lower percentage of both to enter the room.
Natural Light Can Influence Health
“Ensuring that we receive adequate light levels at the appropriate time of day benefits our alertness, mood, productivity, sleep patterns, and many aspects of our physiology,” says Dr. Victoria Revell, a chronobiologist at the University of Surrey.
- Mood: According to WebMD Medical News, our mood is influenced by a number of factors, including serotonin levels, which increase when we are exposed to light. An extra 15 to 20 minutes of natural light each day can make a huge difference.
- Sleep Patterns: Natural light influences our circadian system, which regulates our patterns of alertness and sleepiness. Without regular exposure to light, a person’s sleep–wake cycle can vary by as many as two hours per day.
Reduce Glare, Increase Productivity
A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of office workers complained about the lighting situation in their offices, primarily the abundance of artificial fluorescent lighting, and how it negatively affected their productivity. “The architectural design of office environments should take into consideration how natural daylight exposure may contribute to employee wellness,” says Ivy Cheung, a Neuroscience doctoral candidate at Northwestern University.
“Light is critical for our health and wellbeing,” says Dr. Revell. Too much sunlight, however, can be a bad thing, especially in the workplace. Glare can obscure computer screens, cause headaches, eye fatigue, and decreased productivity – affecting one’s ability to properly do their job.
The answer to this workplace worry could be quite simple, says interior designer Rebekah Zaveloff: solar shades. “These light and elegant shades block blinding sunlight yet let the good light through,” she says.Shop Solar Shades