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sunblock window shades – Sun Screens for Windows from Select Blinds

Solar Shades: How to choose between light and dark fabrics. When should I use a light fabric and a dark fabric? We’ve seen instances where the fabric selected and ordered had the opposite effect, leaving consumers disappointed for years and even having to choose new shades.


Consider these Key Factors When Choosing Your Solar Shade Fabric


Sun Control: This is the main reason why shades are necessary for sunblock window shades. Everyone wants to protect the floors, furniture, and artwork they have just purchased from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Insulation: Everyone wishes to save money on their heating/cooling bills. You can cut down on your cooling and heating costs by selecting the right shade. An exterior operated shade can be a great option. A shade installed outside will block heat from entering your home.

The opacity of the fabric you select can affect the amount of light that gets through to your home at night. For example, a fabric of 1% opacity will allow for more privacy than that of 5%, but it will limit the amount of view through during daytime. You can read more about the “Openness Factor” in the section below.

Solar shades provide great sun control, insulation, and the wonderful benefit of being able keep your view of the outside.


If your view is important, you will need the right fabric.


A lighter fabric will reflect more heat from the sun, brighten the room, and blur the view. Instead of wearing sunglasses while you are walking in, you can simply look at the views and enjoy them without needing to use your eyes.

We were recently contacted by a client to repair their motorized shades. When we entered their home, we were struck by the breathtaking view of the ocean because it was right on the Mendocino coast. Unfortunately, this stunning view was cloudy and muted by the lack of light colored shades. We suggested replacing the fabric bands with a fabric that is the same opacity as the original, but changing to a darker fabric. Their initial reaction was to be cautious. 

They loved their view and wanted the room to look better, but were worried about how darker fabrics would affect the space. We sent them some large samples of fabric so that they could try it out.

They agreed to the swap and decided to move forward with the fabric substitution. The day before the installation, they reached out to us again feeling that they had made a serious mistake and were second-guessing their decision. We assured them of our satisfaction and asked that they wait for the shade to be installed before making their final decision.

After installation, the homeowner was thrilled and couldn’t believe that this was her home. Screen shades, also known as solar shades or sun shades, can be used to increase sunlight and privacy while protecting your privacy. Openness refers to the tightness of the fabric weave. It directly reflects light through the shade, also called the “openness fact”.

Tightly woven fabrics block out more light, leading to lower openness. While solar sunblock window shades with tighter weaves will work in rooms that receive lots of direct sun, it is important you think about how much light you want to keep. The fabric weave will offer less shade if it has a higher openness.

A shade with an openness of 3%-5% blocks more sunlight and privacy, but it will also permit less light through. If you want to see through the shade, a 5% white fabric would be the same as a 33% black fabric. While white fabric can blur your view, black fabric tends to make it more crisp.

For homeowners who wish to have a clear view, a 3% opening factor facing west is the best. If you’re looking for a great view to enhance your home, we suggest dark fabrics with a 3 or 5% openness. This applies to exterior or interior sunblock window shades.

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