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Solar Shades vs. Roller Shades – Know your Treatments

Whether we talk about commercial or residential use, solar shades and roller shades are among the two most popular types of window treatments out there today. There’s always one to choose from regardless of a given decor with seemingly countless colors, patterns, and material combinations.

However, due to the ample selection of window treatments out there, it’s important to know the difference between solar shades and roller shades. Though they can both function through the same means, they both serve different purposes.

In this article, we’ll take a look at solar shades vs. roller shades. This comparison will help you discern between the two, equipping you to make a more informed decision for your home or business.

Similarities Between a Roller Shade and a Solar Shade

  • Both styles can be operated similarly, controlled automatically, through a pull string or chain, or a cordless pull.
  • The Solar Shade and Roller Shade both manipulate the passage of light through a window into a room.
  • They are both available in a variety of different colors and patterns.
  • Roller Shades and Solar Shades are staple products of window treatment manufacturers due to either style’s ongoing popularity. 
  • Both types are designed to fit appropriately within a window, blending naturally, opposed to the decorative nature of curtains or other window treatments.

What Are Roller Shades?

Generally, roller shades are made out of 100% polyester fabric, with an occasional acrylic backing. Their main purpose is to block out incoming outdoor light.

Roller shades are commonly referred to as room darkening shades, as they are more dense than their solar counterpart. This type of shade provides maximum privacy and is often the shade of choice in bathrooms, bedrooms, or any other room where prying eyes are not welcome. 

Blackout Roller Shades

Blackout roller shades are also available. Blackout roller shades differ from regular types because they are designed to “blackout” a space rather than being translucent. Common types of blackout roller shades are made from 70% polyester and 30% cotton, eliminating any translucency in the shade.

What are Solar Shades?

Solar shades are most typically made from a combination of PVC and polyester fabric. Though solar shades operate much like their roller shade counterpart, they are designed to block ultra-violet rays rather than light completely.

The amount of UV that is blocked ranges between 1-10% openness but does not have any blackout effect or features. 

What is Openness?

The quick definition of what openness means in the realm of window coverings is the percentage of space between a weave. The greater a shade’s openness percentage, the less dense it becomes. A larger openness percentage allows for a greater amount of light to come in.

Solar shades are great for dimming a room rather than blocking all of the outdoor light. They help protect carpets, pictures, furniture, or anything else that can be damaged due to direct UV rays while still being able to make the most out of incoming light.

Final Thoughts

You might have rooms that you’d like to equip with roller shades and others that you’d rather use solar shades. Nothing is saying that you can’t mix it up from room to room.

It all boils down to what kind of room you’re focusing on and what degree of privacy you’re looking for. But at least now, you’ll have a better idea of the terminology, types, and options that are out there to help you accomplish your window treatment goals.