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Solar Shades vs. Roller Shades: What Are the Differences?

Solar Shades vs. Roller Shades: What Are the Differences?

Both solar shades and roller shades can increase your level of comfort and privacy in your home, while simultaneously upgrading your home’s style. But which type of shade will best fit your needs, and what differences between the two types of shades are important to keep in mind? 

The main difference between solar shades and roller shades is the material they’re made of. While solar shades are made from a screen-like material designed to block UV rays, roller shades can be made from a range of textiles with the primary goal of controlling the level of light in a room. To find out which shades will work best for you, we’ll take a more in-depth look into the unique features of each type.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Shades?

Solar shades are made with a coated, mesh-like material that is tightly woven to provide coverage from sunlight and heat. Typically these shades are made from vinyl and come in a range of neutral colors, but there are a variety of options to choose from. Solar shades offer moderate daytime privacy and can prevent people from being able to see into your home. 

When looking at different types of solar shades, you may notice that some types have different percentage options. These percentages represent the openness of the mesh-like weave of the shades, or how much UV rays and light are filtered through the shades. For example, if you need significant light and UV protection, you should choose a 1% solar shade. If you want to allow more light into your home, you can choose solar shades with up to 10% openness. 

The primary benefit of solar shades is their excellent sun- and light-blocking qualities, making them an excellent window treatment solution for windows in rooms that are exposed to the sun. In addition to blocking light, these shades also reduce glare and protect furniture, carpets, and other household surfaces from harmful UV rays. If you find that excessive sunlight shines through your windows, solar shades may be the ideal window treatment for you. 

What Are the Benefits of Roller Shades?

While solar shades typically come in a more limited range of colors and materials, roller shades are available in a wide selection of fabrics and colors, making them a great option if style is a top priority. 

Thanks to the wide range of colors, styles, and fabrics available for this type of shade, roller shades decorate your window with beautiful fabric when lowered, and when not in use, they roll up neatly at the top of your window. The options for customization are endless! You can also choose how much light your roller shades will let through your windows, with options ranging from blackout shades that can completely stop light at the window, to more translucent materials that will allow soft light to filter into your home. 

Solar Shades vs. Roller Shades: Which Option Will Best Meet Your Needs?

While both solar shades and roller shades have their benefits, they are not without their challenges as well. Solar shades are typically available only in neutral colors because their main function of blocking UV rays relies on the woven mesh. Additionally, whether you choose a light fabric or a dark fabric for your solar shades can make a difference and produce different results in terms of opacity and privacy, so it’s important to keep this in mind.

Another drawback of solar shades is their lack of privacy at night. During the day, solar shades block UV rays while preserving the view from indoors to the outside world. However, when it’s dark outside and the lights are on in your home, passersby have a clear view of what’s going on inside. Layer solar shades with additional curtains or drapery to get around this challenge and give your home the best of both worlds with both protection from the sun and privacy in the evening hours. 

One challenge of roller shades is that they may leave light gaps between the shade and window frame, which will let in some light even when the shades are closed. Simple solutions like light blockers can block these light gaps as an easy way to achieve total darkness when desired.

Solar Shades and Roller Shades Solutions From Window Trends

No matter which shades you choose, it’s good to know that you have multiple customization options for both solar shades and roller shades. Looking for a more high-tech window treatment? We are proud to offer a variety of automated power shade options, each of which can increase convenience and sophistication within your home and take your shades to the next level. 

In addition to options for power shades that can improve your home’s efficiency, our wide range of products will allow you to create a solution that matches your style and functionality requirements, and our knowledgeable team is ready to help make your vision a reality and can answer any questions you may have.  

If you’re ready to find out more about the options available to you, feel free to stop by our Window Trends Morris Plains or Window Trends Chatham showrooms to consult with one of our representatives about what specific features you’re looking for from your shades, or simply to learn more. Give us a call at 973-401-9048 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or fill out the contact form on our website for a complimentary at-home consultation.