Solar Screens vs Solar Shades: Which Sun Protection Solution is Right for You?

Solar Screens vs Solar Shades: Which Sun Protection Solution is Right for You?

The sun is a critical element that makes planet Earth capable of sustaining life. We're just the right distance away from our sun so that we have enough heat and light for animals and plants, but not so close that it's too hot. 

However, while we all need the sun to live, it can also be harmful in some cases. The sun's rays can fade furniture, damage other items, and even contribute to serious sun damage or even skin cancer in people. 

Aside from the destructive potential of unfiltered sunlight, it can also be inconvenient. Trying to watch your favorite show on the television when there's a glare from the sun is nearly impossible, and when you don't want to wake up early, bright morning sunshine is definitely not a welcome addition to your bedroom! 

Being able to control how much sunlight makes it into your home can help you save on energy costs, and two of the best ways to do that are using solar screens or solar shades. Here's a little more information about each of these options, as well as the pros and cons, so you can make an informed choice. 

Solar Screens

The first option sun control option we're going to look at is solar screens. Solar screens are semi-permanent panels that are installed in areas of your home where you want to create shade, but they can also be removed when you don't need them. 

Solar screens come in various design styles, including woven and other options. The biggest con to solar screens is that they can darken the home, making it exceptionally difficult to see outside at night. On the other hand, they block some of the view into your space, so they're good for privacy, too.


Pros of Solar Screens

There are several benefits to choosing solar screens for sun control in your home, including:

  • Because they block out some of the light coming into your home, they reduce glare
  • Blocking out some of the sunlight into your home can also reduce the temperature in your home by a few degrees - which means you'll save on utilities! 
  • Solar screens block sunlight, but they also block visibility, so they also improve your home's privacy
  • Many different design options. 

Cons of Solar Screens

Unfortunately, like everything in life, solar screens have some negative elements, too. These include:

  • Because they block light, they can make parts of your home a lot darker
  • Solar screens do partially obstruct visibility - although different designs offer different levels of visibility
  • Since solar screens do block heat and light so effectively, they usually need to be removed during the winter, so you will have to remove and reinstall them twice a year! 
  • Solar screens can be damaged by the weather - and by the sun! They are also affected by precipitation and high wind, so select a solar screen designed for your climate. 

Solar Shades

Solar shades are another alternative that you could choose for your home if you need to block heat and light, but you want to be able to control exactly when and how that happens. 

Solar screens are very much like highly specialized blinds that are installed on parts of your home where you want to control sunlight, and they can open and close as and when needed to block sunlight from your home. 

Pros of Solar Shades

Just like solar screens, there are some definite benefits to choosing solar shades for your home, such as:

  • A huge variety of design options - there are nearly endless options for fabric and design of solar shades
  • Solar shades can be opened and closed as needed, so you have complete control over the amount of heat and light - not only by season but day-to-day or even hour-to-hour
  • Solar shades are designed to block harmful UVA and UVB rays, which makes  your home safer and healthier for your belongings and the people who live there
  • Solar shades do allow you to see through the fabric of the shade, which provides partial visibility, but because they also open, you can get perfect visibility whenever you need it
Cons of Solar Shades

Just like there are downsides to solar screens, there are some negative elements to solar shades, such as:

  • Solar shades might not provide as much privacy as solar screens do - although this does depend on the type of fabric you choose
  • Even though solar shades are made from fabric, they do block both light and airflow, which could make your home stuffier and gloomier
  • Solar shades often have gaps between the shade and the structure it's installed on, which can be annoying if you want to sit in a particular chair at a specific time of day! 

Choosing Between Solar Screens and Solar Shades

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both solar screens and solar shades. When you're trying to decide, there are a few things you need to consider. 

First, do you want to have permanent sun protection that you only change a couple of times a year, or do you want to be able to raise or lower your sun protection as needed?

Then there's cost. Solar shades are usually cheaper than solar screens (although this depends a lot on the design!) They also only need to be installed once, while you might need to hire someone to remove and reinstall solar screens seasonally. 

Additionally, you want to consider the design and aesthetics of each option. Some people just prefer the look of one or the other, and that might be enough to make the decision for you.

Finally, there's privacy. Solar screens offer a little more privacy than solar shades, but they will obstruct your view more, so you need to weigh the benefit of more privacy with the loss of visibility. 

Additional options such as tinting your windows or even upgrading them to fit energy standards (for more information about current energy standards, reference here) will also boast similar benefits of solar screens and solar shades as well.

If you are still on the fence about which option is best for your home, why not ask for quotes from companies that offer them and then choose? Just be sure to balance functionality, value for money, and durability with cost, and choose something that is designed for your area and climate to ensure that it will deliver the results you need.

August 30, 2023
September 12, 2023


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