Solar Window Shades

Do you have a great view out your windows, but the sun is so hot and bright that you feel like you can’t be in that room when the sun is shining? Solar shades are a great solution for reducing heat, glare, and ultraviolet (UV) light, while still allowing you to see through to the outdoors.


Woven to precise standards, these fabrics consist of polyester or fiberglass yarns with a vinyl coating (there are PVC free options also) and are woven in a range of densities from 1% to 14% openness (3%, 5%, and 10% are the most common). The percentage of density (openness) refers to the amount of shade surface that is holes and directly correlates to the amount of UV light protection—a 5% open shade blocks 95% of the UV, no matter the color of the material.

The color of the fabric, however, does matter when it comes to brightness, glare, and heat. The measurement of brightness and glare is called visual light transmittance (VLT) and is a percentage of the amount of visible light that makes it through the holes and the threads of the shade fabric. A light color fabric will have a higher VLT number than a dark color fabric. Because of this, a dark color fabric allows for a better view through because there is less glare. The opposite, however, is true of solar heat gain—the measurement of which is called shading coefficient (SC) and measures the amount of solar radiation that makes it through the shade. Light color shades have a better (lower) SC than dark color shades, mainly because light colors reflect the heat back, while dark colors absorb the heat and reradiate some of it into the room. There are some high performance fabrics with special coatings that overcome the drawbacks of both light and dark fabrics, giving you the best of both.

Insolroll Product Shots

So, when choosing a solar shade, there are a couple of things to remember. The openness percentage of the fabric does not necessarily tell the whole story of how that shade will perform and that solar shades are not designed for privacy—after all, they are full of holes!

Most solar shade fabrics are available up to 10 feet wide and are ideal for large windows. There are manual and motorized control options and design options for treating the top of the roller—plain roller, colored metal fascia, and fabric covered cassettes.

Our preferred fabricator for solar shades is Insolroll Shading Systems in Colorado. High quality roller shades are the only thing they manufacture, and they are experts at both manual and motorized shades.

Operating Systems: Clutch with beaded chain, Cordless, Motorized (110V AC, DC 24V, or battery powered) with remote control or wall switch.

Minneapolis Window Shade Co.
3550 Dakota Ave. S.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Phone: (952) 922-4100
Fax: (952) 922-4600