Choosing the right shades for your home can be tricky at first. For instance, you might try to choose between a solar shade or a roller shade. While they may look similar, they are quite different—both serve a unique purpose for the home. With options like these, you need a little help identifying which is best for you and your home.

Choosing Between Solar and Roller Shades

While there are several similarities between the two, roller shades and solar shades aren’t one and the same. Plus, choosing between them often depends on your unique situation. Similar from a distance, roller shades and solar shades serve different purposes. Here’s a helpful breakdown of their uses and benefits. 

Solar Shades

Solar shades serve a distinct purpose: They are for light control and reduce the impact of UV rays in the home or office. They might look similar to a roller shade due to their roller and tube function, and since they roll down from top to bottom of windows.

Solar shades come in a range of colors and styles. They offer different degrees of light filtering customized to your needs. Primarily these shades are used in areas of a home or office used frequently throughout the day. These blinds are made with a screen-like material that allows light to enter a room while mitigating harmful UV rays. 

Roller Shades

Roller shades come in several forms, materials, and styles. They are available in more decorative fabrics than solar shades and are typically light filtering. If you need privacy or sun control, roller shades can meet your needs while offering a design element at the same time. These sophisticated window treatments are often utilized as blackout shades and can be complete window coverings or set behind light drapes for light control during the day.

Roller Shades or Solar Shades: Know the Differences

There are a few, key ways in which a roller shade and a solar shade differ. These differences can be hard to spot initially; however, differences come to light with time and experience. If you’re unsure which to choose for your purposes, contact a window treatment expert at Van Gogh Window Fashions to discuss your options.

Customize Your Window Treatments

It can be hard to decide between solar and roller shades. As both options operate similarly, it can be difficult to note the differences. However, both types are fully customizable to your preferences and can be matched to almost any indoor decor. Furthermore, roller and solar shades can be automated and remote-controlled for hard-to-reach places, such as skylights.

For manual shades, there are several different options you can choose from, including:

  • Cordless option: A cordless shade can be pulled down and pushed up easily for a clean look without chains hanging in your window. You need to make sure you can reach the top of the window and that there isn’t furniture in front of the window blocking your access to it.
  • Chains: .manual shades are a budget-friendly option that allows you to easily control window shade length. The chain is a continuous loop so it will always be the same length in your window. 
  • Available finishings make both roller and solar shades more attractive. There are several valance options. A cassette valance is covered in the same material as the shade and is a more decorative option. A fascia valance is a metal box across the top covering the roller that provides a clean look and if it’s the same color as your trim or your wall, it can blend in and almost disappear to create a finished look. No valance option is another popular choice to provide a clean minimalistic look that is not overpowering in a window.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Roller Shade

You might be wondering what advantages a roller shade window treatment has to offer. Understanding these will allow you to make the best choice for your home, office, or commercial space.

The benefits of installing a roller shade, include:

  • Privacy. This is the best option for rooms requiring complete privacy, such as bedrooms or street-facing rooms.
  • Clean, sophisticated look. As they offer complete privacy and protection, they can be used as standalone window treatments for a clean and minimalistic look.
  • Range of light control options. If complete black-out shades are not what you’re looking for, different materials used in roller shades can offer some control over the amount of light in spaces without sacrificing privacy.
  • Blocks out all light or most harsh sunlight. Blockout blinds are made with a solid sheet of material that enhances privacy.
  • Customizable. These shades are great for anyone that needs a fully customized look. There’s a variety of material(s) to choose from for roller shades.

To get started with customized roller shades, contact a roller shade expert at Van Gogh Window Fashions. 

Disadvantages of Roller Shades

There are a few challenges to consider when installing roller shades. Not all roller shades provide complete protection from harsh UV rays. Additionally, room-darkening roller shades can be heavy and will darken a room completely.

Rooms That Benefit from Roller Shades

When installing a roller shade, consider which room you would like to install it in and the room’s purpose. Also, consider how much light you would like in the room with the shades drawn.

For total blackout, roller shades are perfect for bedrooms, private offices, and family rooms with street-facing windows.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Solar Shade

There are several pros and cons to installing a solar shade. These UV-blocking shades are an added protection for homes, commercial spaces, and offices. Pros include:

  • Reduced glare. Offices that receive a lot of bright light can benefit from a solar shade to reduce the glare of sunlight on computer screens, which allows for a better working environment.
  • Customized light filtering. The amount of light filtered can be customized to the room’s and occupants’ needs.
  • Simple window coverings. Solar shades are simple and sophisticated: They offer functionality and a clean look.
  • Control UV rays. While not all rooms benefit from complete darkness, solar shades offer control from harmful UV rays and afford ample natural light.
  • Neutral colors. As these types of shades are typically see-through, they often come in a range of neutral colors to enable outdoor viewing.

Disadvantages to Solar Shades

While these window treatments are an excellent idea for communal areas that do not need complete darkness, they are not suited to rooms that need privacy. As they allow views into a space, especially at night when lights are on, they should not be used in bedrooms unless paired with additional privacy screenings such as drapes or shutters.

Rooms That Benefit from Solar Shades

Rooms that benefit from these beautiful window shades include family rooms, offices, kitchens, and other well-used rooms that require light control without the need to darken the room completely.

Dining rooms, studies, and sunrooms benefit from more light during the day. Solar shades are ideal for these spaces as they help mitigate the harshest UVB rays, filter light, and create a clean look from the top of your window to the bottom edge. These window coverings are also perfect for cafés and restaurants to offer guests a view of the outside—while protecting them from the heat and harmful sunlight.

Customized Shades for Your Home with Van Gogh Window Fashions

Ready to elevate your interior and install shades in your home or office? Get in touch with Van Gogh Window Fashions to discuss options. With 20 years of experience in the window treatment business, our experts will be able to help you find the right choice for your space.