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Solar Shades & Nighttime Privacy, Explained

Bali Solar Shades

Installing solar shades in your home is a fantastic way to reduce glare and block harmful UV rays, without losing your view of the outdoors. The same design technology that allows for great views of the outside during the day, however, is not intended to offer maximum indoor privacy at night.

But don’t fret! There are multiple solutions to allow for great daytime views while getting privacy at night.

Bali Solar Shades in a home office

Solar Shade Openness

Each solar shade fabric has its own unique openness percentage. These percentages range from 1% to 14%. They tell you the percentage of UV rays that are allowed through the fabric. Fabrics with lower percentages feature a tighter weave, while fabrics with higher percentages have a more “open” weave.

Unlike roller shades or classic Roman shades, solar shades don't use the language of opacities, such as sheer, light filtering, or blackout to describe the fabric. They use these openness percentages instead.

So it can be tricky to understand how well you can see through them and what kind of privacy they offer. Use this guide to understand more about solar shade openness levels.

And be sure to order your free swatches of solar shade fabrics so you can see them in person!

Bali Solar Shade swatches

Daytime Views and Nighttime Privacy: Why Not Both?

If privacy at night is a high priority, solar shades alone won’t accomplish the task. Although solar shades are not a privacy solution at night, there are still options that will allow you to have your daytime protection and evening privacy, too! Let me explain.

Solar Shade Privacy Option 1: Dual Shade

Bali Bali Dual Shades in a living room

Dual Shades with Motorized Lift; Roller Shades (front): Tuscan, Muse 1291; Roller Shades (back): Gemstone, Jewel 1253; 51⁄2" Noble Wood Cornice: Snowflake 1603 Tuscan, Gemstone

The most straightforward solution to provide views of the outdoors during the day and privacy at night is the Bali Dual Shade. Dual shades offer the best of both worlds and feature both solar shades and roller shades in one compact unit! Pull your solar shade down during the day, then your blackout roller shade at night. A dual shade is also a fun way to enjoy a different style during the day than you do at night. How great is that?

Solar Shade Privacy Option 2: Curtains

Bali Solar Shades and Drapery in a home office

Solar Shades with Continuous-Loop Lift: Landon, Pale Powder 10096 with Contour Valance; 2-Finger Inverted Pleat Drapery: Nadine, Golden Maize 8272

Draperies and curtains are a fantastic way to add dramatic texture to any room. The options for fabric patterns, colors, liners, and trim can be fully customized to fit your personality and home personality.

For example, selecting a thicker fabric or one with a blackout liner will provide you with the privacy you're looking for. At the same time, layering curtains over your solar shades will draw the eye vertically, making your ceilings feel higher when not in use!

Solar shades alone are a great solution for situations where UV protection, daytime views, and partial privacy are a top priority. When used in a dual shade or paired with curtains, they become part of a window covering system that will offer options for any level of light protection or privacy.