Importance of Openness and Color

When it comes to window treatments, the most well known and easily identifiable when asked, is a slatted blind style treatment. But a question we often get is, "how does selecting a shade work"? 

When choosing a solar shade, two important factors will impact the performance of your solar shade and the comfort of the population occupying it's interior space: Openness and Color. It might come as a surprise to many, but both of these factors are equally as important when deciding the right window shade for your room, space, building and occupants as well as the desired performance and solar/glare control.

Openness factor is a number that describes the amount of open space in a woven shade fabric. For example, in a 3 percent open fabric, the spaces between the mesh yarns are 3 percent of the overall shade panel. The higher the number, the bigger the see-through open spaces.

One way openness affects comfort is the amount of solar energy, UV rays and subsequently glare allowed through. In general, the higher the number of openness, the more light will get through the fabric. That means that a lower number will typically mean less glare and also lower solar heat gain because less solar energy is passing through and hitting people or objects.

Openness also affects visual and psychological comfort. The larger the factor, the easier it usually is to see through the fabric, so a higher number makes it easier to see views of nature. If the views outside are not that appealing, then a lower number will typically better disguise the view.

Color also impacts both physical and psychological comfort. In general, lighter colors reflect more visible light. Meaning they will typically reduce discomfort associated with solar heat gain better than darker colors. However, darker colors improve comfort because they are better at reducing glare. Darker colors also typically provide a better view through to the outdoors, which can improve comfort and mood in the right surroundings. But beyond dark vs. light, there is some evidence to suggest individual colors or color groups can affect mood and psychological comfort.

No matter what choice you make, solar shades are an ideal treatment solution for achieving multiple solutions across the range of interior and architectural design, solar control, heat gain as well as occupant comfort, wellness, and privacy.