Tom Vatury, from Horizon Window Treatments Company, recently sent me this interesting article he wrote regarding the comparison of cellular blinds and solar shades. I thought it had a lot of great information and he explained it so well that I wanted to share it with you.
” People often exclaim and sigh when browsing through the many window treatment choices and the overwhelming amount of fabric samples. It’s definitely not easy to settle on one with so many exciting possibilities. The best thing to do is first understand the different options and break them down by function before looking at the fabric pattern or color choices, since these can often be applied across products.
There are many window treatments that can be compared from the different drapery, shade and shutter options, but two very practical and popular solutions are cellular blinds and solar shades. Cellular blinds are actually more like shades, since they form a single continuous panel with slats stuck together rather than as separate segments. They are commonly called honeycomb shades, because of their distinctly shaped inner pockets.
Cellular blinds are also well known for their great energy saving quality. They can help reduce energy usage during very warm or cold months by limiting the transfer of heat. These blinds form special insulating air pockets between the front and back side, resembling a honeycomb cell, hence its name. However, they need to be installed properly to really be energy efficient. If they are installed very closely to the window with both sides of the shade held close to the wall, it creates a sealed airspace that effectively limits the amount of hot or cold air from passing through either way. A double cell option is also recommended to achieve the most effective energy saving blind. Blackout cellular blinds designed for room darkening are usually lined with foil, which further improve their insulation and can additionally help reduce noise. This is a great option in a bedroom for comfortable rest any time.
There are a few drawbacks to cellular blinds, though. The first disadvantage being that the accordion design of the shade may not mesh well with the rest of your interior design style. The shape is a major part of how the blind saves energy, however, so there is not much room to work with this, except possibly by choosing different size cells. The other disadvantage is that honeycomb shades do not provide very much light control once installed. Unlike traditional blinds, the slats here are glued together and can’t be individually opened to let light through like horizontal blinds. The fabric can either be light filtering or room darkening, but must be raised or lowered to adjust beyond that.
Solar shades have similar attributes as cellular blinds, but offer different options as well. These shades have more in common with traditional roller shades, yet it’s the specially woven screen-like fabric here that makes the difference. This special design minimizes direct sunlight, stopping UV rays and reducing glare, without completely blocking out the window view. They are available in different degrees of openness, usually starting at 5%. The higher the openness factor is the looser the weave and the less shade that is provided, but the clearer the view will be. The way solar shades filter light prevents most visibility into the windows during the daytime, but at night, when lights are on inside and the exterior is darker, outsiders may be able to see through the shades. For full privacy solar shades are then best combined with another window treatment layer, such as a blackout curtain or roller shade. The solar shade in front will also help prevent fading of your other fabrics, furniture and floors by blocking harmful UV rays. Solar shades are available in different colors, but aren’t available with decorative trims like roller blinds. One way around this for a more stylish design is to have a border pattern printed on them.
Both of these window treatments can be operated with cords or pulled manually for a safer solution around children and they can also be installed as motorized solutions for even more convenience. The clear difference between Cellular Blinds and Solar Shades is one can be very energy efficient, saving money with its distinct honeycomb design and the other is a cleaner flat roller design that will protect from UV rays while preserving the view. Which of those is the best choice will depend on the room type and product feature you find more important. From there you can decide on a color to choose, which both offer a nice variety of.”
Thank you Tom! What would be your choice readers? They are both so practical for keeping in the warmth (and coolness) and both have a lot of different styles to choose from. Be sure to look through his portfolio here for ideas and inspiration. Comments? Any other window treatments you would like to learn more about?
If you need help making your home comfortable and happy, contact me today!Share on Facebook