Roller Blinds for Solar Control

Consider whether direct sunlight falls on the window or is reflected onto the window. Consider whether glare from the sun is a problem and whether you need to keep the sun out. Consider whether the contents next to the window need protection from the harmful effects of sunlight. Consider whether sunlight through this window causes the room to heat up too much.

Solar protective & sun reflective fabrics

Blackout roller blinds provide maximum sun protection though all roller blind fabrics will reflect a certain percentage of solar radiation. Roller blind fabrics that are marketed as ‘solar protective’ or ‘solar reflective’ fabrics usually reflect or absorb a higher percentage of solar radiation than others, reducing the amount of visible light and infrared thermal radiation that is transmitted through the roller blind into the room. Solar protective and solar reflective fabrics usually also block 100% of UV light from passing through the fabric. The amount of solar radiation reflected or blocked by the roller blind fabric will still largely depend upon the colour of the fabric, with lighter colours reflecting more radiation and darker colours absorbing more radiation. Some protective or solar reflective roller blind fabrics are laminated or treated with a light or silver foil coloured backing to maximise the amount of solar radiation reflected and to minimise the amount absorbed.

Anti-glare roller blind fabrics

All roller blind fabrics will reflect and absorb a certain percentage of visible solar light and therefore all roller blinds could properly be termed anti-glare roller blinds. However roller blind fabrics marketed as anti-glare fabrics are usually an ‘open’ solar protective or solar reflective fabric which allows a percentage (usually 3-5%) of solar radiation through. The ‘openness’ of the fabric means that a view through the fabric is maintained, though from the outside the fabric will appear solid and provide privacy during the day. Darker coloured anti-glare roller blind fabrics will provide better outward visibility and reduce glare better than lighter colours. Lighter coloured anti-glare roller blind fabrics will reflect more solar radiation and therefore keep out heat better than darker colours. The ‘openness’ of the fabric also means that a certain amount of UV light will pass through the fabric so it is worth noting that these fabrics will not protect the room from 100% of UV light.

Roller blinds with anti-glare films are also available. The anti-glare film acts in a similar way to sunglasses reflecting UV light and filtering visible light.

Roller blinds with UV protection

All roller blind fabrics block a certain percentage of UV solar light, so any fabric could properly be called a UV control fabric. Roller blind fabrics that are marketed as UV control fabrics usually block 100% of UV light. Most solar reflective or solar protective fabrics block 100% of UV light, though not all do so if this is important it is worth double checking.

Other articles from the buyer's guide series:
Light and privacy control
Thermally efficient fabric
Anti-bacterial and washable fabrics
Flame retardant and sustainable fabrics