What The Solar Eclipse Can Teach Us About Light Amounts

What The Solar Ecplise Can Teach Us About Window Shades Opacity


If you live in Florida and were hoping to experience the solar eclipse without protective glasses, then you now know it wasn’t feasible. And I’m not referring to staring directly at the sun, but perhaps hoping for a bit of darkness throughout the day. Chances are you didn’t even notice anything was happening, even during the peak of the solar eclipse at 75%.

In fact, even in areas experiencing totality, it remained bright outside until the sun was completely obscured by the moon. With this in mind, we want to address one of the common questions we receive from our customers:

“Do you have any window shades that are dark but not made of room-darkening fabric?”

solar eclipse

The solar eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking some or all of the sun’s light. This can result in a partial or total blocking of the sun, depending on the alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth.

During a solar eclipse, the moon gradually blocks out the sun, but before totality, there’s still a significant amount of sunlight filtering through. This partial blocking creates a dimming effect, but not enough to significantly reduce brightness until the moon completely covers the sun during totality. This of it like when clouds partially cover the sun on a cloudy day – it’s still bright outside. just not as bright as when there are no clouds.


Window Shades

Window shades are made with various levels of opacity. Opacity refers to how tightly woven the fabric is on a shade. For instance, a 5% screen shade means the shade is 5% open and 95% closed, while a 1% shade is 99% closed, and so on. A room-darkening shade, in this case, would be considered a 0% shade, signifying it’s fully closed. By examining the picture below, you can observe the significant contrast between a 1% shade and a room-darkening shade in terms of light penetration.

Just like the solar eclipse, the 1% disparity is substantial, leaving no room for a room-darkening shade unless you opt for room-darkening fabric. Our latest collection of shade fabrics even includes a 0.5% fabric, offering enhanced privacy but no difference in light penetration.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a shade to block out light for a better night’s sleep, your best bet or only bet is to buy room-darkening shades.

Pro Tip! If you want to have a shade for daytime use, it is possible to put two shades behind the same fascia in your opening! A room-darkening shade for night time, and a light-filtering shade for daytime!Ā 

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