Depending on who you are, today might or might not be a big day, but considering that our business is driven by the sun, we’d probably be remiss in not saying a little something about today’s total eclipse of the sun! Now I’m not a scientist, and I don’t even play one on TV, but I do know a couple of things about the sun and solar shades, and there is plenty of overlap in the information surrounding the eclipse and the science behind solar shades.
“Solar shades are like sunglasses for your windows…” (Insert Insolroll employee name here- we’ve all said it!)
We often like to say that Insolroll solar shades are like sunglasses for your windows, and that really is true. The sun is powerful, and we need protection from its full force. A plethora of warnings are out there about taking care not to damage your eyes during today’s eclipse, and people have been clamoring to get special eclipse glasses for weeks now. Here in the Boulder/Louisville, Colorado area, everyone is sold out, and it was big news when McGuckin’s, our word-famous local hardware store came up with a few hundred more pairs to sell. You would think that the sun being 90 to 100% “blocked” by the moon would mean there was no threat to your eyes, right? NOT the case. The sun is POWERFUL. Did I already say that? Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse for even a few seconds can cause permanent damage to your retinas, resulting in permanently blurred vision, blind spots, or worse. The solar-optical properties of the eclipse glasses keep your eyes safe by blocking a scientifically determined amount of the sun’s radiation from striking your eye, and they’re manufactured to exacting specifications in order to do so.
Solar shade fabrics are a lot like those eclipse glasses. Often referred to as “technical fabrics”, their solar-optical properties are exacting, manufactured to strictly determined, verifiable specifications. According to the openness of their weave (and even color), they block a measurably specific percentage of the light and UV rays in sunlight from entering your interior space. They either reflect, absorb, or transmit 100% of the energy in solar radiation, and every fabric has its own specific, scientifically measured data showing how much light is reflected, absorbed, and transmitted. Light color, dark color, high performance, more open, and less open are all factors that determine the heat, glare and UV performance of any given fabric. Your exposure, window size and aesthetic preferences together determine which fabric is right for your application.
Solar shades provide excellent view through, even when the openness is only 5% or less. That small percentage of the total amount of light is enough to provide a clear, comfortable-to-look-at view of the outside. Because light is powerful. Blocking a significant part of the visible spectrum, as well as infrared and ultraviolet rays provides visual comfort, and protection for not only your eyes, but your skin, furnishings, and finishes in your home. Learn more here!
So if you’re lucky enough to be geographically in the right place, use your eclipse glasses today to check out the eclipse, whatever your area’s percentage of totality! But be sure to protect yourself and your home with solar shades every day- your eyes, skin, home and cooling bill will thank you!