August 25, 2011 by Steven Castle
They’re hot in Europe, but are just catching on in the United States. They’re motorized outdoor shades.
Clint Childress of motorized shading manufacturer Draper says that outdoor shades are actually better than indoor shades at shielding the home from heat, cold and sunlight because they stop light and heat before they enter your living space. He offers these suggestions for shading outdoor spaces:
• Investigate exterior patios, outdoor living rooms, and sunrooms. They are good candidates for outdoor shades.
• The weave of an outdoor shade can be larger (between 5 and 10 percent) than the weave of an indoor shade (typically 1 to 5 percent), however, an outdoor shade needs to be heavier in order to withstand the elements better.
• Darker colors are better for outdoors because dark absorbs light and heat and won’t reflect it into your space.
Color for Facing Out
While we’re on the topic of color, we know you want to interior match your shades or curtains to your interior space, but what color you use facing the outside world is equally important.
Light colors reflect more sunlight, so if you’re goal is to keep rooms cool during the summer, choose a light-colored shade. If you’re concerned about being able to see through the weave of the shade for a view of the backyard, go with a darker-colored shade. Draper’s Duplex fabrics, for example, weave different colors together to provide the best of both options.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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