example solar shades & screens

Solar Shades vs Solar Screens: What is the Difference?

Last Updated on October 27, 2021 by Stellar Sunscreens

Spending time outside on your sunporch or screened-in deck can be a great way to enjoy the sun but sometimes the sun can be too hot, especially in June or July regardless of where you live. If you want to avoid a sunburn or blisters, consider installing solar shades or solar screens.

Much like how houses vary in size from one another, sunporches and decks can also vary in size; therefore, custom solar screens are often the best way to go. Exterior solar screens can be mounted onto the framing members and keep direct sunlight from causing sunburns and provide more privacy.

To discover the difference between solar shades and solar sunscreens and which application would work the best, continue reading to learn more.

What Are Solar Shades?

solar shadeSolar shades are designed to block light, protect against dangerous UV rays, and reduce glare. They can be installed as exterior window sunscreens as a window treatment option for rooms that have excessive sunlight. Additionally, they also protect household surfaces, furniture, and carpets from fading.

What Are Solar Screens?

polyester weaveSolar shades are designed with a polyester weave and PVC coating and special solar screen material, generally installed on the exterior of the windows. Solar sunscreens for windows also essentially blacken out windows. Further, it’s not the best way to reduce the transfer of heat through the glass but they do gain solar heat coefficients.

Below are some pros and cons of custom solar screens:


  • Porch Insulation: Custom solar screens can lower the temperature on your porch by several degrees, making it more enjoyable to be outside.
  • Personalized Adjustments: The best solar shades in Phoenix come with multiple options that complement the design of your porch. They can also be easily removed for storage during the winter months.
  • Reduce Glare: Solar screens provide protection from harmful UV rays and also your patio flooring and furniture.
  • Increased Privacy: Custom solar screens provide you the ability to see outside but people passing by can’t see you. They allow the privacy of family gatherings without prying eyes from nosey neighbors.


  • Partial Obstruction: Since solar screen material is a woven fabric, it may block your view slightly.
  • Weather Damage: One of the best ways to prevent weather damage is to get your solar screens in Phoenix installed by a professional installation company from harsh weather.
  • Can Be Hard to Move: Since solar screens block heat, it could be a benefit to remove them to allow for more natural sunlight to heat the insides of your home.
  • Darken Your Porch: Since custom solar shades prevent some natural sunlight, they may make the inside of your sunporch feel darker.

Below are some pros and cons of custom solar shades:


  • UV Protection: The solar screen material, fabric, and pattern can be used on the solar shades to prevent ultraviolet rays from entering and causing damage to your deck furniture.
  • Maximize Viewing: Although patio solar shades are opaque, they provide a way to see out of them. Further, professional solar shades in Phoenix allow users to close and open them, enhancing your control over your privacy and brightness levels.
  • Multiple Design Options: With the best solar shades you can get lighter and darker fabrics. The only drawback to lighter fabrics is they may your view somewhat hazy.


  • Privacy Restrictions: Depending on the custom solar shades and fabric, you could allow outsiders to see you when the light is on.
  • Sunlight in Spaces: Since some solar shades come with high light protection, you may see spaces or gaps in the framework, allowing a little extra sunlight into your porch.
  • Restrict Airflow and Light: The fabric selected to make and design solar shades can darken the outdoor living space. Additionally, they are designed to control the wind from entering your sunporch, so it’s important to raise them up once in a while to limit the stuffiness.

Professional installation of either custom solar screens or solar shades in Phoenix by an expert installer provides the best enjoyment and long-term value.

Where to Get Expert Solar Shades in Phoenix?

Stellar Sunscreens is the best place to get either custom solar screens or shades in Phoenix. Contact us today for a free on-site consultation or fill out our contact form. We provide a variety of options as well as expert advice for the best solar screen material to use for your exact location and application.