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Motorized Solar Shades

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Shedding Some Light on Motorized Solar Shades 

Motorized solar shades are ideal for allowing you to make the most out of your outdoor living area. There are times when you would like to be outside, but the sun is too hot or too bright, so you have to stay indoors. This kind of shade can eliminate that problem on your gazebo, lanai, patio, porch or pergola. The electrical motor makes it easier to raise and lower the shades, and with a remote control, you can even do this from inside your home before you go out.

These shades can also help to keep your home cooler. For example, if the sun typically hits the south side of your home in the afternoon, and you have a porch with a solar screen shade on that side, it keeps the sun off both the porch and that wall. That stops the heat before it even gets to a wall or window, and it lowers the temperature on that end of the house. In general, these shades are not expensive, and you would soon recover your investment in energy savings.
Of course, there are other benefits to a motorized solar shade. One of them is privacy. You can buy shades that range from very dark to very light, so if you want more privacy, a dark one will provide that. It will not provide 100%, though–you would need a blind for that.

The motor for the shade is electric, and depending on the manufacturer and model, you can operate it with a switch or a remote control. A switch may be sufficient for a small area, but a remote is always the easiest. Once you are lounging on your cool porch, you may not want to get up to adjust the shade. Moreover, you can point an infrared remote out of a window to manage your shade while you are still indoors.

Another benefit of a motorized shade is the ability to control a large shade. Some porches can hold a long one, and it can be hard to raise and lower. With an electric motor, you will not have that problem. The operation is performed smoothly and quickly.

Sun shade motors can get power from a battery or the electrical supply from your home. The battery setup is easier and safer for a do-it-yourself situation, but it is usually only for indoor use. The electrical setup is the most common outdoors, and it may require help from an expert installer.

Motors come in varying power, and they power of each has a maximum size for the sun shade it can operate. For example, one motor might handle up to a 9-foot shade, another up to 12 feet, and another 14 feet, and so on. There are motors that can operate multiple shades at the same time.

The remotes usually use infrared or radio signals, with the latter being the most common and the best. The infrared has too much room for error because you have to point it directly at the receiver as opposed to the wide signal of the radio frequency, which the receiver easily detects.

As far as the shades themselves, they are often made out of woven vinyl-coated polyester, but you can find some made from Teflon-coated polyester, as well as knitted fabric. They come in varying degrees of sun blockage, with the higher rates being 80-90 percent. Also, you can choose from a wide range of colors and styles. A few of the popular manufacturers of motorized include Graber LightWeaves Solar Shades, Insolroll, North Solar Screen and SheerWeave.

If you are considering motorized solar shades, keep in mind that they can be an investment as well as a convenience: an investment to protect your health and save you money. While the shades themselves are not expensive, the motorization does cost a bit more. That's not too say they are not affordable; a simple set up may only cost a few hundred dollars. However, they do become more expensive as they become more intricate. But again, it's money you won't regret spending.