Tag Archives: glare

The Window Film Solution

windows without window film

Without window film…

Summer heat is beginning to return and we are starting to remember why we need to protect ourselves and our homes or businesses from the sun.  Despite the heat, we still love our windows and glass doors; in fact they are necessary to our quality of life and to the visibility of our businesses.  But with all that glass, we are exposed; exposed to damage, danger, discomfort, and health risks.

We’ve talked before of the damage to our interior and exterior furnishings and finishes, heat gain, and glare.  But there are other much more serious risks to be concerned with.  Glass is a fragile thing and our windows also expose us to break-ins, unintentional impacts, airborne debris during disasters, and even the risk of skin cancer.

Traditional window treatments are all effective (to some extent) at reducing glare, fading and heat gain.  However, consider that even when the sky is cloudy, we are still exposed to UBA and UVB rays.  We rarely close our window coverings on a cloudy day – there seems to be no need – so these types of treatments are not the best solution.

windows with window film

with Madico window film.

And, obviously, drapes, blinds, and shades cannot address the safety and security concerns we have mentioned.  The most effective protection and affordable solution is window film.  While it cannot prevent window damage or break-ins, it will reduce the damage and dangers of these events and can address multiple concerns in one product. 

Window films have gotten a bad reputation in the past due to bubbling, cracking, and pealing.  But this product has benefitted from many years of new technology, which has solved these issues and now offers us new options.  When professionally installed, a quality window film can:

  • Block up to 86% of the sun’s heat
  • Reduce interior heat loss through windows during the winter
  • Reduce the load on a building’s HVAC system
  • Prevent glass from shattering – deterring an intruder, or at least delaying their entrance
  • Prevent glass shards from becoming airborne during a disaster
  • Block up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays
  • Prevent fading of furnishings and interior finishes
  • Significantly reduce the risk of skin damage and cancer
  • Reduce glare and eye fatigue, resulting in higher productivity
  • Improve a building’s appearance by eliminating the visibility of interior “clutter”
  • Protect windows from graffiti damage
  • Delay seal failure on dual-pane, insulated glass windows

Window film also costs less than replacement of vandalized windows, can save thousands in sun or glass breakage damage to interior furnishings and finishes, and can make a building look as though it has received a facelift at a fraction of the cost.  And, because of its energy conservation qualities, window film can help your building earn credits toward LEED certification, and may qualify you/your business for tax credits.

Window film is an effective, affordable, long-lived, and comprehensive solution.  It pairs well with drapes; is practical for high-moisture and/or dirt-prone environments; is a great first solution for windows when moving into a new space; and is an easier and less costly option for “covering” very large windows.

Whatever concerns your windows pose, we use Madico SUN-GARD®, Sunscape®, and Safetyshield ® films to address those issues.  There are many new options in window film appropriate to both residential and commercial buildings – even historic structures.  Some of these include metalized, colored, fully reflective, matte or opaque finishes (for privacy and light diffusion), blackout, and scratch resistance. 

Contact us for guidance on the best window film product to meet your specific needs.

Don’t Hate the Sun!

Most of us love the sun, but the heat, glare, and UV rays that come with it can be a problem. While we’re soaking up the warmth and trying to add some color to our winter-paled skin, we forget that in another month or two we’re going to be trying to seek protection from the sun, noticing sun damage to our furnishings, and trying to keep our homes and offices cooler to lower those air conditioning bills.  But there’s no reason to hate the sun this summer, because Graber can help you control all that lovely sunshine!

Outdoor Comfort – We can’t wait to get outside in the spring, but how many times has the sun chased you in from your porch, gazebo, or deck in the heat of the summer?  Get more out of your outdoor spaces by blocking or reducing the sun in these areas with Graber’s Graber Exterior Solar ShadesExterior Solar Shades.  They can be installed on porches, gazebos, and other yard/garden structures, cooling and reducing glare while still allowing you a view of your yard.

Heat Gain – Reduce the heat gain inside your home with Graber’s LightWeaves® Solar Shade, in fabrics from sheer to blackout, depending on the level of light control or privacy you need.  The ultimate heat control product from Graber is the Exterior Solar Shade, installed outside to prevent the heat and UV rays from even reaching your windows.  This is a great solution for sunrooms and large windows facing south or west.  A remote motorized lift can be added to both interior and exterior shades to make adjustment effortless.

Graber Solar Shades with DrapesUV Damage – Maybe you’ve noticed that your interiors – drapes, furnishings and even floors – are showing signs of sun damage.  The sun’s UV rays are hard on these materials, resulting in fading, discoloration, drying, and even physical damage to wood, wood finishes, linoleum, fabrics and other surfaces.  This can mean expensive replacement of these items long before their life expectancy is up.  UV damage is not limited to rooms with direct sunlight exposure, and is often not noticed until you move furniture or lift an area rug….or close drapes to find they have become striped from fading.  Graber’s roller Solar Shades are a simple solution to protect your interiors and can be installed under your drapes.

glare reducing Graber Solar ShadesGlare – When windows are the source of glare on computer or television screens (at home or in the office) Solar Shades are an excellent solution.  Bright sunlight can also be hard on your eyes and make it difficult to see your work or converse with others.  Depending on the density of weave you choose, you can maintain a view and soften light entering the room, or you can significantly reduce the light while maintaining a view.  These features solve the glare issue while maintaining a more pleasant and comfortable environment, especially important in an office where workers’ mood and productivity can suffer from lack of natural light and view.

Graber LightWeaves Solar ShadesView – Speaking of view, it is possible to enjoy your window’s view while eliminating the heat, glare, and UV issues we’ve talked about.  It’s also possible to maintain privacy without forfeiting the view.  Graber’s LightWeaves® Solar Shade fabric weaves come in a range of densities, from 1% to 3%, 5%, and 10% openness, allowing you to choose the level that best meets your needs for both protection and light/view.  The less dense weave (10%) in a dark fabric will allow a nearly clear view and still block much of the light.  Light colored sheer and translucent fabrics diffuse light and soften the view.  Denser, room darkening fabrics dim a room significantly, and blackout fabrics completely block the light (along with the view).

Graber Dual Roller and Solar ShadesA Layered Solution – When privacy or minimal light control is needed all of the time, or less light control is needed in the morning and more in the afternoon, layer your shades.  Graber’s Dual Shades offer two layers – or levels – of protection with a highly reflective (white) shade closer to the window and a roller shade facing the room to provide additional light control, privacy, or insulation as needed, giving you more flexibility in addressing multiple issues or changing conditions.

Graber has the options to conquer your sun control issues.   Visit our showroom or call us for an in-home/office consultation to find the right solar product for your needs, so you can “Love the Sun” this summer!

The Versatile Sheer

Sheers have been relegated to the status of underwear for windows for many years. It’s an unfair designation because sheers have so much more potential than just peeking out from under the colorful, textured and patterned drapes that get all the applause.

Sheers can be the star of your room, when used creatively.  They don’t have to be the filmy, floaty, flirty things we’re used to – though we love that about them – and they now come in many colors, even patterns and textures.  Variations on sheers include Roman and Venetian blinds and sliding panels in sheer or semi-sheer materials, adding to the possibilities.  Use sheers for practical purposes, but take advantage of their best qualities.

Consider these uses:

Sheers as Room Dividers – Hang a “wall” of sheers in Graber blinds and sliding panelsopen floor plans or especially large rooms, sectioning off part of the room for a different use and giving the room a cozy feel and human scale. Place the rod either close to the ceiling or drop it down a bit in rooms with extra high ceilings to give a transom effect.

Sheers for Drama – Adding sheers to a space can add a soft, luxurious and dramatic feel to any room – or even outdoor spaces.  Hung around a bed, bathtub, dining area, or gazebo to create a dramatic and romantic cocoon, sheers are an easy and inexpensive way to add impact.  You can even double sheers up for even more drama by layering the new colors, patterns, and weaves available now.

Sheers for Style – Spice up your sheers by using dramatic colors instead of the standard white or pastel colors; by using patterned sheer fabrics; or by adding bands of other fabrics, trims or valances. Sheers can give a tropical, Moroccan, lake cottage, romantic, ethereal, or theatrical feel to any room.Graber exterior porch shades

Sheers for Privacy – Sheers are a dark room’s best friend. Create a wall of glass or use glass French doors to flow light into a room that doesn’t have windows of its own, then use sheers to cover them when privacy is needed. Or use them on your porch or gazebo to give you privacy from neighboring properties or public thoroughfares.

Sheers for Light Control – The ethereal light that sheers create is perfectly suited to any room.  Use them to reduce glare at windows and doors, either draped full length, or as café curtains, Roman shades, or the newer versions of sheers, the sliding panel.  They reduce glare on your TV or computer screen, at your desk or favorite reading spot, in anGraber_cellular_sheers_doors art studio, bedroom, or where a mirror faces a window.

Sheers for Softness – The softness of sheers can take the edge off of strong architecture and a room with lots of hard surfaces, without feeling heavy or dominating the room. The fullness of your sheers can be scaled from just enough to cover the space, to extremely full for even more softness.

Sheers as a Backdrop – Use a wall of sheers as a backdrop to features in your rooms, such as behind a bed, behind a piece of sculpture, a really beautiful bathtub or your treasured antique. The play of lights across the folds of a Graber_sliding panelssheer drape is dramatic, even if it’s just from table lamps.

Sheers as Camouflage – Locate easily-drawn sheers, or sliding panels, so that you can quickly and easily hide those utilitarian or messy areas when company comes.  With open-concept architecture and small apartments, your office nook, laundry, craft area, and even bedroom areas are sometimes open to anyone who enters.  Sheers create the separation you need to neaten-up those open spaces.

Sheers to Accent Architecture – Use sheers to accent architectural elements, such as adding contrast to a wall of brick or stone; framing a window seat or nook; drawing attention to an archway, bay or pocket door; accenting a raised or sunken area; framing a wall of windows; or adding substance to a pergola frame.Graber_sheer shades

Sheers to Create Your Special Space – Sheers create intimate and special spaces where you can retreat to relax, meditate, read a book or write a book, daydream or nap. They are a simple and inexpensive option and can be drawn when needed, giving you the separate space when you need it without adding on or taking space away from your current living areas.

Get creative with sheers and see how they can transform your home or office!