Skip to main content

What Opacity Means for Motorized Shades

A kitchen with semi-opaque motorized shades allows some light in during the day.

The Light Filtering Properties of Motorized Shades Explained

How much light would you like to come in through your motorized shades? How much privacy will you require? These questions will help you determine the opacity level needed for your new window treatments. Opacity is the amount of shade your window treatments will provide based on the fabric type used to make them. 

Continue reading to learn more about opacity, including the options available for motorized shades and how they will impact the energy efficiency of your Charlotte, NC, home.

SEE ALSO: Spotlight: Hunter Douglas Motorized Window Treatments

Different Levels of Opacity

The opacity level of motorized shades is determined by the type and color of fabric you choose. Additional options are available to provide greater flexibility regarding your window treatments’ opacity, including liners and dual roller systems.

 The standard levels of opacity are:

  • Sheer
  • Semi-Sheer
  • Semi-Opaque
  • Opaque/Room Darkening
  • Blackout

Homeowners must understand the various opacity levels so that they only choose a fabric that meets their expectations and needs. A sheer fabric, for instance, will help reduce some glare in your home but will not provide very much privacy. On the other hand, thin material is meant to allow light into the room but doesn't guarantee a completely clear view. Alternatively, a blackout shade blocks nearly all outside light and provides absolute privacy in your room.

A semi-sheer fabric will let in slightly less light than a sheer one and offer more privacy, although it is still reasonably see-through.

A semi-opaque fabric will allow some light but is more likely to prevent others from seeing beyond the shadows. An opaque or room-darkening material will stop nearly all light from entering the room and provide high-quality levels of privacy. A room with this level of shade may require additional lighting such as lamps because the window will not provide a secondary light source.

How to Decide

When it's time to decide which opacity to choose for your motorized shades, think about the needs of your space. Different rooms may have additional requirements. For instance, you may prefer a blackout or opaque fabric for your bedroom or bathroom because of the increased need for privacy. But you may choose a sheer or semi-sheer fabric for the living room, kitchen, or dining room. Again, the choice is based mainly on privacy, sunlight, and your desire to see outside while the shades are drawn.

Do Opacity Levels Impact Energy Efficiency?

Most window coverings can help reduce heat lost through windows or minimize the sun's heat's impact during the peak summer season. The benefit of regulating temperatures is taking advantage of lower energy bills. In the summertime, having a blackout shade will help keep the daytime high heat out of your home. 

With motorized window treatments, homeowners can schedule their shades to open and close at specific times throughout the day. This function will allow you to block out the most potent heat of the day while enjoying natural light throughout the morning and late afternoon hours.


Please get in touch with us if you'd like to learn more about motorized shading options for your Charlotte, NC, home. We would be happy to provide you with a no-obligation quote.

Dreaming About Your Next Home Theater?
Why to Include a Smart Security System in Your New...

Related Posts

2440 Whitehall Park Drive
Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28273
(704) 412-4040

Existing Client Support
(704) 412-9301
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Integrated Home is rated 5 out of 5 based on 30 reviews from around the Web.

window.__lc = window.__lc || {}; window.__lc.license = 7869351; (function() { var lc = document.createElement('script'); lc.type = 'text/javascript'; lc.async = true; lc.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(lc, s); })(); Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Powered By One Firefly | Sitemap