Interior Solar Shades vs. Exterior Solar Shades: Pros and Cons

Woman in red dress uses a controller to bring up her retractable shades

You’re considering installing solar shades in your home, but you are stumped on which to choose: interior solar shades or exterior solar shades?

It’s a fair question that everyone asks. They both successfully provide shade from a hot, glaring, and harmful sun, but what are the finer details between the two options? And how will you know which one to choose for your home needs?

This blog outlines the pros and cons of each option, after which you’ll feel more confident in selecting your solar shade.

We’ll discuss practicality, materials, design, and budget, so keep reading!

If you’ve any questions or concerns or are ready to buy your solar shade, contact us at Screenmobile. A Screenmobile technician in your locality will help you choose what you want and need and professionally install your solar shades with customized options.

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Shared benefits of solar shades

Solar screens and blinds are designed to protect your family and home from the sun. They both come in various patterns and colors to suit your home needs. Here are some of the benefits of exterior sun shades:

Blocking UV Rays

Skin Cancer Foundation Recommendation Tag

The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D. It makes us happy and is the background of many family outdoor memories. However, UV rays from the sun can be pretty harmful. If you stay too long in direct sunlight, you can seriously damage your skin and health. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends Screenmobile Sunbrella fabrics as adequate UV protection.

Energy Efficient

Being able to control the amount of light and heat entering your home from the sun allows you to manage your AC and electricity bills. With exterior sun shades, you can reduce your overall costs and the amount of energy your household consumes—the better option for homes aiming for a higher sustainability grade.

Blackout feature

Have trouble sleeping with light coming through the window? Or is a home cinema your next big project? Whatever your reasons for wanting to turn day into night, some Screenmobile brands offer this feature for interior or exterior sun shades. 

Retain view

Having a solar shade where you can keep your view is the perfect solution for those who want to admire the surrounding landscape while blocking the sun. You can choose materials that will stop the sun’s heat and light. Also, consider that you retain a spectacular view even with a darker screen. Give us a call and see for yourself.

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Porch shades block the sun but allow you to still take in the views.

Multiple Finishes

Your home is your sanctuary, and the decor you’ve chosen should not prevent you from benefiting from solar shades. Different exterior sun shade finishes are available in various colors to complement your interior design or curbside appeal.

Multiple Design Options

Stand out from your neighbors and choose your fabric. We have dozens to choose from, whether for blackout, pest-prevention, or a preference for designer fabrics. Our options include SheerWeave 2000 and 5000 choices.

We’ll be happy to share the full catalog with you. 

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Ease of operation

Screenmobile’s motorized exterior sun shade options are operated by radio waves. They avoid interference from neighbors and other radio waves, offering security and safety when in use. Best of all, they are omnidirectional, meaning you can control your shades from a distance of up to 20 feet without needing to point directly at the source, like an IR remote. These options ensure smooth and motorized control that’s easy to use and set up.

SOMFY RTS motors: ease of operation.

Screenmobile Guarantee 

We provide an exceptional warranty as the products we choose are the best in the market. Be comforted knowing that your solar shades are good to last up to 10 years.

Screenmobile retractable shade warranties- frame 10 years, fabrid: 10 years, and Electronics: 5 years.

Interior Window Shades

Pros of Interior Window Shades

Interior window shades are an extra layer of design in your home. You can choose softer materials with a pattern that complements your interior decoration since they will not need to be as weather resistant and durable as exterior sun shades. They are easily controlled by a pulley system or motorized with retractable options.

You can also opt for interior solar window screens, which help block the sun and act as screens to discourage insects from flying in while airing out your home.

Cons of Interior Window Shades

You might not like the idea of having shades inside your home, especially if you have a particular decor in place. Even though there are many patterns available, interior shades might clash with your desired aesthetic. 

Neither are they as effective in keeping your house cool during hot days. The intention is to keep as much heat outside of your home, and yes, even a pane of glass can make a huge difference. Conduction is a principle of heat transfer that carries heat throughout your home once it touches a part of your home. An exterior shade will reduce that and keep your home cooler for longer.

Exterior Window Shades

Pros of Exterior Window Shades

Placed on the outside of your window, these shades are heavy-duty. They come complete with a magnetic and fabric retention locking system to prevent wind from disturbing your shade.

Cons of Exterior Window Shades

Exterior solar screens are better when motorized. Otherwise, you have to manually take them on and off, which is harder for some people. This isn’t ideal for people without a smartphone or who tend to misplace controllers. 


Interior Screen Shades

Exterior Screen Shades

Blocks UV Rays

Motorized SOMFY RTS

Pull Chain


Keep View

Multiple Finishes

Multiple Design Options

Ease of control

Ease of operation

Magnetic lock

Fabric retention lock

Heavy duty

Wheeler option

Remote control



If you are still deliberating over which solar shades or screens to choose from, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our trained Screenmobile technicians can guide you in all the different options available and are available to help you make your selection. Installing solar screens is made easy with our professionals, who will come directly to your home. Take your research one step forward

Brands we have available:

Sun Control Retractable Shades: large, heavy-duty screens perfect for outdoor patios.

Phantom: motorized shades that disappear out of view when not in use.

Insolroll: strong mesh blocks the sun and not your view (and stops any oncoming golf balls!)

SunPro: defends against the elements while maintaining your view.

Sunair: Perfect to expand your outdoor living space.


Contact us today to set up our first visit!

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Can you use outdoor shades inside?

You can use outdoor shades inside, but choosing specific indoor screens will further compliment your interior design. However, using indoor solar shades outdoors is not advised as they aren’t built strong enough to withstand the natural elements. 

What are outdoor shades called?

Retractable solar shades work like screens and are easier to control. Awnings extend to cover certain outdoor areas, like your patio. The exterior shades are perfect for large windows, three-season rooms, and closed patios. 

Other known monikers are drop shades, retractable shades, motorized screens, motorized shades, sun shades/exterior sun shades, and porch shades, to name a few.

Do solar shades block the view from outside?

During the day, yes. You can enjoy your view without passers-by seeing in through your windows. However, at night that changes because the light from inside the home can shine outwards. So don’t depend on your solar screens to replace your curtains if you live in an area with pedestrian traffic.

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