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Controlling Glare With Fabric Blinds

Selecting the right material

External Blinds for Glare Control

With a significant increase in enquiries for external roller blinds for glare control, which has been heighted due to the low winter sun reflecting off the snow covered ground, we thought we would post this useful article on making the right fabric selection to provide sufficient glare control.

The most common form of glare is that experienced on visual display units such as computer screens and TV’s, as a much lower light level is needed. 

When selecting fabric blinds to control glare, the key fundamental piece of information required is the Tvis figure of the fabric, which simply stands for Transmission of Visible Light. This figure advises the fraction of visible light that is transmitted through the shading material taking into account all the materials properties including thickness, coating, structure (openness factor), colour etc.

For an office environment, the suggested visible light transmittance values stated in the appropriate European standard EN 14501 are:

  • < 5% for a highly exposed workplace
  • 5-10% or less for a moderately exposed workplace
  • 10% or higher for a north facing workplace

These figures we would also suggest would be used for residential installations where the light (glare) control is to a room with a TV screen (lounge) or computer screen (study) which would be affected by light the same as a workstation with a VDU in a commercial office building.

Additionally you should ensure screens are facing away from the glazing, as if they are directly facing the glazing, the only real option is to use a fabric with virtually zero light transmission which then means the unnecessary use of artificial lighting to provide light inside during the day and also results in no view through, part of the reason for the glazing in the first place.

For expert advice on the right external fabric blind for your specific application, organise for a free site survey and consultation with one of our shading specialists, either by calling 0844 800 1947 or using our quick enquiry form here.