Sunlight is the most important source of energy for all. The sun is considered to fuel life on earth. All the living things require sunlight to thrive. Plants use up the sunlight thus producing food and O2 for humans and animals. The sunlight consists of ultraviolet rays, infrared rays, visible light, X rays and even radio waves. These radiations emitted from the sun have had alarming effects on the humans. The amount of solar radiation that earth receives is 1,413 W/m2.
The UV rays of the sun are known for positive as well as negative effects on the health of human beings. Sunlight is a source of Vit D3. It is also a mutagen. Vit D strengthens the bones. Sunlight also regulates the formation of melatonin that is the skin pigment. Other positive effects of sunlight is that it is associated with maintenance of normal circadian rhythm and it helps in lessening the risk of seasonal affective disorders commonly known as winter blues. Excessive sun exposure may lead to development of skin cancer and vision problems.
That’s Why Shades…
Though they say “The weather is nice and sunny…” On a hot summer day, you always need recite from the scorching sunlight. A shady spot is always sought after during such days. So even though sunshine is important in its own way, shade, be it natural or structured, becomes an essential addition while designing a house or park.
The shadowed area caused by the absence of sunlight in patches of due to hindrance or obstacle present between the sun and the surface demarcates the area of shade. Shady areas can be better differentiated as shade from structures and natural shade. Shade form man-made structures and buildings produces a complete block out of the sunlight. The shade that one observes under a canopy of trees is a natural shade. The natural shade will always have speckles of sunlight peeking through the leaves. This type of shade and the degree varies from the density of the leaves growing on the trees.
With the increased global warming and its effects on the ozone layer of the earth, the amount of invisible radiation that comes to the earth has shown an increase. This radiation adversely affect us. Since you cannot permanently stop from going out in the sun, you can have a respite from the heat under sunshades. Many types of shade sails, sunshades and natural shades have been designed for the same cause.
Science has also made advances in creating shade structures that block out the UV rays of the sun. Certain shade structures are easy to set up, others are complex and large. Based on your requirement you can plan what type of shade you would like to have in your property and how to put it up. Those of you who like gardening and require atlas 6 hours of sunlight for the garden can plant trees in the directions that their growth will not affect the sunlight in your area.
Based on the requirements, here we have a list of the most common questions asked by the people while selecting shade structure or planning out the landscaping of their property.
Q1. How should I keep my house cool during summers without having to install expensive electronics?
A. A zero-cost, low maintenance and beautiful option for shade for houses is planting trees. Trees provide shade from the sun and fresh air. These act as a natural filter to the air.
Select trees that produce flowers or fruits. That way the aesthetics of your outdoors is also being enhanced. Wooden or metal shade structures and pergolas are often installed in the outdoors or backyards. Tame a rose vine, a berry shrub or grape vine over it. This will not only create an exquisite seating spot but also make the space look lavish and elegant. If you are bound by space, you can go in for options like shade sails and awnings.
Q2. Are there any options of shade structures using natural material instead of metal, acrylic etc.?
A. Yes. The “Slide a Shade” canopy is made of bamboos that are extended with the support of metal structures. These are removable and can be removed during the winter if required. You can select the sizes available with the vendor, though custom made canopies are also manufactured as per requirement.
Pergolas made of bamboo and reed are also available for purchase. These are natural sunshades are ideal structures that give filtered sunlight and flow of air. Unlike the metal pergolas, these natural pergolas do not get heated up during the day thus providing a perfect seating space at any time of the day.
Q3. What kind of health problems can be caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight? How can construction workers avoid prolonged sun exposures?
A. Prolonged exposure to sun can cause adverse effects to the health of human beings. Since the amount of radiation that the earth receives from the sun has increased lately owing to global warming, long hours of sun exposure is harmful. It can cause health problems such as multiple sclerosis, melanoma or skin cancer and severe sunburn. It has been noted that prolonged sun exposure also causes damage to the eyes. It is known to have caused cortical cataracts, muscle degeneration, solar retinopathy and eventually retinal damage.
Construction workers cannot avoid sun exposure completely as their job does not allow that. But they can use caps and protective wear to control the exposure to sunlight. Cases of skin cancer have been seen in those who work for long hours under sun. Hats with protective clothing attached to it is another option. The most exposed skin is that of the nape. The cloth will cover the skin from sunlight and moreover the cloth can be dampened which will cool the neck.
Q4. How can I keep my patio shady without using shade structures installed into ground?
A. Patios, windows and sidewalks in houses can be kept shady without installing a shade structure into the ground. At times, we do not want to build concrete structures to support ground-fixed sunshades. The solution to this concern is the use of retractable awnings. Awnings can be attached to the walls. These are available in various colors. The framework is strong and these are made of weatherproof material.
Q5. Can I install shade sails myself without spending extra by hiring people for it?
A. Certain sunshades and shade sails can be easily installed at home. Though you would have to know a little masonry work as it requires building of concrete base structures to hold the shafts of the structure in place.
Comparatively, a canopy is easy to install. Anyone can do it. One just needs to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.
Q6. What are the types of shade structures I can use for a property with large outdoor and garden area?
A. When a large area has to be covered for shade, the shade structure needs to be strong. Large shade sails can be used for this purpose. These are designed specially to protect the people from bad effects of sunlight. These offer large areas covered by blocking the sun hence many people can be accommodated under it.
Q7. What are the shade options for an outdoor restaurant?
A. When shade structures are installed at restaurants, emphasis is on the aesthetics first and then on the functionality. But when you get both the things together, it’s a jackpot.
The Chemist Cooled Umbrellas is one such shade structure that not only protects from sun but also controls the temperature under it. It has in-built humidity sensors that ensure that the area remains dry. It also has misting rings. The structure is fitted with lights so it can be also used after sundown.
Q8. What will be the best shade option for schools?
A. Schools conduct many activities for kids that involve outdoor sessions. The COLA shelter is a shade structure designed for use at schools and other areas where a big number of people gather for activities. This structure is made of genuine Colorbond steel and is low maintenance.