Choosing a color for your shade sail can be difficult when you are in the planning or purchasing phase.  Your choice may come down to what appeals to you, but some will argue there are some functional reasons to choose a light or dark color. Hopefully, the information provided in this article will help you narrow your options and finally select the color best for your situation.  

At Creative Shades, we offer a variety of colors and all the fabrics significantly reduce temperatures beneath the structure.

We haven’t noted a noticeable difference in temperatures based on colors and believe you shouldn’t choose a fabric color based on the perceived temperature reducing ability.  All colors will do a great job in our opinion, so if you want a darker color, get it. If you want a lighter color, that will work just fine and produce shade just as good.

Dark vs Light Color

However, if you have been researching fabric colors, you may have seen the argument on dark fabric colors vs light fabric colors.

The argument is if you are looking for maximum cooling and UV protection a dark-colored shade will be the best option. Dark colors like our navy blue, black or brown, will absorb more UV rays, thus making the area underneath the shade cooler. The lighter color shades will allow for more of the UV rays and light to pass through.

So, if you have a patio where maximum sun blocking is required, choose a darker colored shade that matches the décor and aesthetic you are looking for.

Again, this may be the case, but we believe there is not any discernable difference that should make you purchase a dark-colored fabric over a light color fabric just for temperature reduction.

What About Lighter Color Shades and When to Use?

As discussed above, the argument for lighter color shades is it allows for more of the UV rays and Photosynthetically Active Radiation, often referred to as PAR to pass through the shade.

What is PAR?

The Environmental Monitor defines PAR as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) is the amount of light available for photosynthesis, which is light in the 400 to 700-nanometer wavelength range.

We have over a dozen different fire resistant fabric colors from light to dark and can be found on our fabric colors page.


In the end, choose a color that will match the aesthetic you are looking for. All the shades provide great weather protection. That’s not as exciting as science, but it should make it easier to choose a beautiful shade.

We are a leader in commercial custom outdoor shade structures, design, and fabrication. And we fabricate and install our own structures.   And our commercial shades and structures are made here in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us or request a quote.