Science of Shade

Posted by Jennifer Morse on Aug 2, 2017 10:00:00 AM

On a hot summer day, don’t escape into the air-conditioned house. You’ve waited all winter to spend time outside. Patio covers, umbrellas, or cabanas are a great way to add shade to your outdoor space and make sure you stay cool. Let’s take this a step further and discover the science behind summer shade.

1. Temperature

We can all feel the temperature difference between an uncovered area and a shaded area in the yard. But, what is the actual difference in temperature? To find out, we set up a thermometer outside in direct sunlight and another thermometer under a Tropitone® Patio Umbrella. During the hottest part of the day, we measured a difference of 30 degrees! While results may vary depending on the angle of the sun and cloud coverage, this provides us with evidence that shade does, in fact, keep us cool. This is the difference between comfortably spending time outside and sweltering in the heat!

2. Sun Protection

Shade provides sun protection from the Sun’s UVA and UVB rays, which are strongest from 10am to 4pm. UV rays provide warmth, but potential health concerns.1 While applying sunscreen is always important before enjoying the outdoors, shade can provide sun protection all day long. An expansive Tropitone® Cabana offers a large area of shade regardless of the sun’s position. You’ll feel like a modern sheikh in your custom-shaded oasis outfitted with a ceiling fan or widescreen TV.

3. Color

Experts, called corporate colorists, determine color trends every year.2 Corporations have used colors to influence how we make purchases for over a hundred years. Tropitone, too, offers expert-selected outdoor fabrics and finishes. The plethora of finishes and fabrics allow you to decide what type of space and emotion to create in your outdoor space. Blues, greens, and floral patterns will create a calm and relaxing outdoor space, while reds, oranges, and stripes create a lively, party-ready space.

Enjoy the summer weather to the fullest by using Tropitone's outdoor umbrellas and cabanas as the foundation of your shade design and turn your outdoor space into a cool, welcoming refuge.   


1The American Cancer Society Medical and Editorial Team, "How Do I Protect Myself from UV Rays?" American Cancer Society, May 22, 2017, 

2Smithsonian Libraries, "Using Color," Color in a New Light, August 1, 2017, 

Topics: Outdoor Life and Style