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Summer Solstice: Embracing the High Sun with Mid Rail Shutters

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Summer Solstice: Embracing the High Sun with Mid Rail Shutters

As the Earth tilts its northern hemisphere toward the sun, we have welcomed the longest day of the year: the summer solstice. This astronomical event, typically occurring around June 21st, marks the peak of daylight hours and symbolises the zenith of summer. 

For many, it’s a time of celebration and outdoor activities. However, with the extended daylight and higher sun position comes the challenge of managing sunlight and heat within our homes. 

One innovative solution is the use of shutters designed with mid rails or splits, which allow for versatile light and heat control.

Understanding the Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is the point at which the sun reaches its highest position in the sky at noon. This results in the longest day and shortest night of the year. 

The word “solstice” is derived from the Latin words “sol” (sun) and “sistere” (to stand still), reflecting the sun’s pause before it shifts direction. During this period, the sun’s rays are more direct, leading to increased temperatures and intense sunlight. 

While this is ideal for outdoor activities and boosting vitamin D levels, it can also pose challenges for maintaining comfortable indoor environments. Excessive heat and glare can increase cooling costs and make certain areas of the home uncomfortable.

The Role of Shutters in Managing Sunlight

Shutters have been used for centuries as a means of controlling light, heat, and privacy in homes and modern advancements have made them even more effective and versatile. 

Among the various designs, shutters with mid rails or splits stand out for their ability to manage sections of the shutter independently, providing tailored solutions to the changing position of the sun throughout the day.

Mid rail shutters, also known as split shutters, are divided horizontally, allowing the top and bottom sections to be operated independently. This design offers a range of benefits, especially during the summer solstice when the sun’s angle changes significantly from morning to evening. 

With mid rail shutters, you can open the top section to allow natural light while keeping the bottom section closed for privacy. This is particularly useful in rooms where you want to maintain some level of seclusion while still enjoying daylight.

By adjusting the shutters according to the sun’s position, you can minimise heat entry. For instance, keeping the top section closed during the hottest part of the day can block direct sunlight, reducing indoor temperatures and the need for air conditioning. 

What’s more, glare can be a significant issue during the summer months, especially in spaces with screens or reflective surfaces. Mid rail shutters allow you to control glare by adjusting the angle of the louvres, ensuring comfort without sacrificing light. 

Beyond functionality, mid rail shutters add a stylish element to any home. They come in various materials and finishes, complementing different interior designs while enhancing the overall look.

Types of Mid Rail Shutters

There are several types of mid rail shutters, each offering unique benefits to suit different needs and preferences. 

Full height shutters with a mid rail cover the entire window height and include a horizontal rail, usually positioned at the mid-point or aligned with a specific architectural feature of the window. They offer maximum flexibility in light and privacy control, making them ideal for larger windows.

Café style shutters cover only the lower portion of the window, leaving the top open. They often incorporate a mid rail at the height of the window sill, providing privacy while allowing unobstructed views and light from the top. This style is perfect for street-facing rooms where privacy is a concern. 

Tier-on-tier shutters are essentially two sets of shutters, one on top of the other, with each set operating independently. This design provides the ultimate in flexibility, allowing you to open the top, bottom, or both sections depending on your needs. It’s an excellent choice for rooms that require varied light and privacy adjustments throughout the day.

Choosing the Right Material

The material of your shutters plays a crucial role in their effectiveness and longevity. Common materials include wood, composite, and vinyl. Wood offers a classic, warm aesthetic and is highly customisable but requires regular maintenance to prevent warping and damage from sunlight. 

Composite shutters, made from engineered wood or synthetic materials, combine the look of wood with enhanced durability. What’s more, they are resistant to warping, cracking, and fading, making them ideal for areas with high sun exposure.

Finally, vinyl shutters are moisture-resistant and budget-friendly. They are durable and easy to clean, but they may not offer the same aesthetic appeal as wood or composite shutters.

Installation Tips

Proper installation, like the services provided by our team at Fraser James Blinds, is key to maximising the benefits of mid rail shutters. Accurate measurements are essential for a perfect fit, therefore it is always good to consider professional measurement services to avoid common pitfalls. 

Custom-made shutters can be tailored to fit unique window shapes and sizes, ensuring optimal functionality and aesthetics. The size of the louvres (slats) affects light and heat control. Larger louvres provide a clearer view when open but may let in more light when closed. 

Therefore, choose louvre sizes based on your specific needs and preferences. Aligning the mid rail with architectural features, such as mullions or window dividers, enhances the overall look and functionality.

Maintenance and Care

To keep your shutters looking and functioning their best, regular maintenance is essential. Regularly dust and clean your shutters with a damp cloth, avoiding harsh chemicals that can damage the finish. 

Periodically check for signs of wear or damage, especially if your shutters are made of wood. Promptly address any issues to prevent further deterioration. Ensure smooth operation by lubricating hinges and other moving parts as needed.

Additional Considerations

When selecting mid rail shutters, consider their impact on energy efficiency. Shutters can act as an additional layer of insulation, reducing the amount of heat that enters your home during the summer and retaining warmth during the winter. 

This can lead to lower energy bills and a more environmentally friendly home.Additionally, think about the aesthetics of your shutters. They should complement your home’s interior and exterior design. 

Shutters come in a variety of colours, finishes, and styles, allowing you to choose an option that enhances your home’s curb appeal and interior décor. Should you need any help in deciding on what colours, designs and styles are available, our team at Fraser James is always just a call away.


The summer solstice is a time of celebration, bringing with it the joys of extended daylight and warm weather. However, managing the intensity of the sun’s rays is crucial for maintaining comfortable and energy-efficient homes

Shutters with mid rails or splits offer a practical and stylish solution, allowing homeowners to control light, heat, and privacy effectively.

By understanding the benefits and types of mid rail shutters, you can make an informed decision that enhances your living space during the summer months and beyond. Whether you opt for full height, café style, or tier-on-tier shutters, the right choice will help you embrace the high sun while maintaining a comfortable and inviting home environment. 

With the right installation and regular maintenance, these shutters will serve as a valuable addition to your home, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits for years to come. Should you wish to arrange a home visit, our team provides a professional service with the many areas we cover

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