BLACKOUT BLINDS, ROOM DARKENING BLINDS, LIGHT FILTERING BLINDS, OH MY…
There are many different choices when it comes to blinds and how much light they help control. With so many choices, the options can be confusing to say the least. I am going to break down the most commonly used terms, so you can confidently make the best decision for you and your space.
- BLACKOUT BLINDS: Some people in the industry don’t like this term, as it conveys a completely black room, which allows no light inside. While this can only be achieved in a cave, deep underground, blackout blinds provide the most light control possible, often blocking up to 97-98% of ambient light. Blackout blinds are generally include a completely opaque liner, which blocks 100% of visible and UV light. They also commonly have some type of light guard or tracks which help address light leaks around the perimeter of the shade. While no product can block 100% of light, Blackout Blinds will allow you to comfortably sleep during the middle of the day, without being bothered by light.
- ROOM DARKENING BLINDS: These blinds and shades are made of a material which completely block light, but may allow “light leakage” around the side of the blinds, or between slats. Room Darkening blinds are adequate for most bedrooms or living areas where light control is needed. Room Darkening blinds and shades block approximately 90-95% of ambient light.
- LIGHT FILTERING BLINDS: Light Filtering blinds do just that, they filter light, but allow some percentage of light to enter the room. Often, Light Filtering blinds offer privacy, but some open weave or sheer products may not. Light Filtering blinds are often used in living or common areas, where some privacy and light control are necessary, but ambient light is preferred.
BLACKOUT BLINDS FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Choosing Blackout Blinds may cost a little more up front, but they can be a life changer for people that require complete light control. The most common use for Blackout Blinds is in bedrooms or in home theaters, where the ability to control light are paramount. According to the Sleep Foundation, the bedroom environment is a key factor to controlling your circadian rhythm and improving sleep quality.
If you maintain “normal” hours, and are generally awake during the day and sleep at night, this may not be a concern. If, however, you work various shifts, light control can literally be a matter of health. Many people involved in public safety, manufacturing, construction, mining, and other essential jobs, have to work odd shifts. For these people, the ability to make a bedroom completely dark with Blackout Blinds, can help them maintain a healthy sleep cycle and circadian rhythm.
For those of us who may not work shift work, but sometimes maintain odd hours, blackout blinds can also be handy. A student who has to study late into the night for an exam, for instance, or a new mother who is up late with her child and needs to put off sunrise just a little longer. Blackout blinds are the perfect solution for anyone looking to completely control the light in their environment.
Blackout Blinds, by their very nature, also block UV light and heat exceptionally well. Studies have been done showing the amount of insulation or “R-value” blackout honeycomb shades can provide to a normal window, and it is substantial! If you own a house with south facing windows, that are always hot in the summer time, blackout blinds may be just the thing you have been looking for. Depending on the situation, the cost of blackout blinds may be completely offset by the savings in air conditioning costs. Check out this chart showing the increase in R-Value possible by installing energy efficient blackout blinds.
TYPES OF BLACKOUT BLINDS AVAILABLE
Thanks to advances in material technology, there has never been a better time to purchase blackout blinds. Innovations in fabrics has allowed for light control, energy efficiency, and style to be present in the same product. Before, you may have had to choose between form and function, but that is no longer the case.
Blackout blinds are manufactured in any number of beautiful fabrics and materials. If you want a gorgeous linen weave roller shade, or even a custom printed honeycomb shade with your logo on it, all of this is possible in a blackout blind today. One advantage of our blackout honeycomb blinds is a consistent white exterior. The blinds are made in a way that the exterior is always white, with the customer selected color facing inside. This allows you to decorate different rooms in varying colors, but leave your exterior curb appeal consistent. Blackout blinds are most commonly sold as honeycomb and roller shades, but are also available in roman shade styles.
BLACKOUT BLINDS MEASURING AND INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS
When measuring for blackout blinds, some extra consideration should be given to measuring. While we normally recommend an “inside mount” installation for most blinds and shades, blackout blinds are an exception. If possible, an outside mount, can help eliminate light leakage around the perimeter of the blind.
When measuring for an outside mount blind or shade, we recommend at least a 2” overage on all sides for best performance. For instance, if your window is 36” wide X 36” tall, we would recommend ordering your blinds or shade at 40” wide X 40” tall and noting “Outside Mount” at the time of order. This tells the factory to make the blind exactly to your dimensions, with no deduction.
When installing blackout blinds, the steps are no different than any normal blind or shade. Using the supplied hardware and basic tools, such as a screw driver, tape measure, and pencil, installation will be very easy. If mounting outside, just be sure to center the blind, leaving the recommended 2” overlap on all four sides.
MEASURING AND ORDER HELP
We understand that custom blinds can be confusing and you may still have questions. We pride ourselves on our customer service and we are ready to discuss options with you. When you call Bestpriceblinds.com, you are getting real window covering professionals, based in the United States. We are passionate about what we do and are ready to help you get an amazing result with your blackout blinds project! Call or email us today, we would be happy to help!