Room Darkening or Blackout Shades
Fulfilling one of the most important requirements of window dressing – privacy! Room darkening shades are designed to obscure the view of the interiors from the outside and, from the inside, allowing the view of silhouettes, at the most. These shades or blinds are designed for optimum light control and privacy. So your nosy neighbour will have to find another past-time. With room darkening shades, what’s most important is the fabric used, unlike the solar shades that are designed to merely filter light and reduce glare, room darkening fabrics have higher opacities that darken the room but doesn’t block out sunlight entirely. On the other hand, there are blackout shades that are designed such that it has maximum opacity to block out the light entirely. These shades are also designed to minimize light gaps, seams, and route holes in blinds.
For those who like to sleep in late, these shades will come to be your best friend. Eliminating that annoying stream of light that so magically falls straight on your face, room darkening shades will come to your rescue. Better still, black-out shades that leave nothing to chance while eliminating almost all light as, black-out shades are said to block up to 99% of the light. For those who work night shifts and have babies that sleep during the day, these shades will give you peace of mind. So you can go from blaring sunlight to a muted, tranquil setting that puts you at ease with room darkening shades. Even if you live in a place where the city doesn’t sleep, but you’d prefer your sleep over having a night about town, these shades will block out the view of the street or the commercial lights. Also, for those poor souls that experience over twenty hours of sunlight in a day, blackout shades seem like a prime necessity.
Apart from visually aiding the untimely sleeper, you will be happy to know that black-out shades can block up to 40% of the outside noise. Thus, making it easier to get sleep through all the noise generated from the daily hustle and bustle outside one’s window.
If you love your furniture and you’ve put effort into your interiors, you’ll love room darkening shades. Harsh sunlight can damage almost everything in your house, right from your furniture to your carpets, floors, even paintings fall prey to this. Over a period of time, the sun tends to have a bleaching effect on your interiors.
Every tech savvy, LCD lover and video gamer, why even a senior citizen who enjoys watching her soap operas during the day will appreciate what room darkening and blackout shades can do for them. These shades reduce the glare, and it eliminates those annoying reflections on your screen, be it, your computer screen or the television. Normal solar shades allow tiny leaks of light around the edges but with room darkening shades, your screen will be visibly clearer, completely removing glare, irrespective of how bright it is outside. To enhance your movie watching experience, black-out shades can be used to create the ultimate cinema-like experience at home.
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, room darkening and blackout shades are highly utilitarian as well, in the sense that they save a grand amount of energy, reducing your power consumption. They have the ability to trap heat during winter and will reflect heat out of the room during summer ensuring that you are not wasting extra money on your electricity bill, reducing it up to 25%.
There are a variety of designs to choose from: honeycomb cellular shades, bamboo and Roman shades that require the room darkening liner, and roller shades which are all designed to filter and control light to the fullest. Amongst all of these designs of shades for room darkening and blackout, cellular shades would be the most energy efficient, economic pick. Along with light altering or eliminating features, these shades have a honey-comb structure that traps pockets of air in the shades thus enhancing insulation. There is also the option of double cell cellular shades that give double the insulation, so thicker the shades, the better. The advanced fabric called Cocoon Double Cell fabric that Graber innovated that conceals a metallized film named Mylar between two layers of fabric that furthers the insulation provided by the honeycombs and the black-out abilities of the shades. This way, there are no colour restraints on these shades, which would typically call for darker colours, but with the Cocoon Double Cell fabric, even white, can be used for blackout effects.
Apart from the fabric, one has to keep in mind the external factors the shades are subjected to, while ensuring the least amount of leakage as the room darkening or blackout effects apply to the light passing through the shades. Hence, to enhance the black-out abilities of these shades, you’ll have to consider the additional liner that is installed along the sides of the shade to eliminate light gaps, blocking out any chance of light leakage. When an inside mount is required, the manufacturer will make the shades slightly smaller to fit inside the mount. Thus, liners can be used to eliminate light completely. Even with an outside mount shade, there is a chance of leakage of light.