Several kinds of window treatments have a unique set of advantages and if you want to install pull-down shades or blinds in your house, then you would be looking for the ones that block out the natural light. Blackout shades come in a wide array of styles to match every decor aesthetic and window. These shades offer privacy, protect furniture from UV rays, keeps brightness at bay, and can also create an atmosphere for better sleep by dampening the incoming noise. Blackout shades feature greater light-blocking properties compared to other types of shades because of added inner layers with fabric insulation. These shades also make your home more energy efficient by offering a layer of thermal insulation to the windows to keep the temperature regulated during all seasons. There are varieties of blackout shades, some of which are best for particular decor styles, areas, and operation preferences.
What to Consider While Selecting Blackout Shades?
While being functional, blackout shades can also be elegantly designed to match your home decor. So, you should decide on your prime preferences while shopping, including the objective and overall appearance, techniques of installation and control, and ease of cleaning and maintenance.
- Purpose and Style
Blackout shades present insulation, privacy, UV ray protection, noise reduction, and temperature control. When it comes to style, they can improve the overall look of your room. While soft neutral colors, like beige, gray, or white block out light significantly, black, dark gray, and navy present extensive blackout effects.
- Material and Color
Made of tightly woven, polyester fabric, blackout shades tend to block the sunlight as well as the ambient light due to the presence of an insulating black liner, which isn’t mostly visible. Consider installing shades that have the same color on both sides, as opposed to liners in blackout fabric on the rear which offers a seamless and beautiful appearance from outside and inside your home. While dark colors block out light more effectively, well-engineered shades are efficient in lighter hues such as white and ivory.
- Sizing and Installation
When it comes to the sizing of shades, there are two basic options: pre-cut and customized. Pre-cut shades are available in a wide variety of standard sizes to suit a range of standard-sized, housing windows. While purchasing, you have to just determine the measurements of the window from outside or inside the frame, based on the selected mount type. Then, choose the right measurements from the options offered or pick the custom sizing option and follow the brand guidelines. While measuring for shades, you have to decide on the location where they will be installed, if they will be mounted outside or inside the window frame, and if they will be fixed to the frame using hardware or adhesive strips.
- Controls and Maintenance
Manual blackout shades function through a cord, a push tab, or a chain. Roller, cellular, and roman shades are available in corded as well as cordless options. However, motorized shades don’t have cords/tabs as they work via integrated electronics. Cordless blackout shades are safer for homes with pets and kids. In terms of maintenance, most blackout shades can be cleaned using a brush-headed vacuum attachment or a microfiber dust cloth.
Types of Affordable Blackout Shades
While all shades block out light to a certain extent, only blackout shades will block 100% of light and the sun rays from passing through the material itself. Based on your window shape, home decor style, and light allowances, you can pick one of the following shades for room-darkening effect:
- Blackout Cellular Shades
The blackout cellular shades are multifaceted and affordable which makes them the perfect choice for media rooms and bedrooms. These shades help to create a comfortable and elegant atmosphere in your house and are perfectly suitable for curbing a large amount of heat entering your house during the summer. The sun rays may wreak havoc in your house if they are not kept at the bay. Introducing blackout cellular shades in your house blocks the scorching heat of the sun rays and helps to drastically reduce incoming heat during the summer. These window treatments also make your home energy efficient, reducing heat transfer from your windows and helping to reduce reliance on your HV/AC system.
- Blackout Roman Shades
Blackout Roman shades, which are unfussy and elegant, consists of soft fabric that can be lowered or raised by a system of a cord and rings sewn into the rear of the panel. These panels fall into horizontal folds at the peak of the window when raised. However, when lowered, the fabric either dangles in soft folds/loops or rests flat against the windowpane. While flat blackout Roman shades offer a contemporary or traditional look to a home, soft-fold blackout Roman shades add some airiness to any decor. Blackout Roman shades are made of polyester fabric. The cordless design can be operated easily where you have to only pull the bottom rail to raise or lower the shades. Also, blackout Roman shades come with all the hardware required for easy DIY installation.
- Blackout Roller Shades
Classic blackout roller shades come in a single fabric piece that rolls neatly onto a tube when raised. Cordless versions of blackout roller shades are considered to be safe for homes with little ones and pets. Blackout roller shades are affordable and can be mounted outside or inside the window, though the outside mount is more efficient in blocking sunlight.
Darkening your room lets your body produce melatonin through the night to help you fall and stay asleep. So, if you are struggling to have a good sleep due to the presence of excessive light in your room, then a set of affordable blackout shades will be a great solution. However, before you start looking for blackout shades, take a closer look at your room. If the window is facing the sun, you will have to buy high-quality blackout shades to block at least 90% of the light which will keep your room dark as well as cool. However, you can go for lightweight or light colors, if your room is to be very dark already.