Blackout or Light-Filtering Window Treatments – Which is a Better Option?

“Do you want any light in your room?” should be the proper question to ask. Due to the fact that if you enjoy light but only require glare reduction, harmful UV rays filtered, and a small amount of privacy, there are better options than a blackout shade. Alternatively, if you need to sleep during the day or have a toddler who needs to nap every day, then a blackout shade or blackout curtain would be the most appropriate option for you.


When it comes to shopping for window treatments, the options can be overwhelming and confusing. Most of the time, you will be presented with only two choices: a thin standard lined shade or a blackout shade. When it comes to Colorado Springs Custom Blinds, we have an extensive selection of products with varying degrees of transparency.


To begin, what exactly is opacity?


The amount of light that passes through a shade or other window treatment is referred to as its opacity. The degree of transparency ranges from sheer to complete blackout. Window treatment opacity has an impact on the appearance of the window treatment as well as the amount of light control and privacy it provides.


Is there a solution that both filters light and provides privacy at the same time?

Yes, there are window treatments that can be used for both purposes. For example, if you prefer light but require privacy, we have translucent roller shade fabrics that allow a ray of light to pass through while maintaining a certain level of privacy. Alternatively, you could use woven shades with a light-weight liner that allows light to filter through but prevents anyone from seeing into your home. Choosing this option also allows the wonderful texture of the woven shade to be enhanced rather than completely washed out by the harsh sunlight that would otherwise pass through an unlined window shade. Alternatively, the ever-versatile cellular shade, which is available in a variety of fabric opacities and with options such as top-down/bottom-up operation.


Is it necessary for blackout shades to be a dark color?


No, your blackout shades do not have to be all-black to be effective. In fact, they are not even required to be a dark color in order to qualify. Not the color of the shade, but the backing or layer of blackout treatment used in the material’s construction determines whether or not it has a “blackout” effect on the surrounding environment.


A light-colored woven shade or fabric Roman Shade, for example, can be lined with a blackout liner to provide complete privacy. The blackout liners are available in a variety of colors, including white, beige, and gray. In addition, you can choose a lighter color for a roller shade, and as long as it has a blackout backing, it will do its job of darkening your room effectively.

When and where should blackout shades be installed?

Choosing how and where to mount a shade is a complicated process that involves many factors. It is determined by the way your windows are constructed as well as by the design of the product you select whether you should install it inside or outside. The assistance of a professional, such as your Colorado Springs Custom Blinds consultant, can save you time, money, and frustration in this situation. Their understanding of how each product is manufactured and how it fits will assist you in receiving the correct product with the appropriate functionality for the job. Whether it is for the purpose of blocking light, filtering light, providing privacy, or all of the above.


Is There Going to Be a Light Gap?


Even when made to order and measured specifically for you, inside mount window treatments will typically have small light gaps on either side of the shade or blind, unless otherwise specified. It is inherent in the manner in which each product is constructed. Window treatments must have a gap between them in order for the product to function properly up and down and not scrape the inside of your window frame. Because different products have different sized gaps, it is critical to consult with a professional window covering expert, such as your  Colorado Springs Custom Blinds design consultant, when choosing your window treatments. They are familiar with how each product functions and how it should be used. Furthermore, they can provide you with hand samples or photographs of jobs that they have completed so that you can get an idea of what to expect. 


Do blinds or shades installed on the outside of a building completely block all light?


Both yes and no. Even a blackout shade mounted on the outside of the house may have a slight “glow” around the edges during the day or at night if there is a bright streetlight in the vicinity. One option is to install side rails that block out the light. Depending on the vendor, there are options for products such as roller shades to be equipped with light-blocking side rails that, when lowered, completely block out all light. This is particularly useful for those who suffer from migraines or who have light sleeping toddlers who require complete darkness during naptime.


It is also possible to alleviate this problem by using two layers of lined curtain panels on either side of the window. If you want to achieve the desired level of light control, again, hiring a professional and ordering curtain panels with a high-quality inner lining are highly recommended. With custom curtain panels, as opposed to “off the shelf” or readymade panels, a “return” to the wall on the sides can be created, blocking out unwanted light on the other side. Furthermore, with custom panels, you have the option of customizing the panel size, the lining, and the style in which they are constructed.


Do blackout curtains have to be thick and heavy in order to be effective?


The answer is a categorical NO! Contrary to what you may have read, the lining of custom blackout curtains is more important than the face fabric in determining their effectiveness. So, yes, you can use a lighter weight fabric in conjunction with a blackout lining to achieve the level of light control and privacy that you desire.

As you can see, there are a plethora of factors to take into consideration when choosing the appropriate window treatments! Colorado Springs Custom Blinds is available to assist you. We bring years of experience, as well as a vanload of samples, to your location. We will assist you in finding the right product that complements your style, meets your needs, and fits within your financial constraints. To get started, simply go to our website. 

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