Blackout Shades, Are They Underrated?

It’s no question that blackout shades are one of the most unique window coverings you can have in your home. For some people, they are a necessity, and for others they are an underrated option they never considered, but now can’t live without. Should you buy them for your home? Or not even bother? Well, we will leave that up to you.

What Are They?

Okay, before you consider them; What are they exactly? They are a type of shade that blackout 100% of the light that comes through a window. Now there are light blocking and light filtering shades, but we will compare those later, let’s focus on Blackout for now.

Blackout shades are almost exclusively made out of shades, not blinds or shutters. Moreso made out of cellular shades. Cellular shades (or Honeycomb shades) are a type of window covering made out of a woven fabric that is organized in 2-4 sheets that have layers of “cells”. The “cells” are air pockets in between the layers of fabric, trapping air, which makes them more energy-efficient than traditional blinds. Those 2-4 layers are what makes them so great as blackout shades, as they have more layers to stop the light from coming in. 

Blackout shades are super beneficial for people who work at night and sleep during the day. Or people who would prefer to watch Netflix in a darker room. Blackout shades have also been useful for parents with newborns, a bright shining light can easily wake a baby, having blackout shades in their room can eliminate that. There are so many uses for blackout shades, but don’t just limit it to the room darkening, they can be pretty…COOL. 

Meaning, they can keep your home cooler. Since blackout shades act as a mini wall in front of your window they are the most energy-efficient window coverings available. They can reduce the sunlight that heats up your house in the summer and the warmth lost through your windows in the winter. These are definitely the type of shades that will pay for themselves later down the line.

Another type of shade is a roller shade, these are also popular for blackout shades. Although they dont have different layers, they are made out of 1 thick layer of fabric that blocks any light from coming through. An advantage of 1 sheet of fabric is that it is the easiest to clean compared to other window coverings.

Both of these are great options. 

Your Guests Will Always Ask About Your Shades

There’s no doubt that your guests will be intrigued by your blackout shades, who wouldn’t? They are pretty unique. They arent some measure and cut window covering, you can customize almost every aspect of your shades. So, even if every home on your block had them, a passerby will differentiate every home as unique. 

They can even be white! If you arent a big fan of the dark look, you can still enjoy a pitch black envirement in your entertaiment room while keeping the off-white theme of your home. Pretty interesting party trick too. 

Aside from the visual benefits and the customization, they are unsurpassed in privacy. What the light can’t get through, people can’t see through. And of course if you want to keep an eye on your kids playing outside while you are putting your youngest to sleep, you can open them up a bit and close them when you leave.

Although with all things comes imperfections, sometimes there is a tiny gap between the shade and the sides of the window sill. That may not seem like much, but a tiny bit of light can really brighten a fully dark room. But, you can buy adhesive strips that will eliminate this gap. 

So, How Do They Work?

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Shades are pretty unique in that they have many different ways to control them; corded, non-corded, and mechanical. Corded is much different than traditional corded, shades are controlled with 1 cord you can pull up or down, instead of 2 separate cords. 

Non-corded works like any other blind, you can push up on the bottom to open them or pull on the bottom the close them. 

Mechanical is pretty cool, with a click of a button you can open or close all of them, pretty cool right?

With all things in your home, they need regular cleaning. Cellular and Roller shades are very different when it comes to cleaning them

Cellular Shades 

Before you buy this type of blackout shades know that cleaning them will be an extensive process. You will have to clean both the inside and outside of them, and since they are fragile you cannot be too rough, or they will lose their shape. The best way to clean the inside is compressed air. The best way to clean the outside is with a vacuum on a low setting, with a brush attachment. Remember, be gentle or you will damage the shades. If your shades are a little dirtier than the vacuum can handle you will have to spot clean with diluted detergent and lukewarm water (be sure not to stain your shades). But, once all this has been done your shades will look as great as the day you bought them.

Roller Shades 

One big advantage of these shades is that they are super easy to clean. Although there are 2 main materials they are made out of; vinyl and fabric. Vinyl is the easiest to clean; just grab a towel and some soapy water and wipe them off (make sure to lower them all the way to dry). Fabric is also pretty easy, just grab a vacuum with the hose attachment and clean them that way. Then you’re done! Pretty easy!

Blackout Shades vs. Light Blocking/Filtering Shades

There are a few other types of light filtering/blocking shades on the market. Here are the comparisons. 

Blackout Shades vs Light Blocking

So we know that blackout shades block 100% of the light. But what if you want to allow a little bit of light to pass through? Light Blocking will be your best bet. Light blocking shades are usually made of cellular and roller shades, so if you want to keep to the shade style they wont differ too much. Blocking about 95% of the light it is perfect to reduce glare on your screens or take a quick nap without the bright sunshine. 

Blackout Shades vs Light Filtering

Light filtering shades are the next step up. This type of shade will only block harsh sunlight. They might deny a little bit of light from coming in, but the main purpose is to soften the light pouring into a room. A benefit of light filtering is that they will allow plenty of light to come in, but will be just as private as the Blackout shades, so you wont have to worry about peeping toms. 

Give em’ A Try!

If any of these features are of interest to you, don’t hesitate to contact Vineyard Blind & Shutter and allow us to bring your dream home to life.

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