Window blinds are a big respite during the summers when the scorching heat of the Sun becomes too much to bear or the glare becomes too blinding. This is especially a problem during the winters when the Sun’s rays are at a lower angle, and hence more amount of light enters our homes throughout the day and hence more glare. The blinds also help keep the indoors warm by preventing the heat inside the house from escaping outside during the winter chill. These blinds also protect us and the furniture in our houses from the UV exposure while their light-filtration property reduces the glare.
Types of Blinds
Blinds are of many kinds and serve a unique purpose due to specific functionalities. Blackout and room-darkening shades filter more light out but these also block the view of what is outside. On the other hand, light-filtering or solar blinds provide all the benefits that any set of blinds provide but do not block the view completely. Most of them work as one-way view blinds which allow you to look outside but don’t let people on the outside, peep inside your house. This seems like a pretty neat trick. Isn’t it?
The case of Vertical Blinds
Blinds also come in all kinds of orientations. These can be horizontal, vertical or even angled. You can get the ones you like, installed on the windows or doors inside your house. Vertical blinds have some very palpable advantages also. These are more suited for larger windows or patio doors. Considering the direction of the sunlight, these blinds are more suited for east or west-facing windows as they are better able to block the sunlight in such cases. These blinds also provide better insulation from the outside heat and also prove more effective during the winters.
You must wonder why vertical window blinds have so many advantages over the horizontal blinds considering the view that it’s just the orientation that has been changed. But it is not fully correct. Vertical blinds don’t just differ from horizontal blinds in terms of orientation. They also have wider slats. Wider slats, sideways opening and closing mechanism and vertical orientation come together to provide better insulation, better light-filtration in the east and west-facing windows and also better suitability for bigger sized windows and doors.
What are the Demerits of Vertical Blinds?
It is not as if the vertical blinds are perfect and have no downsides. These have their own shortcomings too. Some of the short-comings can be derived from the benefits themselves. They are not suitable for north or south-facing windows. These are not the right pick for comparatively smaller windows and doors. These also have privacy vulnerabilities. Because of the vertical orientation and sideways opening and closing mechanism, these also allow unwanted eyes to peep inside your house if they do so at an angle.
Can You See Through Vertical Blinds at Night?
The answer is yes but there is more to that story. While the vertical orientation and sideways operating mechanism result in privacy vulnerabilities which can be exploited both during the day and also during the night. Outsiders can watch inside the house if they are peeping inside at an angle. The other aspect is common to both vertical and horizontal blinds. The darker blackout or room-darkening blinds block more sunlight during the day and provide better privacy during both the day and the night. The light-filtering or solar blinds, however, are made up of lighter fabrics. These filter the sunlight but do not block the view completely.
During the day, the light-filtering blinds (both horizontal and vertical) function as one-way view blinds. As the light outside is brighter, these blinds allow you to look outside but don’t let outsiders look inside the house as its darker inside the house. During the night, however, these shades function the other way around. The light inside the house is brighter during the night and due to that outsiders become able to peep inside your house while you cannot look outside. This undermines your privacy during the night. This vulnerability is common to both the vertical and horizontal ones.
How Can You Improve the Privacy During the Night?
While many vertical blinds are not so good at protecting your privacy and even more so during the night, there are simple ways in which you can tackle this problem. Some such ways are listed as under:
• Location of the windows: If possible, try to install windows in the recessed portion of the wall. This prevents the light from the bulbs inside your house from falling directly on the wall. This makes that area darker than the other parts of the house. The blinds, be it vertical or horizontal will provide better privacy in such cases.
• Custom solutions: No single type of blinds is perfect for all scenarios. Why not combine two or more types so that the vulnerabilities are taken care of. You can improve the privacy of the vertical blinds by installing a set of blackout or room-darkening blinds in front of them or behind them. During the night, you can have the blackout blinds on during the night. Some dual-layered blinds are also available which provide better privacy performance during the night.
• Knowing where not to install them: Avoid installing standalone light-filtering blinds (both vertical and horizontal) in your bedroom, your bathroom or any place in your house where you want complete privacy. You can either use blackout blinds or can use light-filtering blinds along with blackout ones.
• Get curved vanes: Some vertical blinds have curved vanes that prevent views through even when looked at an angle. When the slats are tilted to close the vanes overlap slightly which helps to completely block the view.
In a nutshell, it can be said with conviction that vertical blinds have many advantages over horizontal blinds and are more than handy in certain aspects. However, these blinds can have privacy vulnerabilities which can be an issue for some people. But the measures listed above prove that these vulnerabilities can be overcome and hence these shortcomings should not come in the way of you being able to make good use of the benefits these window treatments provide us with.