How to Choose Window Treatments
What do you have in mind when you go to choose window shades for your homes? Do you have a set of expectations or do you go with a blank mind and pick up anything that appeals to you? More often than not we have a set of criteria for the shades. We want them to perform some tasks. You may want them to have light filtering options for allowing natural light to diffuse in while cutting out the glare, privacy may be high on priority for you; you may be looking for an added layer of insulation for the windows or it may be a combination of many things. This is the most important factor that influences your purchase. Identify your need before you set out looking for those perfect shades for your homes.
Why Choose Light Filtering Shades
Light filtering is an important criterion for most of us. We cannot do without some amount of natural light as they help to make us feel cheerful and spreads warmth in our houses. But there is also a pressing need to protect your health and furniture from being damaged by the harsh UV rays of the sun. The excess glare of the sun can interfere with your work and wreak havoc with your sleep. You need shades that can help to control and filter light entering homes. While most shades offer some amount of light control there are shades that are specifically suited to address these needs. These are the room darkening and blackout shades. You may have at some point used the names interchangeably but the fact is that they are quite distinct from each other.
Blackout shades as the name suggests make the rooms completely dark. When drawn, they block 100% of the light through the fabric itself. Most blackout shades have the option of side channels to block any light coming through gaps at the sides as well.
These shades are great for bedrooms, kid’s rooms, movies or media rooms and home studios for photographers. It has been scientifically proved that a completely dark room ensures good and sound sleep and helps to rest the mind significantly. Media rooms and studios also need complete darkness as light can interfere with viewing or photography works. Blackout shades are also great for night shift workers who need to get a sound sleep during the day. But sunlight can interfere with your sleep. Blackout shades help to provide complete darkness.
Room darkening shades do not offer complete darkness, but they are designed to reduce the majority of light entering a room. They cut out the light inside the room without making it pitch dark. These shades are also good for bedrooms and kid’s rooms but before installing be sure that this is what your room needs. If reasonably dark is what you are looking at then these are the perfect shades for you. They definitely help to cut down glares and protect your home for the UV rays.
Blackout Shades or Room Darkening Shades – Which Works Better
If you are looking for shades to help you provide complete darkness to rooms for better sleep and also provide heat and temperature control then blackout shades work best.
Why Choose Blackout Shades
Heat Resistant fabric
Most blackout shades make use of materials like cellulose, mineral wool, fiberglass, polyurethane foams etc. that makes them heat resistant. Using blackout shades helps keep indoors cool and during summer helps to cut down electricity costs as ACs do not need to overwork to keep homes cool.
Requires no Additional Layer of Material
Room darkening shades are good but they often allow a little bit of light to escape into the room. They need an added layer of material to provide darkness to your rooms. Blackout shades are sufficient by themselves and do away with the need to add an additional layer of material.
Blackout shades are best for securing the privacy needs of your home. As the name suggests, blackout curtains not only help to block out light but also secures the insides of your house from prying eyes of peeping neighbors. When they are completely drawn, the interiors of the house are not visible at all.
Blackout and room darkening shades are both versatile shades that serve their purposes well. If your need for complete darkness is not pressing then room darkening shades are good enough. However, if other needs like temperature control and privacy control have to be addressed then blackout shades make a better choice. You may not always need complete darkness in a room, but there are times when you might. For those times, if you are using room darkening shades, you will have to make provisions for adding another layer to cut out the extra light and also help insulate the windows better. This added edge helps blackout shades win the debate hands down.
Caring & Maintaining Blackout Shades
While blackout shades are great for your homes but they also need special care and maintenance. As they are made of materials like fiberglass, polyurethane foams, suede, etc. you can care for them like normal shades. Wiping them off or washing and ironing them will not work and can even damage the material. It is best to opt for professional help to better preserve these shades.