The Importance of Windows
Windows are an integral part of any home as they are not only an element of architectural interest but also serve as your gateway to the outside world. You welcome the fresh air, the warmth of the Sun, and the radiance of the sunlight through the windows. Sitting by the window and enjoying the view of the outside, be it the beauty of the greenery or the hustle and bustle of a busy street, is a favorite past time of many people. Windows also brighten up the otherwise dull interiors by bringing in more natural light inside the house and that makes a lot of difference to the overall appeal of the home décor.
What are the Issues with Windows?
While the windows are so amazing in so many ways as discussed above, they also give rise to certain issues such as heat gain, glare during the morning and evening hours, and the exposure to UV radiation and dust (when the windows are open). The regular glass windows have a very low R-value and that results in poor heat insulation performance of these windows.
The glass windows are also unable to block the outside light when you don’t want the interiors to be too bright and illuminated. If you are trying to sleep, the bright light can interrupt your sleep. Moreover, the slanting rays of the Sun cause glare during the morning and evening hours of the day. This can reduce visibility inside the house and can adversely impact your media consumption experience on your TV or your laptop, etc.
The Issue of Privacy
Privacy is one of the biggest concerns with glass windows both during the daytime and during the night if you have lights on inside the room. Onlookers can easily peep inside the house through the window and undermine your privacy. You need to have some mechanism in place that can provide coverage to the windows when you have to safeguard your privacy. This coverage will help block the view of the inside.
However, you don’t want to permanently block the view as there may be times when you want to enjoy fresh air, brighten the interiors of the room by allowing more light through the window, or just want to enjoy the view of the outside. So, the mechanism or solution should be such that you can have control over when you want to block the view, and when you want to allow the natural light inside the house. This is where window treatments come in handy.
There are so many different types of window treatments such as the blinds, shades, shutters, and curtains that you can choose from when you want to dress up the windows in your house. However, when it comes to privacy, shades, and curtains are better. The blinds and shutters have some gap between the individual vanes when they are open or are positioned at an angle. This may have an adverse impact on their privacy performance. Unlike the blinds and shutters, shades and curtains have a continuous fabric layer that ensures that there are no gaps and hence your privacy is better protected. This also allows the shades and the curtains to provide effective protection against the dust.
Which Shades are Best for Night Time Privacy?
Privacy is just as important during the night as it is crucial during the day. Most shade types can provide effective privacy performance during the day but when the night comes, many of these shades are found lacking and are unable to safeguard your privacy. You may wonder why that is the case. The answer is based on a simple scientific principle.
During the day, it is brighter outside than it is inside the house. Thus even a set of semi-sheer or light filtering shades is enough to block the view of the inside. However, when the night falls, the outdoor space is generally dark with the exception of a few illuminated spots here and there such as the street lights. The indoor space, on the other hand, is brighter as lights are on during the night. Due to this, it becomes easier to look inside the house, even from a distance. Hence, semi-sheer or light-filtering shades become ineffective as their opacity is not enough to block out the view of the interiors.
So, it is quite evident that if night time privacy is your topmost priority, you will have to choose shades that have better opacity so that they can block out the most of the light falling on their surface. In the case of indoor lighting, the shades should prevent the light from penetrating outside so that the indoor space is not visible from the outside.
One way of doing this to opt for a blackout fabric. If you use a blackout fabric for your shades, most shade types such as the roller shades, Roman shades, cellular shades, tie-up shades, etc. will be able to provide effective night time privacy. However, blackout fabric is not the only material option you have. You can also opt for wooden material as it has a higher opacity.
Another excellent option will be metallic shades such as aluminum shades. These are not only very affordable but also highly durable if you opt for high-quality aluminum. These shades also provide excellent privacy performance irrespective of whether it is the day or the night.
Shades, just like any other types of window treatments, are highly customizable. This makes it easier to fine-tune them as per your requirements. As far as night time privacy is concerned, you can use any type of shades if the material you have opted for has good blackout performance.