If you’re like most homeowners, you likely have a number of different home improvement tasks on your to-do list. While there are many that you can likely start this weekend, few are simple enough to complete before you head back to work Monday morning. Luckily enough, installing room darkening blinds, or blackout shades, on your windows is one relatively simple task you can complete. Ease of installation aside, there are many benefits to installing a set (or more) in your home.
What Are Blackout Shades?
As the name implies, blackout shades significantly reduce the amount of light allowed to enter a room. This may initially seem counter-intuitive, as abundant natural light in a home is something that we all tend to seek, there are several important functions that blackout shades address. The first, and perhaps most common application for blackout window shades is a home’s media room or office space. Installing blackout shades in these areas eliminates the glare that can make using your electronic devices cumbersome.
New parents are also likely to want blackout shades installed in their child’s nursery, allowing their child to easily fall and stay asleep. If you aren’t concerned about glare on your television or computer and you don’t have a little one who goes down for frequent naps, there still are numerous reasons why blackout shades might be the right solution for at least one room in your home. For example, if you work shift work, installing blackout shades can help you sleep during the day. For a complete blackout experience, you can have light blocking side channels installed in addition to shades, which can prevent light from passing through small cracks. Blackout shades can also act as a good defense against intense UV rays and can play a role in keeping your home’s internal temperature at a comfortable level.
What You Need to Know Before Buying Blackout Shades
Before buying blackout shades online or in-store, there are a few things you should consider. For starters, what is your goal? Are you looking to increase privacy, or are you just looking to have reliable light control in a specific room? Does the room for which you’re considering blackout shades get the most sun during the hottest part of the day, and you want to control heat? There are also different styles and materials available when it comes to blackout window treatments that you’ll want to consider in order to make your space comfortable and stylish. For example, you can choose between roller blackout shades, vertical blackout blinds or blackout drapes, depending on your style. If your windows aren’t a standard size, you’ll probably want to purchase a custom set rather than trying to make an out-of-box solution work.
The other thing you’ll want to consider is motorized blackout shades. Motorized shades are a wonderful addition to your room because they can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or remote control. You can automate daily tasks and have the shades open right when your alarm goes off in the morning. If you have multiple windows in one room, the ease of having them close all at the same time at the touch of a button to optimize ambience is a wonderful feeling. Motorized blackout shades can be installed the same way as other window treatments, so you don’t have to worry about calling a professional.
The Best Blackout Shades & Vertical Blackout Blinds
While all blackout shades significantly reduce the amount of light that enters the room in question, blackout shades come in a variety of materials, each capable of blocking different amounts of light. If your aim is absolute darkness, the obvious choice would be to select something made from a completely opaque material paired with side channels.
If, however, your goal is to significantly reduce the amount of light and UV rays allowed to enter a room, the best product is the one that best suits your individual needs. It’s important to note that if you aren’t keen on roller blackout shades for your home, vertical blackout blinds are also available. Be aware, however, that these types of shades don’t block as much light as other blackout options. This is because the gap between the bottom of the rail and the vertical blinds will allow a considerable amount of light to enter the room.
How To Keep Blackout Shades Clean
Blackout window shades, like other window treatments, can get dusty over time and even provide a home to allergens. Having said that, the materials used for your blackout shades may require a different approach to cleaning compared to the other window coverings in your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Avoid using dusting mittens and other electrostatic or magnetic cleaners on blackout shades. While these work just fine with other window coverings, these cleaning methods can reduce the effectiveness of your shades in terms of their UV and light-blocking abilities. Avoid immersing the shades entirely in water. If you need to remove a stain, spot clean with warm water and a mild soap. When finished, allow them to air dry. You can dust your blackout shades using your vacuum cleaner, however it is recommended that you use an attachment that reduces suction. It’s also ideal to reduce the power setting on your vacuum.
If you’ve considered blackout window shades in the past but didn’t know where to start, we hope this article has answered some of the questions you might have had. If you’ve got a room (or two) that gets entirely too much sun and you think it could benefit from blackout shades, you can now confidently purchase the blackout blinds that are right for you.
Have more questions? Consult an expert today!