Tired of waking every morning with a stripe of blinding sunlight across your eyes? Or perhaps you need a way to dim the lights in the baby's room so he'll nap, or in a conference room so that you can project a presentation on a screen. No matter why you need to block the light from entering a room, you will need the right window blinds for the job.
If you're looking for a window covering option that will block out nearly all available light from your rooms, your best option is blackout blinds. Blackout blinds are generally roller blinds ? heavy fabric on a mechanical roller ? with a few differences designed to eliminate as much available light as possible.
The first difference is in the construction of the blind itself. Rather than rolling freely up and down over a roller that is attached at the top of the window frame, blackout blinds are fitted into side channels attached to the inside of the frame to hold the blind close to the glass and prevent light from entering along the sides.
The fabric itself ? or a special lightproof treatment ? is the second difference. There is no one particular fabric that's used universally. Different manufacturers swear by different combinations of acrylic, fiberglass, aluminum and other products to reduce light transmission and reflect heat away from the window and out of your room.
Blackout blinds come in a wide variety of colors and styles to suit almost any d?cor. The newest treatments don't count on color to reduce light leakage. It's all in the material of which the blinds are made. You can choose colors, patterns and prints that coordinate with any decorating style,
Maybe your need isn't for total light blockage. There are other options that are more suitable for dimming the light in a room and helping to keep it cooler in the heat or retaining heat during the winter. Often referred to as 'dim out blinds' they are usually made of similar fabric with some light blocking properties, but aren't fitted into channels to block all light. They come in the same range of colors, patterns and styles designed to coordinate with any room d?cor, so shop around to find window treatments that fit your rooms perfectly.
Another recent entry into the blackout blinds market is cellular blackout blinds. Cellular blackout blinds are not available from every manufacturer, and are often a custom order from others. Like blackout roller blinds, they come in both room darkening and light filtering colors. They offer many options that standard blackout blinds don't ? top down or bottom up raising and lowering, for example. The colors available range from white to lavender to sea green to rose, and can block as much as 80% of the light from entering your room.
If you're buying blackout blinds from an online dealers be sure to visit their web site to get detailed measuring instructions. Since blackout blinds of any kind must be cut to measure, you'll seldom get a refund if you make a mistake with the measurements or choose a color that doesn't suit your rooms.
Garry John has contributed many articles to home improvement sites including this article on blackout blinds.