Introduction to Blackout Blinds
Blackout blinds are here to save the day. We’ve all been there: You’re trying to get to sleep, but the sun is shining in through your bedroom window. Or that misplaced streetlight shines directly into your bedroom. They help keep light out of your room by blocking it from getting into the room. But what exactly is a blackout blind and how does it work?
The most common reason for investing in blackout shades, is to get better sleep.
Sleep is a vital part of good health. In fact, research has shown that sleep deprivation can have serious impacts on your physical and mental health.
Several Studies found people who sleep for less than 4 hours a night are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Even if their activity levels are normal.
Another study showed that people who had shorter sleep durations were more likely to be overweight or obese than those who slept longer. And still another found that getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night increased the risk of early death from all causes by 26%.
If you’re waking up tired or struggling to get to sleep, blackout blinds could be the answer. The reason is simple: they block out light, which helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and prevents it from resetting itself. This leads to better quality sleep and a better start to your day. But how do blackout blinds work?
The main feature of any blackout blinds is its ability to prevent visible light from entering your room through the window.
When looking for blackout blinds, there are three things to consider – The Type of Fabric, Color, and how it will Mount (inside or outside).
The fabric should be durable enough to withstand consistent direct Sun/ UV heat, constant use and regular cleaning. The color of your blinds can make a significant difference on how much light they will actually block.
Blackout shades were engineered so sunlight doesn’t leak through unlike other styles of blinds that have gaps between slats like plantation shutters. Shutters and Faux Wood Blinds allow light into rooms that could prevent you from sleeping more comfortably. Additional measures such as installing curtains over Shutters, Faux Wood Blinds during could be required to obtain your goal of controlling light well you sleep.
Another consideration is how your blinds will be mounted. Most blackout blinds are mounted on the inside of a window frame to reduce light gaps. You can add side channels to create a total blackout of the room. Outside mounted blinds can reduce light but would require drapery to stop light gaps on the side.
Outside mount is usually required if you have shallow window frames or don’t want to lose the function of the window (ex. Windows that tilt inwards for cleaning and/or airflow or have a window crank handle).
Learn More: https://www.indigoblinds.ca/2020/05/13/inside-vs-outside-mount-blinds/
Sidetracks to prevent light from leaking through side gaps on the blinds.
To keep even more light out, sidetracks can be installed on a selection of window treatments. Sidetracks prevent light from leaking into the room from side gaps on the blinds. Installing sidetracks on window frames is a great solution for rooms like nurseries, bedrooms, or media rooms where you want complete blackout.
Most inside mounted privacy shades are manufactured with a slightly smaller than the actual window size. this allows the blinds to move freely so they don’t scrape against the side window frame while in operation. This inevitably could leave gaps that let in enough light and/or drafts that make your room uncomfortable.
Different Types of Sidetracks:
Sidetracks are available in white, black, bronze, and brown so that it goes with most window frames. Sidetracks form a nice border around your window, giving it a definite shape and structure.
L-shaped Sidetracks: Plastic structures that fit into the gap between the window and the shades. This seals off the gap so that no light can escape through the gap. It’s important to make sure the shade is correctly installed. If it’s not, it may not be as effective at blocking out light. The material is made of light absorbent plastic.
U-shaped Side Channel: Wraps the edge of the fabric and Hem bar so they can freely ride inside the channel while the shade is in operation. When ordered with a shading system, Side Channels will include light brush that protect your finishes and are color coordinated based on the selected blind color. Sidetracks make the operation of shades smoother so that they sustain less damage and last longer. This is especially true for motorized blinds, which often operate remotely.
Benefits of Sidetracks
Insulation: Shades are great for insulation, but the gap they leave between the window and the material inevitably leads to a considerable loss of heat. In winter months, the same gap lets in cool drafty air into the home. As a result, your energy bills go up.
Sidetracks completely block off the window. If you install side-tracks for every window in the house, you will see the benefits in the reduced energy bills. Sidetracks are designed to block 97% of the light that would have leaked through side gaps in your window coverings.
Privacy: If you treasure your privacy like most people due, the gap left between the blind and the frame will be a source of endless annoyance. Sidetracks can easily take care of this problem.
Blackout Effect: Sidetracks are necessary if your goal is to have complete room blackout. These blinds are designed to cut off the light completely. Installing sidetracks, you will easily achieve that night like atmosphere. Now you can sleep peacefully or watch the movie without the sun playing spoilsport.
What’s the difference between room-darkening and blackout shades?
Room-darkening shades are also light-blocking to a point. But do have a diffusing quality similar to light-filtering shades. This is great if you want to block out the UV rays from the sun and/or reduce glare on television screens or computer monitors.
Blackout shades are meant to block out all light, especially if sidetracks are installed. Blackout shades are best suited for bedrooms, living rooms, nurseries, and media rooms where you’ll be watching TV in low light conditions.
Learn More: https://www.indigoblinds.ca/2020/05/13/room-darkening-blackout/ and https://www.indigoblinds.ca/2020/05/13/room-darkening-shades-explained/
Best blackout blinds for bedrooms
If you’re looking for the best blackout blinds for your bedroom, we’ve got you covered. Whether you are a shift worker, or it’s because you live in a noisy neighborhood, or just want to make sure that your baby (or toddler) doesn’t wake up when the sun rises at 5:00 AM, these blackout blinds will help keep darkness at bay and help insulate against noise.
Blackout blinds are perfect for bedrooms since they block out light and help with room temperature control. In the summer they will block excessive heat from entering the room through windows – keeping your room cool. In the winter months they will help keep your bedroom temperature in check by preventing unwanted cold drafts from coming off the windows.
Cellular Shades have an internal 3D structure that resembles a honeycomb that makes cellular shades uniquely efficient at blocking out light and providing a insulation factor. Each cell is coated in insulating blackout fabric, creating an absorptive chamber that light rays can’t escape.
Cellular shades offer excellent light control, noise reduction, and insulation, which can potentially lower energy costs over time. Constructed in narrow, crisp accordion folds, these shades can be fully drawn or raised to any height preference to let in light.
Some Cellular shades can also be raised and lowered from the top as well as the bottom, offering more lighting and privacy options. Blackout Cellular shades are the most commonly purchased solution for bedrooms where people want total blackout solutions.
Blackout Roller / Solar Shades
Roller / Solar shades are a great option for bedrooms. They provide privacy making them perfect for bedrooms with windows facing light sources like streetlights or office buildings. You can use them in a dual roller / solar shade combination for ultimate light control. Solar shades can prevent up to 95% of heat causing UV rays from entering through your windows.
Roller / solar shades can be used in any room and come in a wide range of colors and patterns. So you can find one that matches your décor without having to settle for an outdated look. Plus, they’re extremely easy to clean!
Motorized Blackout Shades
If you want to be able to control your own light levels, motorized shades are the way to go. They can be controlled by a remote, wall switch, home automation system or sun sensors (to come on when it’s bright). The growth in Home Automation Solutions has lead to automated smart blackout shades becoming more affordable.
Automated smart blackout shades are a practical and stylish solution for your home. They’re easy to install, simple to operate and can be controlled by a remote or phone app. So now you can open and close them at the touch of a button from anywhere. If you don’t want to deal with cords or pulleys, this is the ideal solution for you. Some blinds feature optional sun sensors that will automatically open the blinds when it gets light outside or close the blinds when the streetlights come on.
Blackout Roman Shades
If you want to block out light but don’t want to go with curtains, roman shades are a great fabric option. They’re less expensive than blackout curtains and can be customized so they are just as functional as curtains.
Roman shades come in different fabrics and styles, so it’s easy to find one that works well with your decorating needs. Roman shades come in fabrics that have insulation qualities, which means they’ll keep your room temperature at an acceptable level.
Cordless Blackout Blinds
Cordless blackout blinds are a great option for homes with small kids, pets or anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of cords. They’re also ideal for older adults that might have trouble lifting heavy window treatments or using corded devices.
Benefits of cordless blackout blinds include:
- No danger of entanglement or strangulation like with corded blinds
- No need to hide cords or add tie down brackets to your window frame
- Ease of use, and a clean look without the hanging cords
With so many options, it can be hard to decide which blackout blinds are right for your home. But don’t worry! We’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision about which type of blinds will work best for your needs.
Our Manufacturing Partner Graber Blinds has a great article on Sleep and the Benefits of Blackout Blinds: https://www.graberblinds.com/inspiration/window-treatments-10