One of the most searched for items on our online blind shop is blackout blinds. Not surprisingly the number of people looking to buy blackout blinds is at its peak during the Spring and Summer months, usually around the time that the clocks go forward and it’s easy to see why.
Blackout blinds not only prevent light from entering a room but also control temperature as they reflect glare. Darkening a room helps when putting young children to bed and also helps prevent them waking up too early in a morning. Shift workers also benefit from blackout blinds as their bedtimes may detract from the norm throughout the year.
It’s important to understand a few things before you choose which type of blackout blind is right for you as not all blackout blinds are the same!
What Is A Blackout Blind?
So in essence, a blackout blind is a window blind that is constructed in such a way that it prevents light from entering a room. What is important to remember however is that not all blackout blinds are absolute, by that, we mean that not every blackout blind will block out 100% of light from the window that it covers.
To understand this, we’ve got to consider the construction of different styles of blinds. Vertical blinds for instance consist of a headrail from which hang strips of fabric that overlap slightly when in the closed position. If fitted in a recess, vertical blinds will need a small gap at either side and the bottom in order to operate without fouling the reveal or window board. This gap will alway let light through even if the fabric used is 100% blackout. Light won’t penetrate the fabric but a percentage of light will leak into the room via the gaps that we’ve just discussed.
For this reason, a vertical blind, even if it is manufactured using a full blackout fabric, will never give 100% blackout features. It will dramatically lower the light that enters the room and perhaps darken it sufficiently for the needs of improving a Childs sleep but it wouldn’t offer the level of blackout needed for a photographers dark room for instance. Out of interest, we sell a huge amount of blackout replacement vertical blind slats. These are a direct replacement for your existing blind slats and allow you to convert existing vertical blinds into blackout vertical blinds at a fraction of the cost of a full replacement. Just be aware that although the fabric is 100% blackout and will considerably reduce the amount of light entering the window, 100% blackout won’t be achieved because of the gap that is around a vertical blind as we’ve just mentioned.
Most other styles of blinds are also limited by their design in the way that they offer blackout properties. Roller blinds, wood blinds, faux wood blinds and Venetian blinds all offer a large degree of blackout in so far as the material or fabric from which they are constructed will not allow light to penetrate thus providing significantly darker rooms than a traditional fabric blind, but, because of the gaps that they require around their perimeter, there will always be a small degree of glare that is able to enter the room.
100% Blackout Blinds
Should you require a blind that completely blocks out light then you ideally need a specialist commercial blind that a photographer would need. Perhaps your only option otherwise is what we call a perfect fit or neat fit blind. These are available as rollers, pleated and Venetian although it’s the roller version that will offer near total blackout.
These perfect fit blackout blinds come with a complete slim frame that fixes over each pane of glass in the window by way of a very simple but ingenious bracket system that simple slides beneath the window glazing gasket. As the roller blind is lowered, there are no visible gaps as the roller blind runs in a concealed track that is free of gaps and therefore providing a virtually full blackout service.
Perfect fit and neat fit blinds are also available as Venetian and pleated, whilst these blinds don’t offer 100% blackout, they are an improvement on stand alone roller blinds and Venetian blinds.
For most applications, the majority of people are happy with the level of blackout that a normal blackout vertical, roller or wood blind provides. Click to see our range of blackout blinds online.