Questions to Ask Before Installing Blackout Blinds

June 6, 2024

It’s Summer in Canada, and that means camping, barbecuing, long days… and sunlight coming through your window at 4 am. That’s why late May to early July is the time of the year when people start considering investing in blackout blinds.

Blackout blinds offer some great benefits that can also be enjoyed all throughout the year – not just in summer. For example:

  • Blackout blinds are ideal for those working the night shift and sleeping during the daytime.
  • Want to watch a movie in your living room without the glare coming from the streetlight outside your window? Blackout blinds will block any unwanted light seeping through.
  • Blocking light also means blocking heat from entering – or escaping – your home. Blackout blinds can help you keep the indoor temperature comfortable all year long, and help you save on your utility bill.

To help you decide if Blackout Blinds are right for your home, here are a few of the most common questions people have about this product.

1. Blackout blinds or blackout curtains?

The most common doubt that people have when deciding how to deal with excess light in a room is whether to pick blackout blinds or blackout curtains. The final answer will, of course, depend on your personal taste, the style of your home, and your budget. But there are certain benefits from blackout blinds that you just cannot get with curtains:

  • Energy Savings. Blinds are more energy-efficient than curtains when the weather is warm. Blinds can reduce the heat gain inside a building by an impressive 45 percent.
  • Space Savings. Curtains, and more so blackout curtains, hover a few inches over your windows and usually reach all the way to the floor, limiting what you can do with your space. Blinds on the other hand, sit perfectly on your windows
  • Aesthetics. Blinds give your space a more modern style, look more organized, and are more versatile than curtains. You also avoid having to add screws to your wall in order to install a curtain rod.

2. What is the best material for blackout blinds?

Opaque materials such as natural wood, metal, and PVC work well in blocking out unwanted light. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the material for your blackout blinds:

  • Synthetic materials like PVC are scratch and moisture resistant. They can give you the feel and look of real wood blinds, but at more affordable prices, and are perfect for more humid rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Natural wood blinds offer several levels of light blocking, and add a touch of sophistication and warmth to your room, while maintaining your privacy.
  • Metal blinds, made from materials like aluminum, are also resistant to moisture, dirt, and grease. Although not as versatile as faux wood blinds, metal blinds can also be useful in blocking unwanted light from your space.
  • Fabric blinds, such as Honeycomb Blinds, are perfect for insulation and soundproofing, but can let in some amount of light. Roller Shades are also a great option of fabric shades; they are low maintenance, affordable, and can regulate sunshine to keep your room cool and shaded while adding an extra layer for warmth in the cool weather.

Lighter coloured roller shades, blackout blinds or shades

3. Do blackout blinds help with managing temperature?

The short answer is: Yes! Blackout blinds can help with thermal insulation. 

Blackout blinds can help keep a room cooler in the summer by blocking out heat from the outside from coming through your window panes, and reducing the need for air conditioning – or at least helping your AC to work more efficiently. 

In the winter, blackout blinds provide an extra layer of insulation against the cold, keeping your home warmer for longer.

4. Can blackout blinds help with noise reduction?

While their primary function is to block light, blackout blinds can also offer some level of noise reduction, particularly if they are made from thick, dense materials. The denser the material, the more effective it is at reducing noise. Materials such as multi-layered composites or specially designed acoustic fabrics are particularly good at dampening sound.

If noise reduction is something that you require from your blinds, talking to one of our specialists can help you find the perfect blackout blinds for you.

5. How effective are blackout window coverings at blocking light?

High-quality blackout blinds can block 99-100% of incoming light. Of course, the effectiveness of your blackout blinds in blocking light will depend on the fit and installation, as gaps around the edges can let light in.

For the absolute best fit of your blackout blind, we recommend getting them custom. Custom blackout blinds will fit perfectly to your windows, even if they’re oddly shaped, and insure the best light blocking to your room.

Dark Coloured Blackout Shades

6. Do blackout blinds have any impact on the view when open?

When raised or opened, blackout blinds can either roll up into a compact space or fold neatly, minimizing obstruction to the view. 

The specific impact will depend on the design and mechanism of the blinds, so it is important that your blackout blinds are well fitted to your window, good quality, and installed properly.

7. How do I get the correct blackout shades for my windows?

Once you have already decided on the material, and how much light you need filtered out, start by measuring your windows. Here’s a quick guide to measuring your windows for blinds or shades:

  • Take measurements for the top, middle, and bottom window openings. Round the smallest dimension up to 1/8 inch.
  • Using the same approach as the width, measure the internal height of your window.
  • Measure the window diagonally.
  • Determine how far your blinds or shades will extend. Blinds should have a 1-inch overhang on each side of the window.

Ensuring that you are working with a reputable and experienced blinds manufacturer or retailer is crucial in guaranteeing that your blackout blinds meet all the specific needs of you and your family. This attention to quality and expertise helps to avoid potential issues related to poor fit, inadequate light blocking, or subpar materials. 

Choosing a well-established provider ensures that you receive guidance through every step of the process, from selecting the appropriate style and material to accurate measurement and professional installation.

Wholesale Blind Factory is one of Western Canada’s largest manufacturers of custom window coverings. Our staff of knowledgeable experts can help you with design choices, measuring, and installation of your blackout blinds.

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