Light Filtering Blinds vs. Blackout Shades

With so many types of window coverings you can put on your home, it can be difficult to choose which is the best option for you. What you want and what you need can vary based on

  • Where your house is.
  • Number and location of windows. 
  • How and when your windows take in light. 
  • The style and look you want to create.
  • What you need your window coverings to accomplish.

Today, we are looking at two of the most common window coverings which include light filtering blinds and blackout shades. Though there is some overlap in the function of each, these types of window coverings also provide unique value and functions that the other does not.

Here are a few things you should know about light filtering blinds, blackout shades, and how they compare.

Light Filtering Blinds

Light filtering blinds are traditionally made of thin materials, that allow light to be diffused more softly through your windows or doors. The soft and subtle diffusion of light and visibility through your windows give you a moderate amount of control of both light and privacy.

Light filtering blinds are meant to soften the light coming through your windows but are not made to completely or mostly block out light as blackout shades can. Since they are blinds, you can adjust how open or closed they are, and therefore control the light you are getting into the room.

Light filtering blinds are great for allowing natural light into a room, without overwhelming you with light or totally blocking it out. They also give you a lot of control in regulating the level of light or shade you would like.

Pros of Light Filtering Blinds

  • Soften light coming into a room.
  • Increases your level of privacy.
  • Easy to draw open or closed.
  • Easy to adjust to regulate light into a room.

Cons of Light Filtering Blinds

  • They do not provide the maximum level of privacy like shutters or blackout curtains.
  • They cannot totally block out light to a room.

Blackout Shades

Blackout shades are uniquely valuable in that they can totally or mostly block out all light coming in through a window. They are a unique window covering that provides complete privacy, which makes them great for adding just about anywhere in your home. Blackout curtains are particularly great for bedrooms and nurseries. The ability to fully block light from entering a room is ideal for getting a good night’s sleep.

Blackout curtains are also effective at helping you control the temperature in your bedroom or different areas of your house where you decide to place them. Since blackout curtains are so thick, they are great for providing additional insulation in rooms. This gives you the ability to keep your bedroom and other rooms in your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Blackout curtains are a nice way to save some money on your gas or electricity bills. helping your AC unit or heater to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. They are also great in summer because the dark color of the curtains absorbs heat and light coming through your windows, helping you keep your rooms and home cooler in hotter months of the year.

One of the only drawbacks to blackout curtains is that they don’t give you a lot of options or adjustability in adjusting the amount of light that comes into your home. Because they are curtains, not blinds, they provide an all or nothing solution for covering your windows. If you have blackout curtains on your windows and no other form of window covering, you can only completely close off your windows from letting in light or completely open them up to let light flood a room. This is unlike blinds which give you the ability to quickly and easily adjust the amount of light you want to filter in a room.

Pros of blackout curtains

  • Great for bedrooms, nurseries, and a great night’s sleep.
  • Fully block out light from entering a room.
  • Help control room temperature and save on your energy bill.

Cons of blackout curtains

  • Bad for adjusting the amount of light you want coming into a room.
  • Not as easy to open or close as some forms of curtains.

Recommendations for light filtering blinds and blackout curtains

There are unique benefits to light filtering blinds and blackout curtains. Light filtering blinds are commonly used in kitchens, living rooms, offices, and other public areas, while blackout curtains are typically used in bedrooms and nurseries.

Even though these are the most common places to find these window coverings, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use them differently in your own home. You can combine the two and have both light filtering blinds and blackout curtains covering the same window to give you the best of both worlds.

Whether you are looking for light filtering blinds, blackout curtains, or another window treatment option, our experts at Starwood Distributors would be happy to help. Contact our window and floor covering experts at Starwood Distributors today to learn more.

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