Light Filtering Blinds vs. Blackout Shades

Finding it difficult to choose between light filtering and blackout window treatments? We’re here to help! Thankfully each of these window treatments serves different needs, so focusing on the function of each room can go a long way in ensuring the right fit for your windows.

Fabric Blinds in Living Room

For instance, spaces like the nursery and home theater may require a room darkening effect that enhances your baby’s sleep and the home viewing experience. These spaces can be fitted with room darkening window coverings whereas the living room, where we tend to spend a majority of our time and entertain guests can be fitted with light filtering blinds to allow diffused light.

Bedrooms would benefit from a blackout effect to block outside street lights during the night, especially if you’re a light sleeper. But during the day you may desire a nice outdoor view. In this case you would need both light and privacy control which calls for a flexible window covering solution that allows you to create the setting of your choice, at different times.

To help you determine whether light filtering blinds or blackout shades would be perfect for your home space, here’s a guide to the pros and cons of these window covering solutions along with the environments that they’re best suited for.

Room Darkening, Light Filtering, or Both?

Cellular Shades in Nursery

Apart from the functionality of each room, your personal preferences also come into play when selecting the right fit for your windows and not to forget the aesthetic style of your home. Some window treatments can also beautifully complement your existing home décor while meeting your functionality requirements.

To help you find the right fit that addresses all your requirements, be it aesthetics, functionality, or your personal style, here’s a guide that covers all aspects of light filtering and blackout window treatments. But first let’s examine the consequences of unfiltered light and why we should avoid it.

Unfiltered Light

Exposing your home to direct, unfiltered light has several consequences. Prolonged exposure to sunlight has damaging effects on your home’s furnishings and flooring. Harmful UV rays cause yellowing, discoloration, fading, and warping of furniture, carpets, and even artwork. In addition, the glare can be uncomfortable and makes it difficult to view the computer or TV screen.

During the summer, unfiltered light can also heat up your home real quick, increasing your dependence on artificial cooling appliances, which in turn increases energy costs. For all the above reasons, it’s extremely important to minimize or avoid light exposure by using light filtering or blackout window treatments. The question that remains is: which of these is best suited for your home space? Let’s find out.

Light Filtering vs. Blackout Effect

Light filtering allows diffused light, giving a beautiful warm glow to your home space. Natural, filtered light can instantly elevate any room. Regardless of your home’s architectural and interior style, filtered light can subtly enhance the home décor, accentuating its features and furniture. It also creates the right backdrop for work or play, making it ideal for home as well as commercial spaces and even kids’ playrooms.

However light filtering allows only a minimum or moderate level of privacy, depending upon the material of the chosen window treatment. For complete privacy and light blocking, blackout window treatments are the best option. They also provide energy and cost efficiencies by insulating the room against outside weather conditions.

Here are the pros and cons of light filtering blinds, light filtering shades, and blackout shades to help you choose the right fit.

1.  Light Filtering Blinds

Light filtering blinds are typically constructed from sheer or thin materials that allow diffused light, offering a moderate level of light and privacy control. At times, light also escapes through the small openings between slats. Therefore, light filtering blinds cannot block as much light as blackout shades, which can provide complete room darkening.

For greater flexibility in light and privacy control, consider pairing light filtering blinds with drapes or curtains. When you desire complete privacy and room darkening, all you have to do is simply draw the curtains close and at other times, keep them open to allow in filtered light.  

Opt for Light Filtering with Budget Blinds’ Blinds

Budget Blinds’ Fabric Blinds make excellent light filtering window coverings. Plus they come in a range of opacities, allowing you to choose the desired level of soft, filtered light, based on your requirements. Choose from an impressive range of fabrics, patterns, and colors to complement or custom-match to your home décor! With soft fabrics, fabric blinds help create a warmer ambience, as compared to aluminum or vinyl blinds.

2.  Light Filtering Shades

Similar to light filtering blinds, light filtering shades also allow diffused light, which creates a nice, warm glow. They also reduce glare, increasing your comfort level and making it easier to view the computer and TV screen. Light filtering shades also block outside views completely, when pulled down.

For enhanced privacy and light control, consider pairing light filtering shades with draperies or curtains. With closed drapes, you can enjoy complete privacy and a blackout effect and when opened, you can allow in beautifully filtered light albeit with a lesser degree of privacy.

Opt for Light Filtering with Budget Blinds’ Shades

Sheer, Bamboo, and Woven Wood shades are some great light filtering options. Budget Blinds Sheer shades keep light in and glare out while offering protection from the harmful UV rays. What’s more they can be ordered with a motorized lift system so you can automate their open and close operations at specific times, based on your schedule. These are available in the latest, eye-catching patterns and a variety of soft, neutral colors. For greater control over light and privacy, consider using dark, bold colors and room darkening patterns.

Our Bamboo and Woven Wood shades - made from eco-friendly, organic materials – allow soft, filtered, natural light, creating a relaxing environment. They can beautifully complement homes with wooden furnishings, creating an earthy, organic appeal. Our Woven Wood shades are available in an array of colors and hues, including lighter and darker tones, making it easy to match your furniture.

Plus to allow greater flexibility in light and privacy control, these can be ordered with blackout liners that completely block sunlight.

Pleated Shades are another excellent option as these are available in sheer fabrics with unique textures, providing protection from the glare and UV rays, and flexibility in light and privacy control. In addition they’re ideal for larger windows and even odd shaped windows like arches, angled top, and skylights. Alternatively, for both light filtering and blackout effects at once, consider installing our pleated and cellular shade combo with a top, light filtering portion with pleated shades and a bottom portion with a room darkening cellular shade.

3.  Blackout Shades

Dual Roller Shades in Living Room

Blackout shades provide a great room darkening effect and complete privacy, so they’re a great fit for bedrooms and nurseries, allowing restful sleep at any time of the day or night. They’re also ideal for home theater rooms where they can enhance your home viewing experience by completely blocking light. But the list of benefits and utilities doesn’t end there! Blackout shades also protect your furnishings from the harmful UV rays, so they’re a great choice for rooms which house valuable pieces of art or expensive furniture and carpets.

However they also obstruct outside views, when closed. But this can be easily tackled by raising the shades whenever you want to enjoy the outside views and allow in light.

Budget Blinds’ Blackout Window Coverings

Budget Blinds presents a fabulous range of blackout window treatments that include Roller, Cellular, and Roman shades. These provide maximum light blockage, even up to 100%, depending on the chosen opacity. Plus they offer enhanced energy efficiency and reduced energy costs by helping you maintain a cooler temperature during the summer.

Also consider our blackout drapery panels that are offered in a stunning collection that instantly helps you elevate your home space. Are you ready to enjoy immersive sleep and an engaging home viewing experience with these panels or shades?

No matter what your light and privacy control requirements, Budget Blinds has the right fit for your home space. Almost all of our window treatments are offered in a range of opacities, so you can easily find one that perfectly suits your light control and privacy requirements. Plus many of our window covering solutions can be ordered with blackout liners, making it easy to create the blackout effect of your choice! In addition we have a stunning array of materials, colors, patterns, and textures, so you can fulfill your style needs too.

But if the wide variety of options is making it difficult to choose the right window covering, fret not! Simply schedule a complimentary in-home design consultation for professional guidance from one of your local style consultants. They would love to evaluate your requirements and ensure that your windows are fitted with the right window treatment that meets all your practicality and style requirements. What will it be – room darkening, light filtering, or both? Let us know!

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