Are Blackout Blinds really Blackout?
The honest answer is no, not really.
When companies say their fabrics are “Blackout” it really means no light will come through the fabric, but with certain blinds there is still light penetration, so light will come through into the room.
If you need a complete Blackout blind, then there are special types of blinds that are available. These usually are roller blinds with side channels, so the fabric glides down the side channels, keeping the light out.
So, lets look at standard blinds and the pros and cons for “Blackout” fabrics…
Cassette or Standard Roller Blinds – Blackout or what we call Blockout Roller blinds, will let some light through the sides, between the walls and the side of the fabric, when fitted inside the recess. If fitted on the outside the recess, the blind must be standard roll, but light can seep through between the fabric and walls. Out of the two options, outside the recess is better at keeping out more light.
Venetian Blinds – Whether Fauxwood (PVC), Wood or Aluminium they are all basically the same. Light will show through the holes in the slats (where the operation cords go), down the sides between the walls and the side of the slates and between the slats when they are closed.
Vertical Blinds – In my honest opinion, no, not if you need to block a lot of light out. Although companies do offer “Blackout” fabric, light penetration happens all over the area the blind covers. Below the track and above the top of the louvers, down the sides between walls and fabric, at the bottom of the louvers and window ledge, plus between the louvers when they are closed. The louvers or slats lay on top of each other in the closed position and as they are not one piece of fabric (like a roller blind) light will seep through between them.
Vision or Day/Night Blinds – Even though there are some fabrics that are “Blackout” the nature of these blinds does not make them a great option to Blockout light. As like Roller blinds, light will show down the sides between walls and fabric edges, plus some light can show through between the two layers of fabric, when in the closed position.
Roman Blinds – We recommend all Roman blinds should have a Blackout lining on them, not only to keep light out, but to protect the front fabric from fading and so that the operational rods and cords are not visible through the fabric when the blind is down. If a recess is straight and true, if possible, have the blind installed inside the recess and there will only be a 3mm gap either side between the walls and fabric.
Linear Pleated Blinds – Like Romans, where possible have the blind inside the recess and again with a 3mm gap on either side between wall and fabric edges, less light will come in when having these types of blinds. Available in eighteen assorted colours, these “Blackout” fabrics do help to Blockout a lot of light.
Perfect Fit Blinds – We have found these are approximately 97% Blockout blinds, but only with Cellular Blockout Pleated fabrics. On a South facing window, with the sun shining brightly, the only bit of light that shows are through the corner covers, which there is a work around we have discovered. Perfect Fit Venetian and standard Pleated fabrics do not offer as much light blockage. Also, you can get Perfect Fit as a Roller blind option, but we do not offer those, so I cannot comment on them.
I hope this information helps you discover what the best type of standard blind is best for your situation.