Blackout curtains and blackout shades have been popular window treatments for decades, and for good reasons. They significantly darken any room like a bedroom, baby nursery, or home theater. Another popular option for darkening your room is blackout window film. Window film is a total darkness solution for your windows because it blocks 100% of the light. In doing so, it also blocks UV rays and solar heat.
So, whether you work the night shift, live facing a busy city street, or have a new baby who has not yet sorted her days from her nights, blackout windows may be the perfect solution for you. In particular, window film offers an affordable, total solution for blacking out your windows and creating privacy.
People choose to blackout their windows with curtains or window films for a variety of reasons. No matter which method you choose, blacking out your window accomplishes several things at the same time. It provides instant privacy. It also blocks outside light, which allows you to sleep and block out UV rays and unwanted heat.
Blackout curtains and film cover your window completely, preventing others from seeing inside. If your room faces the street, you may want to prevent passers-by from seeing in. In many areas of the country, homes are built close together, so close that homeowners often install a privacy barrier. Blackout curtains are thicker than regular curtains, so they effectively cover the window space, as does window film.
Blacking out light darkens the room and enables you to get a more restful night’s sleep. The human body sees the light, whether natural or artificial, as a signal to wake up the brain. Conversely, darkness alerts the brain to produce melatonin, which promotes a restful night’s sleep. If you live in an urban neighborhood, streetlamps and nearby businesses can cast light throughout the night. Blackout windows allow you to block this artificial light so you can get the sleep you need.
Day sleepers often have trouble sleeping if daylight leaks into their bedroom while they are trying to rest. Blacking out the bedroom windows keeps the light from interrupting their sleep.
New parents can benefit as well. Newborns do not initially sleep through the night and new parents grab their own sleep when they can (often during the day while baby is napping). Blacking out windows gives both parents and the baby opportunities for healthy sleep at any time of the day or night. Blackout windows in the nursery also add a welcome layer of privacy.
By blocking out light, blackout windows also block harmful UV rays. Sunlight can fade the fabrics in your room, including your carpet, furniture, and collectible items. Filtering out UV rays protects more than just your belongings. Blackout windows also keep UV rays away from you and your family.
Up to a third of your home’s heated or cooled air escapes through your windows. Likewise, hot air from outside can filter into your home during the summer, and cold air seeps in during the winter. Using either blackout curtains or window film adds a layer of insulation that makes your home run more efficiently. As a result, your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to heat and cool your home.
If you’d like to blackout your windows for any of the reasons above, your main options are blackout curtains or blackout window film. Blackout curtains are made of thick, tightly woven material that blocks up to 99% of the light coming through your window. Out of necessity, they are heavy and contain several layers. This makes them durable, and they insulate the window as well. They can reduce thermal energy loss by approximately 25%. Another benefit is that they reduce outside noise.
Unfortunately, blackout curtains come in a limited number of colors and styles. If you can sew, one way around this is to add curtain liners to your existing drapes. Blackout fabric is available in both black and white. You can also purchase blackout curtain liners online and at some home décor stores. These liners either hang behind your curtains on a separate rod or hook directly to the back of your curtains.
Blackout window films completely block light from passing through your windows. Unlike window tint, which only reduces light, blackout film keeps all light out, thus protecting your fabrics from fading, ensuring a darkened room for sleeping, and providing privacy. Window film is treated with pigments and dyes that block light, which also blocks heat and lowers your cooling costs.
Window Whirl’s 100% blackout film offers total coverage and has a static-cling application, which means that you don’t use adhesive to install. That’s a huge plus for renters who don’t wish to alter or damage their windows and risk losing their deposit. Removal is just as easy as application. Our blackout films come in all black, black with a white exterior, and all white.
While both blackout curtains and window films are effective, there are distinct advantages to choosing window film.
Blackout curtains and drapes create adequate privacy and reduce the amount of light that enters your room. However, they do not block 100% of the light and UV rays. Because they are fabric, the curtains will fade over time from exposure to UV rays. They also require cleaning from time to time, which means taking them down, washing, and rehanging. Skipping the cleaning means dirt and allergens build up in your curtains, which can trigger allergies.
Window film, on the other hand, blocks 100% of light and 99% of UV rays from entering the room. It also rejects up to 78% of the sun’s heat, which cuts down on hot spots and heat gain. And, window film is maintenance-free. Once you install it, all you need to do is wipe it down occasionally with a damp cloth. If you decide later on to remove the film, you can do so without leaving any residue or damage behind because they stick to your windows by way of static cling.
So, rather than investing in blackout curtains that only block out part of the light, why not try light-blocking film as a total solution?
Whether you want privacy, a quality night’s sleep, or both, blackout windows are a solution that comes with the added benefits of cutting UV rays and regulating the temperature in your room. Your carpets and furniture will last longer without fading, and your energy bills will lower once the curtains or window film is in place. Whether you go with blackout curtains or blackout window film, you will experience the difference right away. Remember, for total light blocking, we recommend window film rather than curtains for complete coverage.