We get questions about this topic all the time. When referring to shades is room-darkening and blackout the same? And if it isn’t, then what is the difference? What do I use them for?
So here is the answer. They really are not the same. We always like to put the opacity of shades into 5 different categories. The categories being as followed:
1 – Sheer
2 – Semi-Sheer
3 – Light-Filtering
4 – Room-Darkening
5 – Blackout
As the above ratings chart shows, the Blackout shades is higher in its darkening power and has therefore a higher opacity than the room-darkening shade. A room darkening shade is made of a material that will cut light considerably, in other words be light dimming. It is a great product for a bedroom, a living area where glare is an issue (i.e. entertainment systems) or any area where light control is desired. With this type of shade, you will be able to notice that it is daytime outside, but won’t get much of an impression of anything else.
So how is the blackout shade different? A blackout shade cuts all light. Most of the time these are cellular shades with an aluminum lining on the inside of the cell. No light can pass through. When using this shade, one basically doesn’t know if it’s night or day. When a blackout shade is lowered during the day, electrical light has to be turned on to see. (Please note that when these types of shades are mounted on the inside of the casing, light can seep through on the right and left gap between shade and casing). However, when mounted with tracks or as outside mounts, no light will pass through. But even as inside mount, the room will need artificial light to attain visibility. This type of shade is great for bedrooms, if you are the type of person that likes to sleep in, have to sleep during the day or simply would like a pitch dark room when sleeping. It is not usually a preferred choice in living areas, where natural light is welcome.
As always, great question from our customers. Keep them coming ;-)