Energy-saving, Room-darkening Window Treatments

Ways to Effectively Manage Indoor Lighting with Window Treatments

While some people are focused on saving heating and cooling costs with energy-efficient window treatments, others are more concerned about managing light levels in the home without driving up their power bill. Natural light is a powerful resource, and it can easily be controlled with the proper window treatments.

Most people already have blinds installed in their home. Depending on how blinds are adjusted, they can be used to block light or cast it in a certain direction within a room. They also offer an easy way of darkening a room, blocking out the majority of light and allowing for a maximum of privacy simply by adjusting to a closed position. Because blinds also help manage air flow around a window, they are also moderately efficient at cooling rooms. There are many different types of blinds, with different advantages and disadvantages to each.

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Curtains seem a fairly obvious way to block or reduce light, but the type of curtain you choose can be a more complicated process. For ultimate room darkening, a curtain should reach to the windowsill â or even better, to the floor â have a tight weave and a darker color, and dangle close to the window to avoid large slices of light. There is also the option to seal the curtains on the sides or hanging them from the ceiling for even more coverage. Some people opt for blackout curtains, which are made from ultra-thick material reinforced with foam to block out all light; these are perfect for keeping harsh daytime light out, especially for those who need to catch sleep during the day.

Another method of light control is installing window films. Certain films may block out an amount of light, but this largely depends on the type and shading of a film. Some people opt for other methods of room darkening since films may decrease window clarity, but they are relatively cheap and easy to install. Some even offer UV ray protection to help avoid furniture fading due to light exposure.

Yet another window treatment, shades, comes in many forms, such as honeycomb or roller shades. Honeycomb shades, also known as cellular shades, are made of paper or cloth, unlike traditional hard blinds, and either allow reduced amounts of softened light to enter a room, or are used for blackout purposes. Roller shades, meanwhile, are particularly effective at darkening a room, covering an entire window with a solid piece of material rather than allowing light to filter in via slats. This makes them great for blackout or softening light exposure.

The window treatments available for those who want to control light as well as climate are many and varied, and you should always consider the benefits and drawbacks of each method in your own home. However, light management is possible without wasting energy or breaking the bank. Instead, reaching the perfect amount of light can be as easy as a simple installation and a quick adjustment.