4 Essential Elements when Buying a Blackout Roller Shade

by | Oct 20, 2022 | Blackout Shades

Blackout Roller Shades. Are they a good choice for room darkening?

Are you considering buying a blackout roller shade to sleep better and keep out the sunlight?
Well, blackout roller window shades are a good choice for many reasons. In this article, I will explain the different parts of a roller blackout shade and the choices you have, and why you need to make the right choice for your needs.

Here are the different aspects of roller shades blackout:

  • Inside or Outside Mounts
  • Standard or Reverse Roll
  • Cassette-Fascia
  • cordless or motorized.

Learning about these will help you make an informed choice.

Inside mount or outside mount blackout shade?

You can do an inside mount if you have at least 1-1/2 inch depth inside your window frame. You will need to check with whatever manufacturer you choose, as they have different criteria. Usually, a 1-1/2 inch depth is a good start.

If you don’t have depth in your window frame, an outside mount would be better at blocking light. A decorator will add 2 to 3 inches of material on each side to overlap your window opening. This helps keep light out, but keep in mind, nothing is 100% light-blocking because sunlight finds a way to creep in where it can.

If you can do it, either way, it comes down to looks. Both ways will block light if it is a blackout roller shade but both will let light in along the edges.

Standard roll or Reverse roll?

A standard roll is when the fabric comes down behind the roll next to the window or wall.
A Reverse roll is when the fabric comes down in front of the roll to hide the roller from the
inside of the house.
Another reason is perhaps you have a crank handle at the bottom and a reverse roll will clear the handle when in the lowered position. You can request a standard roll or reverse roll. It usually does not affect the price.

Cassette head-rail or fascia?

Fascial is left and opened along the top A cassette is closed along the top

A blackout roller shade will always have bigger gaps on the sides than any other shade. You can expect about 3/8 to 1/2 inch gap on each side. This is due to the nature of the shade and the function needed to operate.

You can help eliminate that gap by using Sleepy Time Tracks to block that light that creeps in the sides. They are an “L” shaped track made of a special plastic material that can be for an inside or outside mount. They are available in removable magnetic tracks to allow you to take them off and on at will. Or they are available in permanent foam tape version. Either way works extremely well in blocking the light that creeps in the sides of your blackout roller shades. They are available on Sleepytimetracks.com

As for the top of the blackout roller shade, if you order a cassette head-rail, the roller shade will roll up inside this cassette and be hidden from sight. Using a cassette will make a big difference in keeping most of the sunlight from creeping in the top. If blocking light is high on your priority list, definitely get a cassette.

A fascia is a valance that is usually covered with the same material as your shade that hides the roll and looks nice but it will let in a lot of sunlight at the top. Blackout Roller Shades are available either way. Housed in a cassette are usually more expensive.

What type of controls do you want or blackout shades?

Left is a cord control (concerns with child safety) Motorized the motor is inserted into core

These days, you have a choice of 2 ways to control your blackout roller shades. Due to child safety, most all window treatment companies no longer carry continuous beaded chain control.

Your choices are:

  • cordless lift which is mostly standard. You still will have to tug on the bottom to get the shade to roll up.
  • You can upgrade to motorized remote control blackout roller shades. This would come in handy if you had some high windows that you cannot reach. If you choose the motorized, the roller of the shade is sometimes a bit bigger to contain the mechanism for the remote control or it can be hidden in the cassette if you choose a cassette. The remote control will be more expensive, needs to be programmed, (usually done by the professional window treatment installer), and will require maintenance when the batteries need to be changed unless you opt to pay for having it hard wired.

So to sum it up our view of blackout roller shades

Blackout Roller Shades can be a good choice for a room-darkening solution.

The nice thing about blackout roller shades is, they do not need to be black to block out light. They can be white or any other variety of colors and fabrics. They are also available in patterns.

If you don’t have the depth in your window opening to mount a cassette you don’t have much in the way of choice other than the outside mount, Outside mount can be room darkening also.

It all comes down to budget.

Blackout Roller Shades have a lot of flexibility. Keep in mind if you like your room very dark you will have to deal with the light gaps along the edges.

Blackout Roller Shades are made of very durable material and are considered to be a long-lasting shade, and easy to clean.

So if you are considering a Blackout Roller Shade for your project, I hope this article has given you the information you need to make a wise choice for your specific needs! Thank you for reading.