Light Blocking Strips are the Best Companion To Shades and Blinds
The reason for writing this article is to make you aware of the light-gap issues found with window shades & blinds. I also want to let you know there is an easy 20 minute solution to blocking those gaps, they are called light blocking strips.
Enjoying a morning wake up with natural sunlight is actually healthy for you, nothing better than stretching out to the warm welcoming sunlight in the morning. There are times however when that welcoming sun isn’t so welcoming.
For instance, you don’t want your young children to be woke from napping with rays of light in their eyes, nor would you want the light shining in when your trying to sleep after getting home from working all night. Neither would you want any glimmer of light with a terrible migraine, because any light at all showing just plain hurts.
Even a tiny ray of sun glaring through your blinds seems like a gigantic spot-light shining right in your eyes. Just makes it so hard to get good sleep during the day.
Those who need to adapt to non traditional sleep schedules or need to blackout windows often op to install Blackout Shades or Blackout Blinds for the bedroom. These popular window treatments offer good light control, improves privacy, reduces noise, helps with saving energy.
But they have one major short coming that you won’t discover until it’s too late.
Problem with Blackout Shades
I’m not hating on blackout shades, so please if you don’t already have them, please don’t let me deter you from buying them. Blackout shades have many benefits that other treatments such as sheer shades, light filtering shades, and solar shades are unable to provide. They are by far the best option for light control, privacy, and energy efficiency.
With that said, the truth is that the term “Blackout” is misleading. The reality is that most window treatment professionals will not disclose upfront is that these shades leave “light gaps” on the sides and bottom of your window.
This is because blinds and shades cannot be made to exact widths, they need to have a little bit of wiggle room. This wiggle room leaves openings that we in the window treatment business call “light gaps”. And these Light gaps are especially problematic with blackout shades where complete darkness is desired.
So the problem is they still let light shine through that keeps you awake.
Light Blocker Strips are the Solution
Light blocking strips for windows, otherwise known as light-blockers are sometimes available from window treatment manufacturers but they are specific to their proprietary shades that are mostly made from metal and difficult to install.
We recommend the original light blocking strips by Sleepy Time Tracks. Light gap blocking strips are pre-molded L-shaped strips made from durable vinyl.
When buying light blocking strips we suggest you look for the following features:
- Look for light blocking strips that are Universal and will work with Most Brands
- High quality strips will have a black light absorbing material on the inside. Look for strips made with black on the inside, these will help keep light out as well as help with energy savings
- Also look for white on the outer side of the strips. White is easier to paint over so you can match your rooms décor.
- The vendor should offer both permanent & removable solutions
- Permanent strips are for people who don’t have tilting windows. You want to make sure the strips have a durable commercial grade adhesive so it won’t come off your window frame.
- Removable light blocking strips are for people who need to remove them, for example if you have tilt-in windows then you’ll need to remove them for cleaning. Or screens that need to be removed seasonally. They will reattach easily after removal.
- One size does not fit all. They should offer multiple lengths and the ability to cut them yourself to the size for your situation. Cutting with utility scissors or tin snips should be the only tools you need.
- Look for an easy return policy that offers a at least a 30 day guarantee. The guarantee should cover them even if you already cut them.
- One last thing is to check if they are made and manufactured in the USA
Whether you live in a country farm house, or have a condo in a concrete jungle high rise, or live along a suburban cul-de-sac. One thing is for sure, sunlight or city light shining through bedroom windows can be problematic for those who require non-traditional sleeping schedules.
Shades and blinds can help some, but they still leave aggravating light-gaps that allow light to shine in along the sides. An easy 20 minute solution is light block strips which is why the we think they are the best companion to blackout shades and blinds.