Need help? Contact directly: (212) 518-2523 Address: 447 W 50th St New York, NY 10019

Room Darkening Shades: Everything You Need to Know

When you dive into the world of window coverings, you realize that you have a lot of options to choose from. There’s a good reason behind there being so many kinds of window coverings. Each type of window covering has its own style and functionality that make it suitable for different kinds of windows. Today, we’re going to focus on room darkening shades. Room darkening shades are a very useful type of window covering. By the end of this article, you would have a good idea about what blackout shades are and why you should get them.

Room darkening shades are more or less the same as blackout shades. Blackout shades block 100% of light coming through your windows, while room darkening shades block out 95-99% of light coming in. The difference between them is minuscule, meaning that the terms room darkening shades and blackout shades can be used interchangeably.

What are Blackout/Room Darkening Shades?

Blackout shades, or room darkening shades, are designing specifically to stop light from coming in through your windows. Most window treatments are designed to diffuse light as it passes through them. They allow natural light to pass through and illuminate your room. This effect looks great in interior spaces where light is not an issue. However, in some parts of your home, such as your bedroom, you’d want the option to completely block natural light.

Room darkening shades are made using heavier and darker colored fabrics. A lot of room darkening shades actually have a panel of black fabric attached to their backside. This panel dramatically improves its ability to block natural light. Room darkening shades are ideal for bedrooms, home theatres, and other rooms where you want to have the option to completely block natural light.

How to Install Room Darkening Shades?

Unlike regular shades, room darkening shades need to be installed with extra care. They have to cover your windows effectively in order to provide proper light blockage. The right room darkening shades will prevent light from leaking in from their sides as well. In order to make sure that you get a proper light blockage, you need to make sure your shades are measured precisely. This is why it’s recommended that you hire professional window treatment installers when measuring your windows and installing your shades.

Room darkening shades can also work as insulating shades since they’re made from thicker fabric. In order to maximize their insulating ability, you can have them sit flush with your windowpane.

What are the Different Types of Blackout Shades?

Like we mentioned before, these shades come in many shapes and sizes. They’re quite popular in Long Island, New York because they give your superior light control while also letting you pick from several different design choices. The coolest thing about blackout shades is that you can turn any kind of window shade into a blackout shade. All you have to do is upgrade to a thicker fabric, apply a panel of black fabric to your shade’s backside, and make sure they’re fitted correctly onto your windows.

It goes without saying that some types of blackout shades perform better than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular blackout shade options out there.

Blackout Roman Shades

Roman shades are really popular room darkening shades because of their versatile design and graceful looks. They also make great blackout shades since they manage to cover windows really well. Blackout roman shades are popular choices in homes with wider windows. Their large size means that they cover your windows well, making sure that no light leaks through from the sides of your windows.

Cordless Blackout Shades

Cordless blackout shades have been gaining popularity because of their low-maintenance and their child-safe nature. As their name suggests, cordless blackout shades have lift mechanisms that don’t rely on cords for operation. This means that you don’t have to worry about your cords getting tangled up or damaged. Also, cordless blackout shades don’t present a risk of strangulation to children and pets.

Cordless blackout shades are great room darkening shades for homes with toddlers and little children. You can use cordless blackout shades to keep your kids’ room dark during bedtime without having to worry about your kids harming themselves while playing with your cordless blackout shades.

Motorized Blackout Shades

Motorized blackout shades use the latest window treatment technology. As their name suggests, motorized blackout shades have motorized controls. Their lift mechanism uses an electronic motor that you can interact with via remote control. Motorized blackout shades are pretty cool and also more convenient than regular shades. However, motorized blackout shades are also expensive.

If your budget allows for it, you should definitely consider getting motorized blackout shades. Smart motorized blackout shades can even be integrated with your home automation system.

Blackout Cellular Shades

Cellular shades aren’t the best-looking window coverings out there, but they’re great for insulation. Blackout cellular shades are a superb option for people who want to obstruct natural light and insulate their windows well. Blackout cellular shades look best on smaller windows. You can even use cellular blackout shades in office spaces.

Blackout cellular shades need to sit flush with your window panes in order to provide maximum insulation. Blackout cellular shades also need to be fitted precisely to make sure that they don’t let light leak through their sides.

What to Consider When Getting Room Darkening Shades

Now, there are several factors that play a role in determining how well will your blackout shades perform. Here’s what you need to consider to make sure your blackout shades work best.

Material thickness:

The thickness of their fabric plays a major role in determining how much light your shades will block. Blackout shades should block 95% to 100% of natural light. Shades that block less than 95% light are considered blackout shades. If you want shades that totally block light, make sure you get ones that have a panel of black fabric on their back.


Blackout shades need to fit really well onto your windows. If their measurements aren’t precise, they can end up letting light in from their sides. If you aren’t sure what your measurements are for your blackout shades, you should consult your window treatment company.


Remember, your window coverings aren’t just supposed to be functional; they should also add to your interior design. Make sure that you go for blackout shades that make your windows look good and suit the rest of your interior design.

Final Thoughts:

So, that’s it, guys! We hope our guide helped you find the right room darkening shades. If you’re still confused about room darkening shades and can’t decide what to pick, you can always get in touch with us. Here at Alluring Windows, we have experienced window treatment professionals. We can help you figure out the best blackout shades specifically for your home and install them for you as well.