Blackout blinds have come a long way in the past 50 years. There was a time some years ago when a request to a blind maker for blackout blinds conjured up images of X-ray theatres or dedicated projection rooms. Occasionally, stories of the Second World War would break out as more mature industry pioneers would talk about black blinds in the Blitz. You may query what relevance this has today, and frankly it hasn’t any – but then that’s the whole point.
In today’s society, consumers select fabrics with higher levels of opacity for reasons that would not be understood by original specifiers of this blind type. In addition, whilst traditional blackout blinds feature a roller mechanism as the operating system, the all-or-nothing capability of a roller blind system doesn’t always allow for the levels of flexibility sometimes required in areas where light control is needed.
For example, it is entirely likely that a school or office using whiteboard technology would specify a vertical louvre blind for full flexibility of light control and select an appropriate semi-opaque fabric from, say, the Louvolite Guardian range to allow the screen to be viewed on sunny days.
Similarly, a new conservatory owner may select a Louvolite Quartz ESP pleated fabric to provide control over both solar gain and glare from the glazed roof system. Quartz ESP features an aluminium film within the 3-ply lamination and is therefore 100% blackout as a fabric; however, it is the combination of light and heat control that is important to the consumer. The flexibility of such a fabric to be offered as a pleated shade allows the blinds to be fixed in a roof situation that would add complexities if other blind types were deployed.
The Louvolite Perfect Fit Blinds system allows fabrics of varying degrees of opacity to be used as roller, pleated or cellular shades to provide enhanced light control for reducing glare or increasing privacy. The Louvolite Perfect Fit system adds to this benefit with the discreet but effective overlap of the frame to the fabric, which further reduces the lightstrike issues that can often arise.
Standard blind systems will provide sufficient light control where the requirement is straightforward – a roller blinds using Louvolite Nocturne Blackout fabric or Louvolite Slumber blackout fabric for a child’s bedroom will provide significant light control and privacy and, with over 18 colours from which to choose, a blackout blind need be anything but black.
So do not be blinkered by the perception that traditional ‘blackout blinds’ are the only product that provides real light control. Of course, where there is a defined requirement for such products they can be wholly suitable and in certain commercial situations nothing else will do. But for many other applications the variety of systems and fabrics available should make light work of meeting the requirements.