Why to Buy: Room Darkening Roller Shades

So you’ve decided on custom roller shades for your home. Great choice! But now you have to decide if you want to go with a light filtering roller shade or a room darkening roller shade. This post will quickly discuss the difference between light filtering and room darkening and will discuss why to buy a room darkening or blackout roller shade.

What’s the difference?

As the name would imply, light filtering fabrics filter light; they don’t block light. Blackout (or room darkening) fabrics have an additional lining that serves the purpose of blocking light, instead of filtering it. The result is that a room darkening roller shade provides the highest level of light control, glare reduction, and UV protection.

Why should I select a room darkening roller shade?

You should use a room darkening shade to maximize privacy and to limit the amount of natural light that comes into a space. Doing so will:

– Protect furniture and flooring from UV damage

– Limit the amount of heat that enters a room

– Reduce glare

Conversely, in rooms where you want to take advantage of ambient light – kitchens and living rooms especially – a light filtering shade may be the better selection.

When should I use a room darkening shade?

Generally speaking, any time that you want the highest degree of light control and privacy. Typically, we suggest room darkening window treatments any time that you have west-facing windows. More specifically, we recommend room darkening or blackout window coverings for media rooms, studies, nurseries, and home offices.

Will a room darkening roller shade block all light?

Room darkening shades are the most effective at blocking light from entering a room, but they don’t block all light. Some light will enter the room from light gaps on the left and right side of the shade. These gaps are necessary to allow the shade to function properly. To eliminate light gaps for a true blackout roller shade, we recommend installing side channels.


While we hope this blog has been helpful, ultimately the best way to decide before buying is to discuss with an authorized Skandia dealer. Skandia dealers will have fabric samples that will illustrate the difference between light filtering and room darkening fabrics. When held in the window, they should give a very good indication as to what the best fabric for your home is!

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