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Brilliant Solutions for Bright Rooms

Aug 30, 2008
Just because the sun is up at 5 am doesn't mean you want to be. Even if the light streaming in at sunrise doesn't wake you, it lifts you to a lighter and less restful of sleep. The problem is even worse for night workers who sleep all day.

Although bedrooms are the most common rooms where light control is important, it is often an issue in other rooms where the glare from outdoor light can wash out a television or computer screen.

Most window treatments are designed to offer privacy but not block light. While that option is great for most windows, what do you do if you need darkness?

Window shades
The best choices for complete light blockage are cellular shades or woven wood shades.

Cellular shades are best known for their energy efficiency. However the range of materials makes them one of the most versatile options for light control, going from sheer to blockout.

Levolor's Evening Star line of cellular shades eliminates 99% of the incoming light and has the highest insulation value of any of their products. Other manufacturer products include the Comfortex Matinee line of window shades.

Woven wood shades offer a different, more textured look and more control over the light. They include a light-blocking liner than can be raised or lowered separately from the shades, allowing darkness while you are sleeping and letting in light when you are awake.

Levolor Natural Shades include 3 liners with different levels of light blocking, each available in 4 colors to best coordinate with the shades.

Wood or Faux Wood Blinds
Sometimes window shades don't fit the room decor. In the past, slatted wood blinds were not the best option for light control because light could filter in through the slats.

New innovations now make wood blinds a great alternative to window shades. Levolor blinds come with the LightMaster option, which uses slats manufactured to tighter tolerances so that they close more tightly and block almost all of the light. Hunter Douglas blinds almost all offer substantial light blockage.

Another advantage of wood blinds over window shades is more control over the light in the room. By opening the slats to different angles, you can allow varying amounts of light in depending on your need of the moment.

Wireless Timers Add More Versatility
Many manufacturers such as Levolor offer motorized blinds that can be opened or closed with a remote. Most of these can also be controlled with a wireless timer, automatically opening the blinds a few minutes before your alarm rings. Just because you want to sleep in the dark doesn't mean you have to wake in the dark.

Even more control is offered with a light sensor. A room with a western exposure might need the blinds to close as the sun gets low, but you don't want to change the timer every few weeks as the days grow shorter or longer. A light sensor will automatically close the shades once the light becomes too bright.
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