How to Cut Out Excessive Light From Your Home
Too much light is as undesirable in a home as too little. Sunlight can make your home's interior feel spacious and airy, but it will also cause upholstery to fade along with generating excessive amounts of heat in summer. Of course, cutting out light doesn't mean you have to invest in anything particularly high-tech, but bear in mind modern products don't just shut out sunlight. Instead, they afford a better degree of light control, helping you to achieve the right balance between light and shade. Let's take a look at some older and some newer approaches...
These products are sold in a variety of materials which range from mesh to complete blackout. As well as being able to drop them like a normal blind to meet the height of the sun at any given time as it passes by your windows, cellular shades offer greater control. For example, mesh cellular shades allow more natural light into the room but block out enough so that you can get on with what you are doing without glare. As such, they are very popular in offices and other workplaces.
On the other hand, blackout cellular shades run up and down inside a channel. This makes them more effective than normal blinds at blocking light completely. Overall, cellular shades perform well because they can be opened from top, unlike most blinds, thereby allowing some light to come in without losing any privacy.
Although curtains can only be moved horizontally over a window to control light, they remain an extremely popular choice in Australian homes. More cost effective than other window treatments, a pair of curtains will only truly block out light if they are lined with a blackout material. Many people who fit curtains for privacy and light control hang two pairs, one blackout and one sheer. This allows you to block light or allow some through, as preferred, whilst maintaining the coordinated look of your interior décor.
One of the best ways of automating your home's light control is to have the window rather than the window treatment do the job. Modern windows can be fitted which have the ability to reflect light back into the street — just like a pair of sunglasses. These can be turned on with the flick of a switch or rigged up to a photometer so that they come on when the sun is shining and turn themselves off when it disappears. Known as 'smart windows' they can help to reduce your energy bills due to lower air-conditioning usage.