What’s the Deal with Window Treatment Opacity? (Light Control)

Do you remember learning about the term “opaque” from grade school science class? If something’s “opaque,” you can’t see through it, right?

For example, your walls are opaque. However, your window’s glass is not.

With blinds, for the most part, you don’t get different opacities. They’re opaque and don’t let light through.

Now when it comes to shades, the term gets confusing. There are different levels of opacity. And for your reference, the industry often uses “light control” to mean the same thing as “opacity.”

Makes sense, though, doesn’t it? Without thinking about it, pretty much everyone knows what “light control” refers to.

When you encounter this term while shopping for shades, many products have different levels of “light control.” Some let a lot of light in, while others block the majority of it out.

We’ll explain what these light control terms most commonly refer to when used:


These blinds control light, but they don’t darken your room so well. They’re more for rooms where you know you want a fair amount of light, but maybe you want to block some out too.
They work better for living rooms than bedrooms, for example. With these blinds, a sheer attaches to each vane, which purposefully helps allow light in your room.

Of all the opacities discussed on this list, they let in the most light, allowing you to see outside best, but also reducing your privacy most.


They’re the same idea as sheer shades, but they let a little more light in.

Light filtering

You see this option most often with roller shades. Not only do they help control light, but they also preserve your view outside. However, because they still let in a fair amount of light, they’re not the best for protecting your privacy.


These shades almost entirely block all light from entering your room. Note that no shade can be designed to block 100% of all light. However, these take care of 99% of your light and work well in media and bedrooms.

Room Darkening

– Shades in this category block less than 99% of all natural light. Just like their name sounds, they darken your room to varying levels. Most often, you’ll see cellular shades used as room darkening shades because they’re the best at it.


You see this term used in reference to solar shades. The higher the percentage, the more light they let in and the less privacy you have. But, you can see outside easier. You can get these shades with a 1% openness factor.

You will see some companies use this “opaque” interchangeably with “blackout.” In general, consider it a term that refers to all these previous terms as a whole.

Confusing? Yes.

Necessary? No.

If you’re not sure, always ask the blinds company you talk to what they mean with different terms.

But hopefully, this sheds some light on the issue for you.

The Difference Between Solar & Exterior Solar Shades

The truth is that these shades offer very similar benefits, but they each go about it in their own way. There are some benefits and drawbacks to each style.

Here’s the low-down:

1. Solar Shades

When most people use this term, they refer to shades inside their home that block UV rays. They work particularly well in colder climates, as they won’t be harassed by the snowy, windy weather.
During the summer, they keep the sun out and your cooling bills down. In the winter, you raise them up, let the sun in, and get lower heating bills.

Interior solar shades, like their exterior counterparts, also do an excellent job of reducing the sun’s glare.

2. Exterior Solar Shades

These shades attach to the exterior of your home just like a custom awning. Exterior solar shades work best in climates where it’s warm year round.

They do an awesome job of protecting your privacy. You can easily see out, but it’s hard for passers-by to see in.

They even block the sun from ever entering your house, making them good for keeping your cooling bills low. Speaking in numbers, they reduce the sun’s heating of your home by about 80%. Interior solar shades have a 30-70% effectiveness.

You might also like exterior solar shades because they don’t affect the interior décor of your home. They also rock at eliminating the sun’s annoying glare.

Smart manufacturers use Velcro to secure the bottom of these shades so they don’t blow along with the wind and get damaged. High-quality, durable PVC and polyester yarns should also be used.

A Word of Caution!

You have to be somewhat careful because some blinds manufacturers will use interior materials on exterior solar shades. Guess what? They wear out much faster than they should, and you end up paying more in the long run.

Always ask the manufacturer about the materials they use to make your exterior solar shades.

So That’s What These Shades are All About…

And here’s a few odds and ends on both. Exterior solar shades generally work best on patios, decks, and south-facing windows. Lighter colors in both types of shades block more UV rays, while darker colors make it easier for you to see outside.

And one thing you’ll want to know as you browse both kinds is their openness factor. The lower this number, the better the shade blocks UV rays and protects your privacy. The higher it is, the easier for you to see outside.

An openness factor of 5% has high UV blockage and low visibility. You can find much higher percentages like 10%, or even 20% or more that give you better visibility.


So that’s how interior and exterior solar shades compare. Happy



Woven Wood Shades Vs. Roman Shades – Which is Best for You?

With so many choices with modern blinds and shades, it can be overwhelming to choose the right style for your home.

The best shade?

It’s the one that makes you happy by fitting with your home’s décor while giving you the functionality you need (like privacy, energy efficiency, or complete blackout).

Today, we’ll help you learn more about woven wood and Roman shades and the pros and cons of each.

Let’s get right to it:

Woven Wood Shades

Natural materials have become more popular with all kinds of products, and in recent years, shades. Woven wood shades can be made from materials like wood, bamboo, grass, and jute.

This is an example of a bamboo woven wood shade:



•They give the inside of your home a natural outdoor look
•Their look is unique and loaded with character
•Woven wood looks great as a decoration in any home
•You can get them with privacy control light backing
•The backing also accentuates the texture of the woven wood shade, making it more attractive
•When they fold up, they have a decorative look just like Roman shades


•You can’t fully control the look of natural materials, which means your shade may not look exactly like the sample you saw
•Woven wood gets slightly ragged at the edges, but this can be controlled with decorative tape
•Grass can fray over time, which lets in more light and reduces your privacy
•Natural materials are susceptible to sunlight and moisture level changes, which can warp or fade these shades

Roman Shades

These shades have actually been around for centuries. Now, they refer to fabric shades raised and lowered by a cord.

What makes them unique is they stack up evenly when open, while they are visibly smooth when closed. Other shades appear bumpy or ribbed.

Here they are closed:


And open:



•Timeless – they don’t go out of style
•Incredibly versatile – there’s a style for every type of home
•Variety of styles that give your home a soft, feminine or masculine and tailored look
•You may not need a top treatment or valance (depending on your tastes) because of how much fabric stacks at the top of your window
•Roman shades have thick fabric and are decent insulators


•Their fabric stacks can block much of the light that comes through your window, even if you raise them fully
•They’re either up or down – you can’t open and close their vanes/slats like blinds

Overall, both woven wood and Roman shades make a great addition to your home if they fit your tastes. Now you know more about both so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Best Window Treatments for Media Rooms

The key to creating an effective media room that’s perfect for watching sports, movies, and playing video games is to reduce or eliminate light that can cast a glare on the screen. The best way to keep light out of your media room is to install room darkening/blackout window treatments.

While blinds are effective at reducing the amount of outside light in media rooms, shades work best due to the fact that they are one solid covering with no gaps that allow light leakage. With the right shades installed, you’ll not only be able to eliminate almost all outside light from casting a glare on your television or projector screen, but you’ll also have an added decorative touch in your media room.

1. Premium Roman Shades Group A

Our Premium Roman Shades Group A are highly effective at blocking light and adding beauty to your media room’s windows—particularly when the optional blackout liner is installed. These window coverings are available in 59 different colors, which means you’re sure to find the perfect match for your room color and décor.

2. Premium Blackout Double Cellular Shades

If you need blackout shades that block as much light as possible, our Premium Blackout Double Cellular Shades are perfect for you. Not only do these coverings come in 15 different colors, but they also block 99 percent of outside light, meaning your media room will stay dark and cool during daylight hours, providing you with glare-free viewing and gaming.

3. Deluxe Blackout Solar Shades

One of our newest offerings, the Deluxe Blackout Solar Shades give homeowners a movie theater experience. Available in seven colors, the solid and matte texture of these window treatments not only blends in effortlessly with almost any room décor, but they’re also extremely effective at blocking outdoor light, heat, and cold from entering your media room.

4. Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades Group A

For media rooms that don’t need to be completely blacked out, the Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades add a splash of character while still reducing the amount of ambient light and glare. In addition, these window coverings can also be equipped with a blackout liner to further reduce outside light from entering the room while increasing insulation.

5. Premium Roman Shades Group B

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the perfect window treatment color to match your furniture and other room décor. But with 73 available colors to choose from, the Premium Roman Shades Group B offer a huge variety of choices that are almost guaranteed to give you exactly what you want covering your media room windows. And with available cordless, top down/bottom up, and blackout liner options, these shades are every bit as versatile as they are decorative.

See all the above and more at Blindster.com

6 Reasons to Install Your Own Blinds or Shades

Although many people hire professionals to install blinds or shades in their homes, it’s actually a simple and straightforward process that you can do yourself. Whether you’re a veteran handyman or a beginner in the realm of DIY projects, all it takes to install beautiful window treatments is steady hands, a standard toolkit, and a few hours of free time.

1. You Save Money

Hiring professionals may take away some of the initial stress of installing shades, but it also costs money. Professionals may charge by the window or per hour for their services, and depending on the size of your project, those costs can quickly add up and may be more expensive than the window treatments themselves.

2. You Get Exactly What You Want

When you hire professionals to install your wood or faux wood blinds, you may be hesitant to ask them to fix any slight gaps or areas where the window treatments are off-center—especially if you’re paying by the hour. But when you install the window treatments yourself, you and you alone have the ability to install them exactly to your liking, so you can take all the time you need to make sure the installation is free from imperfections or miscalculations.

3. You Get A Sense Of Pride

At Blindster, we support DIYers like you, and we know that there are few things that compare to the sense of accomplishment and pride you get after you complete a home renovation project yourself. So whether you’re simply replacing the covering on a single window or installing new shades throughout your entire home, you’ll be able to look at your handiwork with pride for yours to come.

4. You Learn How To Take On Additional DIY Projects

Installing window coverings involves many principles needed for other DIY projects, including making precise measurements, following installation instructions, and using tools such as levels and drills. Even if you’ve never completed a home renovation project before, installing window treatments can give you the skills and confidence to begin taking on more advanced projects throughout your home.

5. You Can Complete The Installation On Your Own Schedule

One of the best reasons to install your own blinds is that it allows you to complete the project on your own schedule—not a professional’s. When you order window treatments from Blindster, you may be ready to set them up right away, but hiring a professional can mean the job won’t get done for days or even weeks. There’s no reason to wait for a hired professional installer—just print out our measurement and installation instructions and get to work!

6. You Are Prepared For Potential Repairs Or Replacements

Installing your window treatments means you’ll know exactly how to take them down if they ever become damaged or broken. It also means that if you need to take advantage of our Limited Lifetime Warranty due to manufacturing or craftsmanship defects, you won’t need to call another professional to install the replacements—you can simply swap them out yourself, saving you even more time and money.

Top 6 Reasons to Buy from Blindster

At Blindster, we believe that buying and installing blinds and shades for your home should be as easy as possible. That’s why our business and our website are both designed to eliminate as many obstacles as possible when it comes to selecting and installing the perfect window treatments for your home.

1. Our 60 Day Satisfaction Guarantee

Although we do everything in our power to match you with the right window coverings for your home, sometimes the look, color, or features aren’t perfect for your needs. That’s why our 60 day satisfaction guarantee means you can return your purchase to us within that time frame for a full refund. It’s our goal to make buying window treatments risk-free, so you can shop for the perfect look for your home with confidence.

2. Our Fit or Free™ Guarantee

One of the biggest concerns people have when purchasing wood blinds is wondering if they will fit in their windows. Fitting window coverings requires exact measurements, but if yours arrive and you find that they’re not the perfect fit you need, get in touch with us and we’ll replace them with a new set for a small shipping fee. Measure your windows and order with confidence—our Fit or Free™ Guarantee means you’ll get the right-sized coverings for your windows, no matter what.

3. Our Limited Lifetime Warranty

The products we sell are designed to last, but sometimes they break due to defects in materials and craftsmanship. If any parts of your window coverings break, malfunction, or fail within one year of purchase, just contact us and we’ll arrange a repair or replacement for free. And if the blinds become defective at any point after the first year, just pay a small shipping fee to get them repaired or replaced by the manufacturer.

4. Our Testimonials

At Blindster, it’s our goal to keep our customers happy and coming back to us when they need to purchase window treatments in the future. Our reviews and testimonials show the loyalty of our customers and our dedication to excellent customer service and quality products. You don’t have to take our word for it—read the wonderful comments left by our happy and repeat customers. Simply put: When you buy from us, we want to make you a customer for life.

5. Our Measuring and Installation Instructions

The thought of measuring and installing custom window treatments can be an intimidating experience, especially for first-time home owners and beginner DIYers. That’s why we provide measuring and installation instructions for a huge variety of blinds and shades, from 2” deluxe faux wood blinds to blackout double cellular shades and more. Every bit of information you need to accurately measure and perfectly install your new shades is in one place so you can complete the installation quickly and easily.

6. Our Informative Articles

We know that many of our customers don’t have experience buying shades and may not know the pros and cons of the different types of window treatments we sell. That’s why we offer informative articles that can help you understand the differences between things like real wood and faux wood blinds, when to buy shades over blinds and vice versa, and the differences in shade cell sizes.