Skylight Shades and Blinds
While skylight and roof windows can be great at bathing indoor spaces with bright natural sunlight and warmth, there are times when a homeowner might not want so much light (or heat) in a particular room. Unlike electric lights which can be switched off and heat which can be turned down, there's no way to turn off the sun's light or heat during the day.
A simple way to control the sun's energy coming through a roof window or skylight is by installing skylight shades or blinds. Window coverings will help keep a room comfortable and save energy in even the hottest climates.
What's the Difference Between a Skylight Shade and a Blind?
Skylight shades and blinds are both used to block or reduce light and heat penetration through windows. Skylight shades are made with either vertical or horizontal slats that can be rotated for privacy and more variable light control. Shades are drawn up and stack at the top of the window, and can be stopped at different intervals on the window, offering a neat and finished look to the window. Both shades and blinds work well, and the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and aesthetics.
Shades and blinds for skylights and roof windows are operated typically by either a telescopic extension pole, or by a switch-operated motor for easy use.
For the benefit of the information in this article, we will use the terms shade and blind interchangeably.
Types of Skylight Shades and Blinds
There are two types of skylight shades to choose from for a skylight or roof window. A light filtering shade is made from a translucent material allowing some light to come through while reducing heat buildup. It diffuses bright sunlight rather than blocking it completely.
For those wanting more complete light and heat blockage, room darkening shades are a better option. A room darkening skylight shade is made from a thicker material and often has a reflective backing on it (such as a thin aluminum foil layer) to keep all light and solar energy from entering the skylight or roof window.
Green Benefits of Skylight Shades or Blinds
The main benefit of any skylight or roof window blind or shade is its ability to filter or block sunlight, but they have significant heating and cooling benefits as well.
The use of blinds during the hottest and brightest time of the day can reduce air conditioning costs, up to 80%, while still letting some light into the room.
In colder months, skylight and roof window coverings help to insulate the window, keeping cold air out and heated air inside the house.
Skylight shades and blinds reduce carpet and furniture fading by blocking harmful UV rays that may be coming through the ceiling window.
The energy efficiency of skylights and roof windows has greatly increased in recent years. Using skylight shades and blinds will improve their efficiency even further, while giving the green home owner control over the amount of light coming through them.
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