Room-Darkening and Blackout Are Different

At Windo VanGo here in the greater Baltimore area, we often have customers confuse “room-darkening” for “blackout.” It’s important to know that they are actually different. If you are looking for complete darkness for a room, only “blackout” will give it to you.

Use Opacity

Opacity Differences

Because the amount of light in a room is important to our customers, we like to tell them about how Hunter Douglas Window Fashions explains the opacity differences within their product line. Using a scale from 1 to 5, they rate each material’s opacity:

  1. Sheer – This will let light enter the room while reducing glare
  2. Semi-sheer – This material will give you diffused light with moderate privacy
  3. Semi-sheer – This will transmit filtered light with no view-through
  4. Semi-opaque – This will filter more light and block the view
  5. Opaque – Here is your blackout option: These coverings will block almost all light with the highest degree of privacy and light control


If you don’t want full blackout but still want to ensure that your room is dark, look for a rating of 4 or higher for room-darkening benefits. The key is the fabric, color, and material type you choose. As noted in the scale above, opaque and semi-opaque fabrics—such as those found in Duette® Honeycomb Shades—will darken a room, but they will not necessarily completely eliminate light. Also as noted in the scale above, sheer fabrics—such as those used in Silhouette® Shadings—will soften and filter light.

For Full Blackout

A rating of 5 will mean that little to no light will come through the material. If you want full blackout, consider Duette®, Architella®, or Applause® Honeycomb shades in an opaque fabric. These options come with silver metallic lining inside the honeycomb—the lining prevents light from passing through. Or you can add a room-darkening liner to the shade. Provenance® Woven Textures would be a good option. Finally, many Hunter Douglas horizontal blinds offer the de-Light™ feature, which counteracts rout holes, so there is no pin light coming through. Options include Parkland® Hardwood Blinds or Modern Precious Metals.

Finding Blackout Shades in Baltimore MD

Windo VanGo is the premier Hunter Douglas Gallery in the Baltimore, MD, area, with a gallery showroom in Marriottsville and serving residential and commercial clients throughout the counties of Baltimore, Baltimore City, Howard, Carroll, Hartford, and Anne Arundel. Contact us today for a design consultation!