Your home theater experience is a combination of the media itself - the technical elements of your video and audio system, the seating and comfort of the room, and your decor. While it's the sum of the parts to determines the whole home theater experience, the media is always at the center. Whether you consider it fun or boring to talk about TV technology, when it comes to the role of the room itself, the solutions are simple.
Make it dark. Whether you have a LCD, LED, plasma or some other type of video, the best experience is in a darkened room. The contrast is better. There's no glare. There's no competition for attention or visual distraction. Home theater shades can do this, and also help the room serve its other purposes as well.
Understanding the levels of light blocking
Different shades address light blocking differently, though there are a few terms used universally. 'Blackout' is full light blockage, though some are technically 97-99%. 'Opacity' refers to the material's ability to block light, not necessarily the overall blockage of light. Think of it as addressing the material itself and not necessarily the installed product, which can have light leakage around the edges. 'Room Darkening' is a general term without a specific degree attached to the darkening effect.
For many home theaters, shades that block a lot of light are the best solution and blackout isn't necessary. The options shown here are our recommendations for home theater shades; these are the best overall solution for most situations. If your home theater shades need to be full blackout, see the blackout page under 'feature'.
Types of shades
Cellular shades fit tightly in the window frame to reduce or eliminate light leakage and are available with the blackout option or without. These are a good choice for many home theaters and are flexible in their styling and operation. Cell shades offer cordless options (safety around children & pets) and top down bottom up lift for more options.
Solar screens block a lot of light, but are not the best option if you're looking to make a room totally dark during daylight hours. For many, blocking a significant amount of light is plenty, and the light filtering effect of solar screens make a good overall compromise.
Things to remember
If you purchase blackout shades for your home theater and you want to allow a some light in (when the room is serving its other purposes), the shades must be partially open. Non-blackout shades allow some light to come through the material, brightening the room indirectly and still offering privacy. Top down bottom up can address the privacy issue by permitting the open portion to be at the top.
Blackout is the best option for a truly dedicated home theater. If it's important to have the room completely dark for media and also to have filtered light (privacy without darkness), layering two window coverings might be the answer. We can help to work out a solution. If you'd like assistance, just give us a call.