Interested in shades with light-filtering capabilities? Not sure what the difference is between light-filtering, room darkening, and blackout? Our Light-Filtering and Blackout Buying Guide will teach you about the benefits of each. Don’t forget – you can speak with an expert design consultant by calling 1-800-505-1905.

Light Filtering, Room-Darkening or Blackout - What's the Best Choice for You?


Light-filtering shades allow the most light into the room. When closed, a light-filtering shade diffuses light evenly into the room, giving it a soft, warm glow. Your room will be illuminated with natural light, while also preventing direct views into your room from the outside.


A room-darkening shade will block about 95% of light coming into your room. Room-darkening shades will make your room dark, but not pitch black. These shades will dim your room enough so you can nap during the day, or enjoy television without a glare.

Blackout Shades

Blackout shades provide the most darkness. They’re made from a material that blocks all incoming light, making them an ideal upgrade if you’re a day sleeper. Keep in mind that some shades may leave light gaps on the side, depending on the type of shade and how it’s mounted. For a complete blackout effect, use light gap blockers. These adhesive strips attach to the window to block gaps and prevent light from peeking through the gaps. Click here to learn more about how to block light from the sides of your blinds or shades.

Light-Filtering and Blackout Shade FAQs

Light-filtering shades are made of translucent fabric that offers complete privacy, but still allows some natural light to shine through. With varying levels of light blockage available, they're an ideal choice for bedrooms and media rooms where darkness is preferred.

Yes, light-filtering shades block some sunlight and UV rays from entering your house. They diffuse the light, which can block heat.

Yes, blackout shades block sunlight and UV rays from entering your home. With less sunlight and UV rays, the room will be noticeably cooler.

A light filtering blind or shade will block varying levels of light from passing through while still maintaining privacy. 

Blackout blinds and shades provide the maximum light blockage. They prevent all sunlight and UV rays from passing through. Please note that depending on the fit, light may be able to pass through the gaps between the window treatment and window frame.

A light filtering blind or shade will block varying levels of light from passing through while still maintaining privacy. They range from light diffusing to total blackout.

Blackout blinds and shades are absolutely effective if measured correctly. You can also purchse light gap upgrades to ensure total coverage from unwanted sunlight.