Best way to completely block out all light from a window? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I've done some searches and can't get any good leads on a real product that will work for what I'm looking for. However, something tells me a number of people on this forum have found something.

I have two normal size windows in my home theater. I have thick blinds on each window but light spill is significant during the day. If I can simply block out these two windows I will not have ANY light spilling into the room given the layout.

However, my one requirement is to have the option to also see through the windows when I'm not blocking out light. I would think they make some kind of shade that would allow me to do this but I can't find it.

I wouldn't want any solution like drapes, velcro, etc.. Any guidance is appreciated.

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post #2 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 10:53 AM
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You could use this product and remove it when not using your room just a idea. pretty hard to get total light control without sealing off all the edges.

http://www.soundaway.com/Soundproofi...Doors_s/55.htm

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post #3 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 10:55 AM
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With the Lutron QED series of shades, you can get side channels and sill angles to seal off the edges. Google "qed side channels" and download the first PDF link. Pricey, but probably a very good solution.
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post #4 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 11:04 AM
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DIY solution is to buy foam rubber cut one inch larger than the inside of your window frame. Wrap the foam with black felt. Both can be found at Joanne's or other type material hobby store. When not in use you can remove them. This provides complete light control when placed behind your shade/curtain.

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post #5 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 11:11 AM
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The foam plug solution works well, and it does not have to be black velvet. Blackout cloth (white) works just as well at anything.
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post #6 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 01:39 PM
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put drywall over it!! also aluminum foil works great on the cheap.

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post #7 of 46 Old 01-13-2008, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usualsuspects View Post

The foam plug solution works well, and it does not have to be black velvet. Blackout cloth (white) works just as well at anything.

Yes, there are a lot of different solutions to wrapping the foam. But, one does have to wrap it in some material to reflect or absorb the light, since the form is porous

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post #8 of 46 Old 01-14-2008, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the responses but the foam plug was what I was hoping to avoid. The lutron shades are probably exactly what I want but I haven't called to find out about pricing yet. I have a feeling that I will suffer from sticker shock.

It would be great if they made a manual version of the Lutron shades that weren't so expensive. Anyone? Anyone?
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post #9 of 46 Old 01-14-2008, 08:04 AM
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the simplest and cheapest solution is to thumbtack a double layer of backout cloth inside the window well..this looks like a shade from the outside and you can cover it with whatever from the inside.
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post #10 of 46 Old 01-14-2008, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

the simplest and cheapest solution is to thumbtack a double layer of backout cloth inside the window well..this looks like a shade from the outside and you can cover it with whatever from the inside.

that's what I did. now mine is behind the screen, so you won't see it, so i didn't care how pretty it looked. see the link.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=977008
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post #11 of 46 Old 01-14-2008, 01:42 PM
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remove the window?
I use a heavy velvet wrap around curtain on mine. No light gets through it or around it.

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post #12 of 46 Old 01-15-2008, 07:07 AM
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Lutron does make manually operated shades.
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post #13 of 46 Old 01-15-2008, 09:33 AM
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There is a fabric Duvetyene (spelling?) that I use when i have to do on location video production shoots. If I have to shoot an interview or something in a room with open windows, I usually will pin a large section of that fabric to cover the window and it will instantly turn a bright room, dark! I even have some here at home and can make my bedroom dark in the middle of the afternoon with the sun facing the side of the house where my room is.

This material is probably not what you were posting about but I thought I would say that there is fabric out there that will block all light from coming in a window.
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post #14 of 46 Old 01-17-2008, 10:29 PM
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JP, check out North Solar Screen. They have some manual blackout shade systems for a few hundred bucks per window. I'm thinking about these for my window.

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post #15 of 46 Old 01-17-2008, 11:22 PM
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Hunter-Douglas sells blackout shades that are totally light blocking, (silver centered accordian design). They come in a huge variety of colors including black.

They sell them at Home Depot and are reasonable as shades go. My wife liked them so much she put them around the house including the bedroom for light control, (high WAF ).
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post #16 of 46 Old 01-18-2008, 04:54 AM
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x2 on the Hunter-Douglas at Home Depot. We installed them last week, and they are totally light-blocking. We got the double cellular style, which basically have two of the little honeycomb spaces across the width of the shade. They are mylar lined, and completely opaque. As an added bonus, I am SHOCKED at their heat insulating properties. Last weekend, I got up and opened them...MAJOR blast of cold from behind them. Glad to prevent the heat loss out of the room.

As far as the edges of them, if you measure properly, there is such a minimal amount of light coming through, it is inconsequential. I have toyed w/ something to 'seal' around the edges, but really it doesn't matter unless you stare directly at it. There is so little light around the edges.

My use of these is in a dedicated theater room in the center of the house (which someone else would likely use as a living room). My wife agreed to painting three walls flat gray, and the ceiling/front wall are charcoal. The shades flank the screen on either side, and they blend perfectly (as they are a charcoal color as well). Even though there is white trim in the room, the ceiling is high enough that it really isn't a distraction.

When I get the room finished I'll do a short thread on it w/ pictures. Still have to add most of the acoustic treatments, "install" the A7-900 when it gets here in a couple of weeks, bring the Berklines in, build the star ceiling, and then we'll be finished.
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post #17 of 46 Old 01-18-2008, 06:20 AM
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For some minimal light spill is not acceptable I fall into that category, that's why I used the foam plug behind the light control shades.

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post #18 of 46 Old 01-18-2008, 07:02 AM
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I have Levecor (not expensive at all) cellular light blocking shades. They do a great job of insulating and they don't let ANY light in or out. The only thing you may want to do is either build a trim chanel or use some sort of blind channel so that you can block any light which may try to escape around the sides. Levecor is availible at Lowes hardware stores and they cut it free of charge to your dimensions, so you can get a super tight fit for your window.

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post #19 of 46 Old 04-04-2008, 12:20 PM
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I built frames for the inside of the windows out of 2x2s and L brackets, and stretched blackout fabric over it. I used latches on the inside of the windows and just screwed some handles to the outside of the frame. Then i put some thin foam around the edges to block out leaks. It took about 3 hrs to build, blocks out 100% of light and only cost $76. If you have any construction experience, they look very professional.
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post #20 of 46 Old 04-04-2008, 01:18 PM
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I have the same problem. I am going to buy cheap black out shades from walmart and take them off the spring loaded roll. Then staple them onto the outer edge of my windows.
To improve the look from the outside i will put up some curtains inside the blackout shades.
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post #21 of 46 Old 04-04-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdaddy View Post

I have the same problem. I am going to buy cheap black out shades from walmart and take them off the spring loaded roll. Then staple them onto the outer edge of my windows.
To improve the look from the outside i will put up some curtains inside the blackout shades.

Might be cheaper to just get blackout cloth from a fabric store.
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post #22 of 46 Old 04-05-2008, 01:13 PM
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It cost me $4 a yard at Hobby Lobby for BO fabric
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post #23 of 46 Old 05-17-2008, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdaddy View Post

I have the same problem. I am going to buy cheap black out shades from walmart and take them off the spring loaded roll. Then staple them onto the outer edge of my windows.
To improve the look from the outside i will put up some curtains inside the blackout shades.

did the black out shades from walmart work??

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post #24 of 46 Old 07-08-2009, 02:34 PM
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How did you guys have custom cellular shades made for you and they don't let any light in? I just spent $500 for Hampton Bay cellular blackout blinds and I order for a 31" window and get blinds that are only 30.5" so I get a bunch of light coming through. Worst yet I can't bring them back and it seems like no one wants to help me.
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post #25 of 46 Old 07-08-2009, 03:25 PM
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We have the complete light blocking (cellular) shades in my son's room and the guest bedroom. The shades do what they say and do not let any light through. But you do get significant spill around the corners.

If you're looking for complete light control, blackout shades will not be good enough.

We have a West facing 5x4' window and a sliding glass door in the HT that the Mrs. requires to be functional at all times. As I am only in the middle of building the window casements for the theater right now, I am not to the point that I have to come up with a solution for this problem yet, but when I get to it I'll let you know how I tackle it.

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post #26 of 46 Old 07-09-2009, 04:38 AM
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OK thanks. The spillage around the edges is the worst part. Even though there's only about .5" of light coming through it's enough to light up the entire room.
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post #27 of 46 Old 03-01-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

DIY solution is to buy foam rubber cut one inch larger than the inside of your window frame. Wrap the foam with black felt. Both can be found at Joanne's or other type material hobby store. When not in use you can remove them. This provides complete light control when placed behind your shade/curtain.

I know this is an old thread but I'm interested in this foam. Online at Joanne's "foam rubber"just finds foam trim. Do you have a link to this foam rubber? And is it non-flammable?

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post #28 of 46 Old 03-01-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post


I know this is an old thread but I'm interested in this foam. Online at Joanne's "foam rubber"just finds foam trim. Do you have a link to this foam rubber? And is it non-flammable?

Don't know the specific answers to your question, but I just purchased four inch foam rubber at a local fabric store and covered it with an appropriately colored fabric. Works like a charm.
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post #29 of 46 Old 03-01-2011, 08:15 PM
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What's the best way to make a plug looking like a fuctional window from the outside? I have a code issue here lol.
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post #30 of 46 Old 03-02-2011, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3
What's the best way to make a plug looking like a fuctional window from the outside? I have a code issue here lol.
I would think that so long as the sewing was neat, the plug would be attractive from outside. I doubt this will work for a larger window because it would be difficult to keep the plug in it's original shape to say nothing about the cost of the foam rubber. In my case it is a private house and the windows are hidden by shrubs so I didn't worry about outside appearances. I am still dealing with a couple of full size windows. They are covered by blackout blinds but I still have the light around the edges problem. I plan to hang some blackout draperies over the top but have not been able to get my wife to select the material. Hopefully, soon....
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