Blackout Solution- Use Side Channels
The roller shades in this picture have aluminum side channels, a sill channel and a sealed hem bar (or flat bottom bar). This is basically a frame around the shade that prevents light leakage around the edges. This is a great option when you want to have the optimal light blockage for room-darkening applications and A/V applications. In addition, this gives a clean, polished look to your windows. The channels can be used for roller shades, honeycomb shades and skylight applications. The channels can also be used with a variety of operational systems; such as, cord, motorized and cordless.
The picture on the left shows the specs of a roller shade with side channels, bottom sill channel and flat bottom bar (sealed hem bar). As you can see, the side channels have light blockers inserted inside with a wool pile to optimize light blockage. The style and specifications of the channels differs by manufacturer so it’s important to make sure that you use the right system/manufacture for your needs.
Skylights also have side and bottom channels for smooth operation. The channels also prevents the shade from drooping. The channels are used for blackout or non-blackout applications for skylights. The picture above is a sunroom with honeycomb shades, the side channels are only on the roof (slanted glass) for optimal functionality. The side channels are not needed for the bottom windows since they are not at a slant and light blockage is not an issue in a sunroom.
Cellular shades (or also known as honeycomb shades) can have side channels too. The picture below of the master bedroom has blackout cellular shades. This project only has side channels on the skylight but not on the other windows. As you can see, there is some light leakage. For optimal light blockage then channels should be used.
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