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How to Darken a Room (4 Effective Ways to Block Natural Light)

How to Darken a Room (4 Effective Ways to Block Natural Light)

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There are many different reasons why you might decide that you want your room to be darker. It could be that you want to sleep better at night, but you can’t get the room dark enough for your comfort. It could be that you suffer from migraines and light is a trigger for them.

No matter what your reasoning is, there are plenty of ways that you can make sure as little light as possible gets through to your room.

When you are doing this, there are three main areas that you are going to want to focus on. Of course, you will want to focus on eliminating as much of the outside sources of light as you possibly can.

Speaking of which, most of this light comes from the windows, meaning that a good portion of your efforts should be directed toward the windows. Finally, you should think about what you can do for yourself to block out the light, such as wearing a sleep mask or covering yourself with blankets.

By focusing on these three areas, you can rest assured knowing that you will be cutting down on as much light entering your room as you possibly can. No matter what your reason is for cutting down on this light, you will find that combining some of these methods works out well for you.

What Can You Do for Yourself?

Sleep Mask on Bed

While you can certainly alter the environment around you to make sure that your room is as dark as possible, you will also want to think about what you can do to yourself to ensure that no light gets through to your eyes.

Keep in mind that these methods are often meant for people who are trying to sleep in a dark room, and they won’t really work well for people who need to be awake, but in a dark room.

First things first, you will want to consider the solution that people have been using for ages. That is, you will want to consider using a sleep mask. You can either buy one from just about any store, or you can make one yourself.

These masks are designed for people who are sensitive to light while they sleep, meaning that they will be blocking out as much light as possible. Thankfully, sleep masks are usually pretty inexpensive, and they come in all sorts of variations, meaning that you will also be able to find one that suits your style best.

Combining this method with one of the other methods of physically darkening a room is going to do wonders if you are trying to sleep. There are even sleep masks of different thicknesses, giving you all the more versatility in choosing the one that is tailored to your needs.

What Can You Do for Your Surroundings?

Light Under Door

Whether a sleep mask is simply not enough for you, or you need to be awake while you are in a dark room, there are plenty of ways that you can alter your surroundings to try and minimize just how much light is getting through to your room.

Firstly, and most obvious, you are going to want to try and turn off any adjacent lights to the room that needs to be dark. Light will find a way to pass through just about every nook and cranny, from door frames to underneath bedroom doors, to find its way into your room.

Assuming that nobody is in the adjacent rooms while you need your room to be darkened, turning off any nearby lights is a great way to further increase darkness and help you save a little bit of money on your electricity bill in the process.

While you are doing this, you are going to want to try and find a blanket or a towel that you can roll up and place alongside the bottom of the door. This will help block any excess light from entering your room, further reducing just how much light seeps into the room.

There are also products that you can purchase that serve the same purpose, if you would rather not waste a perfectly good towel or blanket. Some people even find that making a makeshift version of these products also works well, depending on exactly how much of this you are willing to DIY.

Now that you have prevented as many light sources as you can from coming in from outside of your room, you need to think about what you can do for the light sources that are coming from inside of your room.

For example, most electronic devices will have some sort of indicator that shines when the device is plugged in. When you have several of these devices plugged in at once, you might be surprised to realize just how much collective light is emitted.

With that being said, you are going to want to turn off as many of these devices as you can. The more devices that you can turn off, the darker your room is going to be.

Full Power Strip

If many of the devices are plugged into a surge protector or a power strip, you can just as easily flip the off switch to make things that much easier for you.

Another benefit of doing this is that it can save you a considerable amount of money on your electric bill, depending on just how many devices you have plugged into the outlets in your room.

Doing all of these things is going to do a whole lot in terms of darkening your room more than you might be able to if you only covered the windows. Speaking of covering the windows, one of the best things that you can do to darken a room is to get the right products for your windows.

There are a few different ways that you can go about doing this.

Finding the Right Way to Cover Your Window

In general, there are going to be four ways that you can cover up your windows to prevent as much light as possible from shining into your room.

Each of these methods is going to be more useful to some people than others, so it is important to consider all of the details before you decide which method you want to go for.

Keep in mind that you can combine a few of these methods with each other if you want to make the most out of keeping light out of your room.

The methods that you have to choose from are the following:

  • Privacy films
  • Blackout curtains
  • Blackout shades
  • Aluminum foil

These are the most common methods used to cover up windows. Some of these methods are going to be easier than others, and some methods, such as aluminum foil, might not even be applicable to your situation.

This is one of the reasons why you are going to have to give some long and hard thought to which methods are going to suit you best.

In the meantime, you will always want to make sure that if you have blinds or shades, that you have them closed and drawn at all times.

While they can’t always do a good job on their own, in conjunction with one of these other methods, they can do a fantastic job of making sure that there is next to no light in your room, even during the middle of the day.

1 – Privacy Films

Roll of Tint for Window

If you like the appearance of the curtains or shades that you currently have, or you are not in the mood to go shopping for something new, you might want to consider the idea of using a privacy film.

Privacy film, on its own, doesn’t do the best job at blocking out the light, but if your options are already limited, it is certainly an option that you will need to consider.

The privacy film itself is a removable plastic film that you can cut to fit the size of your window. From there, you simply stick them to the window and they will reduce the amount of light that they let in.

Essentially, you can think of it as a removable window tint that doesn’t require the same amount of commitment to having your windows look a particular way.

Ultimately, privacy films are best used in conjunction with one of the other methods, as they still let some degree of light in on their own. It is not an end-all solution, but a way to get to the results that you want quickly and easily.

Keep in mind that some renters might not appreciate a product being placed on the windows, even if it is removable, so you will always want to check beforehand if you can use the privacy films on your windows.

2 – Blackout Curtains

Window Behind Blackout Curtain

Blackout curtains (view on Amazon) and blackout shades are the two most common methods of blocking out all light that comes in through the window. Because of the nature of blackout curtains, they are often one of the most expensive solutions to consider, although they are one of the most effective ones.

If you have the budget to pay for blackout curtains, then you should absolutely consider how much it would cost to put them up in your room.

Blackout curtains are very much like your standard curtains except for one thing: the fabric that they use. These curtains use a much thicker, heavier fabric to block out as much light as they possibly can.

In addition to the thick and heavy fabric, they also have liners inside of them that further help to dilute any light that is trying to make its way through the curtain. A good set of blackout curtains can do exactly what the name suggests and blackout the entire room.

If you are having trouble finding these curtains, you can also search for thermal curtains, as these are much the same in terms of material. Thermal curtains are also made from a heavy fabric and are lined with the purpose to insulate heat.

There might even be some variations of thermal curtains that have more appealing designs or are less expensive than blackout curtains because of the name alone.

Another option that you could consider, if you have the space for it, is purchasing just the blackout liner. While this won’t do as good a job of completely blocking out all light, it will do a good enough job in addition to the curtains that you already have.

You will want to consider this option if the appearance of the curtains is just as important to you as having a dark room.

If you find that the price of blackout curtains is a little bit more than you had budgeted out, and you are perfectly fine with sewing, you can consider making your own blackout curtains. So long as you can find the liner and some blackout cloth, you can easily sew yourself a set of blackout curtains.

Similarly, you can sew the blackout lining onto the curtains you already have if you don’t want to install a second rod or you simply like the design of your current curtains.

3 – Blackout Shades

Lowering Roller Shade

Blackout shades serve much the same purpose as blackout curtains do, and can often block out a little bit more light than curtains do, since the light can often go around the edges of the curtain and bleed through.

A good set of blackout shades is probably going to be about as expensive as blackout curtains are, and you can’t really sew the shades, so you will need to keep this in mind when you are budgeting for them.

4 – Aluminum Foil

Roll of Aluminum Foil

This solution, while it is not optimal in many ways, is one of the most effective solutions out there. The one thing that you will need to be aware of is that some renters and apartments might not appreciate you putting aluminum foil on the windows for a variety of reasons.

Before you start blacking out your windows with this method, you will want to check in with your homeowner first to make sure that you are not doing anything wrong.

Aluminum foil, as many people know, can easily reflect the sun to keep it from shining directly into your window. Not only will this help considerably with heat during the summer, but it can also make sure that next to no light comes in through your windows.

If you plan to move out at any point, or you simply want to keep things as damage-free as possible, you will want to use something called painter’s tape to secure the foil into place.

This method may not be the most appealing, attractive, or applicable method out there, but it is one of the least expensive and the most effective methods that you can consider for keeping light out of your room.

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