Best Way To Light Block Windows?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dalton, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Hi,
    I have 3 windows in my HT room and i was wondering what the best way to totally block(or close to it)sunlight from comong in. I am going to be adding a front projector soon so i need to better control the light situation. I know i could get tacky and use dark blankets or something but i was looking for something a little more pleasing to the eye. I can't seem to find any black blinds anywhere and was wondering if there was any specialty stores or websites that might have what i'm looking for. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dalton
     
  2. Dick K

    Dick K Auditioning

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    Personally I have been using a few dozens blankets for the past 2 weeks. This is how long I've had my new theater set up. I have a few ideas, and none are cheap (except the blankets, but they look like dren)

    My wife is going to order some "velvet" material that does not allow light to pass. How much of this is true, I'll find out. She'll make some drapes or curtains, whatever the theatrically correct term is. This is a temp solution and it should work fine. I suggest you go to a store where they have material that is sold by the yard and check out some fabrics for yourself. Hold them up towards a window to see how much light they do in fact block. I found a few, but not beeing a seamstress and very far from memory competent, I can't tell you what they were. I strongly suggest browsing the fabric boutiques first, bring someone along, if your memory is like mine. Pen and paper don't help, cause I forget where I put them.

    My ultimate goal is to build indoor shutter type things. They will open to allow light, and when closed hold movie posters in them. I'm still designing them on the paper but the idea is clear in my head. I will post pics when I accomplish my goal.

    You can spray paint them black, but I hear that's not as cool as it sounds, and you have to keep touching it up.


    I'm exremely light sensitive, so even without the HT I am always looking for ways to block out light.

    There are some blinds that block light out 100%, they have reflective outers and colored inners. They are many diferent kinds of these. Do a search for "room darkening shading" They are not perfect, a bit pricey, but they are better than your everyday shades. Light still seeps thru the sides.

    Good luck with this endeavor...
     
  3. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the input Dick. I guess i have alot of options to try. It looks like i can start out with the blankets for now.
     
  4. Nick.H

    Nick.H Stunt Coordinator

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    Im currently getting my room ready for a projector. what you need to do is get a undercoat for your curtains. which is a solid backing. It will make the room dark, but still keep the lightness of your curtains to give a good feel to the room.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    You should be able to find a custom window treatment company who could make them for you.

    However, you’ll probably find that blinds of any dark color would work well, even if not quite 100%. We found a dramatic improvement just by switching our blinds from white to medium blue.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Shawn Keeler

    Shawn Keeler Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want to go extreme. What I did was tint the windows and then sprayed them with flat black spray paint. That way if later I need to take the paint of I just took the tint off, which also takes the paint off.
    Shawn
     
  7. Edwin_H

    Edwin_H Stunt Coordinator

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    What I did was buy some nice blue curtains. Then I bought some black-out fabric(the same kind people use for DIY front proj screens) and cut and sewed it to the back of the curtains. No light comes through those bad boys, just a tiny tiny bit around the edges, but it's so small, it doesn't really matter. Anyway, that's what I did.

    Edwin
     
  8. Glenise

    Glenise Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I 2nd blackout fabric.
    I purchased mine from www.joann.com
    I also have regular faux blinds in two windows and have the blackout fabric safety pinned behind some non-lined curtains.
     
  9. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the great suggestions! Now i have some ideas to work with.

    Dalton
     
  10. Keith_Hart

    Keith_Hart Extra

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    If you really want a cheap way to do it that will work great go to Home Depot or Lowes and get the pull down blinds. I have two large windows and the light was killing the CRT during the day. I bough the pull down blinds for 10 dollars each, had them cut to the exact size for the window and have installed them behind the plantation blinds I have in the front of the window. That way the wife is happy because I only have the "cheap" blinds down when I want to watch the movie and can have them rolled up and they can not be seen. The is really no way to get total black with these but if you get the room darkening ones I would say they cut the direct sun light in a room 90%. Good luck.

    KEith
     
  11. David Werner

    David Werner Stunt Coordinator

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    We had 2 windows in our basement family room that we needed to control light due to our front projector. My wife liked the blinds that were there allready (Which were light filtering, not room darkening), we looked at custom blinds but I couldn't see paying $300 for 2 light blocking window blinds. So while shopping at a outlet hardware store came across the solution for us, dark gray foam. The foam came in 4x8 sheets so I only required half of that, it's about 1 inch thick which fits nicely between the glass and the blinds, notched out little areas to accomodate for the window cranks, there is absolutely no light that comes in at all. What I like about this is we only need to use the foam when watching movies/tv, which is nice for the plants to get the sunlight, etc.. Total cost of this was $21.00. If you'd like a picture I can email one to you. Good luck with your decision.
     
  12. Keith_Hart

    Keith_Hart Extra

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    David can you post a picture please that would be great. Since I only spent about 20 dollars on the roll up blinds I am always looking for other methods because the light is still there some.

    On a second note anyone have ideas when it comes to door windows. I have two doors in the HT room and one opens and the other does not. I am looking for creative ways to cover these also. The blinds that I spoke about in my earlier post won't work here because there is not frame like the window.

    Thanks
     
  13. David Werner

    David Werner Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith-Had to send it to you via email as I haven't had time to upload photos to a site to link off of.

    * I sent it to your email you had listed on forum and it was returned, if you want you can email me and I'll return one to you with the photos. David
     
  14. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    David,
    I would like a picture if you don't mind. That idea sounds intriguing. I am heading down to Lowes and Home Depot today to look for something.

    Thanks,
    Dalton
     
  15. David Werner

    David Werner Stunt Coordinator

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    Dalton, Keith- Sent out emails, if you need different pics let me know. David
     
  16. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I did what Keith did when I "built" my hometheater. We have 3 south facing windows along the side wall of our HT. I bought 3 pull down shades at home depot and some fairly heavy drapes in Navy Blue from Ikea. I'd say the combination blocks 95% of light during the brightest part of the day. Plenty of blockage for such little cost. These pictures were taken at about 2pm on a sunny day.



     
  17. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Looks good Tim. I was thinking along the lines of pull down shades and drapes earlier today because my windows face the street and my wife is being pretty strict about what i can do to the windows. I actually happened to stop by a store named Blinds To Go today and it happened to be their grand opening. They had plenty of solutions in there but some of the stuff was pretty expensive(for my budget anyway). Everything is custom ordered and you can get whatever color you want basically. I really like the light control aluminum blinds but it would have cost me about $400 to do the 5 windows(3 in the living room and 2 in the dining room)that i need to control the ambient light coming in. I'm leaning towards the shades/drapes combo at the moment. The projector i am getting is pretty bright (1700 lumens) so i think i can get away without total darkness in my theater. Anyways i only have about a week to decide. Thanks again everybody for the help/suggestions.

    Take Care,
    Dalton
     
  18. Keith_Hart

    Keith_Hart Extra

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    Tim Great pictures thanks for sharing. I went to home depot and looked for the "foam" type of window blocking that David has. I could not find anything that would work at Home Depot or Lowes. Oh well I will keep looking.

    One last thing if anyone is interested, I have figured out a way to block the light from the two doors that I have that are in the HT room. I am going to get some of David's foam and put little pieces of Velcro on the door and the foam so that I can put it up and down very easily and the wife won't complain. If anyone has tried this or has other ideas please let me know. below is a link to some pictures I have of the HT room so if anyone has any ideas please let me know...

    Thanks,
    Keith

    Hart HT Room
     
  19. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

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    I did kind of the same thing as David. I cut cardboard sheets to exactly fit my windows. Then I wrapped the cardboard in batting and my wife picked out a material that she liked and matched our decor. we covered the cardboard/batting sheets with the material and fit them tightly in place in the windows. We can take them out whenever we want for sunlight, but my wife likes them since she picked out the material. I've found that they stay up 95% of the time. no light leaks in and they please the wife too. I don't know the total cost, but it wasn't much.
     

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