Blackout blinds

Do these things exist? What I am looking for is a blind that completely blocks out light, so when drawn the room will be in total darkness even during daylight. I need to be able to darken the room completely for various reasons (like movie, sleep during the day, etc.) but I am not sure what to look for. I have drapes on the window now that will block most of the light during the day, but it still lets a bit of light through (but better than most other drapes out there…) even though it’s advertised as “light proof drape”. I am hoping to install those office blinds but I know those don’t block out lights completely either…

Tin foil works well. :idunno:

Plus, it helps stop the voices.
Just go to any neighbourhood curtain shop and they’ll be able to sell you thick silver curtain-liner that you hang behind the regular curtains. Maybe you need to get them sewn on to the curtains, along the top. Not sure. We got them in the bedrooms and they work well.

I can’t control tin foil too much and its ugly.

I don’t know where to get these, but my office has blinds which are relatively stiff and have a metal strip at the bottom. They travel in vertical tracks along the sides, so there is no side leakage. The ones we have are translucent but with a backing would be blackout blinds. Presumably an interior office decorator would be able to find you a supplier.

Mod: please sticky this

I found something that works. I went to the textile market at Dihua street, the Yongleh market. I found a curtain shop on the first floor and asked the lady for something that can block out daylight, and she showed me this (surprise!) white cloth that she says is the same stuff hotels uses (and I remember hotels having those curtains that can block out daylight! Once the curtain is drawn day becomes night) and they sell it for 180nt a yard (I am sure if you buy a lot of yards they’d give you a better price), not exactly cheap but I mean, tin foil costs only a little less (they do cost more than I am comfortable with, particularly when they are a temporary solution) and I just hung them right behind my “lightproof” curtain. Now I tested it with a strong flashlight, and wrapped the cloth around the flashlight and turned it on, and only a tiny dot of light can be seen, which compared to the “lightproof” curtain it’s doing a lot better (the lightproof curtain only diffuses the light like a piece of paper) and the curtain certainly blocks any light that manages to get through. But by the time I got it home and installed it’s already night, so I will have to wait til tomorrow to know if it really works against daylight, not counting any light that leaks through the side.

Maybe not so useful for those living out in the middle of nowhere but for those who lives in Taipei city right next to big BRIGHT LED screens (that defies any lightproof curtains), it means the difference between 3 hours a day of sleep and normal sleep! But the white cloth really does look ugly, so it’s really meant to be sewn right on top of regular curtain material.

It also keeps Aircon cost lower at approx 10-15% keeping heat outside.

I guess that’s why hotels uses them… it keeps operating cost lower.

Just a side note a lot of these Taiwanese windows aren’t really designed with aircon in mind it seems, because they have so much air gap that there might as well be no glass in the window. I guess they were designed in a time when aircon isn’t as common as they are today. They do sell better insulated windows but at a premium, new buildings would have them but those 10+ years old buildings where rent tends to be more reasonable have shitty windows that just lets air and pollution in (which consequently means higher aircon cost). I think if most households put more effort in insulation the strain on the power grid will be considerably less.

My solution is rather drastic… I put foam strip around all mating surfaces, stuffed more foam where the two panes meet (there are enough gap there that there are constant breeze coming through, not to mention mosquito and other pests, and dusts too) to make sure those space are airtight. However I am baffled with the sliding portion, they still let in quite a breeze. I took the panes off and stuffed the rails with foam strip, and reinstalled the window, stuffed more foam in the bottom rail, consequently the window won’t be able to open or close (which I don’t mind… there isn’t much to open the window to, except to let in a ton of pests). We’ll see how the next typhoon fare… I am tempted to get a large sheet of plexiglass (with holes cut for the window AC) and simply screw it to the outside of the entire window assembly, with foam gaskets for a good seal and expanding foam around the AC unit. I hope that will give me more soundproofing as well as burglar proofing.

We need to keep usage of stickies to a minimum, as they make it difficult for posters to quickly locate the top active threads in a particular forum area.

Furthermore, stickies really should be limited to a very few threads which the mod feels are of particular importance to the whole community: ‘Please read this before posting’ type info, vital resources like Parenting Resources for Parenting, a list of 24-hour vets or how to report animal abuse for Pets & Animals, an index of key topics for that forum (as we have in Cars and Learning Chinese), a cause particularly deserving of the community’s support, or a few of the topics or requests which come up incredibly often, like ‘how do I find a non-teaching job’, or ‘where’s the damned sour cream?!’. In this moderator’s opinion, as ‘blackout blinds’ have only come up once, the topic is quite far from qualifying for a sticky. People can always find it through the search function. :wink: