Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Can’t seem to create the perfect setting for watching a movie? Both of these issues can be caused by light gaps. Did you know that even a small amount of light can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to create a glare-free zone so you can watch a movie during the day? Eliminating light gaps will not only help you create a completely dark environment, but will also protect your room from excessive sunlight, heat, and glare. Fortunately, there are several ways to eliminate light gaps, including mounting your shades outside of your window frame and purchasing blackout roller shades with side and sill channels, which we’ll go over in more detail below. 


How Do Light Gaps Occur?

All inside-mounted blinds and shades have light gaps or a glowing halo effect, but roller shades produce significantly larger light gaps. This is because roller shades contain a large rolling mechanism at the top of the shade that is used to operate these window treatments. When a roller shade is mounted inside of a window frame, at least ½ ” of space must be left on both sides of the shade for it to operate smoothly. Reducing light gaps can be challenging, but the following tips should help you create a darker bedroom and media room!


4 Ways to Prevent Light Gaps

Measure Your Windows Accurately

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s extremely important to measure your windows accurately. If you measure your windows incorrectly, your roller blinds won’t fit, resulting in light gaps among other problems. Before measuring your window frames, decide whether you want to mount the window treatments on the inside or outside of your window frame, and then measure accordingly. 


Mount Your Roller Shades on the Outside of Your Window

When you mount your roller shades on the inside of your window frame there will be a small gap between the roller shade and window frame (about ½” to ¾” wide). However, you can choose to mount your roller shades on the outside of your window frame instead, which will cover the window frame completely and eliminate light gaps (although you may still have a soft glow of light around your window). You can also choose oversized roller shades to increase the overlap on your windows!


Layer Multiple Window Treatments

What if you don’t want to mount your window treatments outside of your windows because you want to display your ornate window frames? Not to worry, layering multiple window treatments is another way you can eliminate light gaps. For example, you can pair curtains or drapes with your blackout roller shades. This will not only block out sunlight that comes from the sides of your window treatments, but it will also dress up your rooms even more thanks to the endless options of available fabrics and designs. 


Blackout Roller Shades With Side Tracks/Side and Sill Channels

Looking for a more contemporary, streamlined look? Blackout roller shades with side tracks or blackout roller shades with side and sill channels might just be the solution you’ve been looking for! Side tracks and channels are aluminum pieces that are placed inside of your window frame to completely eliminate light gaps. Brushes within the blackout roller shades with side and sill channels also help minimize light leakage. 


To obtain a completely dark room, you’ll have to purchase several types of channels. In a side or U channel, the roller shade slips into a pocket of aluminum fashioned like a U to effectively block out light. H channels, which are side channels that are installed between two adjacent shades for smooth operation, are also available. A bottom channel, also known as an L angle, is a channel that is installed on window sills to prevent light from entering through the shade’s bottom gap. 


Blackout roller shades with side tracks are ideal for bedrooms, nurseries, media rooms, and photography studios. They are great for light sleepers and night workers, assisting everyone in getting a good night’s sleep. 


Give Your Windows Complete Light Coverage by Contacting Royal Window Treatments

If the light gaps caused by your roller shades are preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, try one of the above solutions to eliminate light gaps. But if you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate to give Royal Window Treatments a call. We’d be more than happy to take a look at your windows and roller shades to determine which light-blocking solution is best for you!