Do window shutters provide total blackout? – Window shutters alone will not create total blackout. We get asked this question quite a lot, so to answer in more depth we have created this useful guide. We have tried to answer some of the most popular questions around this topic.

How black is total blackout? Many “blackout” products available on the market are actually no such thing. They make a room darker, and that’s about it. Although they aim to make a bedroom perfect for sleep, nothing provides 100% blackout. But can shutters be blackout? After all, they’re designed for light control aren’t they?

At Shuttercraft we’re here to help, so if you’re wondering “do shutters blackout”, we’ve put together this short guide just for you. We’re here to help you to make the right decision.

shutters blackout

Why do you want total blackout anyway?

Maybe you work nights or have changing shift patterns. You may have young children that find it difficult to nap during the day. You could be a photographer that likes to process photos in your own darkroom. You could even be a film enthusiast that wants to create the perfect home cinema environment.

There are several situations where you want total blackout in your home.

  • Bedrooms for light sleepers/night workers
  • Nurseries
  • Photography home development
  • Home cinemas

Studies have shown almost 50% of people have suffered sleep difficulties due to light pollution. This means a blackout or room darkening solution would minimise that impact in your own life.

Whatever your reason, if you want to provide blackout shutters for your home, you’ll want to do it properly.

difference between blackout shutters

What is the difference between blackout and room darkening?

Although the two terms sound very different, there is a slight difference. The word “blackout” usually refers to window blinds, but can also refer to removing all light from a home. There is quite a bit of online discussion about the effectiveness of blackout blinds. The truth is no product can ever claim to be 100% effective.

The term room darkening is a much more accurate description. There are next to no solutions on the market that manage to remove all traces of external light.

It is definitely worth considering all options to meet the requirements of your home.

Do window shutters keep out the light?

Shutters are designed so that each panel can be independently adjusted to temper the light exactly as you like it. Operable louvres provide complete control over the light levels streaming into your home, so you needn’t risk faded fabrics or draw the curtain just because the sun is in the wrong place.

Do you think blinds or curtains may be more effective?

Certain blackout fabrics can also reduce heat loss from your home by up to 25%. This also helps reduce your utility bills and greenhouse gases emitted from heating.

The key difference between blackout and room darkening is this:

  • Blackout solutions try and block out all external light, without more control.
  • Room darkening solutions provide better levels of light control. They also provide a blackout solution.

What are the main window blackout options available for your home?

There is a wide range of options to help you block out the light from your home. These all have varying degrees of success. Depending on your budget and fixing surfaces, these may not suit your requirements. But whatever way, you can enjoy a room darkening rather than a full blackout solution.

Stick-on blackout kit / window filmThick dark curtains
Roller blindsPlantation shutters
Shutter & Shade

A cheap solution like blackout window film may seem more affordable in the short term, but it may not be effective in the long term. Dark curtains, roller blinds and plantation shutters offer varying degrees of light blocking. But all will have some degree of light bleed around the edges.

Premium window shutters in West Yorkshire

Will shutters block out light by themselves?

Light bleed can happen through the louvres, or at the edge of the panels. Traditional solid panels will be better for providing blackout.

The Shutter & Shade Solution

One of the best window blackout options is Shutter & Shade from Shuttercraft. These blackout shades mix a pleated honeycomb blind and shutter panels to remove virtually all light from coming in.

Made from premium materials, honeycomb pleated blinds fit directly into a shutter frame. This means they do not flap or snag. The channel creates a seal, stopping the vast majority of light from getting through. We are sure you’ll be happy with the quality for years to come.

Key features

  • Superior Light Reduction
  • Lightweight material
  • Neutral street-facing colour
  • 20 colour choices

Available for Antigua, Bermuda, Cuba and Fiji shutter ranges

How dark will my room be with shutters?

Depending on the shutters themselves, it will affect the room’s darkness levels. Natural light will always find a way to get through a window, no matter what the covering.

Factors such as louvre size and installation quality affect the darkness of the room when closed. Larger louvres let in more light when open, and smaller ones will provide more privacy. Smaller louvres make the room darker even when open, but reduce light bleed when closed.

The five main louvre sizes are:


To achieve a good degree of blackout plantation shutters should come in darker colours, such as black or grey. Smaller louvres let in less light, making them a good solution for many.

how dark with shutters

Will solid panel shutters provide complete darkness?

Do shutters provide blackout when they have solid panels rather than louvres? In simple terms, no, there will still be a tiny amount of light bleed around the panels. Solid panel shutters are like products such as blackout roller blinds. The addition of a shutter frame does make them more effective than that.

Can shutters provide better light control over blinds?

Can shutters block light better than window coverings such as blinds? There are variables to consider, but there is a better blackout solution for shutters. There is a combination of both shutters and blinds in the form of Shutter & Shade.

Shutters are often better at controlling the light due to the ability to tilt louvres. There will often be more effective forms of light control than blinds and curtains on the market.

Venetian blinds match the light control offered by shutters. Others such as verticals, rollers and pleated honeycombs are functional in different ways. This means they are in a different league when comparing their blackout capability.

Which rooms are most likely to need a blackout window treatment?

Every home has a different requirement, and you alone will know where you need to get the darkest spaces throughout your home.

If you have a busy family life, you may need a blackout solution for nurseries or bedrooms, to help your little ones relax and rest at the end of their busy days.

You know your space best, so you will also know if there are troublesome streetlights outside that leak brightness into your property at night. Those rooms will almost certainly benefit from a blackout solution as well.

Are plantation shutters blackout enough for around the home?

With the different window treatments, you will get different levels of light reduction. Each home varies in both size and shape, but these rooms will be consistent.

  • Bedrooms – This is the obvious choice for a blackout solution in the home. This would be the best place to install blackout shutters if you are a light sleeper or night worker.
  • Nursery – Young children and babies especially need to nap during the day. A blackout solution is perfect to emulate night fall for the little ones.
  • Home Cinemas – These popular family rooms aren’t found in every home, but are great for a blackout approach. They help get the perfect environment for enjoying movies.
  • Darkrooms – Fans of developing photographs at home may want their own darkroom. To be effective, this needs to be as blackout as possible to achieve the best quality.
blackout plantation shutters

What is the most popular blackout solution?

Although blinds and curtains are usually the ‘go to’ choice for light reduction, there is another product on the market. Something that provides blackout blinds for shutters, adding practicality to style.

The Shutter & Shade range is ideal for nurseries, bedrooms and home cinemas. It includes premium blackout shades behind plantation shutters.

A honeycomb blind in its own channel in a shutter frame means that light is almost zero. This makes them the only choice when it comes to your home.

Where to buy blackout shutters?

Are you are looking to find what blackout shutters cost? At Shuttercraft we know that it is an important part of any buying journey to shop around first. An initial FREE survey will give you the best idea if our Shutter & Shade solution is right for your home.

With Shuttercraft experts across the UK, you’re never far away from the perfect blackout solution. Click here to find your nearest Shuttercraft and find the perfect choice for your home today.

Get in touch today!

Why not contact your local Shuttercraft?

Whether you want to wow your guests or achieve a budget-friendly look that can be adapted over time, we’ll help you make the right decision.

Author Image

About the Author

Alex Peters

With a passion for individuality, Alex Peters is an expert in shutters that wants to help give new life to your home. He is a technical writer that enjoys putting together lifestyle articles for consumers, and has written a range of key shutter and window treatment articles.

As the Digital Content Executive at Shuttercraft Ltd for nearly 5 years, Alex Peters is uniquely experienced to help readers of this blog learn more about a ...