A skylight is a wonderful design element in many homes, but most people don’t stop to think about the realities of having a skylight in their home until they’ve got one.
Skylights offer light and visual interest, but they are also difficult to reach, and the light that is welcome during your dinner party might interfere with your ability to see your television a few hours later.
Window treatments can mitigate this problem, but you can’t just select some blinds off the shelf.
You’ll need to find a treatment specifically designed for skylights.
Why Should You Cover a Skylight?
The most obvious advantage to covering your skylight is light control. It can be difficult to use a room with a skylight as a bedroom or home theater if you don’t cover the skylights first. And while you could cover them permanently, you lose the beauty and design interest of the window if you take that approach.
There are additional benefits to installing a skylight window treatment that you may not have considered as well. Skylights let a lot of heat enter and escape your home. During the day, it’s generally nice to have the warmth, but generally you’ll lose more heat at night than you gain during the day. The result is higher heating costs and more strain on your pocket.
By installing a skylight window covering and closing it each night and during the cold winter months, you’ll save money in the long run.
Skylight Window Treatment Options
Roller shades and skylight blinds, sometimes called velux blinds, are your two major choices when it comes to covering your skylights. Be prepared for consistently higher prices than you’d pay for conventional shades and blinds, particularly if you select an automated style that opens and closes via switch or remote control. You can decrease the cost somewhat if you choose a manual option; just make certain to purchase a telescoping rod to open and close it.
If you have an unusually-shaped skylight, you can still install a window treatment. Look for custom sizes to fit domes, trapezoids, pyramids, or other unusual shapes. As with most home improvement projects, the word “custom” will generally also mean that they’re more expensive.
You will likely be limited to a short list of colors and patterns, but in general it’s not the best of ideas to put loud decorative prints on your ceiling so that shouldn’t be much of a problem. You may, however, want to select options like blackout screens, particularly for a home theater, where darker is better.
Consider the opacity of the fabric or material that you’re selecting. Fabrics can range anywhere from the aforementioned blackout screens to honeycomb shades that filter the light but still allow it to enter the room.
Once you’ve determined your needs, the final step is to find the window blinds or shades. They’re a lot more difficult to locate in stores when compared to traditional window treatments.
One possibility is to find an online retailer and order from them. Make sure to visit the site and look for their measuring instructions. By following their instructions to the letter, you insure that your skylight blinds will fit perfectly and do the job right.