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Are Shutters Light Filtering?

The Shutter Store 5/11/2022 10:25:26 AM
Shutters give you more flexibility over controlling light than any other window treatment! You can swing the shutter panels fully or partially open like doors, choose single-hinged or bi-folding panels, as well as partly or fully opening / closing the slats. Add in the options of full height, café style, or tier-on-tier style shutters, and optional mid-rails – and you will see how truly flexible shutters are in allowing maximum sunlight into the room or providing maximum privacy and light-blockage.


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Full height shutters with a mid-rail offer privacy while simultaneously allowing natural sunlight into the room.

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Our shutter panels are made of either solid hardwood or solid polyvinyl with an aluminum core with about 1” thick solid panels, so they are thick, sturdy, and will block more light than curtains, shades, or blinds.

Shutters are designed so that the slats close completely flat in the upwards direction. With the slats closing by pushing them up toward the ceiling, this offers maximum light-blockage and privacy. There is about a ½" overlap between each louver, so regardless of the slat size you choose, light will not bleed through the slats when closed upwards.

The slats are still able to be rotated fully downward but are not intended to close flat in the downward direction. This will filter the light but still allow some light to stream through, while directing harsh sun rays downwards.


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Point the slats downward to filter light without darkening the room.


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The left panel has the slats pointed downward, while the right panel shows the flatter closure you get with the slats closing upward.

Our shutter panels have rabbeted or astragal stiles, meaning shutters with multiple panels will be cut so that the right overlaps the left, blocking excess light from bleeding through in between the panels.

Shutters darken a room significantly, though they do not provide 100% blackout, as there are slight gaps in between the panels to allow for the thickness of the hinges and for them to hang level in your frame. The fewer panels you have, the fewer gaps there will be for light to enter through.

Our shutter frames have a light block piece that extends slightly behind the panels, again to block excess light from bleeding through. Using a frame is always recommended, not only for easier installation, but also aesthetically to limit gaps in installation and provide better light reduction than a panels-only installation.

For customers looking for the highest level of room-darkening and privacy close to a blackout, we recommend solid panel shutters. These eliminate the slight gaps between the rotating louvers and the solid stiles of the shutter panels. They reduce light significantly as well as insulating the room and reducing outside noises when the panels are fully closed.

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Once your shutter frame is installed, you can use a bead of caulking around the outer edges of the shutter frame to seal off any slight gaps between the shutter frame and window casing that may result from window variances or deductions taken for inside-mounted shutters. (Outside mount shutter frames sit outside of the window opening and fully encase the window recess eliminating any gaps between the shutter frame and the window casing.)

How to caulk in your new shutters for the perfect finish >>

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Full Height shutters block the most light, as café style cover only the lower portion of the window, and tier-on-tier shutters have a slight gap between the top and bottom tiers.

Whether you are looking to get the most natural light coming into your room, or are looking for full coverage and light blockage, our shutter experts can help you design a custom shutter that will be perfect for your needs! As always, there is a free design consultation with every order placed.

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