We recently wrote on the Difference Between L & U Side and Sill Channel for Roller Shades. If you missed that blog you can check it out here. We definitely recommend checking out the difference between the two types of side and sill channel that are offered by Roller Shade Manufacturers.

In this blog we will be affirming the use of side and sill channel. We will also be discussing some of the things to ask and watch for depending upon the Roller Shade Manufacturer you are working with. And finally, we will be talking about two different items that are making their way out onto the market, and are able to augment side and sill channel in reaching a point of light fastness in hotel guestrooms.

At the simplest level, roller shades installed inside the window have to be made slightly smaller than the actual window opening. This causes small cracks of light to be seen between the edge of the roller shade and the window edge. To eliminate this light leak, you can do one of a few different things:

  1. You can use side & sill channel.

  2. You can outside mount the roller shade.

  3. You can pair inside mount roller shades with drapery side panels or a traversing blackout drape.

A large source of light leakage can be present along the very top edge of a roller shade. So, another element that you could use to eliminate it is a top treatment of some kind. This issue is normally caused by one problem; namely, that the top edge of the window is not absolutely level. We would recommend a couple of different solutions for this…

  1. Use a top treatment. A cornice, a valance or even mock roman covering the roller shade hardware and the top of the window will completely block off this light. In this case you could also use an open roll bracket as discussed in our blog “Why would you use an Open Roll Bracket for Roller Shades?

  2. Use back fascia. Back fascia is essentially the same as front fascia except that, as it sounds, it clips onto the back side of a roller shade bracket. The use of back fascia alongside front fascia further limits the possibility of light leakage along the top edge. In some cases however, the same problem may persist.

  3. Use what’s called a light blocking strip, which is a small piece of L shaped plastic that can be attached to the top edge of the window with an ultra-strong adhesive tape. The blocking strip is flexible enough to mold with the possible unevenness of the top window edge, and when covered by fascia it is not seen, but eliminates all light bleed along the top edge.

These three options are slightly outside the box from the perspective that they are not necessarily thought of immediately. But armed with these ideas, you should be able to work with any drapery/roller shade manufacturer to solve your light leakage problems. It should be noted that the light blocking strip and back fascia is not available with every bracket option or with every manufacturer.