Most of us consider “draperies” or blinds more as aesthetic (decorative) window treatments, making our homes more visually pleasing, than for function. 

In fact, at night, we close our mini blinds, shades or drapery panels - merely for privacy.
And, for the most part they work quite well for their intended purpose – keeping people from seeing into the house. 

But, have you ever considered the light shining out from the windows of the house?

Drive down a street in any neighborhood at night and look up at the homes.  In each house where there is a light on, you can see the light coming out from around the draperies at the windows.  Even with “shears” you may not be able to see people or contents of the house but you can see movement from the light shining through.

So what happens if you don’t want the light coming from your house to be seen?

If you were in a grid-down situation where there was no electricity from the power company, and you didn’t want people knowing you were at home during a disaster or when the ‘PHTF’, what are your options? 

Well one would be to get opaque window coverings.

Opa – what coverings?

Opaque window treatments.  Opaque means impassable by light (light cannot pass through)

Let me give you an example. 

It’s night time.  Disaster has struck and the streets are dark, in fact everything is dark – pitch-black.  No lights anywhere.  Predators (looters) are out in force casing each neighborhood for homes with any sign of light that would signal those who may have generators, food, water and possibly weapons, etc.

Innocently, you light a candle.  Just that small flicker of light from the candle will shine like a beacon in the darkness for anyone to see from the outside – and in turn signal where you are - making you a huge target.

Blacking out your windows is critical in a situation like this.  It can be accomplished in several different ways.

And no, just for the records, this is not a “get-out-of-jail” free card to go out and redecorate your whole house simply because you need draperies to obscure street views for added security.

One option you may want to consider is, blackout opaque window film (does not let any sunlight in at all) that goes directly on the window panes of your home.  By using this method, it won’t take away from your interior décor or raise any eyebrows from your ‘un-prepared’ friends or family.

Another choice is opaque or black-out draperies (blocks all light).   But be forewarned, there are few window draperies that can completely prevent direct sunlight from penetrating the window - which in turn means – would not prevent light from coming out from the windows at night.

Drapery liners are also a great way to provide opacity.   These can be placed with existing draperies to provide privacy and completely darken a room (again completely is subjective).

There are some roll shades on the market that claim to be able to block all light as well.

I have also heard of using the black-out fabric used on movie sets.  You make these ‘window coverings’ and have them in the ready to put up in time of need using Velcro.

And lastly, glass paint for window – I agree, this would be a little more involved than hanging draperies but hey, it would defiantly do the job!

Once you have decided on the method that is best for your situation, be sure to check at night for light leaks. 

And one last suggestion, should you be able to see ANY light coming from the outside windows, you may want to consider using opaque duct tape to any glaring cracks, as needed, which provides clean removal with little or no sticky adhesive residue from most opaque surfaces.

Keep this in the back of your mind in your decision: even the smallest light shines in the dark.

- Survivor Jane

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