Saturday, May 31, 2014

True Blackout Window Covering For #Migraines and Light Sensitivity

I must share this with all of you fellow migraineurs out there with light sensitivities. You may remember back in December when I posted about covering the windows in our new home. I wish I knew then what I know now...

My sister, who is a nurse and sometimes needs to sleep during the day, went in search of some blackout window shades and ended up stumbling upon a product called Blackout EZ Window Cover. She told me that it was easy, inexpensive and blocked out 100% of the light in her bedroom. With that kind of a recommendation I had to check it out. 

I decided to start with our master bedroom because that is the area we are going to decorate first. The company's website is quite helpful. They offer a couple standard sizes available for purchase at VERY reasonable prices - comparable in price to vinyl mini blinds. They also offer custom sizing if you have windows that are larger than the standard (as our windows are) for just a little more. They also have a video tutorial at the bottom of their homepage that shows you how to properly measure and install their product on different types of windows. 

After exploring the website and armed with a recommendation from my sister, I decided to go ahead and order. Here's how it worked:

I chose to install on a cloudy rainy day because working with an uncovered window in the middle of a sunny day is madness when you are as light sensitive as I am. Doing so made it easier on my eyes and my head but I'm afraid the poor light diminished the quality of the pictures. Bear with me.

This is one of the two identical windwos I covered
 The shades are installed with hook and loop tape (basically it is velcro but since velcro is a brand name this material is referred to as hook and loop). My delivery included everything I would need except scissors. That's right - no tools required.

The contents of the package that was delivered

 Step one: I cut and placed the white hook tape around the frame of my windows. It was literally as easy as placing it and removing the backing and pressing it on the window frame.

If you look close, you can see I simply removed the backing as I went along the window.

 Step two: I did the same thing with the black loop tape along the edge of the blackout material.

Like so

Step three: is as simple as holding the material up to the window frame and pressing it together.

The black out material got a little wrinkled as I moved it about but all the wrinkles fell out overnight.
My camera wouldn't take a picture in the pitch black it made our room so I peeled back the fabric to show you what kind of light blockage was achieved.


It worked exactly as advertised. Here is what I love about this product and why I highly recommend it to everyone of you out there:

1. It really does block out 100% of the light.
2. It is affordable.
3. Installation was quick and easy enough that I managed it alone despite having very little energy AND I didn't even crash after. 
4. The hook and loop tape allows me to easily remove part or all of the blackout material whenever I want and just as easily replace it again.
5. Because the product adheres directly to the window frame I can still hang ANY blind and/or drapery of my choosing. For the first time in the 8 years since my migraines went chronic I am going to choose drapes based solely on the aesthetic of the room, instead of decorating a room around the thick, heavy, dark, brown "blackout" curtains. Curtains that, even when hung floor to ceiling with wrap around rods, don't come close to providing a blackout. 

This great success I've had with this product is literally changing my life. Hubby and I now sleep in total darkness. I now have a totally dark place to retreat during my migraines no matter when it hits. I am now thrilled to be thinking about draperies as just another design element instead of as something to work around and make do with. I am feeling relieved and a little more free and it hasn't even been a week. 

*QUICK NOTE: There is an additional step if you purchase one of the standard sizes as the material will need to be cut to fit your exact window dimensions. I didn't have to do this because we ordered a custom size. My sister did use the standard and reported that the cutting was really easy as there is a grid pattern on the material that easily allows you to follow a straight line. 

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