As the curtain of night descends and indoor lights flicker on, you might find yourself pondering over a subtle question – can outsiders peep through my blinds? It’s a common concern that sweeps through the mind, particularly when privacy is at stake.

So, let’s tackle this head-on! Let’s navigate the intriguing realm of window blinds, uncover the secrets behind what can be seen through them, and discover ways to keep unwelcome eyes at bay.

How Much Can You See Through Blinds at Night?

Unless you have blackout blinds installed in your home, you might be able to see some movement or light from outside. But how much people can see through your blinds depends on various factors:

  • How bright it is inside the home: If you’ve got bright lights on inside the home, this will make it easier for people outside your to detect movement. If the light outside is brighter than the light inside, this will reduce visibility.
  • Blind material and thickness: If your blinds are thin, they can be transparent from the outside. The thicker the blind material or its weave, the more privacy it will provide. If you need more privacy, consider opaque, adjustable slats that allow you privacy at night while allowing daylight in the morning.
  • Whether your blinds are turned up or down: Turning up the blinds at night reduces the light that can get through them and affords you more privacy.

How Much You Can See Through Different Types of Blinds

Blinds are made out of a variety of materials. Not all of these are effective at reducing visibility. Here’s a rundown of common blinds and how much you can see through them.

  • Aluminum: These blinds are made with slats. You can only see tiny pinpricks of light through them when looking up or down from up close. Aluminum blinds also keep your home cool because of how the metal reflects light, so even if you keep your blinds closed at night, they won’t increase the heat inside your home.
  • Bamboo: Blinds made of bamboo typically roll up or down, so they’re one piece that will properly prevent visibility. However, you have to check how thin or thick the bamboo is. You should also check the gauge of the vanes, as smaller gauges have thicker metal. The smaller gauges also help them resist damage, so they remain upright.
  • Roller: These blinds consist of one fabric wrapped around a casing and then fitted into the window frame. Whether or not you can see through the blinds at night depends on the material. Thicker roller blinds provide more privacy. Look for blackout roller blinds if you want to block light from entering your space completely.
  • Transparent: These allow for some visibility during the day while providing UV protection. But whether or not they provide enough privacy at night depends on the light that shines through the window. Darker blinds will help to reduce visibility.
  • Mini blinds: These blinds enhance your privacy while letting in some light. You can ensure complete privacy at night by twisting the wand to adjust the blinds.
  • Shade (or solar) screens: These are made of shade cloth, preventing UV light from entering your home. Shade screens are a great way of letting light into your home but preventing people from looking inside in the morning. They get screwed into window frames but will be see-through at night if there’s a light inside the home.
  • Light-filtering blinds: These fabrics are sheer and don’t provide a lot of privacy, which is why they’re best used with a layering material behind them. Linen is a good material choice, as this will reduce the light entering and leaving the space. You can draw the linen whenever you want to block out the light.
  • Venetian blinds: These blinds have horizontal slats that enable you to control the light levels better while maintaining privacy. They get turned downwards when you close them, so you can leave them open at an angle, such as on hot summer nights, without worrying about being watched by people outside. 

How to Prevent Seeing Through Blinds at Night

If you’ve installed new blinds, there are some important tips to ensure you reduce how much people can see through them:

  • Tilt the blinds upwards: As long as your window blinds are tilted up, people outside the window won’t be able to see through them. Make sure your blinds are turned all the way up at night. By comparison, when you tilt the front edge of the blinds down, this lets more light through the gaps where the slats of the blinds overlap each other.
  • The convex side of the blinds should be facing the window: Arranging your slats this way produces less space through which people can see. When the rounded side of the window blinds is facing inwards, and the blinds are turned down, it will be easier for people outside to see inside, especially if there’s a light in the room.
  • Consider using dimmer lights in the room: If you’re putting on lights in your room at night, consider using gentler lights, such as soft lamps, instead of bright lights. I like Lohas Plug-In Night Light, available from Amazon. It’s a soft white light adjustable from 5 to 80 lumens.
  • Use light-blocking strips: These strips get placed over the gaps around your blinds to block out the light that can sometimes enter. I’d recommend Sleepy Time Tracks Light Blocking Strips. These are magnetic, so they’re easy to attach and detach when required. 

Choosing Between Vertical and Horizontal Blinds

You might wonder if vertical or horizontal blinds are better regarding privacy.

Vertical blinds are better at ensuring privacy than horizontal blinds because they let less light move through them. Vertical blinds contain wider slats along the side opening and closing mechanisms that reduce light effectively.

However, ensure that you angle the vanes of your vertical blinds to about 45° or less. This angling will ensure more privacy than if the blinds are opened wider.

Most vertical blinds have about three inches wide slats. If you choose blinds with wider slats, they’ll emit more light when opened as there is less material obstructing the light.

If you’ve got horizontal blinds installed in your home, you want to find the slat’s edge closest to you. Angle the slats so that the edge is up but not completely closed.

Angling your slats this way will let some light into the room while keeping your privacy intact. Someone outside your home can only see up toward the ceiling. Horizontal blinds with smaller slats release less light when left open.

Final Thoughts

As we finish this discussion, here’s a key point: blinds can do a great job at keeping your home away from curious looks. From the material to the type and even how you angle them, there’s a lot you can do to boost your privacy. So, when the night falls and you close your blinds, you can be sure you’re creating a private space for yourself.

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