I can either see or breathe.
July 11, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Is there any kind of substance that can block out light, but not block out air currents? Allow me to explain.

In what is an ongoing quest to Get Enough God-Damned Sleep, I've discovered that I'm kind of sensitive to light; if it's too bright, I have trouble getting to sleep. However -- I'm also sensitive to temperature; if it's too hot, I have trouble getting to sleep.

I got some great blinds that do a great job of blocking out all the light from the streets around me, and they worked a treat. However -- I have to worry about cooling my room down enough in the summer now. Fortunately, I have a fan in one bedroom window, and I have the other window open on a screen. That gets the room cool enough. But I have to open the blinds to let the air get into the room -- and that lets in too much light.

Is there some kind of screen of any kind I could put over the fan that would mask the light, but NOT mask the air? I've been thinking through it and it just seems like a crazy Catch-22, but wanted to check with people who may know a bit more than me. Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Isn't this where sleep masks come in? Had the same problem years ago & sleep masks did the trick.
posted by ouke at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have you tried putting something on the outside of the window like an awning, shutters, etc that has enough space for airflow but would block most of the light before it even hits the window?
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 12:01 PM on July 11, 2011


I use a window fan like this. It's half the height of a box fan so I can keep the blind down most of the way (to the top of the fan). Since one side can be fresh air and one can be exhaust, you don't really need to have another window open. If it's really stuffy you can turn both sides on fresh air, then crack the other window an inch or two. Some light does come in via the grills.

This might be a horrible suggestion, but have you considered a small window air conditioner? That will keep your room cool and let you have the blinds closed. The drawback is the electricity consumption, and potentially not getting fresh air.
posted by cabingirl at 12:07 PM on July 11, 2011


This sounds a little wacky, but what about two sets of black blinds? Tilt the slats one way on one set of blinds, another way on the second. Maybe spraypaint them a dull primer black. Or have horizontal blinds and then vertical blinds. You could do the first set as "in-window" and the second set as overhanging the window.

I think this will still lower your airflow.
posted by adipocere at 12:10 PM on July 11, 2011


Not perfect, but you could replace your screens with light-blocking window "solar screen" material. I installed these in one room that gets some undesirable sun, and it makes a big difference. It may not be total enough for you, but it should be a step in the right direction.
posted by adamrice at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're dealing with the light problem in our apartment now, and sleep masks are proving to be a great help. I'll be buying one of these in the near future.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:12 PM on July 11, 2011


Seconding solar screens--they're just a replacement for the wire mesh screen on your windows (you may not have them at all). They're intended for energy efficiency if a room gets too much sun, and really do make a room darker.
posted by resurrexit at 12:25 PM on July 11, 2011


I'd go with the sleep mask.
posted by deezil at 12:26 PM on July 11, 2011


Isn't this where sleep masks come in? Had the same problem years ago & sleep masks did the trick.
posted by ouke at 12:00 PM on July 11

We're dealing with the light problem in our apartment now, and sleep masks are proving to be a great help.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:12 PM on July 11

I'd go with the sleep mask.
posted by deezil at 12:26 PM on July 11


...Oh yeah. Forgot about that option.

I'm an idiot. Thank you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:29 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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