When one undertakes an office design, it is important to know how to utilize and control the sunlight during the day. Blinds are the most popular choice of solar shading for an office environment for many reasons.
They are an attractive window treatment that offer a modern, functional and reasonably affordable way to update your office decor. With various colors, sizes and materials available this treatment can update your office space easily and are sure to look attractive and professional. In comparison to curtains they have several clear-cut advantages that make them a better investment for your office both in the short and long term.
If you want to control light and heat, reduce unwanted noise and maintain privacy then blinds are the perfect window treatment for your office.
Before purchasing blinds, one must decide their type, in keeping with the office design, layout, colour and budget. It is also important to consider the setup of the office lighting, both internal and external and how this might affect the blind material and whether to use blackout, dimout or voile blinds. They come in a wide variety of styles, materials and patterns, they can be vertical, horizontal or roller and are easily fitted to the window recess which is ideal for limited space.
This article will cover the following topics:
Vertical Louvre blinds are made to control the light from left to right and are easy to open fully by drawing them to one side of the window. They can be found in most modern offices and are characterized by vertical slats of various widths. Their notable strong point is versatility over light control, offering close to full blackout solutions to virtually full light exposure. They are perfect for offices with large floor to ceiling windows and come in an array of finishes, colors and coatings including – flame retardant, solar protection and anti-bacterial.
Horizontal or Venetian blinds are made to control the sunlight going up and down, to fully open these blinds a pull string or continuous chain is used to raise the slats to the top of the window recess or at intermediate heights to get the optimum amount of light into the office. The materials utilized are either aluminum, PVC or wood in a variety of sizes and are often found in executive offices due to the sleek finish they provide, although they are less likely to be fitted to large windows and are unable to match vertical blinds in terms of blackout or subtle gradations of allowable light.
Roller blinds can be rolled up and down either fully or partially for light control, although translucent materials will allow the entry of light through whilst maintaining privacy. As opposed to slats which control the light with horizontal or vertical blinds, roller blinds are often the preferred choice in office spaces often used for total blackout solutions with the addition of cassettes and side channels, such as presentation rooms. They have a variety of material finishes based on meeting the needs of the building, such as solar protective coatings, flame retardancy and anti-bacterial coatings. They could be easily branded with a company logo or pattern, are ideal for a motorised solution and even hidden from view when fully retracted using our innovative Blind Box system.
Tensioned Roller Blinds are an excellent option for roof or ceiling windows, and downward / upward raising / sloping scenarios. They can be operated via removable crank handle for smaller openings and via motor for larger openings. Blinds are tensioned either by constant tension spring or a second motor depending on the size of the blind. They can also be completely enclosed in a cassette with side channels to create total blackout where required and are great when you need very large areas covered as blinds can be manufactured to very wide widths and very long lengths. Again, there is a large range of fabrics to meet the required needs. (Our Longest Blind)
Pleated, Cellular or Honeycomb shades offer privacy, insulation and light control and function in a similar way to horizontal blinds but do not offer the ability to tilt the panels or slats to control the light or view. This does make them one of the least versatile window treatment options however; they are an excellent way to control sunlight even on large windows. Two fabrics can be used on one shade allowing an unhindered view during the day as well as privacy at night. Cellular or Honeycomb pleated blinds are incredibly energy efficient reducing heat loss and heat gain due to the honeycomb-shaped air pockets and come in various light filtering materials, they are also good for sound insulation. These blinds are a good solution for roof or ceiling windows, which are ideal solutions to achieve optimum working conditions, including the prevention of glare on computer screens. They are cost-effective and can be drawn across an opening as much as required to give differing levels of solar screening. Different fabrics available range from translucent to heat reflective to blackout.
When it comes to controlling the sunlight, it greatly depends on the direction the windows face and how the sunlight penetrates the room. The effective light reduction properties of solar shading help in protecting wood floors, carpets and furnishings from fading and discoloring from sunlight.
The fabric utilized can make a difference since fabrics are made of different materials and color, which can darken or lighten the room, cool or heat up the room, give daytime privacy or full privacy and create an atmosphere. For this reason, a blind shading expert should be contracted to advise you in the ideal solution for your office space. Our team maintain a skilled and efficient approach but are never too busy to have a friendly discussion regarding specific requirements.
There are several ways to operate blinds and this will also affect your decision. Chain or cord operation is the most common and cheapest, but must comply with child safety regulations where there could be children or vulnerable people present at any time. Crank handle, wand or electric operation is often a solution for this. Crank handles are also great for operating large blinds or blinds out of reach and can be removed and stored out of the way to restrict users if required. Wand operation for pleated blinds is also a good solution for operating blinds out of reach.
Electric operation is becoming very popular in the office and home, it is also good for operating blinds out of reach where a crank handle or wand won’t extend to, and where restriction of control is required. Blinds can be operated via a switch, hand held remote, home automation control (including from your phone), AV control for office board rooms and conference facilities, or full building control systems to gain the maximum effect of using the blinds for privacy and reducing heat gain on building elevations. Again, expert advice is recommended please get in touch to discuss.
Office buildings that consider health and safety can go for flame retardant blind materials, solar protective and anti-bacterial coatings. There are also safety standards for blind cords, although this is more to protect children from accidents, maybe not a necessity for most offices but something to consider if they could present a hazard.
Another aspect that may be overlooked is the cleaning of blinds and solar shading. Horizontal blinds can collect dust and the fabric of vertical, pleated, cellular and roller blinds can stain easily. So, for this reason horizontal blinds can be more cost-effective in the long term, although they will need regular cleaning. Vertical blinds are easily maintained due to replacement panels if needed. Overall, they offer more benefits than curtains in cleaning, maintenance and even fitting.
Businesses, no matter what their size, need to worry about the safety and security of their employees as well as their locations and equipment. Companies all over the world spend billions each year on security systems, guards, special equipment and software meant to bring added security to their buildings. One item often overlooked are window treatments. Although blinds may seem like a small aspect, they can actually have a big impact when it comes to making the most of a company’s security budget.
Well-constructed and fitted blinds can be more effective than even tinted windows in terms of keeping burglars from seeing into offices. This makes the building less vulnerable to vandalism and burglary since criminals are simply not able to see whether the office is ‘worth the trouble’. These blinds coupled with professional security systems mean that criminals will be more likely to leave your office alone.
Office blinds offer this extra protection as well as looking modern and professional. No matter where you are, privacy blinds can become another effective part of a security system while enhancing the look and impression you want to give your office.
One of reasons why businesses invest in blinds is to maintain a level of privacy, not just for external windows, but also for internal windows and doors. They are great for office spaces such as meeting rooms or managerial offices. Vertical and horizontal blinds can be used for this function as the panels can be easily tilted, allowing some external light in, whilst still maintaining a level of privacy.
There are several material options for office blinds. For instance, aluminum or metal horizontal blinds offer many benefits. They may not look as aesthetically pleasing as wooden blinds, but they are very lightweight, resilient and sturdy. They are resistant to flames, easy to clean, waterproof and offer functionality, durability and affordability.
There are several attractive finishes available including baked on enamel, brushed metal as well as anti-static finishes which repel dust and alleviate the need for cleaning. Compared to other materials metal blinds have a longer lifespan which not only makes them well worth their cost, but means you get higher quality for a more reasonable price. If you need to install window coverings for wet areas then metal blinds are the best option, whereas wooden blinds are prone to fading and weakening over the long term due to exposure to sun and heat. If they come into direct contact with water, it will only enhance the damage they endure.
Fabric blinds are available in every color, pattern and design that you can think of. They also come in various thicknesses that offer different levels of light ingress. Companies wishing to align their solar shading with the office color scheme and branding would be directed towards the fabric option and there are more styles of blinds that accommodate this material. Specialist textiles include blackout /dim out or energy-saving thermal efficient fabrics which are made from specially formulated materials.
The building façade must make a lasting impression. The first part of the office that greets guests and clients is the face of the building. Therefore, it is very important to make it truly appealing. By doing so, you are bound to make a lasting impression.
The availability of different types of blinds facilitates buyers to choose the best for their office rooms. However, the choice will depend on the level of sunlight needed in each office and the size of the windows along with personal preferences over aesthetic considerations. There are numerous places to purchase blinds, although the criteria to keep in mind and the issues mentioned above can only be covered by an experienced professional.