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Archive for July 2010

Many phone calls these days have been about cutting the sun’s heat pouring into rooms that have SKYLIGHTS. Nothing is easier if you install a cellular shade to cover that space.

But that means people are measuring a space that might be fairly high up in the ceiling! You definitely want accuracy in those instances, even with the purchase of our measuring insurance.

Our Cellular Windows Team has been putting together new instructions in order to give a bit more guidance in obtaining these crucial measurements. All you need is a metal measuring tape (or one of the new line of handy digital measuring devices), a ladder if your skylight is high off the floor, a pencil and our handy Measuring Guide (for skylights) [skylightmeasuringguide072010] for noting down your measurements (this is where a second person might come in handy).

Each skylight will require three measurements for the WIDTH, three measurements for the LENGTH, and two diagonal measurements to gauge the opening’s squareness:

  • WIDTH: Measure the exact inside measurement (to the nearest 1/8; round DOWN, if necessary) in three places — top, middle, and bottom. The measurement you will want to order is the NARROWEST width measurement.
  • LENGTH: Measure the exact inside distance from the top of the window to the sill (to the nearest 1/8; round down, if necessary) in three places — left, middle, and right. The measurement you will want to order is the SHORTEST length measurement (this is to accommodate the length of the side retainer rails).
  • To ensure a proper fit, take time to measure diagonally (top right corner to bottom left corner; and top left corner to bottom right corner). If those two measurements differ by more than a 1/4-inch you will need to shim your opening when installing the retainer track (ie, the side rails).

Measure at the point you wish the skylight shade to be installed — and remember: Do not place the shade directly up against the skylight’s glass, but leave 1- to 4-inches from the face of the glass. This air pocket actually helps in the total insulation process!

Questions?? Leave Our Team a Comment! We will get your answer online as soon as possible.

Now that we’ve grabbed your attention with the idea of saving some $$$ with the purchase of a skylight shade — let’s discuss a few terms and talk about exactly what you receive when you buy a CellularWindowShades skylight blind.

Talking on the phone with customers, I confused one by using what here, at, is a pretty interchangeable term: Skylight and Balcony Shade. They are one and the same, so don’t be put off when we switch terminology on you!

CellularWindowShades manufacturers your actual shades, but Comfortex, the company who makes the fabric and parts, has what they call the SYMPHONY line of Cellular Shades. That’s why you find colors with names like Alto, Cadenza, Aida; and the rather quaintly-spelled Chordless lift mechanism — they all relate to musical terms and vocabulary.

So now that you know, whether talking SKYLIGHT SHADE or BALCONY SHADE (or even Balcony Skylight Shade!), we are all on the same page as far as product goes, what arrives at your home or business when you order a Skylight Shade from

The typical application has the shade opening from the bottom, upwards, as in this picture above. You can see that the “pleats’ of the honeycomb fabric (a LIGHT FILTERING fabric in this instance) runs horizontally across the shade.

You can think of the entire unit as being made up of a set (on the left and right) of “tracks” and a cellular shade, with a head and bottom rail. Here’s how it all fits together to work in bettering your energy savings, year-around:

The POLYCARBONATE track system is heavy-duty and provides superior insulation (as well as light blocking). There are color-coordinated inserts for these tracks:


The shade itself is best seen in this exploded view:

Here you see the brackets, at top and bottom, that do all the work and actually attach your Balcony shade into the well of the skylight. The moving middle bar — with its central handle — is where fingers or our Balcony Pole attaches in order to move the shade up and down (ie, open or close).

We get a fair amount of calls, from customers wondering what those Balcony Poles look like — well, we can satisfy such curiosity here! The poles themselves, in a 6-foot and a 12-foot model, telescope out to those lengths, depending on the height required for reaching your skylight(s). The attachment for this model of blind looks rather like a cork-screw with a finger on the end. But rather than listening to me describe here’s a couple of pictures to speak where mere words fail:

The pole end screws onto the pole and the “finger” will grasp on to the handle. An easy push upwards, and the shade opens! An easy pull downwards, and it’s closed. Simple as that!

Still uncertain about purchasing a Skylight shade from CellularWindowShades? Ask for our working model – it comes with all the parts and an actual shade. Details on how to order working models for any of our shade products can be found on our website.

People all over the US have been experiencing heatwave after heatwave this last month. Will it ever end?

So wilting heat gives a perfect opportunity to discuss ENERGY savings, for “energy” isn’t just expended when those up north heat in the winter — COOLING costs also are a significant cost during warm-weather months all over the country.

QUESTION: So how do CELLULAR shades reduce air conditioning costs??

ANSWER: In the same manner, they save you from drafts in the winter, Cellular Window Shades keep the beating sun and warming effects of the daytime from entering your home in the first place. Here’s how:

Adding Cellular Shades to your windows adds an EXTRA LAYER of protection because the “pockets” — those little honeycomb cells — trap air and act as a barrier to cold air leaking in from outside in the winter months and hot air leaking through in the summer months. The fabric also blocks direct sunlight and those harmful UV rays, all without ever FADING!

More info in our next installment…

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

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