Shedding light on shutters

One of the greatest benefits of shutters is the simplicity and effectiveness of light and privacy control they enable.

With a simple tilt of the louvres, you can let in more or less natural light, and direct this light. The maneuvering of the louvres is either done by a tilt / push rod or in the case of AMERICAN shutters’ Security Shutters, a hidden ‘Gear Tilt’ system which nullifies the need for a rod allowing for an uninterrupted view between the louvres.

“Although much focus is placed on the width and operation of the louvres, when it comes to light block, there are a few critical design features that need to be considered and compared,’ says Duncan Snyman, managing director of AMERICAN shutters. “The spacing between the louvres and the shutter stile i.e. the upright panel to which the louvres are attached, needs to be perfectly designed to let through as little light as possible yet still ensure smooth operation.” In addition, there must be a snug fit between the top and bottom louvres and the top and bottom shutter rails to prevent a strip of light being allowed through; something the ‘Gear Tilt’ system prevents beautifully as no tilt rod needs to be accommodated.

“Various configurations present varying light filtration challenges, and it is in how the shutters are designed and installed to overcome these challenges that reveals their true quality.

Bi-Fold shutters comprise a number of shutter panels connected together by hinges to create a folding system. This configuration is a popular choice for patio doors and large windows. To operate, the hinges require space between the stiles, and if not accommodated for in the design, this results in long vertical strips of light being allowed to penetrate the space.

Rabbet stiles have a channel that allows the stiles to interconnect and lock together tightly. All AMERICAN shutters’ ranges have overlapping rabbet stiles for improved light block and privacy. This design feature reduces the amount of light allowed to penetrate the closed shutters and creates a seamless design.

The operation of the louvres on a shutter panel can be split into different segments or louvre banks to give homeowners an unprecedented amount of control over light, ventilation and privacy. This split allows you to close the bottom section for privacy whilst maintaining your view and ventilation with the top section open. This is achieved in one of two ways; a horizontal mid-rail to separate the two different louvre banks, or the louvres can be divided into two separate operating banks, the latter is unique to AMERICAN shutters because of the ‘Gear Tilt’ mechanism. Either option allows the client to stipulate their preferred height for the split.

Although they do not offer 100% light block, whether it’s keeping cool on a hot summer afternoon or allowing the warm winter sun inside, shutters are a versatile, effective window and door finish to manage the natural lighting of a home.

Window To Design
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