Shutters up or down for light? You’d think plantation shutters would be relatively straightforward. From the outside they look simple and easy to operate, but as our post about how to open shutters demonstrated, there’s a lot of choices to make behind the scenes. Today we’d like to demonstrate when and why you would tilt your shutters louvers closed with illustrated by pictures of tier on tier shutter installations completed by The Shutter Studio over the past year.
The first thing to note is that the louvres tilted ‘upwards’ is considered the closed position. When shutters have a tilt rod, you can see the closed position by the nodules cut into the panel at the top, where the tilt rod is supposed to sit when closed. Some shutters will also come with a nodule at the bottom for the tilt rod to sit when closed, but most of the time only the closed position is given. Shutters are most effective at blocking out light in this position as they will fit together with an gentle click and redirect any remaining light from outside towards the ceiling, rather than into your room.
In the above picture the slats are tilted downwards – a position that would usually be considered open. This positioning directs sunlight into the room rather than towards the ceiling and is better for bringing light into the room. In this open position you’ll find the louvres don’t sit tightly against each other; blocking out less light during the day and night. Tilting the shutters all the way down is a good position to leave your shutters in if you’d prefer not to adjust them with the light. This will bring light into the room at all times, but mitigate the effects of the glaring midday sun.
On the other hand, with the louvres tilting up, anyone looking into the home would only see the slats. This reflects light into the top of the room but does provide more privacy. Leaving your shutters in this half closed position will provide more privacy for overlooked rooms and, we find, makes the room warmer. This is because warm air rising in the room is less likely to become trapped behind the shutters and more likely to circulate through the room. For the best of both worlds, tier on tier shutters are fantastic as they allow you to close the bottom shutters for privacy and keep the top shutters open for light.
Unfortunately the trade off between light and privacy is something that you have to balance for yourself. But if you want to maximise the light coming into the room without opening the louvres completely, tilt the shutters downwards to bring as much light into the room as possible. You may even find that directing the light in this way, especially with white shutters, brings more light into the room than before.