Blackout Materials


Blackout Materials

  • Block Stray or Unwanted Light
  • Build Light-Tight Structures
  • Protect Light-Sensitive Equipment



Thorlabs offers a complete selection of blackout materials that are designed for stray or ambient light control. They are not intended to be used as beam dumps.

Stray light can adversely affect photodetectors and experiments. These materials are especially beneficial when using high-gain detection equipment, such as in photon counting experiments, since high-gain detectors are easily saturated by room light. Blackout materials are also used in ellipsometry and certain polarimetry techniques, where ambient light produces signal modulations that adversely impact accuracy.


Blackout Materials Selection

  *  Black Rubberized Fabric
  *  Hard Construction Board
  *  Black Posterboard
  *  Black Flocked Self-Adhesive Paper
  *  Black Aluminum Foil
  *  Black Masking Tape
  *  High Performance Black Masking Tape


Blackout Material

* Rubberized Coating
* Double-Layered Use is Recommended for Extremely Sensitive Applications

This black rubberized fabric provides an easy method for protecting light-sensitive equipment, as the rubberized coating prevents light from penetrating through the weave of the fabric. Double-layer use is recommended for extremely sensitive applications. Please note that this material is not intended for use as a laser curtain since it is not flame retardant. The fabric has also not been tested for clean room compatibility.

We can cut this material into custom lengths (in yards) that fit your application.


Black Hardboard and Posterboard


  • Cuts Easily with Utility Knife
  • Build Light-Tight Boxes

TB4: This heavy-duty construction board, which measures 5 mm thick, consists of a dense foam core sandwiched between two plastic-coated, moisture-resistant cardboard outer layers (as seen in the photo to the right). The material cuts easily with a utility knife for construction of light-tight boxes. We recommend using our 2" (5 cm) wide black masking tape (T137-2.0, sold below) for corners and other joints to eliminate the passage of light through those areas. Custom sizes up to 48" x 48" (121.9 cm x 121.9 cm) are available upon request

TB5: These 1/16" thick panels are ideal for erecting light-tight enclosures. Simply score the board with a utility knife and fold to make light-tight corners.


Black Flocked Self-Adhesive Paper

  * Self-Adhesive
  * Does Not Shed Dust or Lint
  * 30" x 30" x 0.012" (76.2 cm x 76.2 cm x 0.305 mm) Without Backing

Image contrast can suffer due to stray light reaching the focal plane of many applications where the light path travels through a tube or other enclosed area. Applying a flat-black paint to the inside may help, but a textured matte-black surface is a much more effective light trap.

Flocked paper is a self-adhesive material made of many fine fibers. When looked at from low angles, it absorbs virtually 100% of the light that strikes it. The fibers will not shed dust or lint, unlike some velvet and felt materials. The approximate compressed thickness of the flocked paper is 0.015" (0.381 mm) with the backing and 0.012" (0.305 mm) without the backing.

Caution: Do not cut the BFP1 black flocked paper with a laser cutting tool, as the BFP1 burns easily and may catch fire. It is suggested that you use a utility knife or other sharp edged tool to cut the BFP1.


Black Aluminum Foil


  • Ideal for Masking Light Leaks and Eliminating Unwanted Reflections
  • Highly Flexible, Lightweight, and Corrosion Resistant
  • Use with a Wide Range of Radiation Sources (Including X-Ray and UV)

This black foil material is mainly used to block out light. It has a matte black finish to absorb light from any ambient or conventional light source. The foil is ideal for masking light leaks and eliminating unwanted reflections. It can be molded quickly to form blackout covers, dark rooms, laser channels, or other configurations. Lightweight, yet durable, it can be quickly positioned in place with tape, staples, or adhesives.


Black Masking Tape


  • Paper-Based Masking Tape for General Purpose or Blackout Applications
  • Aluminum Foil Tape for Total Blackout Applications
  • Can be Torn by Hand and Removed Easily Without Leaving Residue

we offers two types of black masking tape and an aluminum foil tape. All types of tape can be torn by hand, are easy to remove, and do not leave residue. The T137-1.0 and T137-2.0 black masking tape can be used for general applications. For applications requiring minimal ambient light transmission, a high-performance black masking tape (T743-1.0 or T743-2.0) is recommended. For total blackout requirements or high-power applications, we offer a non-reflective, flame-retardant aluminum tape (T205-1.0 or T205-2.0). This foil tape has been tested to withstand up to 10 seconds of exposure from a 20 W, Ø6 mm, 10.6 µm laser beam.


Our Mission is to accelerate the advancement of optical technology for precision measurements and their applications from the table tops of research laboratories to standard use in communication and high technology industries. Our aim is to serve our customers. Our hope is to create a place for highly skilled people in an open environment

contact us

Tel               +966 35823441
Fax               +966 35823441
Egypt Mobile  +2 0120 7577664
KSA Mobile     +966 545 991188
Email             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.