Best Faux Windows for Your Home

faux-windowsDo you have a living space in your home without windows? A windowless space can feel claustrophobic. Even lots of cleverly-placed artificial lighting might not help to make the room feel as cheerful and bright as you want it to.

This is where faux windows can make all the difference. Faux or imitation windows are growing in popularity as a way to add light, depth, and style to rooms where real windows aren’t an option.

If you’re wondering why on earth you would want something fake in your home – think again! Modern technology means there are lots of different options to choose from.

What is a Faux Window?

Quite simply, a faux or imitation window is part of an interior wall that is designed in some way to look like a real window. It gives the impression of bringing an exterior view or natural light into a room that doesn’t have any real windows

Faux windows have been around for a lot longer than most people realize.  Back in the days before glass, windows were basically just ventilation slits in a wall, if they existed at all. Scenic paintings and tapestries were the only way to bring the outdoors inside.

In the modern era, public buildings and office blocks still contain pictures of landscape and ocean views to make up for the lack of windows. There are several proven health effects of viewing landscapes.

Nowadays, digital and lighting technology has combined the benefits of both art and light, to create some amazing imitation window effects. They can be installed in any room in the house, and are ideal to brighten up underground or subdivided rooms.

Types of Faux Windows

Faux windows can range from a painted or wooden frame placed around a picture or lighting effect, to digital prints with cleverly arranged lights shining on them, right on up to state-of-the-art LED panels.

faux-window-wall-artSome people like to add window treatments to their faux windows to enhance the effect.

Whatever your sense of style or your budget, there are options to suit you.

LED Strip Light Faux Windows

This is a super-simple type of faux window that’s popular with DIYers. One of the least expensive methods is to mount LED lights onto a plywood surface, cover in fabric, attach to the wall, and fit a blind or net curtain over the construction.

This is a simple and cost-effective way of making an underground space feel like an above-ground space.

Virtual Windows

Virtual windows consist of a faux window frame fitted with a digital print and an array of LED lights. The print is interchangeable, and homeowners can dress up the window with drapes or other decorations as they want.

These windows can vary in size depending on the room. Smaller virtual windows are suitable for basements, offices, and bathrooms, while larger ones are more suitable for your other living and bedroom spaces.

The less expensive models are not designed to be very realistic, but rather to add depth and light to the room.

Large Digital Picture Frames

These are framed, hi-res LED backlit flatscreens that can be wall-mounted and arranged to look like a faux window The flatscreen operates with a computer that can be placed anywhere within 50 feet of the display.

A large digital picture framework like the popular digital photo frames you can buy in electronics stores – it’s just a bigger, better version. Digital picture frames are available in a range of sizes and frame colors to suit your preference, and you can change your picture when you want.

Suspended Faux Windows

Suspended virtual windows are similar to digital picture frames, but they are designed so that the frame looks exactly like a window.

Some virtual windows are fitted with an Observer Location System. This tracks the observer’s position, and “repaints” the scene according to where the observer is standing.

Embedded Virtual Windows

Embedded virtual windows are recessed into an interior wall.

faux-led-windowMost walls are at least 4″ thick, and this space will be used to enhance the illusion that the window is real.

Real window frames and real glass are used in front of the virtual displays. Some windows of this type show a real-time image produced from a hi-res camera, mounted outside.  This allows people in the basement or other windowless room to see what is going on outside.

This type of window will require a building contractor to install, unlike the other types of faux window which are simply hung from the wall.  If the wall is load bearing, a header will have to be built into the framing, just like a real window. Any electric wiring will have to be moved as well.

Faux Window Prices

A faux window can be pretty much anything that’s designed to look like a window. Obviously, the prices vary hugely!

Here is a price range for the types of faux windows.

Window TypeSizePrice
LED strip light window30" x 50" About $100
Simple virtual window24" x 30" About $240
Large digital frame windowFrom 40" wide$1,500 - $3,000
Suspended virtual windowFrom 40" wideFrom $2,000
Embedded virtual windowFrom 40" wideFrom $20,000

Conclusion

If you want a faux window that will fool the keenest observer – you’re going to be disappointed. The most advanced (and priciest) digital windows and skylights currently on the market still look “faux” on close scrutiny – but they’re pretty amazing!

If you have a basement den or office that feels like a dungeon, faux windows can make you feel more connected to the outside world, and add light to the room. And you don’t have to stick to traditional forest or farmland scenes – you can have a window looking out onto Hobbiton, or the surface of another planet. Let your imagination run wild!