At least 50% of harmful UVA rays caused by the sun pass through windows. Fortunately, digital window tints and electrochromic glass options offer an effective solution. Electrically controlled window tint becomes mirror-like and opaque when activated, keeping unwanted sunlight and prying eyes out of any room. Benefits of this technology include enhanced privacy protection for sensitive meetings; decreased damage and discomfort from excessive sunlight; and cooler indoor temperatures.
Smart Windows: How Do They Work?
Glass is an incredible material. Without it, all of our buildings and homes would be dark, dingy, and largely uninspiring. However, it also lets in enormous amounts of light and heat from the sun, whether you want it or not. This results in a waste of energy, a waste of money, and harm to the environment.
This is why curtains and blinds are used in homes and offices. And in a bedroom setting, curtains can be decorative and welcome. After all, they’re beautiful and can be made to match the decor of the room. But in a more serious work environment, not only would pretty curtains be inappropriate, but they could be an inconvenience.
Fortunately, modern scientific advancements have made possible a new type of glass with an automatic electrically controlled window tint. The way this works will depend on the type of glass in question.
Some types of smart glass start out looking like ordinary windows. Thanks to a dark blue tint application, these windows become impossible to see through. But when an electrical current is applied, they begin to shift to a lighter blue color that lets in more light. After a few minutes, they become almost completely transparent and look just like normal, clear windows.
Other types of smart glass simply grow darker in the presence of sunlight. Others automatically darken and become translucent, so light isn’t blocked out altogether. This is particularly beneficial in office spaces where natural light is needed to boost employee morale. Still, others perform this process, not depending on the outside light levels, but on digital controls manipulated by the inhabitants of the building or office.
Stick-On Electrochromic Film
Smart windows are usually installed as self-contained units. Of course, this involves the expensive necessity of replacing entire windows.
Instead, you can have qualified technicians simply upgrade existing windows by applying an electrically controlled smart window tint over them.
Electrically controlled window tint comes in the form of thin, self-adhesive, stick-on electrochromic film. After being applied to standard windows, it can be switched on and off using a simple smartphone app. Naturally, this process can also be automated to respond to the weather and the time of day, depending on the mobile app.
The electrochromic film uses a technology similar to that of an LCD display. It utilizes liquid crystals under very precise electronic control to manipulate the amount of light that can pass through.
When electrical current is fed into the film, switching the product on, the crystals line up, acting just like microscopic blinds being opened. This allows light to be streamed right through, so you can see through the window.
When the current is removed, switching the product off, the crystals will automatically reorient themselves in random patterns. This causes the window film to turn an opaque shade.
This is an impressive display that you really have to see to believe. Window film should let in around 98% of available light when switched on, which is almost completely clear. They switch to their opaque setting in less than one second, and then the light they let in is diminished down to about one-third of available light.