How Long Does Smart Glass Last?

The longevity of switchable glass and film varies depending on the supplier, where it is installed, how well it is protected and what it is exposed to across its lifetime. Our smart glass and smart film are high quality and durable, but we cannot say the same for every PDLC film product on the market. When purchasing smart glass from Smart Glass Country, you can expect it to last 20 to 30 years and about 10-20 years for our smart film product.  

Factors that impact the lifespan of our switchable glass products:

The Lifespan of Smart Glass

Our smart glass is laminated and tempered safety glass that is made with high quality products. This enhances its longevity and performance and our smart glass lasts at least 100,000 hours when powered on (in the transparent state). If your glass were powered on half of the time, this would equate to about 23 years. 

Location


Where your smart glass is located can have an impact on its longevity. Smart glass that is used internally versus externally (outdoors) tends to have a longer lifespan as it is not exposed to the elements. We do not recommend installing our smart film product outdoors.

Sun Exposure

Smart glass and film are popular choices for windows with sun exposure because they cut the glare from sunlight when switched to opaque and block 99% of UV and IR light. As with curtains and blinds, privacy glass and film may undergo slight changes in color with sun exposure over time and the switchable PDLC layer may yellow slightly with increased sun exposure.This effect is more pronounced with our smart film product than smart glass. In general, switchable glass that is exposed to direct or indirect sunlight will be fine as long as it is good quality. 

However, if the electrical components are low quality they may undergo sun damage. For example, the busbar is applied to the PDLC film using a silver paste. If it is not applied correctly, it can crack when exposed to UV rays and cause the smart glass or film to fail. 


Use

Our switchable glass and film last about 100,000 hours when powered on, so how often it is in use must also be taken into consideration. 


Sealing Switchable Glass & Film Against Moisture


After installing and wiring smart glass or film it is important to seal the edges with a neutral cure silicone. This protects the film and electrical components against moisture. Any skips in the sealant bead may lead to staining of the panels. 

Care must be taken to observe the condition of the sealant throughout its lifetime. Sealant must be replaced if it becomes moldy or mildew stained, or if the sealant fails to provide an adequate moisture barrier to the switchable panel. Water penetration damages are irreparable and not covered by warranty. 


How Long Does Smart Film Last?

Smart film has a lifetime of more than 10 years. After 10 years pass, the film may begin to yellow (depending on sun exposure), though this effect is not very noticeable unless it is side by side with clear glass.

Smart film does not have the same lifespan as our smart glass because it is not protected by the glass. With our smart glass product, the switchable layer is sandwiched between two pieces of laminated and tempered safety glass that act as a barrier against moisture and other potential damage. The way smart film is installed and maintained has a significant impact on it’s lifespan. Thus, our warranty for our smart glass is up to five years and our warranty for our smart film is one year.

Conclusion

Over the last decade many developments have improved the durability of PDLC film products. However, quality can vary dramatically from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is important to choose the right supplier.

With proper installation, maintenance and care, smart glass and film offer privacy on demand for a long time and will never go out of style, collect dust and germs or require expensive dry cleaning, unlike other window treatments. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have and get started on your order today.


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