What Is Smart Glass and What Does It Do?

Smart glass goes from transparent to opaque with the application of electrical current. This makes it a great window treatment because it is like having curtains or blinds built into the glass. Read this article to learn more about switchable glass.

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What Is Smart Glass?

Smart glass is a special type of glass that goes from clear to frosted when powered on and off, making it one of the most intelligent building materials available. Smart glass is made by sandwiching PDLC film between two pieces of glass.

Smart glass goes by many other names such as switch glass, light control glass, privacy glass, PDLC glass and switchable glass. While the names may vary, the technology works the same way. The polymer dispersed liquid crystals alter the amount of light transmitted through the glass, making them appear clear with the application of electrical current and opaque in its absence.

This innovative technology helps meet the increasing design demands for multifunctional, efficient and modern spaces equipped with smart technologies. Balance openness and natural light with privacy. Smart glass can be used for windows, walls, doors and partitions and is completely customizable. Any type of glass can be made switchable, even bent glass. Smart glass is energy efficient and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for offices, commercial spaces, schools and medical facilities.

What Does Smart Glass Do?

Smart glass goes from transparent to opaque when turned on and off, so the most obvious benefit of smart glass is having privacy at your fingertips. However, smart glass also has other properties and features that make it an incredibly valuable product.

  • Smart glass has soundproofing properties because it is made by placing the switchable film between two pieces of laminated and tempered glass. 
  • It is also safety glass and acts as a barrier against forced entry. 
  • Smart glass improves energy efficiency by blocking UV and IR light.
  • Privacy glass can also be used as a rear projection screen or whiteboard, a feature that is popular in home theatres, conference rooms and classrooms.

With all of these advantages it’s not surprising that more and more people are opting for smart glass over regular glass. 

How Does Smart Glass Work?

Smart glass and film contain tiny liquid crystals that align with the application of electricity, making the glass look transparent. In the absence of an electrical current these crystals randomly orient and scatter the light, making the glass look milky and opaque.

Where Is Smart Glass Used?

Smart glass is becoming increasingly popular across a variety of applications. You can find it anywhere from offices to hospitals and home residences. This is because it is an extremely versatile product. Any type of glass can be made switchable (X ray glass, triple insulated glass units, low iron glass, curved glass and much more!). If you already have glass installed, you can opt to install smart film instead. Smart film is applied to the surface of existing glass to transform it into switchable glass. 

Once installed, there are a number of ways to control privacy glass. You can wire the glass to go from clear to frosted with a wall switch, button, remote control, smartphone, home automation system or voice command. 

Is Smart Glass Right For You?

While the cost of smart glass may seem expensive at about $100 per square foot, if you factor in the cost of purchasing and installing standard glass and purchasing other window treatments it is not so costly, especially if you are ordering a special type of glass such as noise reduction glass or bent glass to begin with. 

For many commercial and residential products, the advantages of smart glass make it a worthwhile purchase. At smart glass country, we offer the best quality smart glass on the market at competitive prices. All of our products are manufactured in North America for quality control and faster lead times. Interested in ordering smart glass for your project? Contact us today and share your project details for a free quote. 

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