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What Is Electrochromic Glass?

What Is Electrochromic Glass?

From smartwatches to smartphones, it seems like everywhere we look, people are adding “smart” technology to day-to-day life. In the window tinting and window film industry, this trend has arrived. “Smart glass” is a new technology that allows the user to turn glass opaque when needed, and clear when not — providing exceptional versatility in the window film market. Here’s how it works.

The Science Behind Smart Glass

“Smart glass” is the street name for electrochromic glass. This glass allows the user to switch a button on a wall or a smartphone app to control the amount of light and heat passing through the window. The glass can be completely transparent or tinted to reduce light and heat, without the need to fumble with blinds and curtains. Some can also be set to block light while maintaining a view.

Electrochromic glass windows work by passing low-voltage electrical charges across an electrochromic coating on the surface of the glass. When activated, the electrochromic layer changes from clear to opaque, and will maintain this color once the color change is in effect. When the user wants to change to clear, another charge will reverse the change. No additional electricity is required to maintain either color.

For those who want this technology but do not want to invest in all new windows for their facilities, electrochromic film is a great option. This film covers existing windows and uses the same basic technology to create glass that turns opaque, without actually having to change your windows.

The Future of This Technology

Smart windows may feel like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the technology is very real and currently being used in a number of applications. However, like most technology, electrochromic windows are continuing to evolve.

Electrochromic windows have two main drawbacks: First, the darkening of the window filters light, but does not create full privacy. People can still see in the windows. Also, these windows can take up to 10 minutes to fully switch.

For this reason, researchers have developed a new technology called polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) technology. PDLC windows combine polymers and liquid crystal materials to provide full privacy and the ability to switch in less than an instant. This is the technology that Rayno Window Film uses to create switchable glass using our privacy glass film.

Rayno PDLC Film

Rayno brings a PDLC smart window film to the market that uses innovative sponge construction. This allows for great flexibly in both design and application, allowing the film to be applied to any window that has adequate electrical current. The result is a surface that, when opaque, can be used as a projection screen while also blocking 99 percent of UV rays and 65 percent of infrared rays. The film comes in a variety of colors and uses only a small amount of electricity to run — making it an effective and efficient way to add privacy and tinting to your facility’s windows.

Whether you are looking to create a projection-worthy surface on your office window or want to make your clear shower door opaque when in use, our switchable film is the answer. Contact a Rayno Window Film installer in your area to learn more about our smart film options or to get a quote for having this film installed at your facility.