Windows on the World
It may seem as if glass windows have been in use forever. The reality is quite different, when you consider that the first use of glass for windows was by the Romans in 100 AD. However, this primitive glass was so thick it was impossible to see through it.
In England, glass became common in the windows of homes by the early 17th century. In the developing world glass windows were used. Prior to that it may be of interest to know, windows were made of animal horns that were flattened to protect interiors from the elements. Around the 14th century windows were made with panes made of flattened animal horns.
In the new world in 1607 Jamestown settlers relied on whatever materials they found to cover windows such as animal hides, gunny sacks and woven reeds. By the 19th century, the American west relied on greased paper, buffalo and deer hide and burlap for windows.
The Wonders of Windows
Windows play a very important role in all our daily lives. The choices of window styles today enhance home and building values appreciably. However, windows serve a significant purpose which not only retains warmth in cold temperatures but also cools interiors, reduces harmful UV rays and keeps out unwanted pests.
Thus, windows are esthetically pleasing and highly functional. Today windows have added features. A glass window needn’t be just a glass window. It can multi-task as a way to lower the cost of utilities while also aiding in the reduction of the consumption and use of energy.
Your choice of windows should be based on these considerations as well as durability and functionality of a glass window after installation.
Discover Electrochromic Film for Windows
Thought most individuals may not immediately recognize the word electrochromic, the technology is not new. It’s interesting to note the first demonstration of electrochromic technology was done in 1969 by S.K. Deb whose experimentation with electrochromic coloration for film open the doors to this extraordinary smart tint technology.
It was a short leap to using this technology for photography and for optical lenses. If glass for lenses could detect changes in light, the next step was to coat window glass with film for new and existing windows to create the smart window tint we know today.
The Electrochromic (EC) Process
It’s important to know how electrochromic switchable smart window film or switchable smart film is created as well as the reasons why it is so beneficial.
There are different types of EC glass. As many have already observed, some EC glass darkens when it detects bright light as we see it through sunglasses. Other EC glass darkens and becomes translucent. While still other EC glass is opaque and is mirror reflective. Some switchable smart window film is created to fit existing glass (with liquid crystal), and in some cases switchable privacy glass is created through special window treatments with lithium ions and polymer lamination.
The basic process to develop EC film is to coat multiple layers of a glass pane as the base material with a thin layer of metal oxides, using lithium ions and low voltage. The low voltage contacts are transparent to the human eye. This creates EC film and this process allows glass to change as it detects varying degrees of sunlight.
Why Smart Glass is Smart
Electrochromic film for windows is often referred to as smart film because it can do what ordinary film cannot. It has the ability to decrease sunlight and harmful UV rays while it also reduces energy consumption. As an added feature, it also protects furnishings and fabrics from fading.
Ordinary glass lets in massive amounts of sunlight and provides only limited shade protection even when windows are covered with draperies, curtains and blinds.
Over time ordinary windows become drafty and the glass panes begin thinning as a result of exposure to the elements and temperatures.
Smart window film makes sense for an existing window because it reduces thinning of glass by keeping temperature exposures in check. A smart window with EC tint reduces light transmission and provides instant privacy in areas like bathrooms and bedrooms. A smart window keeps heat in balance even when solar heat is the energy of choice.
Electrochromic Glass Film
EC glass film can be used for doors and can replace an electronic window shade. An electronic window shade is motorized. However, it offers none of the features or protections of electrochromic film.
Simply remove the electronic window shade and apply EC window film to the glass. Choose the self adhesive type, measure the area to be covered and peel off the backing and apply. This is the economical way to avoid replacing existing windows.
For budget-conscious individuals, electrochromic film is a big savings over prefabricated smart windows that frequently require professional installation that adds to the cost.
There are many reasons to invest in electrochromic film for windows for today’s homes and buildings. Personal comfort is a top priority at work or at home. Protecting the environment and one’s tangible assets are among other reasons.
Smart Film, an electrical switchable adhesive film, can be applied either to existing interior glass windows, doors and business partitions or to exterior windows.
EC film is perfect for existing windows when you need to upgrade. The ideal time to install electrochromic windows is before new building construction begins.
A licensed building contractor can provide supplies, installation and labor. This is usually discussed prior to the start of construction.
If you prefer, you can shop online for a reputable smart glass dealer and view many of the window styles available that are compatible with the overall style of the new home or building. For example, a traditional style home or building may find cross paned windows prefabricated with EC glass film preferable. A modern upscale home or building might prefer the look of large, wide windows for a more conventional style.
Additional features of smart glass include multiple remote control options with WiFi capability and also projection screen capabilities for business and home use.
The days of ordinary glass windows are past. The future of electrochromic film is wide open. Building designers are likely to have the most impact on advancements in EC film.
As demand grows for prudent use of energy consumption, the new normal may be incorporation of hi tech solar energy directives with greater reliance on electrochromic film for space craft and space age homes and buildings.
Want to learn more about electrochromic products? Check out these other awesome guides:
- What is Electrochromic Glass?
- What is Electrochromic Film?
- Electrochromic Film for Cars
- Where to Buy Electrochromic Film