Love the look of big, open windows, but don’t love the lack of privacy? Aside from making your private business very public, leaving windows uncovered can absolutely kill your electric bill.
That’s because big windows let in light—a lot of it. This can be awesome in the winter, allowing that warming sunlight to generate a little free heat. However, letting all of that sunshine in during those summer months will heat up those same rooms. And having multiple fans, central air and other energy hogs won’t save you from that type of blistering heat!
Of course, you don’t have to opt for ugly curtains or even blinds. There are plenty of cool looking electronic window shades out there. But why block a great view when you don’t have to? There are also plenty of “smart glass” solutions. These windows are a perfect addition to the Electronic House, since they can actually tint at the touch of a button. They not only block out the sun, but can also give you a little privacy, when needed.
Looking for an alternative to those electronic window shades and other coverings? Check out these three smart glass solutions.
This WiFi-enabled window shade is insanely easy to install. That’s because you don’t have to take out any existing windows. Instead, you can just measure the window and cut the Sonte Film to size. It has an electrostatic cling adhesive back, which allows you peel and stick the Film right onto the glass. No electronic window shades are needed. Once it’s installed, just place the quarter-sized proprietary conducting clip on the Film and plug in the extra-slim cord to the WiFi-enabled transformer. From there, Sonte Film is paired to a smartphone app, so users can turn existing windows from opaque to clear in less than a second. As an added bonus, Sonte says that the Film can even double as a projection screen.
Want your shades lowered? Do it in seconds from a smartphone. Not sure if you locked the door when you left the house or left the garage door open? Again, it’s as easy as pressing a button on your smartphone.
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MSRP: Contact for pricing
For More Information: Sonte
Like Sonte Film, this option can be applied to any new or existing smooth glass surface. Once installed, you can switch the film from clear to frosted (opaque) with the click of a button—or the company’s smartphone app. The Self Adhesive option has peel-and-stick Smart Cling backing, while the Non Adhesive uses 3M double-sided clear tape (included). Both can deliver privacy and energy savings on demand that’s compatible with many home automation systems. Also worth mentioning is that the company offers a hardwired system, as well as DIY options in seven colors.
MSRP: Starts at $159
For More Information: Smart Tint
This company makes several smart glass solutions. The most expensive is switchable privacy glass, which replaces your existing windows. It comes in different colors, tints and coatings, with soundproofing available as an option as well. Lamination Film is designed for people that want the longevity of finished glass, but want to use existing windows. This option goes in between panes of glass, polycarbonate and/or other materials. And finally, the easiest solutions fall under the Self-Adhesive Electronic Privacy Film lineup. Available pre-cut by your dealer to your specifications or in a variety of easy-to-trim standard sizes, this option has clear adhesive backing that securely fastens to existing windows. All three options can be controlled through wall switches and dimmers, remote control kits, and/or apps for iOS and Android devices.
MSRP: Prices vary
For More Information: InvisiShade
Kelly R. Foster says
Rachel, good article but I wanted you, and your readers, to be aware of a Z-Wave device coming out from Aeon Labs. Its a Smart Film Hub that provides connectivity to connected films, and provides Z-Wave control of the shading/tilt and/or opacity. No word yet on “which” connected films, all my information states at this time is that it works with some “leading manufacturers”.
Rachel Cericola says
We have actually covered Aeon Labs in the past, but for this, I was really looking to list solutions that are available right now. We need to keep an eye on them though. Thanks!
Chris Moen says
Looks like Aeotec killed the product because it wasn’t easy enough to install.
Great article – I wanted to throw in another manufacturer whose products seem to be even better, and who produces both glass and film, Glass Apps. Their film (which is the same stuff embedded int eh glass) comes from the leading provider in Korea- where the technology stems from. Truly worth a look… the website is http://www.glass-apps.com.
Are there any glass options which are shaded enough to be used instead of curtains/blinds in bedrooms while also being fully clear when not shaded? Thanks
Fully tintable glass, looking for supplier of this in Norway or even better solutions.
Biggest problem i see with these is : Have to run a wire from windows to the nearest outlet and advantage we get from aesthetics perspective(for not having window shades/blinds) is lost due to the visible wiring. Think about having pet or kids which even worsens the idea of visible electric wire.
Smart Tint isn’t perfectly clear. It’s cloudy. We just installed ours and it’s not clear like their videos and pics make you think.
Also, the salespeople and proposal don’t tell you it will have a copper trim at the bottom that you will have to add your own trim to cover (and around the entire window if you want it to look good).
My significant other calls it “Not so smart tint”. Don’t go with them. They’re awful and you will get no customer service assistance or accountability. We wasted our money. Happy to provide pictures to those curious to see what I mean, and email exchanges.
Leigh – Thanks for your review and advice about Smart Tint, I was *just* going through their site prior to this one. You may have saved me some serious stress now that I know what to expect, especially given the fact I just emailed them to get a quotation on a couple of windows.
I would be very interested in seeing the photos you speak of, and VERY interested in the emails in which contain examples of their customer service methods.
I appreciate your time getting back to me. My email address (temporary) is fox_muyrlc@ObjectMail.com and it will resolve to my personal address.
The system seems to have removed the address I included in the message, so I will put the same email address in this message too, but in reverse. (com).ObjectMail (@) fox_muyrlc . Again, just reverse the order of the parts without changing the order of the characters on either side of the “@”.
Thank you for the information on Smart Tint, we were about to go with them. We are running out of options, need help!
Looks like we may need to get the windows with shades built inside them. My main concern is condensation with the steam shower.
eb galss says
for your issue, we think a switchable glass is better option for you. This glass with smart tint inside of two glass panels, glass is all toughened. In this way, it can solve you problem condensation with steam shower.
Know detail about switchable glass here:http://ebglasstech.com/product/switchable-smart-glass/
Emma Clure says
One of the best uses of smart film glass is in the office, when used for privacy in meeting and conference rooms. There are some great examples here: https://officeblindsandglazing.co.uk/smart-film-glass/
Any other suggestions, please help!
We too were about to go with Smart Tint until your comment assured my big questions. The view when its not frosted. We have an amazing view from 3 windows in our master bathroom however need privacy. I’m not a fan of window coverings, especially since one window is in our shower. Please send me any recommendations or thoughts?
eb galss says
Yes, Great film. instant privacy can be get on any glass panels. Easy installation, a click button give you a privacy and private world exchange. Project design give you great experience with smart privacy film.
Here also come EB GLASS in this item supply. detail in ebglasstech.com