Electronic privacy glass is fashioning in the luxury residential market. The product is aimed at homeowners who want the same privacy that comes from motorized shades but with potentially cleaner lines and deference to a home’s unique architecture.
Typically, a window glazing contractor does the installation, according to Innovative Glass Corp., a New York-based maker of LC Privacy Glass sold under the brand name eGlass. But home systems integrators can purchase the product for homeowner customers and enlist a subcontractor to do the installation and connection to electrical power.
In terms of connectivity, the powered glass does require a 120VAC hookup, but does not require a separate circuit. When unpowered, the glass is frosted or “private.” When powered, the particles in the glass align and make the glass “clear.”
When compared against motorized shades, eGlass is more expensive. It runs about $150 to $225 per square foot depending on the configuration.
From a control standpoint, the glass can be operated via a wall switch or it can be wirelessly controlled via a simple remote control. The glass can also be controlled by Crestron, Lutron, Savant, Control4 and other systems, as well as through their apps.
The company touts eGlass as an option to “eliminate mechanical shades, blinds, and other bulky window coverings.”
“LC Privacy Glass is versatile and never clashes with a rooms design; therefore it fits any style whether modern, minimalistic, retro or traditional. LC Privacy Glass can be used for exterior windows, as well as interior walls and doors to separate spaces in a clean and modern style,” says the company.
One of the most common applications for LC Privacy Glass is in bathrooms and wet environments, where blinds and shades tend to get damp, dirty, and need to be maintained. Even in the “private” state, the glass allows diffused light to pass through which permits for harvesting natural daylight and reducing the need for artificial lighting. If there is a loss of power, the windows automatically revert to their private state.
For added flexibility, sections of LC Privacy Glass can be selectively and independently controlled within the same window. The top portion clear, while the bottom is frosted for modesty mode, for example. Frost the top portion while leaving the bottom portion clear for glare control.
The glass can also be used for odd shaped and hard to reach windows and skylights.
Jason Knott has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.