It’s often be written that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t…!” and the traditional solution has been to go indoors to do whatever you want to do, or invest in some window blinds.
But if you really want to impress the neighbors with your technique, perhaps you should invest in smart glass.
Smart glass allows you to control the amount of light and heat, passing through it. At the flick of a switch the glass can change from being transparent to opaque, giving you privacy when you want it, but without the necessity of installing blinds, shutters or curtains.
There are several technologies that enable this to happen, including:
Liquid Crystal Glass uses a liquid film in a sandwich of two plastic interlayers inside two laminated glass panes. In the panes “off” state the glazing is translucent milky white. However, when an electric current is applied to the liquid film it turns slightly hazy clear. The switch between the two states is nearly instantaneous.
Suspended Particle Device – SPD Glass has light absorbing microscopic particles dispersed within a specially formulated emulsion, which like liquid crystal glass, is then sandwiched between two plastic interlayers inside two laminated glass panes.
The particles are activated by applying a low voltage; this forces them to align at various angles and thus various transparencies. This controls not just the light passing through the pane, but the heat as well.
These glass panes can repel up to 95 per cent of solar heat in their opaque state, making the conservatory a much more comfortable place to be on really hot summer days, even though the view is impaired.
This glass isn’t a cheap option, it can cost ten or twenty times the price of conventional conservatory glass, but as glass only represents a small percentage of a conservatories total cost you might consider it a worthwhile investment.
Smart glass does of course save you from having to spend money on window blinds or awnings, so is a saving to be taken into consideration, and it comes with a huge show-off factor to impress visitors with, and for many people that is priceless.
Although this type of glass wouldn’t be suitable for traditional conservatories, or those with many small panes of glass, I’d certainly recommend you consider installing smart glass if you are having a minimalist conservatory designed…or if you have nosey neighbors.