How can you improve privacy inside your home with the use of window film? We’d all like 100% privacy day and night without the need for curtains, blinds, or shutters, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Let’s cover how we can improve privacy in residential homes with window film.
There are four main technologies that create privacy with window film in a residential home. One is the level of reflectivity, another is the level of darkness of the film, the third is through translucency or a frosted type film, and the fourth would be opacity or an opaque film.
So, let’s talk about reflectivity and darkness in order to gain privacy from window film. The lighting conditions mean everything; in other words, if you don’t have the right lighting conditions, you cannot achieve privacy with a film that gives you a 100% clear view out.
For example, we’ve all seen a TV show or movie where there is a police lineup and a witness in a dark room. There’s usually a piece of glass with the suspects on the brightly lit side of the glass (from which they can only see a reflective surface), and a witness on the other side (in semi-darkness) who can easily see through the glass in order to identify the suspects. If we were to lower the light on the suspect side to equal that of the witness side, both parties would be able to see each other. If we continued to lower the light on the suspect side and increase it on the witness side, the mirror effect would be reversed.
This applies to your home as well during the day when it’s bright outside and your home is normally lit. It’s still going to be darker inside your home than it is outside, so in that case, there’s going to be a two-way – or mirrorlike – effect. This doesn’t mean that the windows have to look like chrome mirrors, as even a small amount of reflectivity creates a very subtle and soft privacy effect. It is also not necessary to have a very shiny or very dark film in order to get this effect during the day.
How then does one get privacy in the home at night with the use of window film? Unless we can somehow increase the exterior light to be dominant to the interior light, window film will not increase nighttime privacy. Most of our clients will close their shutters, blinds, or curtains in order to get privacy at night. If 24-hour privacy is required, there are translucent films that will provide privacy while allowing light to pass through.
With the aforementioned films, while it is clear that lights are on inside the home, no one will be able to see interior details – day or night. Fully opaque films can take that privacy to an extreme, completely blocking out the light traveling through the window and completely obscuring the view through the glass from either direction. Opaque films are great if you’re going to build a stairwell or put a cabinet or other furnishings in front of an existing window and have no need for the window to remain functional.