natural light in office

Natural Light Increases Productivity at Work

Companies coexist in a state of fierce competition for talent and great offices often act as a wonderful recruitment tool. Additionally, employee health, comfort and wellness play a vital role post-COVID.

In essence, office environments come with a few challenges when it comes to exposure to natural light. Uncontrolled natural daylight causes unwanted heat or leads to excessive glare on screens, which then required the use of curtains and blinds that are the incubation spots for bacteria.

A research carried out across North America by CBRE and Future Workplace concluded that good views and natural light are the top two amenities desired by employees in their workplace. They also consider the physical environment of the office to be extremely important for their corporate wellbeing. Both factors have a direct effect on employee performance and productivity.

In a new study conducted by Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, workers in daylit office environments reported an 84 percent drop in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms, which can detract from productivity. The application of smart glass in office spaces, which allow controlled access to natural light resulted in a decrease of 10 percent drop in drowsiness during the day. A controlled amount of natural light leaves a positive impact on the happiness quotient of employees, who end up showing up for work with more vigour. 

In terms of numbers, Alan Hedge’s study reported a 2 percent increase in productivity for every office worker that has window access in his immediate work environment. This translates to an additional $100,000 per year for every 100 employees and around $2 million over the window’s life span.

According to Dr. Brandon Tinianov, Chair of the US Green Building Council’s advisory team, "Despite their best intentions, companies are unwittingly detracting from their employees' health and performance by limiting their access to natural light."

At the office, architects and interior designers can combine a variety of elements such as functionality, design language, natural light transitions and solutions for common and private spaces. Smart glass switches from opaque milky mode (closed mode) to clear glass (open mode) at the touch of a button, providing controlled access to natural light and creating a good alternative to artificial lighting at specific areas of the office.

To know more about the application of smart glass for office environments, click here.

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building facade

Electrochromic Dynamic Windows for Office Buildings

Building management in the corporate world is increasingly becoming a more and more discussed subject. The need to address ecological aspects like carbon footprints and ever-increasing maintenance costs has brought professionals to explore technologies that preserve occupant comfort, enhance the built environment and save energy. Read on to know more about our recommended solution for office buildings- Electrochromic Dynamic Windows.

Windows and glass surfaces are often the most inefficient section of the building’s envelope, responsible for heat loss in cold months and solar heat gain during the hot months. In cases of personal households, sunlight in the house can increase cooling costs by as much as 20%!

Glare can often be quite annoying especially in working environments, making it difficult to view screens, requiring blinds to be installed and completely negating the numerous array of benefits of natural lighting.  Additionally, it has a negative impact on furniture, carpets and drapes, ultimately increasing maintenance costs. 

The next generation of fenestration technologies modulates solar energy by utilizing voltage. EC Dynamic Glass and electrochromic EC Windows use lithium-ion polarization- When positively charged lithium atoms with missing electrons migrate between the two electrodes through a separator.

Electrochromic Dynamic Windows for Office Buildings
Privacy Glass for Building Facade

When a small voltage is applied to the electrodes, the ions migrate through the separator to the outermost electrode, the result is a modulation in the visible transmittance of light through the glass surface, resulting in a fully tinted state glass.

A case study carried out at three different US climate zones, made up of a wide range of environmental exposure conditions, from hot and dry Arizona to extremely cold Minnesota, building energy savings with EC Glass was 45% greater than when compared to a single pane static glazing which is common in most buildings today.

The technology, whether in the form of a complete glass or EC Glazing (although this application has a few limitations), can be effectively used in large buildings or small households. It can be configured to operate through a switch or integrated with a building management system.

To know more about the Electrochromic Dynamic Windows for office buildings, reach out to us on our website or any of our social media handles- Facebook and LinkedIn.

privacy smart glass for home

Privacy Smart Glass for Your Home

Smart glass can transform every space into a modern, chique environment. In-home applications, it embodies the concept of smart home and eliminates the requirement of curtains or blinds, or provides you with the ability to maintain absolute privacy by creating separation between living spaces, with the help of two unique solutions.

In terms of design, smart glass provides a minimalistic, energy cost-efficient solutions to elevate and connect spaces. The glass has an added advantage of soundproofing the environment, acting as a rear projection screen and a whiteboard, unique properties that are often utilised in the corporate conference and meeting rooms.

Switchable glass uses PDLC technology (Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystals) to transform from transparent to opaque. It is highly adaptable and can be fitted to any glass shape.

PDLC glass is a smart choice for numerous applications within the household. Since it turns from transparent to completely opaque, it may be used to create a separation between bathrooms and bedroom spaces, or between bedrooms and living rooms in smaller living spaces.

The basic working principle of privacy glass is Liquid Crystal (LC) polarization. When power is off the liquid crystal molecules are randomly oriented and will scatter incidental light. This renders the Switchable Privacy Glass panel opaque. When an electric current is applied, the liquid crystal molecules line up, the incidental light passes through, and the privacy glass becomes clear.

This switchable glass product and the switchable film function in accordance with the flick of a switch. Today, numerous mobile device applications or remote controls may be used to control the intelligent glass.

Another potential solution for your home could be the use of Electrochromic Glass. EC glass does not provide privacy capabilities as PDLC, but can prevent the entry of up to 99% of the visible light from windows, therefore offering a perfect substitute to curtains or blinds.

The basic working principle is lithium ions polarization. When positively charged lithium atoms with missing electrons migrate between the two electrodes through a separator.

Normally, when the lithium ions reside in the innermost electrode the glass is clear. When a small voltage is applied to the electrodes, the ions migrate through the separator to the outermost electrode which resulted in tinted glass.

Both solutions belong to the active smart glass category, since their mode is operated by you with the help of an electric current.

To know more about the applications and benefits of smart glass for your home, reach out to us!

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smart glass for hospitals

Smart Glass as a Replacement for Traditional Hospital Curtains

The implementation and use of switchable glass in hospitals have created a new world of opportunities, resulting in a reduction in operational costs, better patient experience and improved recovery rates. In today's article, find out why smart glass is a great replacement for traditional hospital curtains.

Hospital-acquired Acquired infections Infections (HAI) or nosocomial infections are an extremely common occurrence in hospitals around the world. One out of every twenty-five patients in the United States is affected by an HAI and a large number of these bacteria concentrate on traditional fabric curtains that are currently being used.

Smart Glass for replacing hospital curtains

Although awareness of sanitation has increased over the years, most of the HAI pathogens are drug-resistant bacteria that simply cannot be removed. One of the most common wards where HAIs occur is the intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency rooms, where doctors treat serious diseases. This makes smart glasses, which are state of the art antibacterial solutions, the clever choice for medical centres.  

High tech dynamic glass variants are extremely hygienic, easy to clean and can even be operated with the help of voice commands or wall switches and remote controls.

The introduction of electronic glass that allows the penetration of natural light provides an enhanced patient experience and uplifts patient rooms. A study on the benefits of daylight in healthcare buildings authored by Professor DTG Strong of BRE Group shows that allowing daylight to pass through and fill the medical space provides a reduction in the average length of hospital stay, quicker post-operative recovery, reduced requirements for pain relief, quicker recovery from a depressive illness and disinfectant qualities.

Electronic glass changes form instantly, from clear to frosted and vice versa. It gives patients and nurses the ability to adjust privacy and lighting conditions quickly and efficiently. 

Additionally, patient rooms that are often confined and offer limited mobility. Smart glass or films that provide a full view of the environment create larger spaces and create a pleasant recovery area for both patients and healthcare workers. 

Smart Glass technologies offer a reduction in costs on energy by maximizing the availability of light, reducing the transfer of heat and simplifying cleaning and disinfection processes. 

It’s time to transform your medical space and reap the benefits of a revolutionary innovation in the field of glass.

If you already have glasses, a retrofit Smart Film, also called Self-Adhesive Smart Film is a perfect solution to enhance your glass by sticking the Smart Film for privacy on demand, while giving up on existing curtains and blinds. 

Reach out to us today to know more about the benefits of smart glass for your establishment. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for more news and updates!

Smart Glass For Offices

The utilization of glass as an integral part of design processes has helped designers transform open spaces and office designs since the very beginning. Today, we will explore the use of Smart Glass for offices.

Installation of smart glass panels in open offices, conference rooms and general office spaces provides relief from mundane, opaque materials that block natural light, force the use of artificial light sources and reduce visibility.

smart glass for offices

Over the last few years, we have seen how our architects and interior designers enhanced closed spaces with our glass and film products.

Switchable smart glass technology is an intelligent and innovative glass solution that enables the modification of the opacity of glass walls and panels. In an office space, smart glass partitions create a bigger working space. Switching the glass mode even lets employees operate panels as projection screens or boards.

Using smart films instead of heavy wall partitions supports the three characteristics of minimal design (open atmosphere, neutral materials and simple furniture). The technology offers the highest levels of privacy while maintaining the ability to convert the space to open and accessible.

Liquid crystal glass is a sleek, clean and transparent material that packs incredible capabilities. At Smart Films International, we offer a wide array of dynamic glass products, ranging from transparent, white or dark colours to customized patterns which can suit every requirement.

For more information, check out the other articles on our website. Feel free to reach out to us for any questions.

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pdlc technology

What is PDLC Technology

PDLC stands for Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal, a technology that first introduced and patented in 1984 in the US by Dr. James Ferguson. PDLC is a liquid crystal display cell in which a polymer network produced droplets or domains of liquid crystal. The optical properties of the cell depended on the alignment of the liquid crystals within each domain, with this alignment being determined by the balance of local alignment forces by the bounding polymer network, and any applied electric field. PDLC is switched between a milky white, scattering state and a transparent, non-scattering state.

There were two major material systems used for the fabrication of these systems. The first relied on a single-phase solution of the liquid crystal and the polymer precursor that was induced to phase-separate into a polymer network and liquid crystal domains. Photopolymerization of reactive monomers and oligomers was by far the most popular pathway, given the versatility of photopolymerization chemistry and ease of processing. The vast majority of groups working on liquid crystal dispersion displays used phase separation methods to form their devices.

The other major approach towards dispersed liquid crystals used a water-based emulsion to form the composite film. An emulsion of liquid crystal droplets was dispersed into a water-based, film-forming polymer. This electro-optical “paint” was coated onto a conductive substrate, dried, and then laminated to a counter electrode.

PDLC technology

PDLC technology enables to control the amount of light transmission through a film or glass surface. This can usually be controlled from a switch on the wall or a smartphone application, that determines the voltage that is applied through the surface.

PDLC technology laminated between two glass panes- Smart Glass, enhances traditional glass for Privacy on Demand applications and in many other ways. The internal plastic lamination in the glass, where the liquid crystals are scattered, provides enhanced protection to the glass, making it shatterproof.

The presence of crystal particles do block visibility and provide privacy. Additionally, the technology creates a reduction of the carbon footprint of the building thanks to the solar control, which reduces HVAC needs, both in summer and in winter.

PDLC glass can be used across sectors, including healthcare, hospitality and banking. In the medical sector, PDLC smart glass can replace unhygienic, traditional curtains that are a habitat for germs and bacteria.

To know more about PDLC applications and for a demo, reach out to us here.

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Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals: A Look Back, A Look Ahead

It’s been a little over 10 years since serious I effort began on the development of polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC or NCAP) technology. Since that time, remarkable advances have been made in crafting materials that are useful in several different areas of application. Equally remarkable is that the technological interest in these materials has sparked renewed interest in the scientific investigation of liquid crystals confined to small cavities. As is usual in these types of endeavors, the technological and scientific aspects of this work have enriched each other and led to new inventions and discoveries.

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