The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult period to live through. Besides trying to stay safe and worrying about your friends and family, you have likely been stuck indoors for months on end.
Quarantine, shelter-in-place, and work-from-home orders have made enjoying the great outdoors a rare luxury.
For a while, staying in was a good change of pace from the normal busy pace of living.
However, over time minimal social interaction and being starved of natural light and fresh air has begun to take a toll on most of us. Medical studies show that low exposure to natural light, in particular, could be the reason why you:
- Are feeling fatigued and unmotivated
- May have a short attention span and low productivity
- May be feeling irritable
While the vaccine is helping the world regain some normalcy, there is still a need to observe Covid-19 safety protocols.
So, if you can’t enjoy natural light outdoors, how about you bring more of it into your home?
Smart glass can help improve the flow of light in your space and alleviate some of the symptoms of cabin fever. In this article, we discuss how you can use it and all the benefits it has to offer.
Ready? Let’s begin, shall we?
Tips on How to Use Smart Glass to Improve Light Flow in Your Home
The design and the position of a home influence how light flows through it. Sometimes no matter how many windows you have, your space may still be starved of light because they are not positioned in the natural path of light. It could also be that your windows are small and can only let in a limited amount of sunshine.
Smart glass is a unique type of glass that is laminated in PDLC film and can be controlled using low-voltage electric current. When you turn on the current, the molecules in the smart film align and make the glass transparent.
When you turn off the current, the molecules become distorted and the glass becomes opaque.
In a nutshell, smart glass gives you control over when and how much light you allow into your space. It has a strong structure that can be applied in multiple areas of your home structure to save you from the dullness of low-light exposure.
Here are some of the areas where you can apply smart glass and enjoy great natural lighting.
1. The Floor
Of all the ideas you may have had about renovating your home, a smart glass floor was probably not one of them. However, it is a great way to not only let light in but also spice up your decor.
Installing a smart glass floor is ideal if you would like to brighten up spaces like basements, underground garages, and cellars. Due to their position below the structure of your home, such areas tend to be dark and you end up having to rely on light bulbs anytime you need to access them. By installing a smart glass floor above them, you allow the light that flows into the upper space of your home, to illuminate the spaces underneath.
It is important to mention that smart glass is reinforced enough to withstand normal weight and foot traffic like any other floor. You can also choose to only install it in specific sections of the floor to make it more tasteful and less monotonous.
2. The Staircase
In most homes, the space below a staircase is hardly ever put to good use. This is because the structure of the staircase obstructs light and makes the area around it dark.
A smart glass staircase is not opaque and allows light to pass right through it. This presents 2 benefits:
- The space below the staircase better illuminated and can be put to better use e.g a book nook
- The staircase itself becomes better illuminated and mishaps such as missing steps can be averted
As a bonus point, a smart glass staircase adds a modern classy feel to your home. Complementing it with other materials such as wood can also soften it up if you are aiming for a bright but homey look.
3. A Skylight
A skylight is a great addition if your home is obstructed from the flow of light by other buildings or your windows are not within the path of light. It solves these problems easily because unlike windows and glass doors that allow light in from the sides of your home structure, a skylight brings in overhead light.
When choosing where to install a skylight, choose a size and angle that will allow light to a large chunk of your home. A sizable sloping skylight, for instance, will permit light flow to a broader portion of a room than a flat one. Additionally, to fully enjoy the benefits of your skylight, aim for spaces that you use frequently like your kitchen, home office, or living room.
Smart glass is an amazing solution for skylights because:
- You can switch from transparent to opaque if you would like to control your privacy or regulate too much sunlight
- It is strong enough to withstand rain, sun, snow, or wind
4. A Conservatory
A conservatory (also known as a greenhouse) is a small extension to your home built using reinforced glass. It makes for a lovely space to host guests or for you to just unwind whenever you need to. If you are feeling starved of good lighting and privacy during those work-from-home Zoom calls, you can even set up a home office in your conservatory.
Outdoor extensions often cast a shadow on the interior space of your home. The best part about a smart glass conservatory is that it does not block the flow of light. The glass doors can also be opened up to improve both light and air circulation in your home. It is pretty much having the best of the outdoors and the indoors at the same time.
Ordinary glazing has, for a long time, been the go-to solution for this type of extension. However, it does not offer any of the essential benefits provided by smart glass.
Smart glass allows you to switch between see-through and privacy modes whenever you need to and also does a better job of regulating temperature in the conservatory. In the summer, you can enjoy the sun without the space feeling like an oven and in the winter, smart glass reduces the loss of heat from the space.
5. New Walls and Doors
Most homes are built using brick or wood and are complimented with strong wooden doors. If the workmanship is right, these materials create beautiful structures. The problem is, brick and wood are highly opaque and greatly limit the amount of light that gets into your home.
Brick and wood are popular home construction materials because they offer:
- Stable home structures
Here is the good news, smart glass from brands like Chiefway has been tested and certified for construction because it provides all these qualities. You can confidently use it to replace some of the walls and doors in your house to allow more light in.
When installed correctly, smart glass doors will not compromise the structural stability or the safety of your home. That said, for maximum benefit, replace the walls and doors that are within the natural path of light towards your home. They will have a better impact on the lighting situation in your home.
6. A Glazing Extension
A glazing extension is a lot like a conservatory but it tends to be smaller and is always attached to the house. Unlike a conservatory, glazing extensions are not always fully made of glass.
Nonetheless, this type of extension is a great recreational space to have in your home. It can be made even greater by using smart glass as opposed to the traditional glazing that it is known for. Smart glass would provide you with better control over light exposure and privacy as well as noise reduction if you would prefer it to be a quiet replacing space.
Note: always consult professional construction and smart glass experts before undertaking any installations.
The Benefits of Using Smart Glass At Home
Glass is synonymous with fragility but smart glass consists of 3 layers; crystal glass, smart film(PDLC), and tempered glass.
This structure is far stronger than typical glass and capable of bearing weight. Smart glass is also available in different designs to address different application needs.
Here are the 6 key reasons why you should consider using smart glass while you working from home!
1. Greater Comfort
Smart glass gives you complete control over how much light you let into your home. If the sunshine is too glaring, you can switch the glass to a less transparent mode and enjoy the shade. Smart glass is also designed to keep you protected from UV rays as you enjoy the flood of light in your home.
On temperature, smart glass is insulative. It can prevent the loss of heat from your home during the cold season and reflect heat away from your home when temperatures are high. Consequently, you get to enjoy the bliss of light without the challenges of temperature fluctuations.
2. Environment Responsibility
Green homes are the future. They are not only good for the environment and your health but are also great for your budget.
When your home has poor exposure to light, you have to rely on electric lighting for most of the day. Most construction materials are also poor at keeping your home insulated. Therefore, if your house has limited exposure to sunlight, you would have to depend on heating to keep the temperature of your home regulated.
Such high levels of energy consumption increase the carbon footprint of your home. In contrast, if you suitably incorporate smart glass into your home, you could benefit from better insulation and lower energy exchange. Your home would be energy efficient and have a more positive impact on the environment.
Energy consumption is often one of the highest utility expenses in any home. Smart glass helps you mitigate the cost of running your home by reducing your lighting and heating costs. The more light and sunshine you get the less you will need to use electric lighting in the daytime.
Further, due to the insulative properties of smart glass, the temperature of your home would be better regulated. You would no longer have to keep adjusting your thermostat due to high rates of energy exchange between your home and the atmosphere.
4. Enhanced Security
Smart glass is switchable from a transparent mode to an opaque mode. Subsequently, no matter where you apply it in your home, you have complete control over your security and privacy. You can prevent people from seeing inside your home for safety reasons too.
Smart glass options like one-way smart glass also allow you to maintain a view of the outdoors but do not allow outsiders to see inside your home. Nevertheless, even with this unique design, you would still enjoy natural lighting unencumbered.
The structure of smart glass additionally aids in keeping everyone in your home safe during adverse weather or accidents. Due to its laminated structure, it takes a huge amount to break this type of glass. Moreover, it does not disintegrate into splinters when it breaks. As such, even in the event of forceful impact, the chances of injury are slim to none.
5. Multiple Functionalities
We have all seen the awkward videos of colleagues trying to hold online meetings as children scream or neighbors use loud chainsaws next door. Such disruptions can be avoided using smart glass as it has soundproofing properties. This would also come in handy when paired with the instant privacy feature that allows you to turn a smart glass wall from clear visibility to an electric curtain with the flip of a switch.
6. Aesthetic Appeal
Decor preferences vary from one person to another. This is why a versatile medium such as smart glass would be an amazing addition to your residential space. You can keep it clear or tinted depending on your preferences. You can also play around with different variations and applications of smart glass such as:
- One-way smart glass– it has a reflective exterior that would give the architecture of your home a sleek modern and minimalist decor look
- Mix and match- smart glass does not have to be applied on its own, you can blend it with wood and even brick trimmings. This approach could, in fact, help make it look homier and less like a corporate space.
- Brilliant color smart glass– colorful walls can brighten up your decor and give you a more cheerful space to relax in as you try to wait out this pandemic. Interested? Then invest in some brilliant smart glass. It offers all the benefits of smart glass but with a splash of color.
- Pattern Blinds Smart Glass- Pattern blinds smart glass would be ideal for interior spaces where you would require privacy from time to time. A home library, a home office, a snug, or a reading nook would all do well with this type of smart glass. The benefit of this particular type of smart glass is that it offers privacy on demand and has a cool look. As opposed to simply becoming opaque it converts to privacy mode by imitating traditional blinds or pull-down shutters.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating in more ways than one. Global mental wellness has been on a sharp decline and lifestyle illnesses have equally been on the rise. As such, while this situation is beyond our control, we can perhaps focus our efforts on taking better care of ourselves.
Improving your home by allowing more light in and making it more appealing can be the first step of many. Contact us at Chiefway Smart Glass today and let us help you breathe new life and light into your home.