One popular application of smart glass in both commercial and residential buildings is in skylights. This new technology has led to major advancements in designing both interior and exterior spaces.
When applied to ceilings and roofs, smart glass shields the room’s occupants from the outdoors while still allowing them to look directly into the sky from within. This gives them immense visual benefits.
Apart from that, smart glass roofs and skylights prove to be an energy-saving solution, while providing privacy and security benefits.
One of the main reasons why people love using smart glass in skylights is that it can be controlled remotely. This makes it ideal for installation in hard-to-reach places (most roofs are not easily accessible).
What is Smart Glass?
Also referred to as switchable or intelligent glass, smart glass is a dynamic type of glass that uses ultra-modern applied science to block light and insulate.
In a nutshell, smart glass can transform from transparent to translucent and vice versa, when an electric current is passed through.
At the touch of a button, and at any moment you wish, smart glass becomes frosted bringing with it numerous benefits that we’re going to discuss later in this article.
The technology helps resolve the conflicting design and functionality demands for balancing the benefits of views, natural light, and open floor plans with the need for energy conservation and privacy.
Types of Smart Glass
There are three different types of smart glass that are available in the market.
1. Electrochromic Device (ECD) smart glass
This type can filter out both the light and heat from the sun. It uses two electrodes to move ionized particles from the inside of the glass (transparent) to the outside (opaque).
After the particles have been moved, they won’t require an electric current to stay in place.
ECD smart glass can’t turn completely opaque so it’s not appropriate for use as privacy glass. It’s ideal for exterior applications like energy-conserving windows.
2. Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) smart glass
The technology behind PDLC uses liquid crystals which share characteristics of both liquid and solid compounds that are dispersed into a polymer.
It switches the glass from a dimmable degree of opaque to clear in milliseconds hence it’s ideal for privacy, projection, and whiteboard use.
PDLC is the most commonly used technology. It limits visible light but does not reflect heat unless optimized otherwise. Since it’s available in different colors and patterns, it’s ideal for multiple applications across diverse industries.
3. Suspended Particle Device (SPD) smart glass
This type contains minuscule solid particles that are suspended in liquid and coated between two thin layers of polyethylene terephthalate film (PET) and indium tin oxide (ITO).
SPD shades and cools interiors by blocking 99% of both natural and artificial light within seconds of shifting voltage.
SPD smart glass is ideal for exterior, skylights, or water-facing windows. You may also install it indoors where darkness is required.
Why Build a Smart Glass Roof or Smart Glass Skylight?
Smart glass has significantly gained traction to become the material of choice for most builders, architects, and interior designers.
Nowadays, skylights are no longer simply just pieces of glass in the ceiling to allow in natural light. Smart glass has enabled them to be more versatile, effortlessly functional, etc.
Here are the main reasons why you need to install a smart glass roof.
There are countless ways to customize smart glass for commercial buildings. It’s perfect for brightening up rooms and offering instant privacy.
If you’re looking to brighten up darkened areas such as basements and bring poorly lit areas to life by showcasing the fantastic views outside, invest in smart glass.
Whether it is for commercial or residential applications, smart glass offers an effortlessly superior alternative to traditional glass in terms of its versatility.
Depending on the type of smart glass technology used on a roof, you can control it to switch from transparent to translucent.
There’s a huge convenience that comes with the ease of control that allows you to turn your building’s skylight from clear to opaque within a matter of seconds.
Smart glass on roofing balances the need for openness and the desire for privacy while blocking infra-red to create cooler spaces.
This eliminates the need for installing blinds in impossible locations.
The easiest way to enhance your interior is by allowing lots of natural light to come in; this is called daylighting architecture.
However, it’s not possible to have wall-to-wall normal-glass windows while still retaining the needed functionality, privacy, and temperature control. Smart glass roofing makes that possible without the need to modify the interior.
With smart glass, you’re able to not only allow light to enter the room but you can also control the amount of light passing through.
When you have more natural light getting into your building, it means that you’ll spend less on electricity because you don’t solely depend on artificial lighting.
Light will reach all corners whether the space is blocked by crowded city streets or is located underground.
Additionally, the smart glass turns your building green by regulating the amount of heat permeating through the glass. You neither need to heat the interior during the cold months nor cool it during the hot months.
5. Temperature Control
Smart glass is perfect for buildings whose interiors are needed to remain at a specific temperature.
With this solution, the interiors of your building will neither feel too hot nor too cold for human comfort.
Are you looking for ways to prevent your building from needing excess air conditioning? Look no further than smart glass Malaysia.
6. Modern and Eye-catching
When you need to take a break from work to recharge, smart glass roofs will allow you to enjoy the breathtaking unobstructed view of the sky.
Also, if you’re looking to make your building stand out from the surrounding structures, then these smart glass fixtures are for you.
Luxurious residential penthouse apartments and townhouses as well as commercial businesses like hotels and casinos benefit a lot from this design that draws in customers.
Smart Glass Roof and Smart Glass Skylights: Applications Across Industries
The application areas for smart glass in different industries are endless. This intelligent glass can be used anywhere that regular glass is used.
This glass is simply built into a ceiling and from up there, it can be used to control the amount of light and heat getting into the building.
Such flexibility is what has made smart glass a favorite alternative in the following industries:
Trust smart glass solutions to come to the rescue for all your futuristic hotel needs to take your hotel guests’ experience to the next level.
This allows them to enjoy the appearance of good-looking rooms while still being able to enjoy some much-needed privacy.
Smart glass room partitions may be used to divide the bedroom and the bathroom when it’s in use. These hotel design trends are guaranteed to leave you with 5-star reviews.
2. Restaurants and Bars
Smart glass for restaurants adds a touch of class to your bar and restaurant space.
This means that you’ll benefit from a strong first impression left on the guests.
They’ll be wowed by how the glass switches from fully transparent to completely opaque in a second providing instant privacy and light control as and when needed.
For example, when it gets dark and the artificial lights need to be turned on. This eliminates the need for curtains that encourage dust build-up.
3. Office Buildings
By replacing the solid walls in your office with switchable glass, you allow natural light to reach all corners of the room.
This not only makes small rooms look bigger but also makes workers feel that their minds are clear compared to those working in tiny dimly-lit offices. This also helps reduce energy bills and increase employee productivity.
4. Shopping Malls
Aesthetics is arguably the single most important factor that determines how successful businesses at a shopping mall are.
This is why developers around the world consult with architects to find innovative ways to create stunning aesthetics to attract customers.
Smart glass can be used in libraries to help them make massive savings by reducing energy costs.
It goes without saying that a library has to be well lit because people mostly go there to read. Using a smart glass skylight not only allows ample natural light to get in but also prevents direct sun glares.
Additionally, smart glass reduces the influx of heat into the library. This ensures that the readers are comfortable throughout their stay at the library.
6. Museums and Conservatories
It’s common knowledge that items such as furniture, clothes, and floors get discolored when left exposed to sunlight for long.
This applies to artifacts kept in museums and conservatories.
Over time, these get damaged when exposed to direct sunlight and artificial light.
That is where the smart glass comes in. It helps keep them protected hence preserving their value.
7. Luxury Real Estate
Smart glass skylights in luxury homes are one of the latest innovations that are taking the luxury residential market by storm.
Nowadays most high-end residences are designed with an abundance of smart roof windows to provide gorgeous views and let in natural light.
Apart from skylights, it’s also used on doors, bathrooms, swimming pools, home bars, home offices, and home theaters.
Things to Take Note of When Planning to Install Smart Glass Roofs / Skylights
Are you looking to light up a dark room? Perhaps installing a smart glass window above the room’s interior is just what you need to do.
But before embarking on this journey, you need to understand these key considerations for smart glass:
1. The Structural Capacity of Your Building
Be very careful when choosing the placement of your building’s skylight. Plan accordingly before starting the installation process e.g. you need to determine the slope of the roof and how much area the glass will occupy.
This way you’re sure if the building has the capacity to support the fixture.
2. Climate and Weather
Plan to have the installation done during the hot months because rain can hinder the progress of the project.
Bad weather can make it impossible to continue and you’ll have to hold off, causing the process to take longer.
Note that the direction of the sun matters a lot. Skylights in sloping roofs facing south tend to cause overheating in rooms during sunny months.
North-facing skylights only allow a soft, diffuse light all year round although they don’t give the sun-splashed effect.
3. Goals / Objectives
Different people have different goals when choosing smart glass for their buildings. Some of these reasons include aesthetics, daylighting, privacy needs, security purposes, sound control, and thermal regulation among others.
You, too, need to decide the main purpose for installing it. Setting goals ensures that you achieve the most pleasing and efficient results.
The cost of installing smart glass skylights is overwhelmingly high regardless of whether it’s small or large. So it doesn’t make sense to make the size small hoping to make some savings.
Instead, make it big enough so that it lets in generous amounts of light into the interior. That’s the only way to get the most out of your investment.
Setting a budget and sticking with it helps you stay on course throughout the whole project. You should also do your homework to gauge the relative market prices for similar projects, then go with a provider that fits your budget.
Regular smart glass maintenance helps keep the skylight clean and clear. You should find out how much regular maintenance and cleaning costs and make necessary plans.
Additionally, hire a professional to regularly inspect the roof and ceiling. This helps to spot any issues before they advance to major issues such as leakage during the rainy season.
6. Service Provider
Find a trusted manufacturer like Chiefway who puts customer needs first and offers variety.
Such a reliable service provider will walk with you every step of the way to help you introduce more of the outdoors inside.
While choosing a bad provider can be disastrous, choosing the right one will make it well worth your while in terms of budget, quality, and durability.
Skylights are an extremely important design feature that lets in up to five times more light than sidewall windows. They not only add aesthetic properties to the exterior but to the interior too.
Apart from looking beautiful and creating a cozy environment, smart glass skylights offer privacy on demand, introduce natural light to brighten up spaces, save costs, block harmful UV rays, as well as boost mood and productivity.
These are among the reasons why you should consider taking the next step towards this amazing technology.
Contact us if you need further information on quotations, project pricing, customization, and ideas on application.
In Chiefway Malaysia, we are team of experts is waiting to hear from you and is ready to give you solutions based on our wide selection of products from Smart Film and Smart Glass solutions!