Smart Glass FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does smart glass work?

    In the clear, or ON state, an electrical current is passed through a layer of film called PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal). The electrified state causes microscopic crystals to align along a number of parallel axes, thus allowing vision through the glass.

    Smart Glass in its OFF state has a frosted or opaque appearance because the PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) remain in a randomized configuration that refracts the light that enters the mixture.

  • What is haze factor?

    Haze factor describes the amount of light scattered when light passes through a transparent sample. The lower the haze factor value, the higher the clarity of the sample, indicating fewer impurities.

    Glass Apps smart glass has a haze factor of 5% - 5.5%

  • Does smart glass block UV rays?

    Smart glass can block 98% of all UV rays.

  • What does smart glass look like in its OFF state?

    The glass will appear opaque or frosted.

  • Can smart glass be used as a whiteboard?

    Yes. Smart glass in its OFF or frosted state makes for a perfect whiteboard. Many meeting rooms have utilized smart glass for privacy and whiteboarding.

  • How long does it take to manufacture and deliver?

    Smart film: approx 4 weeks
    Laminated glass: approx 6 weeks
    Insulated, laminated glass: approx 8 weeks

  • What are the power requirements for smart glass?

    110-120 VAC (standard line voltage)

  • What is the energy use for smart glass?

    0.4 watts per square foot.

  • What is the life expectancy of smart glass?

    At least 20 years.

  • What is a busbar?

    The busbar is the wire mesh that creates the electrical connection to the PDLC film. It is housed in a plastic u-chanel on one edge of the glass.

  • Can the busbar be located on the bottom edge of the glass?

    No. Placing the electrical connections with the busbar on the bottom edge of the glass will allow moisture/cleaner to reach the busbar edge, causing burning and/or corrosion, and will lead to the permanent failure of the smart glass. Installing the glass with the busbar on the bottom edge will also void the warranty.

  • Does Glass Apps install smart glass?

    No. We have a network of professional installers that we've partnered with for smart glass and film installation.

  • Is smart glass perfectly clear when turned on?

    No. All smart glass has a "haze factor." See the question above that addresses the haze factor.

  • Can I request a sample of smart glass?

    Yes. Call sales for more information: 1 646 838 0230

  • What is PDLC?

    PDLC is an initialism for Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal

  • Does Glass Apps smart glass come in standard sizes?

    No. All glass is built custom to project specifications.

  • How long is Glass Apps' warranty on smart glass?

    3-5 years for laminated smart glass. 1-2 years for smart film.

  • Does Glass Apps provide technical information?

    Yes. Please see our Technical Specs and Documentation page.

  • Does Glass Apps provide installation guides?

    Yes. Please see our Technical Specs and Documentation page.

  • Can smart glass be controlled with a remote control or smart device?

    Yes.

  • Is Glass Apps' smart glass UL listed?

    Yes.

  • What is the maximum size of Glass Apps' smart glass?

    59" W x 132" L — custom sizes outside of these baseline parameters may be available upon request.

  • What is the maximum size of smart film?

    48 1/4" W x 132" L — custom sizes outside of these baseline parameters may be available upon request.

  • What glass types can be used with smart glass?

    Annealed, Tempered, Clear, Low Iron, Low-E and IG units — Colored glass may also be avalable upon request.

  • Can smart glass be used as safety glass?

    Yes. Smart glass is made with a laminated layer just like traditional safety glass.

  • Can smart glass be made in special shapes?

    Yes. AutoCAD drawings or a physical template will need to be provided to cut special shapes. There is also an additional cost associated.

  • Why is the healthcare industry interested in smart glass?

    The healthcare industry is moving away from blinds and curtains because they can collect dust and germs, are difficult to clean, and may contribute to Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) in high traffic areas. Smart glass is an easy-to-clean hygienic surface that may reduce HAIs. Smart glass can provide privacy with the flip of a switch, or can be dimmed as needed to provide a unique controllable environment, making it extremely convenient for patients and healthcare workers.

  • What are the common questions that Glass Apps will ask a customer at the beginning of a project?

    1. What type of application and where is this glass/film being installed (interior, exterior, wet application, etc)?
    2. What is the size (width and length) for each of the pieces in the project?
    3. What are the glass specifications required (polished edges, low iron, etc)?
    4. What is the wiring location required for each panel?
    5. Are you an architect, glazier, or end-user?
    6. What is the shipping address for this project?

  • How much does smart glass cost?

    The average cost of smart glass and film can vary from $50-$150 per square foot based on quantity, glass type, and the scope of the project.

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