Privacy With Switchable Glass
CLiC, from Cardinal Glass Industries, is a film-free switchable glass that utilizes liquid-crystal technology.
Switchable-glass technology, which enables you to toggle between transparent and opaque (privacy) glass, has been around for nearly half a century. And given the recent demand for bringing more natural light indoors and popular design trends that lean into minimalism and open-floor concepts, you’d think switchable glass would be in every fine home built these days. But it isn’t. That’s not because it costs more; it’s because it has performed far below expectations. When viewed straight on, previous generations of switchable glass appeared foggy, and at an angle, views could be obscured up to 60%.
Cardinal Glass Industries has spent the last nine years developing a new technology that solves the shortcomings of film-based switchable glass. That work has resulted in CLiC, which is a film-free switchable glass that utilizes liquid-crystal technology. In privacy mode, the liquid crystals are randomly scattered, which obscures the view yet still allows diffused light to pass through. When an electrical charge is applied, the crystals line up in a uniform pattern, resulting in the same clear view as traditional glass. An 8-ft. by 5-ft. pane of CLiC glass uses less energy than a 25w lightbulb. CLiC will be an option in windows, doors, and wall systems made by premium manufacturers. Pricing will depend on your window supplier.
—Mark Petersen, tech editor
Photos: courtesy of the manufacturer