NGS Films and Graphics Assists Schools with Security Grant Applications

By | Damage reduction window film, Education, Government, safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

School districts across the nation are improving security measures on their campuses due to an increased number of school gun violence incidents. In 2018, there were 191 incidents – which is more incidents in one year than in the last four decades, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Recently, the federal COPS School Violence Prevention Program began accepting applications from school districts. This federal competitive award program provides funding to improve schools through evidence-based school safety programs that include several factors, including placement of deterrent measures such as security film.

NGS Films and Graphics can assist school districts in their application for this program.

School Safety Assessments: The First Step in Identification

At no cost, NGS Films and Graphics works with school districts nationwide to provide school safety assessments of windows and entryways. The assessment mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety’s recommended layered zones.

NGS reviews each school and generates a report that includes recommendations on hardening three areas (or zones) with 3M™ Safety and Security Film and one-way mirror privacy films. The report can be used for grant applications and annual state reporting requirements.

“We work one-on-one with school districts to provide them information they need to be able to move forward with a plan to secure their schools,” said James Beale, managing partner of NGS Films and Graphics. “The report that we produce is designed to mirror the recommendations of the Federal Commission on School Safety. We want to protect our children and teachers and we understand that schools need this type of assessment when determining how to best move forward with securing campuses.”

Procurement Contracts Made Easy

NGS Films and Graphics has made it easier for schools to work with them. They are the only window film installer to have obtained Schedule 84 Contract 47QSWA20D00C from the General Services Administration. They also offer TIPS-USA Contract 190101.

These types of contracting vehicles make it easier for public school districts to work directly with the national company without having to go through lengthy bidding processes.

“Time truly is money when you consider the time invested by procurement staffs for lengthy quote processes. We understand that schools are looking for ways to save time when it comes to securing their schools,” Beale said. “We also know that competitive bid processes are important. That’s why we went through the process to get the TIPS contract and, most recently, the GSA Schedule 84 contract.”

Both procurement vehicles prequalify vendors from a financial and performance standpoint via an extensive quote, bid and prequalification process. “Now that we’ve been through the bid and prequalification process, school districts can easily contract with us because we have met procurement and compliance rules,” Beale said.

3M National Dealer of the Year as a School Partner

NGS Films and Graphics is 3M’s largest window film provider in the United States. The company recently received the 2019 National Dealer of the Year from the St. Paul-based company.

NGS Films and Graphics specialize in the installation of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film, Ultra Series and 3M™ Impact Attachment Systems in schools. The experience team has developed a field-proven TRI-SHIELD installation method that dramatically improves performance.

In 2019, NGS Films and Graphics partnered with Houston ISD Police to demonstrate the power of the TRI-SHIELD installation. It took more than six minutes to break through the glass – which, in a real world situation, would mean more valuable time for victims to take shelter and for emergency officials to arrive.

Contact NGS Films and Graphics to Assist with the COPS SVPP grant

The federal COPS School Violence Prevention Program is accepting applications for school safety grants from now through 7:59 p.m. on April 8, 2020. School districts will need to have a safety risk assessment and pricing as part of their application.

For more information on how we can help you apply for the COPS School Violence Prevention Program, contact us at (866) 925-2083 or at [email protected].

NGS Films and Graphics Assists Nonprofits, including Private Schools, with Security Grant Applications

By | Damage reduction window film, Education, Government, safety & security Films, window film | No Comments

School districts across the nation are improving security measures on their campuses due to an increased number of school gun violence incidents. In 2018, there were 191 incidents – which is more incidents in one year than in the last four decades, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security began accepting applications from nonprofit organizations, including private schools, for its Fiscal Year 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This federal program provides funding to put mechanisms in place to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks.

NGS Films and Graphics can assist private schools in their application for this program.

School Safety Assessments: The First Step in Identification

At no cost, NGS Films and Graphics works with school districts nationwide to provide school safety assessments of windows and entryways. The assessment mirrors the Federal Commission on School Safety’s recommended layered zones.

NGS reviews each school and generates a report that includes recommendations on hardening three areas (or zones) with 3M™ Safety and Security Film and one-way mirror privacy films. The report can be used for grant applications and other reporting requirements.

“We work one-on-one with schools to provide them information they need to be able to move forward with a plan to secure their schools,” said James Beale, managing partner of NGS Films and Graphics. “We want to protect our children and teachers and we understand that schools need this type of assessment when determining how to best move forward with securing campuses.”

3M National Dealer of the Year as a School Partner

NGS Films and Graphics is 3M’s largest window film provider in the United States. The company recently received the 2019 National Dealer of the Year from the St. Paul-based company.

NGS Films and Graphics specialize in the installation of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film, Ultra Series and 3M™ Impact Attachment Systems in schools. The experience team has developed a field-proven TRI-SHIELD installation method that dramatically improves performance.

In 2019, NGS Films and Graphics partnered with Houston ISD Police to demonstrate the power of the TRI-SHIELD installation. It took more than six minutes to break through the glass – which, in a real-world situation, would mean more valuable time for victims to take shelter and for emergency officials to arrive.

Procurement Contracts Made Easy

NGS Films and Graphics has made it easier for schools to work with them. They are the only window film installer to have obtained Schedule 84 Contract 47QSWA20D00C from the General Services Administration. They also offer TIPS-USA Contract 190101.

These types of contracting vehicles make it easier for private school districts to work directly with the national company without having to go through lengthy bidding processes.

Both procurement vehicles prequalify vendors from a financial and performance standpoint via an extensive quote, bid and prequalification process. “Now that we’ve been through the bid and prequalification process, school districts can easily contract with us because we have met procurement and compliance rules,” Beale said.

Contact NGS Films and Graphics to Assist with the 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program

The 2020 Nonprofit Security Grant Program can offset costs on security-related activities including the installation of security equipment on real property (buildings and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization at the time of application. Completed applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 15, 2020.

For more information on how we can help you apply for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program, contact us at (866) 925-2083 or at [email protected].

White elevators in a lobby with belbien film

Elevator Restoration on a Budget

By | decorative films, Wall Wraps | No Comments

Elevator Restoration for a Fraction of the Cost

A dirty, scratched, or dated-looking elevator doesn’t exactly inspire confidence from its passengers. If anything, it’s more like a horror movie and the passengers are waiting for the elevator to drop. Since being packed into an elevator with a group of strangers is already uncomfortable enough for a lot of people, you want your elevator interior to feel like a safe, clean space that gives people a good impression of your property and makes them feel at ease. Your elevator will give its passengers an instant impression of your building and your business, so you need to make sure it’s a good one. 

If the interior of your elevator is so broken or so damaged that pieces need to be replaced, you might need a remodel. However, if the problem is normal wear-and-tear – things like graffiti, scratched surfaces, or outdated style, refinishing your elevator is just as effective and far more cost-effective than a complete remodel. Enter 3M DI-NOC and Belbien in metallic finishes. 

Why You Should Resurface Your Elevator Rather Than Remodel

Your elevator is an important touchpoint for your customers. It gives them an all-too-important first impression of your building and your business, and if your elevator is dingy, defaced, or even a little dated, it can send the wrong message. Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to give your elevator a facelift and create an aesthetic that makes them feel like they’ve chosen the right place to do business. Here are just a few reasons why you should choose to resurface rather than remodel your elevator interior:

  • It’s Cheaper
    Not only does refinishing save you valuable time because of the ease of installation, but refinishing rather than remodeling your elevator can literally save you thousands of dollars in material costs. Gutting the inside of an elevator and replacing worn but perfectly serviceable materials is far less cost-effective than refinishing the surfaces by adding architectural film and wraps, which come in an endless variety of textures, colors, and finishes that will make your elevator look brand-new in no time. You could even give it a silk-like appearance…if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • It’s Environmentally-Friendly
    Fully remodeling an elevator typically means that there will be parts of your existing elevator that will be scrapped and thrown away entirely. This is unnecessary in many cases, as most surfaces are simply outdated and can be refinished rather than replaced. When you remodel an elevator interior, you throw away all the old parts, which need to be replaced entirely. In most cases, these surfaces are fine – if they are still structurally sound, all they need is a makeover, not a replacement. Think makeover instead of plastic surgery. Resurfacing with architectural film creates far less waste, and protects the underlying surfaces for years to come.
  • Less Time to Install and Less Disruption to Your Business
    If you choose to refresh your elevator with wraps or films, your elevator will not need to be recertified as it would if you were to perform a full remodel. Our service teams can be in and out in a fraction of the time a full remodel would take, leaving your elevator looking good as new in much less time. Architectural films like 3M DI-NOC or Belbien require very little preparation, no demolition or construction, and less equipment, which results in a faster installation process with minimal impact on your daily business. We will even come in during closed hours to reduce the impact as much as possible, a literal transformation overnight!
  • Give Your Elevator Character
    Riding in an elevator can be a terrible experience. We’ve all been there, forced into awkward silence and interactions with people we don’t know. Why not give people something pleasant to look at during that awkward silence, or better yet, provide customers with something that’s going to start a conversation? Elevators don’t need to be a simple silver metallic– they can be– but they can be so much more with the hundreds of options from 3M DI-NOC and Belbien.

Preventative Care and Restoration

Finishing your elevator interior with a wrap or film will not only elevate its appearance, but it will also protect the interior of the elevator and preserve the original materials for longer. Most elevator interiors are finished with metals such as steel or copper that scratch easily. A film such as 3M DI-NOC is scratch-resistant and available in many metallic finishes. If you have a new elevator, we also offer clear protective films that protect your walls and floor from normal wear and tear. NGS also specializes in the installation of metal and glass anti-graffiti coatings, which allow you to renew metal and glass surfaces without undergoing an expensive replacement. Mirror and metal finishes are available that allow you to install a protective surface directly over the damaged underlying material, which will renew the surface appearance and save you thousands of dollars.

Why waste time, money, and materials when you could make your elevator look brand-new in a fraction of the time? 

 

Contact NGS to discover all the options available to help your business upgrade your elevator and other interior surfaces.

 

Bathroom featuring traditional standard glass mirrors with mirror protection film

Mirror Design and Resurfacing

By | decorative films | No Comments

Mirror film is one of the most versatile products that we offer. It can be used to create decorative mirrors, as decorative privacy window film, and to resurface existing mirrors to make them like new. Mirrors also have the benefit of making spaces feel larger and lighter, which can be necessary for smaller spaces… because no one likes to feel claustrophobic. 

Let’s explore the three primary ways to use mirror film: Decorative use, decorative privacy window film, and resurfacing mirrors. 

Mirror Film For Decorative Use 

Need your small space to feel bigger, or want to create a feature wall using mirrored designs? Mirror film can be the perfect solution to create decorative wall mirrors, feature walls, a full-length wall mirror, among many other decorative mirror ideas – the only limit is your imagination! 

Decorative mirrors help create interest in your space and make spaces feel larger. Traditional mirrors can shatter, creating the potential for injury. They also weigh a significant amount, requiring screws and special hanging mechanisms to bear the weight. Mirror film gives the effect of a mirror, without the weight, without the risk of injury, and can easily be made into many different shapes and sizes. 

After choosing the look you want to go for, and having the mirror film installed, you can add decorative picture frames or other features to the wall to really make it a feature of the space. Something entirely unique to your commercial building or office. 

Additionally, mirrors, especially large ones, are often very expensive. Mirror film is a fraction of the cost of mirrors, making it much more cost-effective for creating a feature wall. 

Decorative Privacy Window Film – Mirror Edition

One-way privacy film is another use for mirrored film, which allows one to see through the glass on one side of the glass and only offers a mirrored surface if looking from the other side. This application can be particularly useful for creating a decorative feel, while still offering privacy for sensitive information or meetings that need to be conducted. 

The benefit is that you also don’t have to choose one solid surface, but can create patterns as well, only blocking out sections of the glass, or the sections that would show any sensitive information. Mirrors also create an effect of space and roominess that can be particularly useful for spaces that have a lot of walls and can feel a bit claustrophobic. Often a symptom of cubicles! 

Mirror Shield to Resurface Existing Mirrors

Public restroom mirrors scratched and chipped? Wondering why you’re going to replace those mirrors…again? We get it. Replacing an entire mirror, and creating waste that goes into landfills, just for a scratch, chip, or crack is financially and environmentally unsustainable. Not to mention, the inconvenience of needing to close a restroom just to replace a mirror. 

Thankfully, anytime your mirror gets scratched, vandalized, chipped, or cracked, it’s easy enough to resurface and restore it. Mirror shield can take seemingly ruined mirrors and, with some mirror film and a professional mirror film installer, you can create a perfectly smooth, clear mirrored image in only a few minutes. 

Mirrored film is incredibly cost-effective, versatile, and can transform your office or home, making it feel airy and giving the illusion of more space. It’s also perfect for sprucing up those old mirrors to make them like new again. 

Contact NGS Films and Graphics today to get started creating your vision! 

 

Clean open-concept lobby with geometric vinyl wrapped wall and with blue and grey chairs and white table featured in bottom right corner

Lobby Design and Redesign on a Budget

By | decorative films, Floor Graphics, Wall Wraps | No Comments

“Never judge a book by its cover.” It’s a common saying, one you’ve probably heard your whole life. It’s good advice, but it doesn’t change the fact that first impressions do matter, especially when it comes to your business. Your lobby is the first physical touchpoint your customers have with your building beyond its exterior, and lobby design matters. It’s the place where they make their first impression. As a business owner, you know how much that first impression matters. 

If your lobby is feeling a little dated and you’re considering an expensive remodel that will take valuable time away from your business, there are other options available to you that can make your lobby feel brand-new and nail that all-too-important first impression without completely remodeling. Wraps and window films can refresh and transform the appearance of your lobby and can be applied to walls, floors, ceilings, your receptionist’s desk, casework, doors, windows, and more. 

The Bottom Line: Architectural Wraps Save Time and Money

If you’re thinking about undergoing a full or partial lobby remodel, chances are your business’s main welcome area will be overrun by demolition, construction, and installation crews for days, weeks, or months depending on the scope of the project. Often, this is completely unnecessary and far more expensive than simply refreshing your lobby by updating its aesthetics with window film, wall graphics, and surface graphics. Spruce up the surfaces in your lobby with textures, patterns, and creative designs to create an engaging, modern space where customers feel welcome, for a fraction of the price of a full remodel. You don’t need to spend a fortune to create a “wow” factor. 

Our service teams are minimally intrusive, and take far less time than a full remodel. Keep your business functional while our expert service crews apply wraps and films to transform your space.  We will even come in during closed hours – depending on the project size, we can completely transform your lobby overnight!

  • Better for the Environment
    Architectural wraps like 3M DI-NOC and Belbien are eco-friendly. Refreshing your lobby with architectural wraps uses far fewer materials than tearing your lobby apart, throwing away the old materials, and replacing them. Plus, the next time you need a refresh, it’s as easy as putting on a new wrap!
  • Wraps and Films Improve Lifespan As Well As Appearance
    Not only are wall wraps an affordable way to refresh your lobby’s appearance and give it some character, they also protect your existing surfaces from further damage and normal wear and tear.
  • Use Architectural Film to Add Color or Texture to Make Your Lobby Stand Out
    Architectural films and wraps allow you almost unlimited options to customize your lobby’s interior. Metal, stone, and wood textures are only a small selection of our offerings and are nearly indiscernible from the real thing. Floor graphics, wall graphics, and even ceiling graphics can help you create an engaging space that will wow customers as soon as they walk in the door. Plus, these graphics can help with wayfinding if your office, hospital, or hotel could use a bit of directions.

Window Film and Window Wraps: Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

Window and film decals don’t need to be full, opaque or tinted window dressings. Sometimes, less is more. Window film allows you to add logos, patterns, or other designs to the glass surfaces in your building. For the more adventurous decorators, or those who need to make glass-walled spaces more private, smart films are available that can turn from transparent to opaque with the flip of a switch, creating a more dynamic space and eliminating the need for blinds or shades.

 

Contact NGS to discover all the options available to help you refresh your lobby without breaking the bank.

Large conference room with lots of natural light and frosted privacy window film on the left side

Refresh Instead of Replace

By | Solutions | No Comments

We all know what it’s like picking the interior or exterior for your business. Stressful. Trying to pick a “feel” that a potential customer or client will have when they enter your building is like trying to pick who will win March Madness in a couple of months and in 10 years. Why? Because people’s tastes change, and what’s in-style today surely won’t be in two years, let alone ten. 

I know what you’re thinking…

“How the heck is any business supposed to keep up with that? We don’t have an unlimited budget!”

And you’re right. It would be completely unrealistic for any business to update their interiors and exteriors so often, especially with the cost of commercial remodeling being, on average, between $50 and $150… per square foot. Now let’s say your business is only 1500 square feet– doing a little bit of math– that would make your renovation $75,000 on the low end and $225,000 on the high end. Yikes!Enough of the math and the scary numbers. We’re here to talk about an alternative to those grossly high numbers: refreshing your office, rather than replacing it. 

This is where Belbien and 3M DI-NOC come in. 

They’re what’s known as “architectural film,” which is just a fancy way of saying that the film can be applied to walls, ceilings, pillars, building exteriors, desks, facades… you get the point. It can be applied to just about anything. These films come in hundreds of styles and textures, from marble to metal, concrete, or just about any type of wood you can imagine. It makes building resurfacing possible, being both a cost-affordable and a minimally-invasive building renovation. 

The benefit?

The benefit of refreshing your surfaces with Belbien or 3M DI-NOC is that you don’t need to do any major renovation (saving you money, precious open time, and inconvenience). Plus the crew can come in at night and transform the office for the next day. Did we mention it can be 5x cheaper than a complete remodel? Yeah. That got your attention, didn’t it? 

Instead of remodeling your lobby, or offices, or common areas, give them a little refresh to bring a whole new look to your space. Plus, instead of needing to wait 10 years until it’s so out of date that it makes your eyes burn, you can afford to do it more frequently and keep your customers, clients, and employees happy with a beautiful space to work and conduct business in. 

Building resurfacing is a much more cost-effective way to keep your commercial office or building looking fresh and in-style. Belbien and 3M DI-NOC offer hundreds of options, such as wood, metal, leather, silk, and woven looks to go with any style you want to have, or whatever the style is in a few years. Refreshing can be 5X more affordable than doing a traditional commercial building remodel– to boot. 

If you’re in need of a Belbien installer or 3M DI-NOC installer, NGS Films and Graphics is here for all your building resurfacing needs. Contact us today for a quote

 

3M night vision window film on a sky rise

About 3M Night Vision Window Film

By | window film | No Comments

You’re in the office working late on an RFP. 

Over the past few hectic months, you’ve learned a lot about commercial window film – how it significantly reduces heating and cooling costs due to its unique heat rejection and thermal properties, how UV protection window film maintains the longevity of your furnishings and building decor by blocking UV rays, and how it can protect your building from stormy weather and break-ins because it strengthens your window glass. 

All of these commercial window tinting benefits are important to your company, and the RFP you’re working on requires project bidders to be experts in all these aspects of commercial grade window tint. 

As you lean back in your desk chair to stretch before finishing your RFP draft, you notice that the sun is slipping below the cityscape horizon that makes your office view spectacular. But as the distinctive skyline lights twinkle into view in the darkness, all you can see is your reflection in your office windows. 

“It’s a shame there isn’t a film that can save on energy costs and help maintain my office view 24/7,” you think to yourself. 

“Or is there?”

Discover 3M Night Vision Window Film 

3M Night Vision film offers all the benefits you’ve come to expect from world-class, high-tech window films, plus it has one critical additional benefit:

It allows you to enjoy spectacular nighttime views, with substantially reduced glare and reflection – when compared to other dual reflective films.

Night Vision film:

  • Rejects up to 66% of the sun’s heat*, which reduces your cooling costs 
  • Features low interior reflectivity around the clock, so your views stay crystal clear all day and all night
  • Blocks harmful UV rays from damaging your building’s interior
  • Delivers glare-free visibility that reduces eye strain, thereby enhancing office productivity
  • Enhances privacy with a reflective exterior surface that makes it hard for outsiders to see in, but easy for you to see out 

Enjoy the Proven Benefits of Night Vision Film 

Before finalizing that RFP, you may as well add in a section on Night Vision film, such as NV 15, by 3M.

Since commercial window film installation is a big project, and since you’ve spent so much time on this project already, you may as well get the perfect film for your building

After all, once the film is installed and you’ve stayed in the office late one evening to put together the report on your first year’s cost savings… won’t it be nice to lean back in your desk chair, stretch, and enjoy the gorgeous lights of the city spread out in front of you? 

Of course it will. And it’s the very least you deserve for all your hard work.

Work with America’s #1 Commercial Window Film Company for Your Night Vision Film Installation

As one of the nation’s leading experts in window film, with one of the best service models you’ve ever experienced, NGS can manage every aspect of your window film project

All you’ll have to do is look forward to the completion of a job well done. 

As you send out your RFP, consider including the NGS team – it’s so easy to get in touch with us, and even easier to work with us!

 

*performance based on ¼” single pane clear glass.

Hallway looking is to offices with glass windows with smart window film

Comparison of Smart Window Film and Other Privacy Window Film Options

By | safety & security Films, smart window film, window film | No Comments

By this point, you already know that smart window film is eye-catching, exciting, high tech, and a cost-effective alternative to mechanical blinds or new glazing… but if you’re using it solely for privacy, it’s worth figuring out how smart window film compares to other privacy film options. 

That’s what we’ll be discussing today. 

Smart Window Film vs. One Way Privacy Window Film

One way privacy film, such as 3M One Way Mirror Film, enhances security and privacy in buildings, creating a private area within the building that looks like a mirror to outside observers, but provides an unobstructed view to people within the mirrored area. 

Because of these highly specific capabilities, one way privacy window film is a great fit for interior rooms in schools, as well as security areas in commercial spaces – but be aware that mirrored privacy films require a light differential, so you’ll want to consult with a window film expert before investing in one way film. 

The bottom line: Smart window film transforms from opaque to clear at the touch of a button, blocking or clearing views on both sides of your glass. One way privacy film maintains privacy on one side while allowing full visibility on the other side. 

Smart Window Film vs. Decorative Privacy Window Film

Decorative privacy window films provide a welcoming façade as well as flexible, attractive privacy on any of your glass doors, windows, or walls. Decorative privacy film is useful in any situation in which you don’t require a clear line of vision. Since it comes in a nearly unlimited variety of textures, colors, and patterns, you can use it to easily personalize and modernize your space. 

When most people think of decorative privacy window films, they think of solid-surface applications, such as covering a glass wall with frosted privacy window film or white opaque window film. However, decorative films can also be cut precisely into shapes, bands, and other designs (including your logo!), which can provide privacy without covering your glass entirely. 

The bottom line: Smart window film can be used on part or all of your glass windows, doors, or walls, but can switch from clear to opaque depending on your current needs. Decorative privacy window film obscures your view at all times, but it can also cover part or all of your glass doors, windows, or walls. 

Smart Window Film vs. Blackout Film

Sometimes you want flexible privacy – and sometimes you wish your location just didn’t have so many darn windows. When you need to block prying eyes from sensitive data at your POS terminals, or you simply want to block the view of your storage room, blackout film, such as 3M Blackout Film is probably the right choice to use. 

Blackout film is an opaque black that completely obscures the view of something you don’t want seen. However, if black isn’t your style, you have color options. 

In fact, that’s exactly, what Dollar Tree did at a few of their stores, hiring the window film manufacturing experts at NGS to create a custom opaque window film in Dollar Tree’s signature shade of green. 

The bottom line: Smart window film changes from clear to opaque, which isn’t necessary for situations in which you want to completely obscure the view, all the time. In those situations, blackout film is the right choice. 

Read the Dollar Tree Case Study

Smart Window Film vs. Glass Graphics

If you’re looking for privacy and eye-catching designs, consider using full-size glass graphics on your windows, doors, and interior glass accents. Glass graphics help increase your signage and is therefore extremely effective for retail applications. It can also help strengthen your brand message, call attention to a new location, and even share the news about limited-time deals and sales. 

Interested in glass graphics but aren’t sure how to get started? The team at NGS can help you with every stage of this process, including selection of the most appropriate glass graphics materials for your needs, high-quality design and manufacturing of your graphics – and even installation

From concept to completion, NGS has got you covered, no matter if you’d like glass graphics, blackout film, decorative privacy film, one way privacy film, or smart film. 

The bottom line: The high-tech, switchable nature of smart film does a great job of grabbing attention, especially in retail locations, but if you want to grab attention while building your brand or sharing new information with potential customers, glass graphics may be a better choice. 

Choose the Smart Window Film Experts – NGS! 

Hopefully, this article helped you determine whether or not smart film was the right choice for your windows in your office building, school, hospital, hotel, retail store, or government building

If you decided that, Yes, You Would Like More Info on Smart Film, you may as well get a detailed consultation that takes your specific needs into account

Smart film is extremely flexible and cost-effective, especially when compared with smart glass windows, which may require full glazing replacement if the smart electrical components wear out, but there are certain areas in which smart window film is a better choice – and certain areas where privacy window film is a better choice

Instead of wasting your time trying to do all the glass film research yourself, it’s a better idea to simply get the experts to walk through your location and help you determine your best options for longevity, aesthetics, and, of course, effective privacy. 

As the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S. and the team behind some of the largest smart film and privacy film installations in the nation, NGS has the experience and know-how to get you started off right with your smart window film and privacy film selections. 

Check out these creative applications for smart film, so you can start thinking about how you can transform your space with NGS.

Office scene with desk and computer with a clean window backdrop with solar window film

Smart Window Film Facts

By | smart window film, window film | No Comments

If you’ve seen smart window film, you already know how totally cool it is – but smart film is even cooler than you think. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the facts on smart window film, including the science behind it and the right way to install it, so you can make sure the privacy window film installer you hire for your smart film project is a trustworthy expert. 

Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in. 

How the Heck Does Smart Window Film Work?

As you already know, smart film switches back and forth from being a white opaque window film to being completely clear, just with the tap of an app button – like so: 

Pure magic, right? 

Well, no. Pure technology

As science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and smart film definitely fits in that science fiction “magic” category. 

Here’s how it works

  • Smart film consists of thin sheets of PDLC (polymer dispersed liquid crystal)
  • PDLC is made up of many thousands of liquid crystal droplets, which are dispersed across the film in a polymer. 
  • Without an electrical charge, the liquid crystal droplets randomly orient themselves across the polymer. 
  • In a random orientation, the droplets act a lot like the surface of a lake on a windy day. 
  • Think about it: When the wind hits the surface of the lake, the droplets of the lake randomly orient themselves in response to the wind…
  • … and this random orientation ruffles the surface of the water and makes the surface of the lake opaque, so you can’t see through it to the lake floor.
  • Similarly, when the liquid crystal droplets of the PDLC smart film are randomly oriented without an electrical charge, they turn the surface of the film opaque white, so you can’t see through it. 

But… 

  • Each of the liquid crystal droplets can (and do) move around when exposed to electricity. 
  • Specifically, when exposed to electricity, the droplets rearrange themselves into regimented patterns along parallel axes…
  • …and in those regimented patterns, the rearranged droplets allow light to pass through them
  • In this pattern, the droplets are rearranged and stilled, much like how the surface of a calm lake becomes crystal clear, so you can see through it to the lake floor. 

Pretty cool, right? 

PDLC Smart Film vs. Electrochromic Smart Glass

Of course, PDLC smart film is only one method of transforming glass back and forth between a clear state and an opaque state. The other popular method of doing this is by using electrochromic smart glass – but electrochromic glass has a lot of drawbacks when used for commercial or decorative purposes. 

First, let’s talk about how electrochromic glass works, and then it’ll be easier to understand why many business leaders choose smart film over smart glass for their commercial window tinting solution. 

  • Electrochromic smart glass consists of a microscopically thin electrochromic material that is sandwiched between two layers of glass
  • When electricity is applied to the electrochromic material, the material changes from transparent to opaque (or vice versa). 
  • Electrochromic glass transformation starts on the edges of the material and moves inward, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes long for full transformation (depending on window size). 
  • In its opaque state, electrochromic smart glass can be blue, black, white, or other colors, but on large panes of glass, the color you choose may go through a few tint changes as it darkens from the edges to the center of the glass. 
  • This tint change is called the “iris effect.” 

With that explanation, you can see why many business leaders choose PDLC smart film over electrochromic smart glass

  • PDLC smart window film becomes a uniform, frosted white when opaque, which is more desirable than variable tinting from the edges to the center of your glass. 
  • PDLC smart film switches from clear to opaque in an instant, whereas electrochromic film can take minutes to switch. 
  • PDLC smart film can be applied to existing glass, but electrochromic glass requires full glass replacement.
  • If an electrical component fails in PDLC smart film, all you have to do is replace the film and get back to work. If an electrical component fails in electrochromic glass, you have to replace the entire glass window, door, or accent wall. 

One benefit that electrochromic glass offers over PDLC smart film is that it only requires electricity for its transformation process. Once electrochromic glass is either clear or opaque, it can maintain that state indefinitely, without additional power. 

In contrast, PDLC smart film is only clear while the electricity is on. If the power is turned off, smart film immediately becomes frosted privacy window film.

How to Install Smart Film So It Works Right and Looks Great

Now that you know how smart film changes from frosted privacy window film to crystal-clear visibility, and you understand why PDLC smart film is often a better choice for businesses than electrochromic glass, you need to know how to hire for a professional smart film installation job

Here’s how to make sure your commercial window tinting smart film installer is an expert: 

  • They know how to “trim out” the smart film to hide wires.
    Smart window film requires electricity, and electricity requires wiring. No one wants to see ugly wires around their glass windows, doors, or accent walls, so you need to make sure your installer has a plan to hide those wires. Experts will hide wires by customizing the colors of the wiremolds so they precisely match the adjacent window frames, and the installers will also use specific materials to hide the backside of the exposed wires, delivering an attractive, finished look to your smart film windows.
  • They know how to install the wiring.
    Window film experts typically aren’t electricians – yet it takes some electrical skill to properly install strong, long-lasting wiring, on a dedicated electrical circuit, so you can keep your PDLC smart film working for years. Make sure your installer has extensive smart film experience in a variety of settings because you don’t want them guessing on how to complete your installation.
  • They know how to protect your investment
    Edge sealing is a common practice among leading smart film installation experts, because edge sealing prevents water and other contaminants from getting between your film and your glass. Unsealed or exposed smart film edges can stress and wear out your smart film’s electrical components, and those unsealed edges can also cause film to buckle or become baggy. Ensure your installer has sealed the edges of your film, so you can maintain your investment.

Check out the video below to see how an expert smart window film installer keeps your smart film attractive and long lasting.

Get Your Smart Film Installed Properly with NGS

Make sure your smart film project is a success when you work with NGS

As nationally recognized smart film experts, as well as the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S., NGS has the wide-ranging experience to ensure that your smart window film exceeds your expectations for beauty and high performance. 

 

Not sure how to use smart film in your building or business? Check out these creative ideas!