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Window Film

Does One-way Window Film Work?

By October 26, 2022Window Film
Commercial building with one-way mirror film

Often in life, it is the little things that matter most. One-way window film is legitimately one of those “little things.” Perhaps you are wondering, “Why would I need a one-way window film?” Or… “Do they even work?” We have answers for both of those questions below.

Privacy is becoming more of a priority in our lives. Protecting the interiors of commercial buildings and businesses equates to fewer opportunities for “wannabe” thieves. If they can’t see into your space in a quick drive-by, they may be less likely to return after dark to break in.

This isn’t the only reason to ensure privacy for your building, but it’s a big one. Protection from sun rays, reduced interior glare, and fading of furnishings all play into why a building owner may prefer one-way window film. And yet… there’s more.

What is one-way window film?

One-way window film is most recognized for its mirrored effect. This affords someone on the interior of a building or space to look out without someone on the outside being able to see in. In fact, anyone on the outside of the building taking in its exterior will have a striking view of the area around them. It’s particularly striking during sunsets and sunrises.

An important factor to consider when contemplating a one-way window film is the reflective aspect.  A one-way mirror is half-silvered, meaning that one side is transparent while the other side is translucent. The way this window film works is simple. The brighter the sunlight the stronger the reflection. Thus, as the day wears on and the sun goes down, that reflective aspect also dims somewhat.

If your organization works around the clock, you may notice that when the interior lights of the building are on and it’s dark outside, you can see clearly into the building from the outside. Moreover, your interior view would be limited.

This isn’t an issue for most commercial buildings as the corporate hours aren’t often late into the night. Therefore, the daytime one-way film is an ideal choice as it has a striking appearance and does its job well during normal office hours. On the rare occasion that someone may be working inside after dark, reducing the interior light can help. Moreover, adding outdoor area lighting around the building will also help reduce the view into the building.

One-way window film benefits

  • Maximize interior privacy
  • Utility savings
  • Reduce glare on computer screens or TV
  • Minimize or eradicate interior hot spots from the sun
  • Protect glass in windows or doors from becoming spall

Disadvantages of one-way window film

At night when the interior of the light within the building is greater than any daylight outside of the building, passersby may be able to see into the building. As most commercial buildings are not open at night, this is rarely an issue. Building’s interior lights are most often left off at night.

However, 3M™ created a reflective window film that some commercial building owners prefer for those scenarios in which the building is in operation 24/7. This is referred to as 3M one-way window film day and night. It offers a low interior reflectivity, thus allowing for a more enhanced view out at night. This night series privacy window film also blocks 99 % of UV rays during the day and rejects up to 71% of the sun’s heat. Additionally, it reduces glare and allows 15-35% of the sun’s natural light into the building during the day.

All of 3M’s one-way privacy window films come in a variety of tints. For those who would prefer a lighter or darker tinted one-way film, they are available. 3M’s one-way window films, including the day and night series, all come in multiple levels of tint. This allows the property owner to discern what best meets their needs according to the location and orientation of the building. You can expect to receive different levels of daylight according to the specifications of any building.

Does one-way window film work?

Yes! It works well and most importantly, there are options! The right window film is waiting for you and our expert consultants are on standby to answer any questions you may have.

We also offer complimentary energy-building assessments that can help you discern the best window film solution for your commercial property. NGS uses government-approved software to determine which window films will provide you with the most benefits for your building. If you would like to schedule an energy-building modeling assessment, you may begin here. Privacy is just one of the advantages of one-way window films.

NGS Product Demonstration
Hosted by  James Beale
Join our 15-minute virtual product demonstration to learn how our products and services can help you make your buildings better. Plus, watch us put Riot Glass™ to the test with a sledgehammer!


Feature Photo by Brady Bellini

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