The sun is the source of all energy used on the earth, be it energy stored in oil or coal, or sunlight streaming through your windows, warming your house up in the summer. Sunlight streaming into your home not only increases your cooling bills, it also causes your furniture to fade faster, can cause electronics to wear out faster, and can fade photographs and artwork.
Window tinting and home window films are products designed to mitigate the amount of solar energy that enter your home – think of them as see-through window shades. Like most other devices, they’re being improved by nanotechnology.
The earliest window tinting products were simply appliqués that darkened the inside of the window; they’re like an anti-glare coating on a laptop monitor, and they’re good for dimming the light coming in and making your windows seem like very light sunglasses. Made from a rapidly drying resin coat, they also had a problem with expansion and shrinking in cold weather streaming film. If you’ve ever been in an office building where it seems like there’s “patches” on the window that are brighter than the rest, you’ve seen early window tinting at work.
In part because this solution didn’t work well, engineers worked on improved application technologies, and on nanometer scale ceramic films designed to block out the ultraviolet and far violet light that ordinary window glass lets in. This is light that has a much shorter wavelength than people can see by, and is the light that’s the most damaging to your possessions. It also gets absorbed by your furniture and carpeting and re-radiated as infrared light. So far, the industry leader in ceramic nanocoated window tinting is Huper Optiks line of products – these are applied to the inside of your window in multiple layers – each layer is a billionth of a nanometer thick, and each layer is tailored to reflect a given wavelength of light.
The result of this is that your windows let in more neutral colored visible light, and less UV. There’s remarkably less glare, colors on art objects and furniture is richer and more evenly distributed, and your home remains cooler in the summer time.