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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
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    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2017
    Has anyone researched this? Not talking about the usual obscured glass, I wondered if there is something pretty reflective which might not guarantee absolute inability to see though it, but good enough performance for, say, a first floor window? Any help and advice much appreciated!
    There are two types I am aware of which is electric switchable privacy glass, very expensive, and external films, less so.



    Other manufacturers are available.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2017
    we have used a sticky film, that makes the window look like a mirror from the o/s.
    Downside, if it is dark o/s, you CAN see in, if the interior is well lit...... :bigsmile:
    Any 'one way glass' will allow vision from the dark side to the brighter side. (As DaryIP says). The expensive electrical glass mentioned above whilst I have no experience of it would appear to obscure from both directions at the turn of a switch, although a brief flight into the website did not show if the effect was variable (dimmable?) or just switchable.

    It depends what you are after, e.g. a large flemish pattern will, from a distance, diffuse the image on the other side whilst standing close to the glass will give a clearer view through the glass. (But by standing close the person will be seen fairly clearly by those at a distance) Small flemish performed better at this but unfortunately this pattern is no longer available.

    What effect are you trying to achieve or what problem are you trying to solve?
    • CommentAuthorFred56
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2017
    Shop windows sometimes have a film, trade name I have heard is Contra Vision. It allows graphics on the outside which sort of distract the eye but you can out from within.
    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
    Thanks All.

    Peter - the window my query relates to is a single window at the side of the house which looks into the neighbours garden.

    The effect I am looking for is no loss of light coming into the room, and also no loss of my ability to look out of it, but for it to not be possible for them to look in. Does that make sense?
    Posted By: delpradoThe effect I am looking for is no loss of light coming into the room, and also no loss of my ability to look out of it, but for it to not be possible for them to look in. Does that make sense?

    It isn't possible 'for no loss of light coming into the room' if you use a mirror film. There are several different types of mirror film with different characteristics. I have used heat reflective film and JSHarris on the BuildHub forum used heat reflective and mirror privacy film on his house.


    His blog may contain more information.
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
    Net curtains have the added advantage that you can twitch them?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
    A venetian blind, maybe?
    We used an internally applied heat reflective film from


    it has a tint so darkens outdoors. Wasn't actually mirrored from outside but enough of a mirror effect that you couldn't really see in. This was in a london street so lots of outside light even at night. Might be different if pitch black outside and brightly lit in.
    We wanted to stop people seeing into our daughter's flat from the car park outside and put ground glass looking film on the bottom half. Doesn't block much light as daylight mostly comes from above, and not much of a worry that people can still see her ceiling, or head if she's standing close to the window. Not sure about the effect at night, but I imagine it makes it pretty blurry.
    This was for virtually a whole wall of window.
    Not relevant in this case, but a cheap & effective solution where appropriate (e.g. if you don't mind the aesthetics and that it cuts the view both ways) is small bubble wrap,

    Get a good sized sheet. Clean the window, mist lightly with water from a spray, then flatten the bubble wrap onto the pane. I used it on the window of a storage area, recycling some bubble that came as packaging. It's stayed up for a couple of years, and as a bonus that window no longer gets any condensation (the storage area is unheated). From the outside it looks as if the window has obscure glass (almost like 'hammered' but not quite the same pattern).
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