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Window Film and Nighttime Privacy

Can privacy window films provide you with nighttime privacy?  The answer, as happens so frequently, is yes and no.

Privacy window films are films that, when applied to a window, prevents someone from seeing through the glass into whatever is on the other side.  Because of how light performs we need to make a distinction between nighttime and daytime privacy, because window films perform differently at night than they do during the day.  It’s all about the physics of light and the reflective properties of the window film.


This can best be observed by picturing the downtown areas of a major city.  During the day the city centres are filled with high rise building covered in reflective glass. You can’t see inside the buildings while the people inside can easily see out. At night it’s another story.

At night the people inside the buildings can’t see out while the people outside can easily see into the buildings, just as if the glass were clear. This phenomena has a direct impact on how you can use window film to achieve the level and type of privacy you want.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” – Robert Heinlein

Dark and highly reflective window films make great daytime privacy films.  The best part…they allow you to see out whilst no one can see in.  Talk to your everyday window film guy about privacy film and this is what comes to mind. He has this type of window film in stock, it provides great privacy during the day and has the additional benefits that come with a solar control window film, things like reducing the heat coming through the glass whilst reducing fading and glare.

But if you want nighttime privacy these films simply don’t work!

Reflective and dark window films provide privacy on the darker side of the glass. In other words, whichever side has the greater light source will not be able to see through the glass to the darker side when you have this type of film applied.

How to achieve nighttime privacy.

The simplest and oldest method – This has nothing to do with window film.  the simplest and oldest method for achieving nighttime privacy is by simply closing your blinds or drapes at night.  Blinds and drapes work very well in partnership with window film when it comes to privacy.  Install the right window film on your glass and you get privacy during the day, which is of course the time when you, your employees and your clients most want to see out through the glass while at night you simply close the drapes, preventing someone from seeing inside.

From an energy saving standpoint this is great as well.  Window film does an excellent job of managing the light coming through your windows – reducing heat, reducing glare, reducing fading of your furniture and carpets while providing privacy whilst at night drapes effectively insulate your windows against the elements far more effectively than any window film or even dual-paned or triple-paned glass could…all while providing privacy.

Daytime and nighttime privacy using only window film.

But what if you want to achieve both daytime and nighttime privacy using only window film?  Can this be done?

Absolutely, but you are going to have to either give up some or all of your visibility or maintain a stronger light source on the outside of the glass.  If your willing to give up some or all of your privacy frosted window films are an excellent option.  Available in a wide variety of patterns and opacities (tranparencies), frosted window films are a great privacy solution.  Also, since frosted films can be computer cut into patterns they provide you with lots of options for customizing and branding your privacy solutions.

frosted film, frosted window film, manifestation graphics

The second option for using window film for nighttime privacy is to keep a stronger light source on the outside of the glass by means of a floodlight or other method.  This method is more troublesome and problematic than the other and tends to lend itself to high security type operations. you want But what if you want privacy without closing your drapes or shutting your blinds?  What is you want to use a window film for nighttime privacy?

Frosted window films provide privacy both day and night and are an excellent solution to most any privacy issue.  the only problem is that frosted films achieve privacy by making the window glass opaque and blocking the view from both sides.

Window film is an excellent solution to a variety of glass problems and challenges, including daytime and nighttime privacy.  For consultation and advice on how window films can work for you please contact Pentagon Protection or call us at +44 (0) 1494 793 333 and one of our window film specialists will contact you to discuss your unique situation.

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