Glass Glossary

Switchable Privacy Glass


Last Updated: November 23, 2023

Switchable privacy glass, also known as smart glass or switchable glass, is a type of glass that can change its appearance between opaque and transparent with the application of an electrical current. This technology allows users to control the level of privacy and light transmission in a space with the flip of a switch. There are various technologies that achieve this effect, including Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) and Polymer Stabilized Cholesteric Texture (PSCT).

PDLC technology uses droplets of liquid crystals dispersed within a polymer matrix. When an electrical current is applied, the liquid crystals align, allowing light to pass through and making the glass transparent. When the current is turned off, the liquid crystals scatter, blocking light and making the glass appear opaque.

PSCT technology uses cholesteric liquid crystals that are stabilized within a polymer structure. When an electrical current is applied, the helical structure of the cholesteric liquid crystals is unwound, allowing light to pass through and making the glass transparent. When the current is turned off, the helical structure is restored, reflecting light and making the glass appear opaque. PSCT technology offers improved optical clarity compared to PDLC.

Private mode

Clear mode

Cardinal IG’s CLiC™ on-demand privacy glass is based on the advanced PSCT liquid crystal technology. It offers several advantages over other privacy glass options:

Film-Free Application: CLiC uses a direct-to-glass application, which means less polymer is used, resulting in less haze.

Crystal Clear Views: When in clear mode, CLiC glass provides clear and transparent views from any position, without off-axis haze, fogginess, or distortion.

Specialized Electronics: CLiC’s electronics deliver tuned power management for consistent performance over decades of use. Unlike PDLC-based products, CLiC doesn’t require daily hours in private mode to maintain warranty coverage.

Easy Integration: CLiC allows easy integration with third-party control systems and seamless installation into buildings and homes. It runs on NEC class 3 low-voltage power and is compatible with most building control systems.

In summary, switchable privacy glass offers the ability to control privacy and light transmission in a space with the flip of a switch. Cardinal IG’s CLiC privacy glass, based on advanced PSCT technology, provides a clear and transparent view, consistent performance, and easy integration with control systems.