“Smart window” technology has made its way from commercial to residential use, letting homeowners control the amount of light and heat that enters the home by turning a dial to darken the window. In addition to conserving energy and providing privacy, smart windows give customers the option of skipping blinds or curtains if they prefer a minimal look.
ThermoView Industries sells Alter-Lite custom windows at www.thermoviewinc.com. The windows have to be wired into the electrical system, similar to doorbell installation.
Using technology patented by Research Frontiers Inc. (www.refr-spd.com) as SPD-Smart, these smart windows contain millions of suspended-particle devices (SPDs) sandwiched between two panes of glass or plastic-coated with a transparent film that conducts electricity. A control knob adjusts the amount of voltage transmitted. With more electricity, the SPDs align and allow light to pass through; with less, the SPDs fall in a random pattern and block the light.