The Next Wave for Residential Window Glass Technology?

 In Replacement Windows

Imagine a window with variable tint glass that can brighten and darken depending on the brightness. Now imagine that same glass simultaneously regulating shade while still letting in the same amount of overall light. It’s something impossible with today’s residential window glass technology, but it could be the future of glass control in new construction and replacement windows. Residential companies like Andersen Windows and Marvin Windows are slowly experimenting with these technologies.

There has been some degree of commercial success with products like Sonte ( that allow you to regulate window opacity or privacy with an iPhone. The product uses an electrostatic film to control the privacy. But the effect is more like adding a soft bulb filter to a camera flash and the intent is different than what many of us desire in our residential spaces.

A professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison has recently made a discovery with an organic glass that can allow additional light through the glass that could ultimately be the answer to a long desired performance option for residential windows. The issue right now is photostability of the materials – will the materials hold up to UV and extreme temperature exposure. There are a few great articles about the research here:

Making molecules comfy: Ultimate challenge for UW’s ‘Glass Guy’


Right now, glass options are pretty limited to a passive or inactive glass. The glass is in a fixed state and doesn’t operate as either tinted or clear, but rather tinted or clear. We are looking forward to see what the science community can adapt to applied science objectives to roll-out exciting new options like this. We’d love to be able to install windows that would include variable tinting and privacy opacity options while eliminating the need for curtains or window shades. Residential window glass technology could actually revolutionize architecture. We’re hoping it does!

About the Author

Ben Lindberg is a NARI Certified Remodeler in Madison, WI. He is an avid blogger at Wisconsin Home Remodeling and focuses his time on Window Replacement and Entry Door Replacement with Wisconsin Home Remodeling. Ben and his team of remodeling contractor professionals are in a constant state of pursuing remodeling knowledge. You can find out more about his firm at


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