If there is anything that the recent wildfires ravaging California are telling us, it is that global climate change is real, it is happening, and it is having an ever-increasing impact on our lives. As we have all learned from the news, or have experienced in our own lives, weather patterns are changing, and devastating storms or other weather events are occurring with more frequency and are more destructive than ever.
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded in a September 2018 report that the last five Septembers (from 2014 to 2018) have been the hottest on record with regard to the globe’s land and ocean temperatures. But there is hope. We can turn the trend around with more green construction.
Calgary’s top window tinting company, Tint Tech, is on the cutting edge of the type of window film technology that fits nicely in the panoply of new technologies meant to help the environment. In fact, the need to more efficiently use renewable energy presents a marvelous opportunity for entrepreneurs to revitalize the construction marketplace. It also gives consumers a host of new green-friendly product options so they can do their part to help the environment.
Let’s take a moment to talk about a new type green-friendly window film technology that Tint Tech is excited about – Daylight Redirecting Film.
Daylight Redirecting Window Film – What it Does
One of the trends in green construction is a concept called Passive Construction. A “passive home” is one that is designed to work with the environment and to rely less on air-conditioning systems for warm and cool air. A passive construction home must first be well-insulated so that the interior of the home can make the most out of whatever air is already inside, without warm or cool air escaping due to poor insulation.
Next, the passive construction is designed to make the most out of natural light, shade, and wind. That is where daylight redirecting film (DRF) comes into play.
- Daylight Redirecting Film Takes Advantage of “Prism Lighting”
Daylight redirecting film is a very thin, plastic window film that is applied to home windows. The film will refract or reflect incoming light upwards. By doing so, the natural light coming into a room helps light the room more evenly.
Without getting too scientific, daylight redirecting film uses a form of prism lighting. That type of lighting takes advantage of some quirks with the human eye’s response to light. Specifically, when you take a lit room and you cut the light in half, the human eye does not perceive the room as half as bright. In fact, the human eye, which adjusts to some degree, perceives that the brightness of a space has only dimmed slightly.
- Redirecting Sunlight in a Room Leads to a Naturally Lit, Brighter Space
Because the human eye does not perceive a significant change in brightness even when the change in the actual amount of light is significant, daylight redirecting film capitalizes on that reality. By refracting or reflecting (i.e. redirecting) light from the brightest parts of a room to the dimmest, thereby more evenly redistributing the natural light, the overall room will be perceived as brighter.
Picture a room with one window. The natural light coming from that one window will of course be brightest closest to the window, and will be much dimmer on the wall farthest from the window. When you add the daylight redirecting film, the film pushes the light farther into the room. While the initial brightness closest to the window is a little less, the rest of the light is distributed more evenly throughout the rest of the room. That, in turn, tricks the human eye into perceiving the entire room as brighter.
The end result is that you will likely use much less electricity for lamps and ceiling lights during the day, while you enjoy simple natural light coming into the room. In fact, daylight redirecting film has been known to increase a sunlit area in a room by 200%.
Daylight Redirecting Film – How it is Made
Like many other architectural window films, daylight redirecting film is made of acrylic with a flexible polyester backing. One side of the window film has a pressure-sensitive adhesive on it so an installer can peel the backing and stick the film onto the window surface.
However, unlike other architectural window films, the daylight redirecting film is molded with tiny prisms. Those prisms will do the work of redirecting the light throughout a room once the natural light hits the film. In addition, other types of redirecting film have slits or horizontal bumps, rather than prisms, which will effectively reflect the natural light upwards, again working to redistribute the natural light more evenly.
It is important to note that daylight redirecting film is translucent, not transparent. However, the reflection-based films are more transparent than the prism-based films.
Other Green Construction Ideas Beyond Window Film
While the daylight redirecting film is a great way to use natural light, we would be remiss if we didn’t finish our discussion by mentioning some other great green construction ideas out there.
There is a burgeoning demand for construction materials that take advantage of all types of green technology. In fact, research shows that consumers are willing to spend more money to ensure their homes are “more green.” The benefits, like healthier living environments, better resale value, and lower utility costs, make clear why there is such a demand for green construction.
Here are just a few examples of what green construction solutions beyond window films are out there:
- Photovoltaic/Solar cells are being used to achieve the goal of “net zero energy” households.
- Use of natural building materials – like stone counters, local lumber for flooring and cabinets, and roofs protected with greenery (so-called “living roofs”) – will also reduce a carbon footprint.
- Insulating a home, and making the most of natural light, shade, and wind, will reduce a reliance on air-conditioning systems in the home.
- Use of water-conservation designs, like low-flow toilets, and water-saving indoor fixtures will help for areas with drought conditions.
The climate crisis we face actually provides an opportunity for human ingenuity to come up with fascinating new ideas so that we can make our world live in harmony with nature.
Tint Tech, as Calgary’s best in architectural window tinting, is committed to smart, green solutions to help the environment. Daylight redirecting film is just the beginning of the types of products we have to help you save the environment. Call us today for more details at 403.968.8469.