You’ve seen those futuristic movies where people have glasses or windows that can switch from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. Pretty cool, right? Well, that technology isn’t just the stuff of science fiction anymore. Smart glass solutions like switchable glass and dimmable glass are real products that you can get for your home or office today. Companies like Gatsby Glass offer custom smart glass fabrication and installation services to help regulate light, heat, and privacy. But are these high-tech glasses really all they’re cracked up to be in 2022? Let’s weigh the pros and cons so you can decide if smart glass is worth it for your next renovation or construction project. 

    What Is Smart Glass and How Does It Work?

    Smart glass, also known as switchable glass, is glass that can change its light transmission properties when voltage, light, or heat is applied. The glass uses electrochromic technology with thin films of rare earth metals to control the amount of light that passes through. With continued innovation, smart glass technologies like these are becoming more affordable, energy efficient and offer benefits for homes and businesses alike. At Gatsby Glass, we provide custom smart glass solutions to suit your needs. Let us help you experience the future of glass and unlock the potential of smart glass technology for your space.

    Types of Smart Glass Technologies

    1. Electrochromic Glass

    Electrochromic glass uses an electric current to tint the glass. Tiny particles in the glass react to the electric charge by aligning and blocking light. This allows you to control the tint of the glass with the flip of a switch. The tint can be adjusted to any level you like for maximum control and customization. Many smart glass companies like Gatsby Glass use electrochromic technology.

    1. Thermochromic Glass

    Thermochromic glass tints automatically in response to heat. As the glass gets warmer, the particles in the glass align and darken. This type of glass is self-regulating but the level of tint can’t be adjusted or controlled. It does eliminate the need for wiring and controls, but you’re stuck with the pre-set level of tint. Thermochromic glass is often used for skylights or windows that get lots of direct sunlight exposure.

    1. Liquid Crystal Glass

    Liquid crystal glass uses liquid crystals sandwiched between two panes of glass. When an electric current is applied, the crystals arrange themselves to block light. This allows the glass to be instantly switched from clear to opaque. Liquid crystal glass provides privacy on demand but tends to have a hazy look to it in the tinted state. It also requires continuous power to maintain the tinted state.

    1. SPD SmartGlass

    SPD or suspended particle device glass uses microscopic light-absorbing particles that align when an electric current is applied, blocking light and tinting the glass. This allows for instant switching between transparent and tinted states. SPD glass offers adjustable tint levels for maximum control. The downside is that it typically requires manual controls and continuous power to keep the glass tinted. Companies like Gatsby Glass provide SPD smart glass solutions for homes and businesses.

    Benefits of Smart Glass Solutions

    Smart glass solutions offer various advantages over regular glass windows and doors. 

    • Customized Comfort: With smart glass, you’re in control of the tint level. You can adjust the glass to be completely clear or tinted to your desired level of privacy and glare control. Many smart glass options also allow you to set schedules so the glass will automatically tint at certain times of day based on your needs. This level of customization provides maximum comfort since you can adjust the tint to your perfect level.
    • Enhanced Security: Smart glass solutions like electrochromic glass or suspended particle glass provide an additional layer of security for your home. Since the glass can tint to become opaque, it obscures the view from outside. This makes it difficult for potential intruders to see inside, deterring break-ins. The glass can also be connected to home automation systems so that it automatically tints if an alarm is triggered or there is unauthorized access.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: For many homeowners, the sleek, high-tech look of smart glass is appealing. Smart glass gives windows and doors a modern, sophisticated look that can enhance your home’s curb appeal and resale value. The glass also allows in natural light when clear but provides privacy on demand when tinted. This combination of form and function is ideal for open-concept spaces.

    Is Smart Glass Worth the Investment in 2024?

    Smart glass solutions might seem like an expensive luxury, but the technology has advanced rapidly in recent years while costs have declined. For homeowners in 2024, smart glass could be worth considering for both aesthetics and energy efficiency. When smart glass first hit the market, it came with a hefty price tag that put it out of reach for most homeowners. However, with several major manufacturers now producing smart glass, costs have dropped by over 50% in the last 3-5 years. Smart glass can now be purchased for as little as $50-100 per square foot. While still an investment, the long term energy savings and potential tax incentives or rebates can help offset costs. One of the biggest benefits of smart glass is its ability to reduce energy usage. Smart glass can automatically tint to block light and heat during the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. In the winter, it can switch to clear to let in natural light and warmth. This can save up to 30-80% on heating and cooling bills annually. The energy savings continue to add up over the lifetime of the windows.


    You’ve got options when it comes to smart glass solutions in 2024. While prices are still high for home use, customized products made by companies like Gatsby Glass bring the benefits of adjustable tinting and privacy right to your front door. For most homeowners, investing in custom smart glass windows or doors for the whole house probably isn’t realistic yet. But installing them in key rooms or entryways can let you experience the technology today. And as prices fall over time, quality providers like will likely have affordable smart glass ready for every room in your home.