Have you heard the news about smart windows? These WiFi-connected glass surfaces may be the next thing on the horizon for residential windows. Equipped with environmental sensors that can read room occupancy, weather, and sunlight, these automation products have louvers that allow them to vary their tint—meaning you’ll never have to reach to adjust the shades ever again.
That all sounds pretty good, but as a high-end technology smart windows don’t come very cheap. Most smart window products cost at least 50 percent more than their non-automated counterparts—so if you’re installing several windows, they definitely can cost you a pretty penny. On the other hand, manufacturers say they can shave up to 20 percent of your energy costs off your monthly bills, so the return on investment might be worth it over time.
Here’s a breakdown of the kinds of smart window products on the market right now, and what you’ll pay for each.
What You’ll Pay for View Dynamic Glass
Potentially one of the most well-known players in the smart glass market, View makes luxury glass products with WiFi-connected tint controls. The settings can be managed through an app on an Android or iOS device.
View is a luxury glass maker, so don’t count on getting their products for cost. They typically custom-design glass for a whole interior, which can run you tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the amount of glass you need. A standard curtain wall costs around $100 per square foot.
What You’ll Pay for Sonte Film
Not everyone has the wallet to equip every window in their home with a brand new technology. A more cost-effective solution may lie in Sonte Film’s smart window film. This product, known as a digital shade, fits over existing wall surfaces to retrofit your windows with WiFi-enabled tint technology.
You can take the glass from transparent to opaque using a control on your phone or device. Their company is still managing bids through KickStarter, but you can get a 1.64 by 1.64 sheet of the film with a $99 bid.
What You’ll Pay for Smart Tint Film
Another adhesive smart film, Smart Tint’s product has been endorsed by Tiny House Nation’s “Smart House.” They offer two kinds of smart film, Smart Cling® Self Adhesive, which adheres directly to existing windows, and Smart Tint Non Adhesive, which can be affixed using double-sided tape.
Smart Tint is AC connected, and can tint between transparent and opaque—and it can even be used as a projection surface. Installation is completed by a Smart Tint professional, and prices vary depending on the size of the space. However, a 31.75 by 49.75 inch window order costs about $649, according to their order calculator.
What You’ll Pay for InvisiShade Self-Adhesive Film and Smart Glass
InvisiShade’s smart glass can be controlled using a switch on the window or through a remote control. They offer a wider selection of colors and styles—but if you’re not feeling new windows, you can order one of their plug-and-play adhesive film kits and transform your windows into a digital surface. Each kit comes with a remote control and a wiring kit.
A sample kit for the self-adhesive film will run you around $99—or $249 for a three pack if you want to try different colors. InvisiShade’s final prices are variable depending on the size and scope of your project, but they do say they offer discounts for bulk purchases—if you’re redoing your whole home, for instance.
Generally, like most home repairs, the final cost for smart windows depends vastly on the quality of the product you choose (smart glass or smart film), and the amount of materials you need to get the project done. You’ll get a better discount if you choose to cover more surface area in your home, but just like any window, smart glass is an investment. If you can wait to install this technology in your home until it’s just a little bit more advanced, you’ll probably save money, as well. Getting the best deal for your home improvement project? Now that’s what I call smart!