As previously noted, one of the most common misconceptions relates to clarity of the PDLC technology because of customers’ preexisting expectation that the optical clarity will be the same as with regular float glass. That level of clarity is not possible with PDLC products, however, as they contain liquid crystal materials that optically manipulate light; therefore, glass products with PDLC technology naturally have some level of haziness to them (even regular glass has some haze, albeit at much more extreme lighting conditions). This haziness effect with PDLC glass products is magnified at larger viewing angles and with certain high-intensity lighting conditions. This, however, does not detract from its wide-ranging use as a practical alternative.
Clarity Standards and Guidelines
The photos below illustrate the haze effect in both regular and PDLC glass. The first set of images shows how hazy regular glass can appear in direct sunlight compared to a scenario with no direct sun. The second set of images (of the conference room) shows how the different lighting conditions affects the PDLC panels.
Lighting Effects on Switchable Privacy Glass with PDLC
Lighting Effects on PDLC Glass Clarity
Additional Haze Factor Considerations
As discussed, PDLC glass contains liquid crystal (LC) material, therefore it inherently possesses some level of “haziness” and would not exhibit the same level of clarity as regular float glass. In addition, the inherent haziness is increased at wider viewing angles and with big disparities in light intensities (see diagram below). This phenomenon is normal because typical PDLC film/glass is a light diffuser and will change in haze at varying viewing angles as well as lighting conditions, as previously noted.