Sun glare can cause discomfort, eye strain, and even damage to your retinas over long term exposure. There are two kinds of glare; disability glare, and discomfort glare. You can help cut down on glare and make things easier on your eyes by using window film, but it’s important to understand the type of glare you are having difficulty with.
When a light source reflects from the visual task surface (such as when sunlight or a artificial light is reflecting off of a surface like a computer or TV screen), it obscures the visual target by reducing the contrast and obscuring the text or image the viewer is looking at with a flat “haze” or a “veil”. This results in the “disability” of being unable to distinguish the contrast between different colors on a TV screen, or between say, a white background and black letters on a computer screen. In either case, the viewer is unable to discern what they are looking at and they are thus affected by disability glare.
When light coming from an alternate source on the same side as the viewing surface is brighter than that coming from the task surface itself, as in bright sunlight o from a window behind a TV or computer screen, is called discomfort glare. Usually the image or words on the screen can still be made out, but the viewer will experience significant discomfort while viewing the screen because the eye has to filter out the excess light coming from the same direction and focus on the dimmer course of light (in other words, the screen itself). This can cause headaches and eye fatigue.
Window film on skylights, windows, and walls or doors with glass exposure to sunlight can help mitigate the problem of disability (reflection on the surface) glare and of discomfort (same side light source) glare. You may need to add window film to all windows in a room, if they receive sunlight at different times of day, or if you later move the screen you are trying to view to a new location in the same room. It’s not even always the position of the sun in relation to the objects inside the room; the window can cause light to bounce inside the room and reflect off of objects inside even if they aren’t in the path of the direct sunlight.
In the same way that window film can reduce heat and UV rays, it can also dim the light coming in the room slightly, keeping it from either reflecting off of the screen and causing disability glare, or from washing out the light from the same side, causing discomfort glare. The window film reflects most of the light back to the outside, providing privacy as well as a room that is still lit by outside light, but which doesn’t allow the light to reflect off of a screen or strain the eyes by being too bright. The film makes the window itself less bright in comparison with room surfaces and, when used with a different source of light within the house (positioned to one side or the other to prevent both discomfort and disability glare – can effectively solve the problem.
Blinds and shades can also block light coming in and reduce glare, but only at the expense of blocking the view completely or having to be adjusted constantly as the angle of the sun changes. Window film need simply be applied once, and works effectively for as long as you wish. It is cheaper than custom blinds or window shades, easy to apply, and doesn’t need constant cleaning or dusting.
Using window film is a cost effective way to reduce glare and protect your eyes from strain and fatigue. It can be quickly applied, removed at any time, chosen in a variety of colors, and designs for aesthetic home décor, and won’t require hardware to install. If disability or discomfort glare is an issue in your living or workspace in your home, try window film to solve your problem with ease and style.