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How to Make Your Windows Private at Night

Make windows private at nightAre you looking for solutions to make your home more private at night?

Having privacy in your life is important. It helps you to feel safe as well as comfortable. Nobody wants people to easily see into their homes. You don't want others to see what you are doing and to see the valuable things you have in your home. It's creepy and unnerving, not to mention dangerous. 

We have several suggestions for products that can help provide your home or business with some needed privacy. Here are three options: 

  1. Blackout Curtains
  2. Shades or Blinds
  3. Privacy Window Film

We will focus this article primarily on number three, privacy window film since that's what we sell and install. In your research for a solution, you are bound to find the typical solutions, like blinds and shades. However, these solutions can be expensive depending on how many windows you have. Window coverings are also becoming less and less popular. This is because they make a space dark and uninviting and only work when used. Meaning you have to remember to close or open the shades or curtains to get the privacy you want. 

Window film is also going to show up in your research. You may find information about reflective window film, decorative window film, and solar film as potential solutions to this privacy issue.

There are, unfortunately, no window films on the market that can prevent people from looking in while you can see out, for both day and night. 

So, what can you do? Many of our customers ask about this, so we wanted to create this educational post. Our goal is to show you the different privacy options available for both day and night. We will cover the following topics:

  1. Why does reflective window film not work at night?
  2. Daytime privacy does work with reflective window film.
  3. Frosted window films for privacy
  4. Blackout window film for privacy
  5. Other options to increase privacy

Why does reflective window film not work at night?

How to Make Your Windows Private at Night_ClimatePro_4

All glass in windows reflects a certain amount of light. The percentage of light reflected depends on the type of glass in the window. The higher the efficiency of the window, the more light it reflects. During a very bright day, a passerby would probably be unable to see into your home through a high-efficiency window. This is because the amount of light being reflected is greater than the amount of light coming out of your house.

The same principle applies at night when you are inside your home. If you try to look through your window at night in a brightly lit room, you would probably see your own reflection. This is because the amount of light being reflected is greater than the amount of light coming from the outside. Furthermore, since a window only reflects a percentage of visible light, the light that is not being reflected is going through the window and into the dark street. This enables any passerby to see through your window.

Reflective window film reflects sunlight and other outdoor light like a mirror, so your neighbors or people walking by can see a reflection instead of what’s in your home.

Since reflective window film is still translucent, the outdoors must be brighter than the inside of the room to create the mirror effect. Daylight is brighter than your interior lights, which is why it works during the day. However, that's not the case at night. Having your lights on at night eliminates the reflective effect, which is why people can see inside.

Daytime Privacy and Reflective Window Film.

If you need privacy for your home during the day and aren't worried about it at night, a reflective window film might be for you! It's a great option because it will significantly increase privacy. It also prevents people walking by from being able to see into your space. It's a privacy window film where you see out but not in (only during the daytime).

A benefit of a reflective window film is that you can still see out of your windows and enjoy your beautiful views without darkening your rooms. 

What About Nighttime Privacy? This article is titled "How to get make your windows private at night." Sadly you will have to compromise! While there isn't a specific window film on the market that provides both day and night privacy while being able to see out, you do have options. There are other types of window films that are available on the market that do provide privacy and offer a ton of great benefits. This includes decorative window film and opaque window film. In short, reflective window film doesn't work at night. You will need other means of creating privacy, like curtains or blinds. 

Decorative or Frosted Window Film for Privacy

How to Make Your Windows Private at Night

Decorative film is great if you want to increase privacy, and potentially add a decorative design, and the ability to see in or out isn't an issue. 

If this is the situation you're in, decorative window film is a great option! Decorative window film is a little different than reflective window film in the sense that reflective window film is tinted and lacks a pattern or design that decorative window film has. Decorative window film is a popular choice for both home window tinting and commercial window tinting. Regarding residential settings, ClimatePro frequently sees decorative window film installed on bathroom windows, shower doors, garage windows, front doors, or sidelights. When you want maximum privacy, and you don't want to be able to see in or out of the window, it's a great choice. In commercial settings, we often see it installed in conference rooms and private office glass where privacy and confidentiality are needed. When it comes to decorative window film, there are different styles and patterns you can choose from, including frosted window film, geometric designs, lines, dots, gradients, and more. 

Blackout Window Film


Blackout window film looks and acts just like it sounds. It's black and does a good job blocking the light and view 24/7.

Blackout window film is a type of decorative window film that completely blocks light from coming in and out, which is different than most decorative window film. While most decorative window films prevent people from seeing in and out, there is still a little bit of light that gets let in. In addition to blackout window film, ClimatePro also carries whiteout window film, which has similar effects to blackout window film. While some rooms, like garages or storage rooms, benefit from blackout film, this might not be ideal for homeowners who want the ability to see out of their windows at all.

Play with Light 

Smart Lights and Window Film

So far, we have only talked about different window film options that will help you increase privacy, but there you also have a few more options. One of the options is interior lighting. Installing dimmer switches and focused task lights instead of filling your entire room with light will help reduce how much outsiders can see inside. Combined with a window film that has a tint, to begin with, you may achieve some level of night privacy by simply limiting how much light passes through your glass at all (which still affects your light levels during the day as well). Converting your lighting systems over to dimmers can be expensive, time-consuming, and can take away your daytime views, which is something to keep in mind when figuring out which option is best for you. A simple way is to use smart lights such as Philips Hue smart lights, which replace existing light bulbs without expensive electrical work needing to be done.

ClimatePro Window Film

We wish there were a window film that makes windows more private at night just as much as you do. This is a common problem that both homeowners and business owners encounter when requesting window film from us. Right now, the answer ultimately comes down to what is more important:

Do you want Daytime or Nighttime privacy?

Do you want to achieve outside privacy or preserve your windows’ look and feel? ClimatePro offers all of the window film options we covered here. Hence, if frosted window film, decorative window film, or reflective window film sounds like a good option to you, contact us today.  In addition to decorative window film and perforated window film, ClimatePro also offers solar film, custom graphics, anti-graffiti film, and window security film. We are your one-stop shop for window film. Contact us today or call us at 707.755.7337 for a free consultation! 

Learn About This Author

Jeremy Dobbins

Jeremy Dobbins is the CEO of ClimatePro and has spent the last 10 years helping to build an award-winning window film company. Window film expert and professional question asker.