How to Make Windows Private at Night

July 15, 2021

Best Window Film For Day And Night Privacy 


Today's blog topic is on a REALLY popular topic of conversation both in and out of the window film world: figuring out the best window film for day and night privacy in either your home or office space. Having privacy in any aspect of your life is important first and foremost for feeling safe as well as feeling comfortable. Nobody wants people walking by to be able to see what they are doing and what they have in their home. That's dangerous and not to mention creepy.

With that being said, homeowners and business owners turn to the internet to try and find a way to increase privacy during both the day and the night. If you research this topic, you are bound to find the typical solutions, like blinds and shades. However, these typical solutions are becoming less and less popular, because they make a space dark and uninviting. Not to mention, you lose any ability to see out of the window if you go with these options.

Window film is also going to show up if you research this topic. People read about reflective window film, decorative window film, and solar film, as potential solutions to this privacy issue. Since window film does come up if nighttime privacy is searched, Solar Art gets a lot of questions about window film that prevents people from seeing through from the outside/prevents people from looking inside. While reflective window film enhances home privacy during the day, its reflective features don’t provide much privacy at night.

There is, 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? We get this question a lot, and wanted to create this blog to help educate you on the different options you have when it comes to privacy during both the day and the night and we cover the following topics:

  1. Why reflective window film won't work at night
  2. Daytime privacy with reflective window film
  3. Decorative window film to increase privacy
  4. Blackout window film to increase privacy
  5. Perforated window film to increase privacy
  6. Casper Cloaking film to increase privacy
  7. Other options to increase privacy

Want to discuss your options?

  • Reflective Window Film - Increases privacy during the day
  • Decorative Window Film - Increases privacy & adds design
  • Perforated Window Films - Best for storefront privacy & advertising

Why reflective window film won't work at night

Before we explore the different options you have, we want to touch more on reflective window film and tell you why it won't work at night. To start, even untreated glass reflects some light, but none can achieve higher levels of privacy without some sort of window film. Reflective window film works by reflecting sunlight and other outdoor light like a mirror, so your neighbors or people walking by can see their own 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 that the film is protecting. 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 negates the reflective effect, which is why people can see inside.

Daytime privacy with reflective window film


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

When it comes to reflective window film, we have a variety of different options, including one-way window film. Just like a reflective window film, mirrored film still needs the room darker than the outside. 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 are your options for nighttime privacy with window film?

Okay so now that we have that out of the way, what do you do if you are looking for a solution to both day and night privacy? That's the million-dollar question.

Just like a lot of other things in life, sometimes you just 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...and don't worry, we will tell you all about both of them!  

Decorative window film 


Situation: you want to increase privacy, 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 it 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. When it comes to residential settings, Solar Art frequently sees decorative window film installed to bathroom windows or shower doors where you want maximum privacy and you don't want to be able to see in or out of the window. In commercial settings, we often see it it installed to to conference room and private office glass where privacy and confidentiality is priority. 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


Situation: you need 24/7 total privacy protection and don't want to see in or out, day or night

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 film 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, Solar Art 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 to the ability to see out of their windows at all. 

Perforated window film


Situation: you want to prevent people from looking inside and changing the look of your windows isn’t a concern

If you aren't familiar with perforated window film, it's an opaque window film that is black on the inside and the outside can be brightly colored or white. Perforated window film is densely-packed and has millimeter-scale perforations (or holes) that let light through. This creates the effect of a solid (typically white) window to your neighbors while still letting you see outside.

We usually see perforated window film installed to commercial spaces like storefronts, and rarely installed to homes. Businesses often will have an image printed onto the perforated window film, which not only looks great but can even advertise your company. 

With perforated window film, your view outside is dim, but you can see more than people walking by can see in. Keep in mind that perforated window film isn’t reflective or translucent, so the color does become important. Perforated window film is great if you aren't concerned with the exterior aesthetics changing, or looking to add a pop of color as well as achieving privacy. 

Casper cloaking film

casper gif 1

Situation: you want to watch TV in private, or have private and confidential meetings

Casper Cloaking film blocks light from LED screens and looks like a black screen for people walking by outside of the room. Again, Solar Art typically sees Casper Cloaking Film installed to offices, but we have also seen it installed to homes a few times. Casper cloaking film is a great option for offices and homes with TVs and computer screens in rooms with large windows that neighbors can see through.

Casper Cloaking Film works great for conference rooms or home offices where you want to keep the information as private and confidential as possible. Unfortunately, while Casper Cloaking Film is a cool addition to your home or office,  it doesn't work the same as a reflective window film or a decorative window film. It will increase privacy in the sense that it will block LED screens from prying eyes, but people will still be able to see everything else in the room.

Other options for increased privacy other than window film

window blinds

So far we have only talked about different window film options that will help you increase privacy, but there are other options out there that you can choose from. 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 window film that has a heavier 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.

If installing dimmer switches isn’t an option, blinds and shades are a valid and practical solution to the privacy at night problem. No light can pass in or out and they are easily adjustable any time day or night. Sometimes closing them just partway is enough to distract prying eyes and protect your home in the evenings, or install sheer privacy panels. Both closing part way and using sheer panels serve the same function as decorative window film: they break the window up into smaller parts to make it harder to see in. Regardless of your curtain style, shades and blinds are designed to give ultimate privacy. They just don’t let you see you when they’re drawn.

Solar Art Window Film

We feel your pain. We wish there was 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 from us. Right now, the answer ultimately comes down to what is more important: daytime or nighttime privacy? Achieving outside privacy or preserving your windows’ look and feel? Solar Art offers all of the window film options we covered here, so if perforated window film, decorative window film, or reflective window film sounds like a good option to you, contact us today to help make your homes more private day or night. In addition to decorative window film and perforated window film, Solar Art also services solar film, custom graphics, anti-graffiti film, and window security film. We are your one stop shop for window film, so contact us today for a free consultation! 

talk with our sales team 

  • Talk About Your Options - Our sales team will talk with you about your different window film options.
  • Find The Right Solution - Our team's priority is to help you find the right window film for your project. 
  • Free Consultation - Our quotes are 100% free!


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