One Way Mirror Film vs. One Way Window Glass

January 27, 2022

One-Way Window Glass or One-Way Mirror Film?


Hello Solar Art blog readers! Today's blog is on a very popular topic: one-way window glass or one-way mirror film? Maybe you're familiar with the two products or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. Either way, we get asked this question A LOT by customers that are in all different fields. We have seen that people don't know the difference between the two or which option they should go with.

Being as we are in the window film industry and we do come across this question all the time, we like to think we are pretty knowledgeable on the topic šŸ˜‰ Our main goal is to help our customers find the information they need to solve their problem. With that being said, we made this blog to empower you and help you make the best decision for you and your project! 

Both products are great for different reasons and will ultimately help you increase privacy and result in windows you can't see in from outside, which is probably what you're looking to do. We will start by breaking down what one-way mirror glass and one-way mirror film are, followed by the pros and cons of both, so you can easily see everything laid out to help you gain clarity on the different directions you can go!

Want to discuss One Way Window film options?

  • Reflective From The Exterior - From the exterior, it looks like a mirror
  • Transparent From The Interior - You will still have full visibility out of the glass
  • Affordable - Affordable & hassle free solution


What is a one-way window glass?

You have probably heard of one-way mirror glass, one-way window glass, or one-way privacy glass, especially in terms of police stations or interrogation rooms, or one-way window for homes. But do you know how it works? What makes it one way? Let me tell ya! What makes it "one-way" is the fact that it's reflective on one side and transparent on the other side, whereas standard glass is transparent on both sides. A common question Solar Art gets is can you see through one-way glass? Depending on what side of the glass you are on, you will either be able to see through the one-way glass window, or it will seem like you're looking into a mirror.

For one-way window glass to work, it requires that the light on one side of the glass is twice as bright as the other side. This is why one-way windows so commonly used in police stations. It gives the policemen the ability to see into a room, without being seen. They can listen to the conversation and see what's going on, without anyone knowing they are watching.  

What is a one-way mirror film?

Now, you might be wondering what one-way mirror film is and how it's different than one-way mirror glass. Fair question. First and foremost, a one-way mirror film or one-way glass film is a type of window film. It's a reflective window film that is applied directly onto a glass surface. One-way mirror film is similar to one-way mirror glass, in the sense that it's reflective on one side and transparent on the other. Depending on which side of the glass you are on, you won't be able to see through it. Just like one-way mirror glass, one-way mirror film still requires one side to be brighter than the other. One-way mirror film is a window film that lets light in, but you can't see through it from the exterior. An easy way to think about one-way window film is that it's the see out but not see in window film. 

Solar Art gets requests for increased privacy every single day, multiple times a day. With that being said, a lot of our customers ask us for window film where you can see out and not in because they still want to be able to see out of the glass. Installing a frosted window film or a decorative window film will significantly increase privacy, but it will also prevent anyone from seeing in or out. Not being able to see out of the windows might be an issue for employees, which is why we recommend a privacy one-way window film for these customers.

Business owners and homeowners both are interested in one-way window film for their space. Some business owners like it for their storefront so people walking by can't see straight into their store, which increases privacy as well as increases safety. This still allows their employees and customers the ability to see out of the building.

Homeowners are interested in a one-way mirror film for similar reasons as business owners. Some homeowners aren't interested in a reflective window film for their home because it does change the aesthetics, so they choose to go a different route. However, if privacy is a real concern, and having a reflective window film isn't an issue, a one-way mirror film is a great option for any persona in any field.

exterior reflective window film

Pros and cons of one-way mirror glass

Probably the biggest benefit of one-way mirror glass is its durability. It's specially-manufactured to not fade, peel, or scratch. Not to mention, it's designed to have a long lifespan, so you shouldn't have to replace it very often. It's efficient, good for your wallet in the long run, and works great in highly trafficked areas because of its durability.

While one-way mirror glass is efficient, it's also limited. It's a specialized glass product and it's only provided by select retailers who specialize in that glass. Since it's a special guessed's expensive, which is something to keep in mind. But, like I just said, it does have a long lifespan, so it's a good investment. If you think one way mirror glass might be a good fit for your space, be sure you have the appropriate amount of light contrast for it to be effective and worth your money to work properly!

Pros and cons of one-way mirror film

A huge benefit of a one-way mirror film is the affordability. Installing window film is a fraction of the cost of installing glass. Not to mention, the installation process is simple and requires little work on your end. Window film is installed the same way as any other window film. It has an adhesive side that is installed directly onto the glass.

One-way mirror film is a convenient way to add privacy to your home or office. If you move offices or homes or simply decide you don't want the one-way mirror film anymore, no problem! Our installation crew can go onsite and easily remove it with no damage to your glass whatsoever!

Another benefit of a one-way mirror film is the fact that it rejects heat, glare, and ultraviolet rays. One-way mirror film is one of the highest performing window films on the market in regards to heat and glare rejection. Depending on what window film you go with, it can reject up to 82% of heat and 93% of glare. That's huge!

Not only are you increasing privacy, but you're also increasing comfort. This means you won't have to turn to your air conditioning to help cool your space, which will potentially reduce your electricity bill. Win-win situation right there.

Fun fact...all window film is going to block 99% of ultraviolet rays. These UVA and UVB rays are the leading cause of sun fading. So, not only are you increasing privacy, reducing heat, and reducing glare, you are also protecting your valuable belongings from sun fading. I mean come window film is pretty cool!

One thing to keep in mind is that one-way mirror film isn't as durable as one-way mirror glass, but if it does get damaged or scratched, our installation crew can go onsite and replace it with a fresh new layer. Again, not a lot of work on your part and you get so many benefits with a one-way window film!

skylight one way mirror window film

Solar Art Window Film

So there you have it! The main differences between one-way mirror glass and one-way mirror film. These are two different products that ultimately result in the same goal, increased privacy. Hopefully, we provided you with the information you need to make the best decision and to solve the problem you are having!

If you are interested in learning more about a one-way privacy film for windows or think it might be a good fit for your home or office, give Solar Art a call today! We can have an estimator meet with you on-site and provide you with a free quote for any of our window film services, including: solar film, decorative window film, custom graphics, anti-graffiti film, window security film, and exterior building wraps

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!

You May Also Like

These Stories on Residential

Subscribe by Email

Comments (10)