Testing The Switchable Film
Our electric glass film material can be instantly switched from its transparent state to an opaque state with our wireless remotes and automation systems. You can also vary the transparency by using a dimmer control. This article explains how to test your shipment of smart film, after it has been unpacked (see smart film unpacking instructions).
We highly recommend that you do not skip this step as it will save you a lot of trouble later, in case you have a damaged or defective section.
This is a high quality product that was tested thoroughly when the electrodes were installed, but there’s always the possibility of some kind of
Precautions On Handling of Smart Film
First, a word about safety. The 48/65v AC power is not normally enough to give you a shock, but you should still take precautions and wear shoes
while doing this, and make sure the power is off while connecting wires. You could, in theory, suffer a critical shock if you had a weak heart
and were standing in the basement with bare feet on a wet concrete floor, or if you were grounded in some similar way.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this, any electrician or electronics technician can help you do this safely.
It is important to understand that the PDLC film can be mis-handled and damaged, and this can happen mainly when it is folded or curved the wrong
way. If it is unrolled on a flat surface, you will have no problems with it, as long as you keep it flat.
When you pick it up, hold it by the corners and don’t let it fold inward, keep it flat, as per the pictures below. It cannot be used to make a
compound curve (eg. like a horse saddle), and it cannot be sharply folded (like a piece of paper).
Note that each side has a thin peel-off protective layer of plastic, so you do not have to worry about fingerprints. If you are using the self-
adhesive type, the self-adhesive side is clearly marked, and there is another thicker protective layer that will be removed when you are ready to
apply it to your glass surface (a total of 3 protective layers). The non-adhesive type just has the thin peel-off protective layer on each side
(2 protective layers).
Once installed, if you need to clean it, use rubbing alcohol, not water and soap, or glass cleaner .
Testing The Switchable Film
Here we have laid the smart film flat on the floor, ready for testing.
The two copper electrodes with attached wires are on the left edge of the material; these will be connected to the DC/AC inverter.
Please note that each copper electrode has two wires soldered to it (for redundancy purposes), in case you break one of them.
The inverter has a 65v AC for high transparency film. It is powered by a 12v DC power supply, plugged into a regular AC outlet.
In this example we are using the inverter/power supply combo, but If you purchased a regular house transformer, it will plug directly into an AC
outlet, replacing both the inverter and power supply combination. The transformer type does not have a dimmer connection, but you could use a
regular household dimmer to control the AC source that it is plugged into.
Please Note: make sure all power is disconnected while you set up the connections; check carefully for any shorted wires and use tape to cover
any temporary exposed wiring.
If you have ordered a piece that is narrow and tall (greater than 5:1 ratio), it may have a dual set of electrodes, top and bottom. If this is
the case, the two red electrodes need to be wired together, and the two black electrodes need to be wired together to form a parallel circuit
This picture shows the connections from the inverter to the smart film. The copper electrodes on the smart film will have red and black wires to
distinguish between the two electrodes.
The red and black wires from the smart film will connect to the AC output terminals. Since this is alternating current, the polarity does not
The dimmer control (variable resistor potentiometer type) will be connected to the dimmer terminals. The polarity does not matter.
The 12v DC input will be connected to the 12v DC power supply. Since this is a direct current connection, polarity does matter; please see
further instructions below.
If you ordered our AC transformer system, it will plug directly into a standard wall outlet, and the 2 black terminal posts on the front will
connect directly to the smart film electrodes.
We have 4 models of AC transformers, each with a higher capacity for powering a larger area of smart film, up 36 square yards.
In either case your system can be equipped with a remote control that uses the same system as our roller shades and window/skylight openers.
The film is normally shipped with the power transformer/inverter carefully wrapped with bubble-wrap, inside the plastic film tube, so please be
careful to inspect the inside of the tube and remove any electronic components.