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One Way Vision Problem


Dan Piddington

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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:52 am

One Way Vision Problem

Hi all,

I've been asked to supply and fit some one way vision film to an internal window that separates an office and a shop. Basically they have a piece of glass 1500mm x 400mm with artificial light sources on both sides. The staff in the office are always busy on the phones and on line but also have to serve at the shop counter. At present customers come into the shop, look through the window and knock on the glass! This is becoming rather annoying for my client!

My solution was some sort of one way vision film..... However.....

I mention the artificial light because I have already tested 2 samples of silver reflective window film and due to no external light source (daylight) the films do not give the desired effect.

I'm now thinking that maybe some printed contra vision could do the job but would this maintain the privacy required by the office staff?

Any advice would be appreciated - (apologies for the essay)


Graeme Harrold

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Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:01 pm

Cut a pattern into frosted vinyl and leave small gaps. Easy to see out , but obscures vision in from a distance.

Have a look through the tutorials and members protfolio

Dan Piddington

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Posts: 155

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:07 pm

Thanks Graeme,

I'll have a search.

John Childs

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Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:17 pm

Hiya Dan.

Daylight or artificial light doesn't matter. What's important is that there is more light on one side than the other.

That's why mirror / contravision / slit vinyl works on vans. It's dark inside and light out.

We have mirror film on an office window and during daylight hours we can see out, but nobody can see in. At night, when we turn on the lights, the effect is reversed.

Sorry, can't offer any solution.

Dan Piddington

2 Star Contributor

Posts: 155

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:31 pm

Hi John,

I thought that might be the case. I tried to get the client to fit a tube or some down lighters just above the window as there's a perfect space for some sort of brighter light source. He wasn't buying it though :(

Maybe I'll sell him a sign saying 'Please don't Knock on the window, we know your waiting and will be with you shortly!'

This however will not stop the staff feeling like there in a goldfish bowl.




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Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:48 pm


John is correct. White on Black see-through perforated window films work best if there is more ambient light on the white side than on the black side.
However, there are a couple of ‘tricks’ that might help:
If you also apply a tint to the other side of the glass on the black side (office side in this case) then this improves the privacy. Depending on the lighting levels and the degree of tint, you will also retain the see-through properties.
If the print on the white side (shop side in this case) is bright, eye catching with loads of contrast, then this will also (psychologically) improve the privacy. Also choose a perforation pattern that has more vinyl than holes – less than 40% transparency if you can get hold of it.
I appreciate that for a one-off it might not be worth all the effort and expense involved, but hopefully these comments will help with other projects.


Rob Stone
Contra Vision Supplies Ltd

Dan Piddington

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Posts: 155

Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:40 pm

Post Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:13 pm

Hi Rob,

Some interesting points, thanks for the help.


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