Watch Halcyon Shades Control Glare
In addition to superb heat control and UV filtering, Halcyon Shades wipe out glare. Superior glare control allows you to see computer monitors and television, projection screens and SmartBoards regardless of the time of day. Click on the video below to watch our motorized shade eliminate glare. Notice the surface of the table and the view outside as the shade lowers.
Glare is caused by light diffusion. In other words, glare is light bouncing off of reflective surfaces in all directions. Dirty windows, for example, cause more glare than clean ones because light bounces off of the dust and grime on the glass. Halcyon Shades will eliminate glare even caused by dirty glass. In fact, Halcyon Shades reduces so much glare that you can actually see the dirt.
Conduction Versus Radiation
Our atmosphere is a radiant barrier.
Heat is light that has slowed down because it has been absorbed by a material and that material is resisting it. Heat moves quickly through most metals, for instance, hence the name conductors. Heat moves more slowly through other materials like fiberglass or many new polymer materials such as polyurethane. These materials are called insulators.
Radiation is the process by which heat speeds back up to the speed of light, specifically, infrared light. This is why furnace radiators glow red when viewed by infrared photography. Radiant barriers do not prevent conduction. In fact, they need to be isolated from conductive materials to avoid becoming conductors themselves. Radiant barriers reflect radiant infrared light such as the solar rays and radiated infrared from furnaces. Unlike insulation barriers, radiant barriers can be absolute meaning that they can reflect up to 100% of the infrared bandwidth.
Thermal controls in buildings have long managed conduction heat transfer with a variety of excellent insulators, but have not dealt with the majority of the energy transfer which occurs in the form of radiant energy. Passive radiant barriers require no energy to use and the can be considerably more effective than insulation barriers. This is why a real reflective glass Thermos™ bottle work so much better than insulated bottles at not only keep you cold drinks cold, but your hot drinks hot. Radiant barriers offer nearly ideal thermal containment. In fact, the only reason life is possible on earth is because our atmosphere acts as a natural radiant barrier reflecting most solar radiation back into space.
Creating Radiant Barrier Envelopes
The most energy efficient buildings make use of what architects and engineers call "radiant barrier envelopes". In other words, these buildings are designed to have the entire building surrounded in reflective surfaces. There are an increasing number of products on the market for residential and commercial applications. Many of the barrier products have limited efficacy because they are not isolated from other materials. Aluminized sheathings and other materials do reflect infrared light, but if that infrared light has been absorbed into siding or paint it has already turned into heat and will not bounce very well off of the barrier.
Radiant barriers, so long as they are isolated by airspace, do not conduct heat no matter how long they are exposed to it, provided that they are isolated from the heat source by an air gap. This air gap is very important. Most radiant barriers are made of metal. In fact, Halcyon Shades use aluminum. The metal is actually a heat conductor and can only work as reflector if it is isolated from other heat conductors. In other words, once infrared light has slowed down and turned into heat, it uses conduction to pass through materials like glass, metal and even insulation. Because radiant barriers do not touch heated materials, they do not conduct heat. As heat radiates, it speeds back up to the speed of light. As it does this, it can be reflected by a radiant barrier and bounced away from the barrier surface.
One of the weakest spots in the entire building envelope are the windows. Even low emissivity dual pane windows let a considerable amount of infrared light to pass into a building interior. Once this infrared light strikes and is absorbed by walls, furnishings and carpets, it gives of heat. Halcyon Shades gives you control over your radiant barrier envelope by eliminating as much as 97% of solar heat gain. Our metalized white opaque film acts as nearly perfect radiant barrier by reject nearly infrared light.