One-Way Privacy Window Film: The Facts

Four facts about one way privacy window film; What it does & How it works.

It’s one of the most common queries we encounter. “I want to stop people from seeing in, but I want to see out. Is it possible?”  We’re happy to say it is. One-way privacy window film is an incredibly popular product and we’d like to take this opportunity to make it clear exactly what can and can’t be achieved.

1. How will one way privacy window film look on my glass?

We’ve been asked on a number of occasions whether it is possible to achieve privacy without changing the appearance of the glass. It isn’t. To deliver one-way privacy, the most effective and popular course of action is the application of a reflective film. Once applied, the film will give the exterior side of the glass a mirrored effect during daylight hours, preventing vision through the glass, whilst maintaining the view from the inside out.

2. Will one way privacy window film make it dark inside?

In the majority of cases, applying window film will have an effect on the light transmission; it’s important to be clear on this. However, it is equally vital to understand that window films have been manufactured specifically to keep light loss to a minimum. In short, unless it’s a specialist blackout film, you are unlikely to notice a significant drop in light levels, even when using mirror films.

 3. Will privacy film work at night?

Reflective window film is one of a range of mirrored window films that provides privacy during daylight hours. This is because the film works on the light balance; it is the side of the film that is exposed to the brighter light that looks like a reflective mirror. During daylight hours, this will be the exterior side of the film that looks like a silver window or a silver mirrored surface.

When the light is brighter inside than it is out, typically when the sun goes down and artificial lights are switched on inside, the effect is reversed. In the majority of cases this is not a problem as, when night falls, most residential and commercial properties either draw blinds or curtains. There is currently not a window tinting product that can offer two way see-through privacy, for 2 way window privacy you would need to use frosted window films, or a white frosted film rather than reflective silver window films.

4. Does privacy film go on the inside or the outside of the glass?

The Window Film Company recommends that whenever possible, window film is applied to the interior face of the glass. The window film is fitted using soapy water to enable movement into the exact position, the water is then squeegeed out to let the film adhere to the glass. The main benefit is that an internal application allows for longer shelf life. Whilst external grade films are available, their exposure to the variable weather conditions means that they are at peak performance for a shorter period of time.

In summary, what are my privacy options?

  • One-way privacy/reflective films – Ideal for daytime privacy or in locations where the light can be manually controlled.
  • Frostbrite – Frostbrite frosted film delivers the appearance of acid etched or sandblasted frosted glass, a contemporary and stylish finish that blocks the view without sacrificing natural light.
  • Blackout/Solid vinyl – Available in a range of solid colours, this is a more heavy duty solution that will block the view from both sides of the glass, as well as the majority of the light. 
  • Printed Graphics – Using wide format print technology, The Window Film Company can print eye-catching full-colour graphics to provide a bespoke privacy solution. 
  • One-way Graphics - Using patented Contra Vision technology, The Window Film Company can deliver striking one-way graphics, suitable for use in a range of locations and situations. 

For more information on one-way privacy or the host of other options for solar heat reduction, or window film for glare and UV, supplied and installed by The Window Film Company, please contact a member of the team by calling 01494 794477 or email

Some other popular questions about window films.

  1. Obscure decorative window film patterns
  2. What are window vinyls and what are they used for?
  3. What are heat rejection window films?
  4. What is impact resistant window film?
  5. What can I put on my windows for privacy?
  6. Can window film be removed & reapplied?
  7. How much does solar control window film cost?
  8. Is window film reusable on another window?
  9. What is frosted glass film?
  10. Does reflective window film reduce heat?