Window panes: matt, clear or structured – what influence does this have on the amount of light?

At the latest when building or buying a house or remodeling the apartment, many homeowners wonder which window panes are the most suitable. There is now a wide range of different glazing for all windows, making it literally difficult for the layman to keep track. In addition to the incoming light, thermal insulation certainly plays a role when buying windows. However, this will play a subordinate role in this article.

Clear window panes

The classic window pane – low-maintenance, simple, clear window panes. The disadvantage of them is that they do not provide any privacy, which would often be the goal, especially in bathrooms. In these cases, of course, you can still choose a clear window glass, which in the required situations will be covered with shutters and curtains. Mirror film offers itself as a permanent solution, but has weaknesses at night: If you switch on the light inside, the film is almost transparent from the outside. This is not the case during the day.

On the positive side, clear window panes allow the maximum amount of light to enter the room. Depending on the compass direction of the window, whether there are any obstacles blocking the sun’s rays and at what angle to the sun the window is placed, the amount will of course vary. However, in principle, this is the best and simplest solution.

Another factor to consider is the susceptibility to dirt, such as fingerprints and “flyspeck,” which are not visible until much later on matte and textured glass.

Frosted window panes

Frosted window panes are especially popular in bathrooms to prevent unwelcome glances and protect one’s privacy. Depending on the floor, neighborhood and orientation of the bathroom, a matte window or privacy film may make sense. The films can be applied either on the whole glass or only on a part of it. This widely used and long popular method has several advantages: it is simple and inexpensive. But what influence does it have on the amount of light?

Thermotec AG - Window panes: matt, clear or structured - what influence does this have on the amount of light? - matte Fensterscheibe im Badezimmer
Crime scene of blurry person’ s shadow holding a knife behind the frosted glass

Contours are softened and colors blur with frosted window glass – ©PK289 | Fotolia

Basically, it does not change the brightness of the light very much. However, it is softened by the matting and the light falls softer into the room. Especially with south-facing windows, this can be a pleasant side effect, as direct sunlight can no longer dazzle as much. Instead, the sunlight enters the room in a softer, dimmed form.

Also, as with all windows, the higher the top edge of the window is on the ceiling, the more light can enter the room through the window. Especially when building new houses with already planned room layout, this can be easily taken into account.

Structured window panes

Textured window panes are popularly purchased as an artful alternative to uniformly frosted glass. These serve their purpose, just as well as the matte version as a privacy screen from the outside, but can have a more aesthetic appearance. Since matte window panes often look uncharitable and sterile, some people are reluctant to choose them. Nevertheless, if you want to prevent strangers from looking into your bathroom or stairwell and are looking for more elegant window panes, you will probably be happier with textured panes.

The special thing about textured glass is that the panes are basically clear as well, which looks neater and classier. Due to the clever patterning, only vague colored spots and spongy contours are visible behind the window.

Thermotec AG - Window panes: matt, clear or structured - what influence does this have on the amount of light? - Fensterscheibe mit Strukturglas

Structured window glass is visually appealing and prevents prying eyes – ©Maloos | Fotolia

Here, too, you can ask the question of efficiency and influence on the light intensity, because, of course, a window always has the task of illuminating the room. Due to the structure, this variant also brings somewhat muted and softer light into the room, as structured window panes also serve as glare protection.

Conclusion: Which glass is best suited?

In principle, of course, it is up to each person to decide which window pane to choose, because everyone has a different opinion about the advantages and disadvantages of the different variants.

A clear window pane does not provide any visual protection, but it does ensure optimum light penetration. In necessary situations, curtains, shutters or mirror films can provide the necessary privacy.

In contrast, frosted window glass provides constant privacy from the outside, which can be very convenient, especially in stairwells of apartment blocks or even in bathrooms. The disadvantage of this is that the light enters the room somewhat weakened. At the same time, however, the glass serves as a glare shield, so that the light shines less glaringly into the apartment.

Structured window panes behave very similarly. They also dim the light somewhat, although the effect is not as noticeable here. Marbled panes usually come out more handsome and offer many design options.

The incidence of light depends not only on the type of window pane, but mainly on the orientation of the window, obstacles in front of the window, and the angle of the window pane to the sun. The higher the upper edge of the window on the ceiling of the room, the more light can shine into the room and the less curious people can peek in.

Image credits Cover photo: Modern bathroom with bathtub, sink and wooden floor ©Wilm Ihlenfeld | Fotolia

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