Tired of constantly pulling blinds and window shades up and down? A newly designed material from the U.S. Department of Energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory might be your new best friend. The material, according to this August 2013 press release, will give business and homeowners complete control over what kind of light is allowed through selected windows.

What does this mean for Connecticut homeowners? In the future, people looking for replacement windows in CT may have even more options. With a thin film that will allow you to choose whether or not to let natural or heat-producing light into your home, there’s no telling what’s next on the horizon for window technology. From a U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory press release on August 14, 2013:

“Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a new material to make smart windows even smarter. The material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window. Unlike existing technologies, the coating provides selective control over visible light and heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light, so windows can maximize both energy savings and occupant comfort in a wide range of climates. ‘In the US, we spend about a quarter of our total energy on lighting, heating and cooling our buildings,’ says Delia Milliron, a chemist at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry who led this research. ‘When used as a window coating, our new material can have a major impact on building energy efficiency.

The release goes on to discuss how this new window technology might be beneficial for homeowners: “Independent control over NIR light means that occupants can have natural lighting indoors without unwanted thermal gain, reducing the need for both air-conditioning and artificial lighting. The same window can also be switched to a dark mode, blocking both light and heat, or to a bright, fully transparent mode.”

Click Here to view full release.