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The See-Through Bathroom Window Saga Continues

We last we left the saga of my bathroom window, the building’s management company was dragging their feet about fixing my bathroom window.  After leaving a broken window frame sit over the winter, they’d put cheap stickers on the new window, instead of installing privacy glass like a normal human, and the stickers almost immediately started peeling off, giving anybody walking by the possibility of a free show if I happened to be showering.  And for some reason, nobody was wanting to rent the place with the bathroom window all messed up.

Well, they eventually did come in and put some new stickers on the window.  When it was done, I was looking straight out the window like there wasn’t a sticker on it, but the maintenance guy assured me that anyone looking in would see a mirror.  I could see out, but they couldn’t see in.

For some reason, I have a skeptical nature about these things, and I made a note to leave the light on when I went to the gym and see if it really was a mirror.  Sure enough, when I went to the gym that evening, I looked up and I could see in the window.  I went back up, put a couple books in the window sill, went back downstairs and there were two book in the widow all right.

I remembered the name on the package for the stickers, so I looked it up on the company website.

Is there a film that will give me privacy during day and night that still allows me to see out clearly?

In a word, no. Nor is there any one-way mirror glass that allows this either. The Privacy Control Mirror film has been designed to provide DAYTIME PRIVACY ONLY. Wherever the greater source of light is, that is the side where the mirror or reflectivity will be. During the day, the greater source of light is the sun. Therefore when looking into your home from the outside you will see a mirror image. When looking from the inside of the home to the outside, you will be able to see clearly.

During the night: Since the greater source of light will be the lighting in your home, when you look out your window, you will see the reflectivity or mirror image. Someone looking into your window from the outside will be able to see in if the lights are on indoors. There are many professional films products from Solutia that offer very low interior reflectivity with higher outward reflectivity, so night time reflectance is greatly reduced. There is no technology at this time to make a window film (or glass) truly “one way” under all lighting conditions.

The Privacy Control Frosted film provides 24-hour privacy and diffuses natural light. It provides the same appearance as frosted or sand-blasted glass. Our Privacy Control Black is a vinyl film which only allows 6% of light to come through. It is not designed for inward or outward visibility.

Translation: if it’s dark out and I turn on the light in the bathroom, the window is a mirror for me and anyone outside can see in like the window was clear.

Yes, even the manufacturer says, in all caps, it’s for “DAYTIME PRIVACY ONLY.”  So if I go the gym at night and want to clean up, or if I get up before sunrise, I need to keep the lights off or we’re back to the free show.  I also need to keep the shower curtain drawn if I’m using the toilet.  I’m not sure if my neighbors across the courtyard are into that sort of thing and I’d rather not find out.

I did have a friend offer to advertise my showers on Craigslist and list the management company as my pimp.  I declined.  Were I to go that route, I think I’d be better off having a sales agent by the neighborhood male strip club at last call and then charging an admission fee to the court yard.  Maybe sell opera glasses for the event.

This will have been 4 weeks ago in a couple days.  This whole time, they’ve been showing the apartment and the weekend leasing agents have commented to me that potential renters are freaking out that you can see straight out the bathroom window.  Particularly the ladies.  Nobody really wants to say “Oh, don’t worry.  People can only see in when it’s dark out.”

And they wonder why nobody’s rented the place.  Oh, the unintentional comedy of a bad landlord.  Looks like I’ll probably still be chuckling after I’ve moved out and the place still isn’t rented.


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