Hotels Modernize with Smart Window Film 

November 29, 2022

Hotel guests have an unforgettable experience when one moment, they look out on an expansive cityscape and the next, they flip a switch to have immediate privacy. 

We all know the most glamorous part of any city is its skyline. Close your eyes and imagine those skyscrapers that make cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City recognizable. Premier guests staying in hotels expect a great view looking onto the city, but also want privacy.

For these reasons, designers and architects are leaning into smart film, also known as switch film, which offers instant and dramatic ways to change up hotel rooms. Big city views and privacy, on demand. Guests as well as hotel owners who choose to install smart window film get all the benefits of big windows and none of the drawbacks.

Rooms with a view

In 2022, Layr was asked for ideas about how to make the exclusive rooms of a luxury hotel in New York City even more glamorous. We talked them through their options, took measurements, and explained how smart window film would work in their top floors. 

With 90 oversized windows, this was no small job. Here’s our installer showing off the customizable privacy achieved through these windows with the flip of a switch.

Layr’s installer demonstrates the dramatic effect that smart window film has in a hotel room, especially when the sun is out.

With that switch, the room becomes more than a room, it becomes an experience.

Since smart window film costs a fraction of installing new windows that do the same thing, it’s not surprising to see a surge in interest for smart film across different industries like hospitality, health care, and finance.

Optimizing hotels

When hotels decide to install this film, they don’t only get to impress guests. They also reap the many product benefits which bring an ROI.

This film has some fairly standard benefits. The windows can be cleaned quickly without the headache that hotels often face with fabric curtains. They also provide sun control to protect both guests and the furniture from the harmful effects of UV rays.

When we talk to clients about smart film, there are other more surprising ways it can be used in hotels. Some clients use switch film as a creative and delightful way to advertise their products.

Window film can be a great way to advertise. Now, imagine this sign switching back and forth to clear glass. Smart film creates impressive effects.

How smart film works

Smart film is made up of PDLC technology, which stands for Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal. This film changes its transparency when it receives an electrical impulse. Though it’s counterintuitive, the film is clear when switched on and frosted when off.

In their resting state, the liquid crystals make PDLC glass appear to be milky or opaque. This is because the liquid crystals are randomly arranged and scatter any light that enters the film. Like this, the glass hides whatever is behind the smart glass. 

The second an electrical impulse enters the film, the liquid crystals align. This makes the glass clear since light can pass through.

If you are interested in learning more about PDLC technology, you can read more about its history at or watch this hands-on demonstration by David Watts below.

Beyond skylights: other applications for smart film

Imagination is the only limit when architects, designers, and installers work with Vela Smart film. In hotels, there are robust uses for this film. These windows do a stunning job of creating spaces with flexibility, privacy, and style. 

By far, the most common use for smart film is conference rooms. But there are many other creative ways to use smart film in unexpected places with great results. We’ve already highlighted how hotels can use smart film to create customizable privacy in luxury suites, but we’ve also heard of smart film being used throughout hotels, including:

  • Spas,
  • Gyms,
  • Bathrooms,
  • Partitions between common spaces and sleeping spaces,
  • Glass elevators,
  • Atriums,
  • Lobbies.

Layr is proud to work with hotels who want to modernize and optimize their windows. If you are looking for an upgrade to your hotel, Avery Dennison’s Vela Smart Film is an option that comes with a wow-factor, in addition to a host of other benefits.

Visit our showroom in New York City to see our products or send us a message.