Small LCD Light Valve - Controllable Shutter Glass
Now available from PMD Way are LCD light valves. A Liquid Crystal Light Valve (LCLV) is a device that uses the properties of liquid crystals to control the level of illumination passing through an optical system.
In this product, we have one small LCD piece, which will filter what you see through it. Normally, it's a tinted gray color (because the light around us is not polarized, it is not completely clear). There are two electrodes that you can put a voltage across to change the opacity.
By changing the voltage applied, it will block light more and more. Starting at about 1.0VDC the glass will start darkening. At about 4.0V the glass will be opaque. 5V is the max recommended voltage. In between you will get darker shades. Note that it is not capable of blocking 100% of light, but it looks like it blocks at least 95%.
Almost no current is used. Once activated with a voltage, the glass will stay at that darkness level even if the voltage is removed. So, if you want to have it turn on and off, you'll need to drive it with a 0V signal to 'open' it up, or connect a draining resistor between the two pins to leak the voltage off when not powered.
Please note that this is a thin piece of glass, you can't bend it, or cut it, and it's very delicate! Use care when working with this item.