From privacy panels to windows to interior shutters, during the past 30 years Hy-Lite has manufactured hundreds of thousands of acrylic block products. Since 1988 the company has solved design and privacy issues for architects, builders and homeowners by crafting stunning acrylic block products for homes, businesses and television and movie sets in the United States and across the globe.
“Our company revolutionized the privacy window market three decades ago by introducing pre-framed acrylic block windows,” says Roger Murphy, president of Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company. “These were launched as an alternative to heavy, old-fashioned glass block.
“We found a way to make our lightweight, architectural-grade acrylic blocks lighter and easier to install than traditional glass blocks. And, by offering them in a durable frame, the acrylic block window units eliminated the mortar, mess and time-consuming labor on the jobsite of creating old-fashioned glass block windows one block at a time.”
According to Murphy the company currently manufactures hundreds of thousands of acrylic blocks each year. That translates to millions of acrylic blocks the company has created in the past 30 years.
Timeless Acrylic Block Products
Before Hy-Lite Products, Inc. was even 10 years old, U.S. Block Windows, Inc. was founded. This move, in 1996, further modernized the privacy window market as U.S. Block Windows launched cut-to-size and fully-operable acrylic block windows.
As requests for acrylic block windows grew, U.S. Block Windows, Inc. acquired the assets of Hy-Lite Products, Inc. in 2009. The union of the two companies allowed the growth of acrylic block products to continue with the launch of door inserts, energy-efficient block options, impact-resistant blocks and unique partition applications.
“Acrylic block products are timeless,” says Murphy. “They serve as both a design element for the home or a commercial project along with offering privacy. In our three decades of manufacturing we’ve truly seen growth in requests for these unique units; this is a product that people continue to embrace.”
Made in the U.S.A.
All Hy-Lite acrylic blocks are injection-molded from American-made resin in a facility in Pensacola, Florida. Dozens of dedicated employees assure the blocks, and then the acrylic block products, are crafted to high standards.
“When we acquired Hy-Lite in 2009 we learned much of the company’s acrylic block and vinyl extrusion manufacturing was being done in China,” says Murphy. “We immediately brought those processes and jobs back to America.”
The process of manufacturing Hy-Lite’s acrylic block windows begins and ends in America. From the raw materials, injection molding and block assembly to glazing, cleaning, and even the shipping materials, every aspect of the acrylic block products are proudly made in the United States of America.
Acrylic Block Products in the Home
Privacy is a key reason many homeowners gravitate to acrylic block windows and panels. They request them in bathrooms, bedrooms, home offices and other areas where privacy is required.
“With home lot sizes decreasing in size and spacing getting closer between houses, it’s hard to gain privacy in a home,” says Murphy. “When your neighbors can easily look into your child’s bedroom or a bathroom, that’s when there’s a need for a privacy window. The bonus of having a lightweight acrylic block window is the ability to select an operable unit that can open for ventilation.”
Murphy points out that operable acrylic block windows are available in casement, awning, hopper, single-hung and slider styles. For homeowners wishing to gain the ultimate amount of privacy, large wall panels of acrylic blocks can be created in the home.
"Obscure privacy windows let light into a room while preventing nosy neighbors from peering in your house," says Murphy. "If you're living in a home that looks directly into your neighbor's yard, or you're close enough to the street for a passerby to wave in at you, it's definitely time to replace an existing plain glass window with a privacy window."
Following the motto of "safety first" in the home, Murphy reports that acrylic block privacy windows have a huge advantage over using blinds, shades and curtains on clear glass windows: there are no dangling window cords.
According to a study released in early 2018 in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 16,000 children under the age of six in the United States were treated in emergency departments for injuries caused by window blinds between 1990 and 2015. The data, collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and In-Depth Investigation, says that during the study’s timeframe, an average of almost two children per day were treated.
"Seclusion is instant and continuous with acrylic block privacy windows," says Murphy. "There are no cords or pulls that children can get strangled with or pets can get tangled up in. That's a huge no-worries advantage of selecting privacy windows for the home."
While acrylic block windows are popular throughout all rooms of the home, they’re perhaps most valued for a child’s room. From the outside of the home --- especially where a nursery or child’s room is located on the main floor --- acrylic block windows present an obscure view into a room.
Hy-Lite, a U.S. Block Windows Company, is the leading manufacturer of acrylic block, glass block and decorative glass windows. The company's privacy product options include acrylic block shutters, accent panels, radius walls, partition walls and door inserts. Since 1988, the Pensacola, Florida-based company has been committed to providing residential and commercial construction professionals and homeowners with elegant, affordable privacy window designs. For more information, visit www.hy-lite.com.