Automotive window film has been around for more than 50 years. What started as a spray-on process to add privacy has evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Modern window films offer amazing optical clarity, excellent heat rejection, reduced glare and improved occupant protection. Let’s look at what this technology is and some of the reasons why people tint their windows.
What Is Window Film?
Most window films are made from a thin polyester sheet with layers of a proprietary mixture of coatings. These coating materials offer UV-, IR- and light-blocking properties. Window films are applied directly to the inside surface of the glass and include an adhesive to ensure they stay in place. High-quality films are designed not to fade or change color over their lives. These quality adhesives will not break down and cause the film to release over time.
Window Film and Light Transmission
The typical facility that sells and installs window film may carry as many as four of five different grades of film. Each grade often has several different light transmission levels available. Films are rated by the percentage of visible light that they allow to pass. A 15 percent film only lets 15% of the light directed at the film pass through. A 5% film would be very dark, while a 70% film is very light.
Why Use Window Film?
There are four main reasons to use window film or tint on your vehicle:
- Improve styling
- Heat rejection
- Protection against UV rays
There is no doubt that a vehicle with professionally installed window tint looks cool. A white car with a dark tint evokes the “stormtrooper” look, while a dark paint color with tinted windows and no chrome is an amazing “blacked out” style. Whatever your preference, tinting your windows can have a dramatic effect on the style of your vehicle.
Windows films that protect the vehicle and its occupants are steadily growing in popularity. There are security films designed specifically to adhere firmly to the tempered glass of side and rear windows. These films keep the window intact in an accident or an attempted “break and enter.” If you are concerned about attempted break-ins, ask your local window tint specialist about security films.
One of the most popular reasons to tint your windows is to help keep the interior of your vehicle cool. The key to succeeding at this goal is to request a good-quality window film. These thermal blocking films are often called “nano” or “ceramic.”
Think about just how much glass there is in the average vehicle. What does your steering wheel feel like when you get in the car on a hot summer day? In most cases, you can barely touch it! Premium films are designed to block heat, not just light. They not only help keep your car cooler, but they ease the load on your air conditioning system. That can directly translate into savings in fuel costs.
When it comes to blocking heat, the amount of light the film transmits is not the only criterion. Many shops will have a way to demonstrate the capabilities of heat-blocking films, often using a heat lamp display of some sort. There are 5% films that use dyes that barely block any heat. At the other end of the spectrum, there are films that allow more than 70% of light to pass, but block 50% of the heat from the sun.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has released an article about the benefits of window films that are designed to block UV rays. UVA and UVB rays are what cause sunburns and eye damage. Conventional glass blocks the transmission of UVB radiation, but UVA rays can pass through effectively unhindered. These protective films can block up to 97% of UVA rays. Unlike traditional films, many of these UV-blocking films offer excellent light transmission characteristics. As much as 93% of visible light can be transmitted, making them suitable for use on windshields in some areas. The best of these films offer an equivalent Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of up to 1,000. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle, then you should look into UV-blocking films.
We have all seen pictures of cracked vinyl dashboards in our favorite ’70s and ’80s cars. The same window film protection characteristics that protect you also protect your vehicle. Plastic, vinyl, rubber and cloth are all susceptible to damage and fading caused by UV exposure. A quality window film keeps your car interior not only cool, but looking great for years.
It is best to seek out a professional installer to have window film installed. They are trained in techniques to ensure that the film is cut and shrunk to fit the glass perfectly. The difference between a do-it-yourself job and a professional installation extends far beyond the initial result. Proper installation techniques ensure that no fingerprints, dust or debris get caught under the film. A proper installation will last longer because it adheres to the glass better. The film won’t peel or pull away from the edges or defroster lines.
If you are interested in having your windows tinted, check with your local tinting professionals. Ask to see examples of their work, and be sure to discuss different qualities of film and ask about their thermal, UV and light transmission capabilities. Modern window films are amazing feats of engineering that can protect you and your vehicle while making it look awesome.
Tyler Johnson says
That makes sense that it would be best to leave the installation to a pro. I wouldn’t want any air bubbles or anything on the film, so that makes sense. I’ll have to leave that to a professional if I decide to get a film on my windows to make them stronger.
Afton Jackson says
I really appreciate you bringing up heat rejection as one of the things you can enjoy if you tint your car windows. Since I do a lot of long road trips due to the nature of my work, I would definitely need some protection against the scorching sun when the hot months roll around. With that said, as early as now, I’ll start looking for any window tinting services in the area and have them work on my car immediately.
Jon Kramer says
I really appreciate for sharing such knowledgeable blog post with us. As I got to know how window tinting protect the vehicle from the harmful rays and stay cool inside during the summer time. I have decided to get a window tinting on vehicle to make it stronger.
Blake Congdon says
We have recently started our new window tinting company and came across this article.
We really appreciate you taking the time to educate people on this stuff, it helps people like us with small businesses out a lot.
Window tinting is by no means an exciting topic to write about, but you did a good job keeping it entertaining and not boring. Great work!
Thanks for sharing this blog commenting site list. Such a great post and these sites are really helpful for me. As I knew how window tinting prevent the automobile from the harmful UV rays and keep cool during the summer time.
Eli Richardson says
It’s great that you talked about how window film comes with UV rays protection. Recently, my sister purchased a second-hand car, and since she got a great deal, she wants to upgrade some of its features. I think window tinting sounds like a good investment, so I’ll be sure to share this article with my sister. Thanks for the advice on car improvements.
You have described very nicely how thermal blocking films work. I got a new idea from your blog and detailed Discussion. I will use this method in my car. Thank you so much for sharing such a nice idea.
adam louis says
amazing post about window filming …. keep posting thankyou
Michelle Catapang says
Window tint has a lot of benefits and this article proves that one should get his car windows tinted. I appreciate this post, thank you.
Awesome stuff about window tinting thank you so much for spending the time to write this! Really shows the vast amount of benefits that comes with window tinting.
Johann Jerde says
Thanks for writing this great article for us. I have gained good stuff from this website. Looking forward to your next article. I am happy to share this post to my friends. Keep it up.
Shammy Peterson says
I liked that you said that you could keep the interior of your car cool when you have a window tint installed since they are made of thermal blocking films. With this in mind, I will ask my husband to bring our sedan to a professional for a window tinting service within the day. We have plans to sell our car later this year, so it is essential for us to keep the car seats in a good condition for a long time by protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays.
Ava Murphy says
It was nice that you said that you could keep the interior of your car cool when you consider window tinting services. My husband and I replaced our old car seats with new ones, and we definitely want to keep them free from fading problems. I will be sure to have window tinting installed on my sedan later this afternoon.
Olivia Smart says
I liked how you pointed out that tinting the windows in your car can actually protect your skin. I’ve always burned easily and been sensitive to the sun. I never thought that window tinting would be something that would help with that, but I’ll be sure to talk to someone to get it done on my new car.