Tinting the windows of a vehicle provides functional benefits and can improve overall appearance. It can promote privacy and security, reduce exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, provide shattered glass protection and fade reduction, lower temperature to keep passengers cool, and protect a car’s interior from sun damage.
A professional installer can apply varying shades of tint to a car’s windows. There are four main types of film that come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Dyed Window Film
This type of film involves dye placed between an adhesive layer and a protective top coating. The adhesive sticks to the glass of the window and the top coating prevents scratches on a window. It can block between 5 to 50% of light entering the car.
Dyed window films create the darkest tint effect among all other types. They are non-reflective and do not interfere with or block radio waves, with the ability to block and reduce glare from bright lights and the headlights of other cars. However, this type of film does not block as much heat as other types of films.
Metalized Window Film
There are several layers to a metalized window film. The base layer contains adhesive bonds to attach the film to the window. Another layer blocks UV radiation from entering the vehicle. It bonds to a metalized layer that reflects heat and provides darkness for a window. A top coat protects against scratches.
This film is efficient for blocking glare, heat, and UV rays. It is extremely durable and does not fade over time. However, it interferes with radio waves and can affect the monitoring systems of the vehicle.
Hybrid Tinting Film
Hybrid films provide the advantages of dyed and metalized films without carrying the disadvantages of either. A laminating adhesive binds the adhesive, dyed, and metalized layers, as well as the protective top coat onto the window. It can block glare, heat, and UV rays. In addition, it is durable and does not interfere with radio signals and transmissions.
Ceramic Window Film
This film is built with an adhesive layer, a thin ceramic layer, and a protective top coat. Like other types of film, it can reflect glare, heat, and UV rays away from the vehicle. It does not fade over time and does not interfere with radio. It is also not as reflective as metalized film. This improves the overall aesthetic of the vehicle.
Films and window tints should be installed professionally. Professional installation ensures they are installed correctly and do not present an unattractive and bubbled appearance. The cost and application of tint will vary depending on factors like the type and brand chosen, experience of the installer, and type of car.
Tinting laws vary across each state. There are regulations in place for tint color, light transmission, reflectivity, and which windows can be tinted. Most states prohibit vehicles from having very dark tints. Car owners should review the laws in place in their state before deciding on the type of film and tint to apply. They should then consider the various advantages and disadvantages of the different types of window tinting options.