What Is Window Tinting?


Window tint is a polyester film that gets applied to windows in cars, trucks and boats, as well as homes and buildings. It comes in a variety of shades, tinting levels and treatments that give different effects and benefits. A basic tint is dark and reduces UV rays, heat and glare from the sun and headlights. Other options include frosted or decorative films that add privacy and security. There are also energy-efficient film options that boost insulation and qualify for tax deductions.

The level of darkness varies by state law and is called the visible light transmission percentage (VLT). It can range from five percent (super-dark, AKA limo tint), allowing almost no light in, to 90 percent VLT which is virtually clear. It’s a good idea to check your state laws and restrictions before choosing a window tint level, especially if you intend to drive cross country or move in the future.

Aftermarket window tints are generally applied to your vehicle’s interior glass, although some may be installed on the exterior of the glass. You can buy kits for DIY installation, ranging from $60 to $350. Kits contain pre-cut pieces of film and a small tool to help with the application process. It’s important to make sure that the glass and the film are free of dust, dirt and moisture before applying. A dirty surface will prevent the film from adhering and can lead to bubbles or other imperfections. If you choose to install the window tint yourself, be prepared for a difficult and time-consuming project that requires a high degree of meticulousness. It’s a good idea to have a friend or family member assist you and to take your time.

There are several types of aftermarket click here window tint, from dyed to metallic. These are usually a combination of polymers and carbon, ceramic or metal particles. These provide a shiny appearance and are durable, fade resistant and offer great reductions in solar heat. The only drawback is that they can interfere with some electronic signals and may affect the operation of your car’s tire pressure monitoring system.

Factory tint, done during the manufacturing of glass, is not considered an aftermarket window tint because it doesn’t offer UV protection or heat rejection. It does, however, reduce glare and can be useful in dark areas of the home where light is needed such as bathrooms and walk-in closets. It’s important to note that tinting your windows can void the window seal warranty, which means your window replacement cost could be higher if there are issues with the window seals.

Using a quality window tint that has a scratch resistance protection coating will keep it looking new longer. While it will not completely protect against fading, the film will significantly slow the rate at which items such as leather upholstery or furniture fade. Fading is caused by multiple factors, including solar heat, visible light and chemical vapors from off-gassing and the age of the fabric or wood.

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