Window tint may be applied to the windows of a car, home, or business. It’s an affordable, convenient, and attractive way of improving the quality of interior space. The tint not only promotes privacy but also cuts down on glare by allowing enough light and visibility inside.
There are different types of window tinting film that you can choose from depending on the purpose you’re trying to accomplish. Some types are more effective than others. Here is what you should consider when selecting the type of tint to buy:
- Light levels
All the different types of window tint have different visible light transmission levels. A window tint with a VLT of 35% allows 35 percent of light to shine through. A window tint with a VLT of 5% is considerably opaque and allows less light to pass through it.
- Material type
The different types of window tint are made using different materials regardless of their VLT. The most common material is a dyed film which makes use of a dye layer that absorbs light on top of an adhesive. When you add metallic particles to it you get a metalized film that is stronger but blocks cell-phone transmissions and other radio signals.
Carbon is a more aesthetic choice and it’s better at absorbing infrared light than the other two previously mentioned. The tint keeps the inside cooler and doesn’t interfere with signal transmission.
Ceramic window film is better than carbon as it cuts out more heat without necessarily requiring a darker tint. This is appropriate for those living in hot areas and who do a substantial amount of driving at night.
Dyed window tint faded over time in the sun and so will need to be replaced more often. Metalized tint is a solid choice thanks to its scratch-and-fade resistance provided by the metallic particles. Carbon and ceramic tint films don’t fade significantly so they’re good long-term choices.
Different Types of Window Tint
There are four main types of window films that differ in terms of quality of material, effectiveness, and cost. Understanding all the different options makes it easier for you to make the right choice for your windows.
1. Dyed Window Tint
This is the perfect choice of window tint if you’re on a budget. It’s the simplest of them all – it uses a layer of dye between an adhesive layer and a protective top coating. Dye window tint blocks anywhere from 5% to 50% of light. Solar heat is also absorbed by the film preventing some of it from getting inside.
- Generally cost-effective
- Provides a very dark and matte-style effect that most people love
- The film doesn’t block radio waves
- If not installed properly it develops bubbles
- Fades over time and will need to be replaced
- The tinting can delaminate over time
- The heat reduction is not particularly high
2. Metalized Window Tint
This type of window tint features a metalized film that’s specially treated to block out heat and light by reflection. There are small metallic particles that are embedded in the film to strengthen it making it shatter-resistant. The metalized tint has a shiny appearance from the outside.
- Doesn’t fade over time
- Highly durable – lasts a long time without fading
- Has higher scratch resistance compared to dyed window tint
- Effective in blocking out heat and reducing glare
- Highly effective in screening out UV rays
- The metallic particles tend to interfere with cell-phone transmission and radio reception
- The metal makes it quite expensive
- The shiny appearance is a turn off to most people
3. Carbon Window Tint
This type of window tint has a unique matte finish making it a very attractive and tasteful option. The carbon content helps in blocking about 40% of the IR radiations that are responsible for overheating.
- Durable and doesn’t fade over time like dyed window films
- Since the film doesn’t have any metal in it, it doesn’t interfere with signals and transmission
- Helps prevent fading of upholstery
- Saves energy by reducing the need for cooling in summer and heating in winter
- Relatively high cost
4. Ceramic Window Tint
This is the highest quality of window tint and also the most expensive. Instead of dye, metal, and carbon, ceramic tint contains ceramic particles that are non-conductive. The tint cuts from 65% to 70% of the glare and solar heat that gets inside in the form of UV rays and infrared light while allowing uppermost visibility during both in the day and night.
- Doesn’t fade over time
- Very effective in terms of performance and reliability – blocking heat, light glare, and UV rays
- Radio signals pass through easily
- The film isn’t overly reflective and shiny
- Renders windows highly shatter-proof
- The most expensive window tint option on the market so it’s not within everyone’s budget
There are different types of window tint to choose from that it can be quite confusing. However, once you understand how the tints work you will be in a position to make a better decision.
Window tinting needs vary from one person to another and greatly depend on the budget and the climate of the area. The options available go beyond the degree of darkness you need. Ensure that the type of window tint you choose provides some form of protection against the dangerous UV rays from the sun even if you live in a cold region where the sun is rarely out.