As a professional window tinter I see many people make bad choices when it comes to choosing the appropriate film for their particular window tinting application, and in this blog Im providing the top tips people should consider to ensure they get the best bang for their buck with window tinting .
The first and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good quality window film and bad film. Here's why:
Premium window film will last for the lifetime of your windows
whereas poor quality window film will barely last up to three years, depending on the rigours of your environment.
The only way for a non-professional person to discern between good and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When talking to a supplier, ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it's less than 12 years save yourself the pain. And also look out for the shady operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it seem like it's good film, but will either not be around, or simply do nothing if you get back to them because your tint has degraded.
Here's the tip, (and by the way I've found this to be true with most things in life), if your only goal in getting quotes is looking for the cheapest possible price, then you will naturally find yourself with the poor product and the real price you pay will be in 2-3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look awful. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just crap!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING WINDOW TINT
There are many and varied benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will bring together some of these advantages, so the first thing you need to identify is the most important reason for applying window tint in your circumstances. Lets look at each benefit in a tad more detail so you can better figure out the most suitable solution for your particular application.
Heat Rejection: Good quality window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of infra-red radiation through windows. That's cool!
UV Blocking: Good quality window film eradicates up to 99% of IR radiation from penetrating your windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which does wonders for your view and means things look really cool!
Privacy: The right film will also provide daytime privacy, allowing everyone inside to be cooler, enjoy the views, and at the same time have total privacy from prying eyes during the day.
Impact Safety and Security Films: These specially designed films stop glass from shattering on impact. Safety films are designed to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand a bomb blast without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass spraying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass dropping like a guillotine, the major risks around safety are prevented. It also stops your windows from being a soft and easy entry point for criminals, because both the impact and noise required to gain entry is so noticeable burglars would rather simply move on in search of an easier, 'softer' target.
Finally of course there's the matter of style. Good quality window film also adds style to windows; and for many people it's the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the main reason for their purchase.
ISSUES RELATED TO CARS & VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to vehicles and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car, truck or work vehicle.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window tint except for a visor strip across the top). The northern Territory and Western Australia are the only exceptions. In the Northern Territory you are legally allowed a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.
So here's the critical point. Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, so this needs to be taken into consideration when adding tint to a vehicle. Here's why.
If the factory glass on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the "darkest legal tint" of 35% is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT reading will be impacted by the addition of both tint ratings.
This is really important because if a driver accidentally fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But even worse, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could mean the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial culpability of the accident. And if that's not bad enough a criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The last thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy, which means the driver can't drive the car again until it has been put through a roadworthy test, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That's why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you're selecting the appropriate tint.
Summing up everything I've discussed, what's the critical takeaway from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the best solution for your circumstances. That way you'll end up with a range of benefits, rather than a number of issues.