What is Window Film?
In technical terms, window film is an extremely thin layer of tinted poly material which is applied a car's windows to improve appearance and privacy, reduce glare or reduce heat and UV penetration. In reality, however, it is one of the easiest and effective after-market ways to upgrade the racing look of your car. However, please be sure to inform yourself of your local, legal restrictions as certain countries' laws limit which windows you can tint and how dark the tinting can be.
Different Types of Tinted Film
Most films are easy to apply. Each panel is cut to size for the window you wish to cover, then stuck to the inside of the dampened window. There are 4 basic types of window film available and they often come in different shades or levels of visible light transmission (the amount of light it lets in); a 35% VLT for example will let in 35% of the light while a 5% VTL will look almost black from the outside. So, let's break this down to help you decide what product is right for you.
1. Dyed Film
This product is the easiest and least expensive way to tint your windows. It is a dyed plastic film applied by peeling and sticking to the window, then secured to a smooth finish using a heat gun. The results are really effective providing plenty of privacy from the outside with no visual obstruction from the inside. It can be reasonably useful for reducing heat build-up inside the car, but it is not the best way to filter UV and it can be prone to fading if exposed to strong sunlight over time.
This film is impregnated with metal particles. Treated car windows are left with a reflective or mirrored quality from the outside. While this type of film is very effective at reducing heat and can even reinforce glass and prevent shattering, the metal content can interfere with phone or radio reception.
Filled with tiny grains of carbon, carbon film is a grade up from metalised tint in many ways. It easily offers all the benefits of the metal tint; excellent privacy, heat and UV protection and glass reinforcement, however, it will not interfere with any electronics. In addition, the carbon film gives the car's windows a classy matte finish. The down side is of course that it is more expensive than both of dyed and metalised films.
This is the most advanced after-market tinting film available. Treated with tiny particles of ceramic it is, of course, the most expensive option and available only from specialist retailers. Ceramic film offers a complete and effective way to tint your car windows; as well as being scratch and fade resistant it offers all of the benefits of the other types of film including a very stylish matte finish.
How Window Tints Can Make a Difference
There are many reasons why people use window tints, but here are a list of the top 5 benefits.
1. Privacy and Security
Nothing is more effective than tint in increasing the privacy of a driver and his or her passengers. However, it can also improve security. Not only can it make you feel safer when stopped at lights, at night, but crimes can be deterred too. Most theft is a crime of opportunity, and if the thief can't see into the car due to tinting, then they won't know if there is anything of value there to take.
2. Temperature Control
Tinted windows will obviously stop your car from overheating in the sun, but it will also mean that you will need to use less air conditioning. In fact, depending on the grade of film you chose to use, it may also keep you warmer in the winter months too.
3. Sun and UV Protection
It may seem obvious, but if tint can limit your own exposure to UV and sun damage, then it can also provide the same protection for the interior of your car, minimizing leather cracking and interior fading. In addition, tinting can reduce your need to wear sunglasses or shades if you wear a subscription while driving.
4. Accident Protection
Tinted film can decrease the risk of injury if you are in an accident. Many injuries sustained during crashes occur due to flying shards of glass and tinted films can reinforce glass enough to prevent shattering of windshields and side windows, potentially keeping you and your passengers safer and injury free.