Some people think that getting tinted car windows will naturally cost a lot, but the budget-minded vehicle owner can secure a professional look without resorting to professional help. Vehicle film can be applied without any technical knowledge, and this can save a person hundreds of dollars. There are many products on the market made for the do-it-yourselfer, and the entire process can be finished off in a single afternoon.
While film quality will be a major factor in the final price, detail shops will also charge a vehicle owner for certain makes and models. In general, the easier it is to apply the film to the glass, the less the shop will charge for tinted car windows. The cost tends to be the lowest for sedans made after 2000, but this will still probably run at least a $100. Trucks and vans will be more expensive because they are harder to deal with. Classic vehicles and those with unique shapes will be the most expensive, because the shaping job will be time consuming.
However, a vehicle owner can greatly reduce the price by installing the product on their own. This material is available in bulk or as precut kits. The precut kits are especially helpful because they come with sheeting already sized for a certain make and model. The process is simple and only requires a few easy to get items. A measuring device, a cutting edge, some lint-free rags, a razorblade, a Squeegee, a solution of baby shampoo and water, and a spray bottle are the only items needed for the job. It only takes a few hours to secure the film and once it is done, it will look like a professional handled it.
Auto tinting is a popular and economic way to transform a vehicle, deriving many health and safety benefits for the consumer. Darkening a vehicle’s windows provides privacy for its occupants, protects them from harmful UV rays, increases residual value, and enhances the safety of the vehicle. To make it economic, people can install the film themselves at home.
Due to the explosion in popularity of tinting, this film is available from online retailers, at automotive stores, and even discount chains. Make sure any purchase is from a reputable supplier. An added advantage of buying from a local business is a representative can assist in the purchase and suggest tips to make installation easier. Window film is sold in rolls or as kits. It can even be purchased already cut to the specification of the make and model of the vehicle!
When buying film, consumers need to verify if purchased film meets the legality of state tint laws. These laws are constantly changing and vary from state to state. Though window film sold in local businesses should meet these legal requirements, it is best to check with local law enforcement on the state’s legal ratings for window film. If a person travels across state lines regularly, each state’s laws should be verified. Such a simple confirmation can save someone the headache of tickets and fees.
Selecting the film is often more difficult than the installation. The DIY auto tinting process is a clear-cut process and comes down to three steps: thoroughly clean the glass, carefully apply the film, and allow the film to cure three to five days. With a little patience and the right tools, a person can tint their car or truck windows in the comfort of their own driveway.
A person will benefit greatly when he or she chooses to tint each car window. The AC will not have to work as hard to keep the driver cool, because a great deal of thermal radiation will be blocked by the protective film that covers the glass. This may improve gas mileage in some older automobiles that are known to use more gas when the AC compressor is running at full strength. People driving with legally darkened windshields will also find that minimizing glare during early morning or late afternoon hours makes driving to and from work more comfortable on the eyes. The improved comfort contributes to increased visibility for the driver and superior reaction time when defensive driving measures are required on the road. Improved safety can also be a good idea for new drivers getting their first car.
Probably the biggest reason a person in the American South chooses to tint each car window is heat reduction. Heat in the form of infrared light can raise temperatures inside an automobile to unbearable degrees, and even make the steering wheel too hot to touch in the summer. Many films can filter out a great deal of this light, and thus keep automotive interiors cooler throughout the day. These films can also be made to filter out UV radiation which can fade the upholstery or leather inside the vehicle. Parents may also want to think about how reducing UV light can help prevent sunburn for children with sensitive skin who are riding in the vehicle for long periods of time.
Consumers in the market for auto glass tint have numerous options at their disposal.
Today’s window film for vehicles focuses on both looks and functionality. All offer excellent protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can be harmful to the skin and contribute to the premature fading of vehicle upholstery. Most films feature UV protection of 99 percent or higher, the equivalent of sunscreen rated at a sun protection factor (SPF) of up to 1,000.
Aside from UV ray protection, consumers should also consider the effects of the sun’s infrared rays. Those are the primary culprits of excessive heat inside a vehicle, especially during the summer months. Auto glass tint can prevent much of the sun’s infrared power from infiltrating a vehicle’s interior. The degree of infrared protection varies by the type of film installed as well as by manufacturer.
The same is true for visible light penetration. Visible light is the light a person can perceive with his or her eyes.
In addition to UV ray exposure, infrared and visible light penetration are equally important factors to consider when shopping for window film.
As for the different types of car window film available, consumers can generally choose from ceramic, crystalline, carbon, dyed and hybrid versions.
Hybrid film, made of a plastic layer infused with metalized components, is the most common type used — especially when a consumer is unsure of which type of film to select. For ultimate heat-blocking power, the more recently developed technologies of ceramic and crystalline film are great-looking choices with superior protection from the sun’s rays, while maintaining excellent visibility.
Before a vehicle owner decides to apply any tint, they should check window laws in their state to make sure the product is legal. These regulations are mostly concerned with visible light transmission, or VLT, levels and the color of the material. State governments determine film restrictions, so they generally differ from state to state. They are meant to protect other motorists on the road, as well as the driver, because a low VLT can make it difficult to see at night. These products also protect police because they disallow material that makes it impossible to see into a vehicle.
Film VLT levels typically vary from 5 percent to 95 percent. This number determines the amount of light that’s able to pass through the tint. Window laws normally prevent anything below 25 percent VLT, unless it is being applied to special vehicle, like a limousine. Low VLT material can usually be applied to the side and rear surfaces. It is normally illegal to install film below the AS-1 line on the windshield. The AS-1 line extends several inches from the top of the glass. Anything installed on the front or rear surfaces must have low reflectivity, or it may blind other motorists on the road.
Film color is also an important consideration, because some states reject some varieties. In many states, red is not allowed, though orange and amber are also banned in some areas.
Most states also require film manufacturers to include a sticker with the product that certifies its legality. Police will check for this sticker while inspecting the product, so a vehicle owner should verify its presence before installing the material. Fortunately, most sellers will only deal in film that comes with the sticker.
Before deciding on the perfect tinted glass film, regardless of the type of vehicle, it’s important to take note of the many laws that pertain to these products and determine whether or not they’re street-legal. The local DPS will have these laws outlined on their respective website, though it may be wise to call and make sure of the determining factors before deciding on a product.
The facet of the product that will be of most concern to legal bodies is the screen’s LTV, or light transmittance value rating. The LTV is the percentage of incoming light that the product disallows from penetrating the surface. This, in effect, causes the dark hue that is commonly associated with tinted surfaces.
Most professional screening products hold a LTV rating around 20%, meaning 80% of all incoming light is allowed through the surface. Additionally, the color of the product can also be of concern to not only the buyer, but from the DPS as well, since only a handful of colors are deemed street-legal. This makes it imperative to check with the local DPS laws before choosing a screen, regardless of its coloring.
The benefits of a tinted glass film are numerous and can almost always outweigh the cost of installation. Most can block up to 99% of all incoming ultra violet radiation, creating a safer ride to the passengers and their skin. Also, this UV deterrence can benefit the interior surfaces of the vehicles as well, helping owners in avoiding long-term color fading caused by the harsh sun rays. Cost savings are equally apparent in fuel consumption, as the cooling effect of these products greatly reduces the need for air conditioning.
The best thing the cheapest car tinting can offer a person is its price. While these films are usually easy to find, as they are sold in most department stores, they don’t compare to barriers made with higher quality materials. These dyed films age quickly and are one dimensional. While they are designed to improve protection from radiation, even this is spotty, and premium barriers can provide better shielding.
These products are made from dyed sheets of polyester, and reduce light transmission by absorbing it with dark pigments. While most films are made from polyester to some extent, higher quality barriers are made from ceramics or metals to improve function and lifespan. The cheapest car tinting can only be expected to last a few years, if that, before beginning to bubble and discolor. This will compromise the product’s ability to absorb light and will turn it into an eyesore. Ceramic and metallized barriers can withstand several years, even decades, of wear and tear before they need to be replaced. In many cases, they can outlive the vehicle.
They are also more versatile and effective. While low grade films can provide some protection from solar radiation, higher quality barriers can intercept and repel 99 percent of UV radiation. Reflective films can keep heat from conducting into the vehicle altogether, reducing interior temperatures without having to waste fuel on the air conditioner. Premium products are also more versatile, and can provide additional benefits like privacy and security. Privacy barriers can make it extremely difficult for people to see into the vehicle, which can help protect valuables from prying eyes. Security products are made from several layers of polyester or high gauge plastic, and can withstand repeated trauma before failing, often being deterrent enough to make a criminal give up.
Protection from the sun is only one of the great benefits of car tint colors. In addition to solar control, window tinting offers protection from the suns effect on upholstery, carpet, dashboards and personal items. Vehicle owners like the fact that it gives the automobile a distinct and personalized look while enhancing privacy and security at the same time.
There are a variety of shades, colors and finishes when it comes to window film. Vehicle owners with a desire to change the comfort and appearance of their car can chose from metalized to more traditional non-metalized window film options that afford an array of colors and shades to choose from. The most popular colors tend to be various shades of grey, charcoal, and metallic finishes. Each shade offers a different end result in terms of privacy and heat resistance.
State laws regulate what types of films are permitted to be installed, and the regulating factor is typically the degree of darkness. It is important to understand the state laws and requirements regarding window film coverings. While some states are not as rigid as others, violators can and will receive citations for breaking the boundaries of window tinting laws. Most professional tinting companies are knowledgeable about state requirements.
Choosing shades of car tint colors is an important decision because the decision you make is not reversible. Once you have considered all of the factors necessary, visit a reputable, certified auto tinting company to ensure that the job is done right and that the end results meet all expectations.
Applying window film to glass can make a wonderful addition to a car, house, or anything with glass panes. It is a delicate process, but it will enhance the overall appearance and add some valuable qualities to the windows. There are a number of rules to keep in mind when installing window tint yourself. The first and most important is to follow any recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Secondly, do not install the film on a rainy or cloudy day, as the weather may affect how the material adheres to the surface. It is also important not to wax the surface for at least one week prior to installing the tint. Making sure the surface is clean and free of any dust will make the application process much easier. Most manufacturers recommend that the window not be cleaned for at least 48 hours after the application. The manufacturer can address each of these steps in detail, but this is a good overview of the basic requirements.
Film for glass can end up with air pockets and bubbles between the window and the tint if it is not installed correctly, and this will not only detract from the appearance of the vehicle or structure, but is will also not allow it to function as it should. In order to avoid this type of a drastic situation, it is always wise to consult an expert for advice on what sort of tint to use, and a higher quality will typically yield better results. And of course, if one is unsure of their ability to handle the process, hiring a professional installer is always the best bet.
Choosing the right auto tinting film is a task that can be easily accomplished if a little research is done beforehand. Basically, all window tints are a few thin layers of polyester with an adhesive applied to one side and a scratch resistant finish on the other. They are easily applied to glass surfaces with either pressure or water to encourage adhesion.
The thing that can determine the price, performance and quality of these relatively simple window upgrades is what is sandwiched between the polyester. These solar barriers can get their color from dying, being metalized or being made of ceramics. The dyed option was one of the first ever created, so it is the least sophisticated, but also the least expensive. As time passed, new methods and materials were discovered for production. Sputtering and deposition are two technologies that were developed to scatter metallic particles across a layer of polyester. The metallic particles reflect not only light, but heat as well, and require another layer of polyester to cover them, which contributes to their price. The most expensive, but also most durable option is film with ceramics. Its ability to control heat transfer is exceptional, and it is currently one of the best available on the market. Each type is capable of providing some benefit to the consumer, and more affordable prices do not necessarily equate to low quality.
There are a variety of VLT percentages, and these are a way to measure opacity of the auto tinting film, and the laws concerning what is safe and legal are different in each state. Prior research should be done in order to ensure that local regulations are being met or adhered to.