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.
Installing films in vehicles has become a burgeoning market, with van window tinting sharing in the many benefits of these types of products. There are some slight differences when it comes to these types of vehicles however, as most contain many more windows than the average sedan or truck. More so, the glass surfaces usually differ much greater than on other types of vehicles, making the installation process a bit more involved.
Even with the more complicated installation process, owners are turning to both do-it-yourself kits and professional installers to get these products on their vehicles for a variety of reasons. One of the most important reasons is the cost savings associated with the product’s natural tendency to reduce the amount of heat inside of the vehicle. This saves on fuel from the reduced air conditioning, and also saves future costs such as upholstery repairs and replacements that can arise from sun damage.
Much like any other kind of vehicle, van window tinting must adhere to the same types of laws that oversee certain specifications of the products being installed. For one, the products light transmittance value, or LTV, must be within a certain spectrum as mandated by the respective DPS laws. It’s important to check these values, along with other factors that fall under vehicle film installation, such as the colors that are allowed.
Businesses are utilizing these products on their commercial fleet of vehicles as well, finding an even greater cost savings when buying the product in rolls due to the many glass surfaces that must be covered. Customers and employees can enjoy the non-expensive luxuries of a cooler vehicle, along with a film that protects their skin from harmful ultra violet radiation.
Of the various films available to apply to a vehicle, one of the more popular products is the limo window tint, allowing consumers a luxurious and yet affordable option in achieving privacy and many other added benefits that are inherent in the design. These benefits can range from added cooler temperatures to reduced fuel consumption, but before jumping headlong into installing these types of films, it’s important to first gain knowledge of the state laws that govern these films.
Since these products can potentially affect routine traffic stops by disrupting view from the police, the amount of luminosity that’s allowed is strictly enforced. The measurement that’s applied to these types of films is known as the product’s LTV, or light transmittance value.
In Texas, the LTV allowed by law is 25%. This means that any installed film must allow 75% or more light to pass through it. This value, along with the colors and other facets of these products can differ from state to state, so it’s important to check with one’s DPS and their website before installing anything. Also check which surfaces can have a film applied to them, though they are typically allowed on most side panes.
A limo window tint can provide many benefits outside of the obvious cosmetic advantages however. Due to the high degree of dark coloration that these films provide, they naturally block up to 99% of incoming ultra violet radiation, helping to protect the individuals in the vehicle, as well the interior surfaces that can be damaged by said UV rays. Additionally, temperatures can be lowered up to 30% with these films, as well as reducing glare which can both save on the vehicle’s fuel consumption and the vehicle’s safety.
Something that many people don’t take into account when buying glass film is whether or not the product meets the local regulations for what is considered to be legal window tinting. This can be a hassle, because laws differ from one state to another, and proving that the product is allowable under law may be tricky when pulled over. There are, however, a few ways to solve these issues, offering some peace of mind once everything is figured out.
Before purchasing any filter, get familiar with the state laws. These are easy enough to track down, and can be found on a state’s Department of Public Safety website. While reputable sellers won’t stock product that is not allowed by law, double check before buying because there are some filters on the market that will not work everywhere.
The best way to make sure that a film meets legal window tinting laws is to make sure that it comes with an installer compliance certification sticker. These decals are actually required in some states, like Texas, and signal to police that the product meets light transmissions standards for the state. Light transmission is a number that measures how much visible light can pass through the glass, and is the primary figure used to determine what is okay and what is not under law.
Some states are particularly rough on glass filters, like Pennsylvania. Here, anything that blocks out more than 30 percent of light is not permitted, and anything on the windshield is banned. Other states, like Texas, have very relaxed laws, and products in this state can filter out 75 percent of light, including on the windshield.
Tint that can be used on a residence or commercial building is different from auto window tint. The differences are many, and it is important that the right film be used for the job. If not, and someone tries to apply vehicle film to the dual-pane glass on their home, they will be looking at replacing those windows as soon as the weather gets warmer. That is because film that is manufactured for vehicles is made to absorb higher amounts of solar energy. Typical glass on a home cannot tolerate that intensity, and will break or shatter.
Auto window tint is also made differently. It is made to be placed on curved glass, and many manufacturers use a different type of adhesive that is heat activated. Vehicle film is made with different reflective properties and absorption rates. This film is also created with a mindset of protecting the driver, as well as the interior of the car. Because of its different make-up, it can keep the glaring sunlight out of the driver’s eyes. It can help maintain cooler temperatures inside the vehicle, which means using less fuel. The film can also help maintain privacy in the vehicles, as with limousines.
Commercial or residential film is used to keep the suns heat out, but maximize the natural light coming in to the home or office. It is also made with a different type of adhesive that would not be conducive to using on curved glass. Making sure that the right film is used for the project at hand will ensure that the completed job looks professional, and will last for years to come.
Many people think they are interchangeable, but vehicle tinting and window film for homes are not the same thing. While they may look the same and perform many of the same functions, they are built a little differently and cannot stand in for each other for a multitude of reasons.
Residential barriers are designed for flat surfaces in mind, and not the curved panes that vehicles typically have. Because these tints come with dry adhesives, they do not adhere well to the surfaces found on an automobile. Trying to make it stick will likely result in a bad installation.
This is a two way street, however, because vehicle products are not ideal for residential situations either. This is because auto filters have a tendency to absorb large amounts of solar heat instead of reflecting it back. Glass surfaces expand when heated and residential panes are not designed to handle this temperature spike. As a result, the panels may crack, split or fail completely.
In addition, some window film for homes can reflect so much energy that it is unsafe for automobiles. The reflected sunrays can blind other drivers, and for this reason, they are typically illegal to install on car windows. Legality is a major issue when it comes to auto filters, and many products come with a mark that confirms they are street legal. Police often look for this when pulling someone over and residential barriers will not have the defining markings. This may lead to a citation, even if the level of light transmission is otherwise okay.
Finally, pricing tends to be somewhat different. Vehicle tints are often sold in kits while residential and commercial products are sold by the square foot.
It’s only natural to think that automotive window film is interchangeable with residential and commercial versions. They look alike, and function much the same, but they are very different otherwise. They are fine-tuned for either a vehicle or the home, and are sometimes made from different materials that help them fulfill their specific purpose.
For a barrier installed on the car, its number one priority is to eliminate as much glare as possible, and make it easier for the driver to navigate during the day. Most manufacturers design for this by dyeing their products a dark color. Cutting down on the amount of visible light transmitted through the glass reduces glare, but also reduces the natural light flowing into the vehicle.
Most homeowners want to preserve most of the natural light that enters the home, so residential films are made with ceramic or metal materials. These types of tint provide the same UV protection, heat reduction and privacy benefits as typical automotive window film, but they allow more natural light to enter than those with darker coloring.
The second major difference between the two is how they are constructed. Vehicle tints and films are meant to be applied on curved surfaces and must be able to withstand intense heat from the sun. With this in mind, manufacturers of vehicle filters mix softer resins into the adhesives that come with the product. These softer resins tend to give a little, and this ensures the barrier keeps its integrity during installation and high temperatures. These adhesives are typically different than those designed for flat surfaces.
While most think installing a film on their vehicle should be left to the professionals, car tinting kits are available to help anyone apply a product to their own vehicle. With a plethora of documentation available to help aid the owner, the process has been made very accessible, with packages that include everything that’s needed for a professional job.
Most of these kits are pre-cut for thousands of different car, truck and SUV models, ranging from the 1980s to contemporary vehicles. There are, however, some simple household tools that are necessary for a proper installation, but aren’t included in the package. These include a spray bottle, a squeegee and a lint-free cloth.
The car tinting kits available provide a nearly all-inclusive toolset to facilitate a stress-free application for the customer. First off, an Olfa knife is included to aid in trimming the film. This is necessary when the vehicle is not exactly to the specifications of other comparable models. A Lil’ Chizler is included and provides a way to heat, form and mold the film in addition to getting rid of small bubbles and creases that can arise during the process. Several plastic razors are also inside, which can help clean the windows of the automobile before the process begins.
A unique, but necessary, tool that’s included is the gasket jammer. This plugs the rubber gasket that is found on the bottom of most roll-up windows. A hard card is also included to help push excess water that can form underneath the film, and can also smooth out corners.
Adding darkened film to a vehicle’s windows can be a do-it-yourself project, but there are laws concerning legal car tints. No one wants to put time and effort, as well as money into making their windows darker only to find out that it is illegal in the state or the area of the state in which they reside. It would only compound things to find out through a traffic stop that involved a penalty or fine. It is always best to find out before the project has even begun.
Local law enforcement will be happy to answer any questions that a driver might have concerning their automobile and putting film on the glass. They will also explain why these laws are in place. Every instance of the law in this regard was brought about because of safety concerns; whether it was for the driver, other drivers or law enforcement officials. By determining what the legal car tints should be, the local governments feel that this is protecting all drivers and all of those that enforce the law. The Department of Motor Vehicles can also assist in knowing the laws regarding vehicle tint.
Some of the films promote reflection of the sun that can blind drivers that are coming toward the auto. Other films also make it really difficult to see out of the vehicle, thus making the driver unsafe. If the shading is too dark, people inside the automobile cannot readily be seen nor can their movements be monitored. This can be potentially deadly for an officer making a routine traffic stop.
As with every project done at home, DIY window films require a few tools to complete the job the right way. Some people can find all these items with no problem at all in their garage or shed. Retailers also sell kits that are designed to include the tools that are going to be needed during the installation. This just makes an easy installation that much easier.
Along with the kits, there are easy to follow instructions that walk a customer through each step of the project from start to finish. From cleaning the glass with cleaners that do not include ammonia in their list of additives, to explaining how to first fit the sheet to the glass before cutting it down to size.
Choosing the right type of DIY window films to get the desired result in the home or office is another choice that anyone taking on this project must make. The consumer can purchase extremely dark tints that will render a window almost useless, or lighter shades that allow almost all of the natural light to enter. They can also get the tints in different colors to accent the room.
If buying the tinted sheets for the car, truck or other vehicle, it is important to note that unlike homes, there are laws that regulate what part of the vehicle can be tinted and the darkness of the shading. These mandates vary from state to state and sometimes from area to area within the state. It is best to find out what the laws are before taking on a vehicle tint project to be on the safe side.