If you’re someone thinking about getting window tinting done, whether it be for your home, car or office, then there are a series of points you should know to ensure you make the best decision for your particular application requirements.
The number one and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good window film and bad quality window film. Here’s why this is so important:
Good quality window film will last for the life of your windows whereas bad window film will only last 2-3 years, depending on the rigours of your environment.
The only way for a non-professional person to tell the difference between premium and low quality film is price and guarantee. When making enquirers with a supplier, find out 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 failed.
Here’s the tip, (and by the way I’ve found this to be true with most things), if your only consideration in getting quotes is looking for the smallest possible price, then you will naturally gravitate towards 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 just look unsightly. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just a bad product!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING TINTING
There are a number of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will bring together some of these benefits. Lets look at each advantage in a tad more detail so you can pick the most appropriate solution for your needs.
Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking up to 73% of infra-red radiation through windows. That’s cool!
UV Rejection: Good quality window film blocks up to 99% of infra red radiation from penetrating windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which does wonders for your view and means things look 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 onlookers during the day.
Impact Safety and Security Films: These specially designed films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are made to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand an explosion 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 falling like a guillotine, the major issues around safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the impact and noise required to break and enter is so noticeable thieves, would rather just move on in search of an easier, ‘softer’ victim.
Style: Finally of course there’s the matter of style. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it’s the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the main reason for installing them.
SPECIFIC ISSUES RELATED TO CARS AND VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to drivers 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 legally allowed on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window film with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the NT you are permitted 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 window. Here’s how the maths looks.
If the factory windows on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35% is added to this window, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the final VLT will be calculated by the combination of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But even worse still, 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 result in the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial culpability of the accident. And if that’s not bad enough, criminal charges could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The final 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 roadworthy testing, in which case the illegal tint will have to be stripped off the windows. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint for your car.
So what do I really want you to get from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality product and that your installer has the expertise 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.