If there is glare from the sun on your glass, driving can be a hazardous venture. Window shade can serve two purposes at once, depending on how dark your tint is.
If it is 5 percent, meaning that only 5 percent of the sun’s light can filter into your glass, then it is dark enough so that others cannot see into your vehicle, giving you privacy. It is also dark enough to ensure that your vehicle keeps a good amount of sunlight from getting inside, helping to keep your vehicle cool.
The most common color of shade is black, but blue, red, yellow and a metallic mirror-like tint is also available. There are shops that specialize in glass tinting, either for homes and offices or vehicles.
For vehicles, there are also do-it-yourself kits, but this is not advised unless you have experience in glass tinting. You can easily damage your windows if you’re not experienced.
Window shade can be used to protect your belongings as well. If the tint is dark enough to keep people from seeing in, then the valuables in your vehicle are protected because people walking by your parked car can’t see what’s in there.
Typically, glass tint is used to keep vehicles cool and protected from the sun’s damaging rays. Even a light window shade can help protect the inside of your car and keep seats and interiors from fading and cracking.
Most state laws do not allow tint to be any darker than 20 or 30 percent. This helps to ensure the safety of police officers when pulling vehicles over–they need to be able to see into the vehicle to make sure that the occupants do not have guns or other weapons.
Window tint is not exclusively used on vehicles, and is often used in homes and businesses as an alternative to awnings. Some shades are mirror-like, meaning that you cannot see into the building, yet the tint deflects the sun’s harmful rays and cuts down on glare.
Others are very light, giving the glass a slightly smoky look. Still others are very dark and make it hard for passersby to see into the building while keeping the home or business cool inside and cutting down on cooling costs.
Dyed film is, as the name suggests, a film that has been dyed to block heat. They are generally applied inside the glass.
These are often the cheapest shades, and a low-quality dye can fade within months. Deposited film is another inexpensive process, but slightly more complex than the simple dye.
The film is vacuum-sealed in a tank containing metals such as aluminum or nickel. A heated gas in the tank causes these metals to coat the tint, creating a dark surface.
Like deposited film, sputtered film is also created in a vacuum. Sputtering also uses metals, but the process is different.
Positive ions are used to bombard the metal at the atomic level. These particles are collected on ultra-clear polyester or the basic film which is later applied to the window.
Sputtered film uses no dyes or pigments, and the metals used generally will not oxidize. Sputtered film is also known for having less reflection, leading to a clearer view.
A hybrid film is, as the name suggests, a shade that uses a combination of procedures–generally a dyed film that also uses metals. Hybrid films can generally offer very good heat- and UV-blocking capabilities, but with less reflection and less overall darkness.
More light comes in, leading to a glass that has less of a tinted look. Before tinting your vehicle’s windows, make sure that you know your state laws concerning tinting.
Most reputable shops will tell you what is allowed by law. If you get shade that is considered illegal and are stopped by the police, they can cite you for illegal tinting and make you remove it, which can sometimes cost more than the original shade job did.
Make sure that you research local shade shops before deciding on one. Window tinting is a very delicate procedure and requires a professional hand.
Jack R. Landry is a certified technician and has been repairing broken and cracked windshields since the 80s. He has written hundreds of articles about windshield replacement Provo.
Jack R. Landry