If you're considering getting some window tinting, whether it be residential or commercial, then there are a number of points you should be aware of to ensure you make the best decision for your particular environment and circumstances.
The number one and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to discriminate about window film is the difference between good window film and bad window film. Here's why this is so important:
Good window film will last for the lifetime of your windows whereas bad window film will merely last a few years, depending on the rigours of your environment.
The only way for a novice to tell the difference between premium and low quality film is price and guarantee. When talking to a supplier, find out how long the film is guaranteed for. If it's less than 12 years keep looking. And also look out for the unscrupulous operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it appear 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 rubbish product and the real price you pay will be in around 3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and just look unsightly. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually the rubbish product!
REASONS FOR INSTALLING TINTING
There are many and varied benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will package some of these benefits, so the first thing you need to be sure of is the most important benefit. Lets look at each advantage in a tad more detail so you can more completely appreciate the benefits most advantageous in your environment.The core benefits of good quality window tinting are listed below:
Heat Rejection: Good quality window film rejects heat by blocking up to 73% of IR radiation through windows. That's cool!
UV Rejection: Premium window film prevents up to 99% of IR radiation from coming through windows. And as a bonus, it also prevents 93% of glare, which massively improves 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 flying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major risks associated with safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from being a soft and easy entry point for criminals, because both the effort and noise required to break and enter is so noticeable burglars would rather just move on in search of an easier, 'softer' target.
Looking Good: Finally of course there's the matter of style. Good quality window film also adds style to windows; and for many people it's the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the main reason for their purchase.
ISSUES RELATED TO CARS AND VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to vehicles and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window tint with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the Northern Territory you are allowed 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 thing. Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, so this should be considered when adding tint to a window. Here's why.
If the factory glass on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the "darkest legal tint" of 35% is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT will be impacted by the combination of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver inadvertently fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But 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 mean the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. Furthermore a criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are injured.
The final thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle becomes unroadworthy, which means the driver can't drive the car again until it has been put through the pits, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That's why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you're selecting the appropriate tint.
What's the moral of this story? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the right solution for your circumstances. That way you'll end up with a range of benefits, rather than a series of problems.