posted by vinyl frog on October 3, 2022
Types of Window Tints
If you want to get the windows of your vehicle tinted and cannot decide what kind of tint to go for due to many options available, fret not, we present a complete guide to the different types of window tints and help you select the one that best suits your needs.
There has been a major rise in car customizing trends over the past few years due to the availability of new and affordable products. Car window tints are no stranger to this as recently numerous people have indulged to make their vehicles look sleek and stylish. Not only does it enhance and upgrade the look of your vehicle, it also has many benefits.
Benefits of Tinting
With the rise in global temperature and the scorching heat, it is imperative to avoid direct exposure to the sun. Hence first and foremost, window tints protect your car’s interior from harmful UV rays. Keeping the car cool during hot summer months can be a challenge and tinting your windows can help you do that. This layer of film blocks or reduces the intensity of UV rays from the sun entering your car, keeping the interior cool.
UV rays are not only damaging to one’s skin but also to objects. In a car’s interior, the seats and dashboard can crack and fade due to constant sunlight falling upon them. Tinting your windows helps prevent this. Window tints offer extra privacy, and don’t allow onlookers or passersby to look inside your car making it difficult for them to spot any valuables you may have left inside. Hence they also offer a certain amount of security. They are comparatively inexpensive and in the event of an accident, can also provide extra protection as the film can hold together some of the glass shards.
Window tinting for cars comes in a variety of different shades and materials, each with their own unique characteristics. Choosing the perfect tint can be a daunting task. We have taken a deep dive into the world of numerous tints in order to help you find the right one for your ride.
Main Types of Window Tints
Dyed tinting is widely used for style rather than functionality. A dyed window film is essentially one that has been coated with several layers of dyes to create a dark color that is according to the customer’s needs or the legal tint color in that state. The layer of dye rests between the adhesive and the protective top coating of polyester.
The result is a deep black color that is opaque from the outside. In terms of functionality dyed tint does not offer much. While it does block the glare from the sun’s rays it does not block any UV rays. A downside to their high affordability is that they fade and the color changes from black to purple over time, as the layer of film is very thin.
This can happen faster in areas with humid and hotter climates, and hence the film may need to be replaced within one of two years. If you’re on a low budget and looking for affordability over utility, then dye tints are surely the way to go.
- Offers privacy
- Easily damaged
- Will fade over time
Metalized window tints are a great albeit slightly expensive alternative to dyed window tints. They are produced by applying thin coats of reflective metal to the tint’s film. It has four layers:
- The base is an adhesive layer that sticks to your glass.
- A layer of metallic micro particles embedded in the film
- A treated layer that is resistant to UV radiation
- A protective layer on top with a shiny reflective finish that does a much more effective job than a simple dye tint
The metallized tint blocks out UV rays using reflection rather than absorbing it, protecting the interior of your vehicle and your body. It also acts effectively as a glare reduction tint. Since the film is made of a layer filled with metals, it makes the windows far more resistant to scratches and scrapes, and reduces the potential of window shattering upon impact.
It does not fade even under constant exposure to the sun. However, like every tint film this one also comes with its list of downsides. One of the major drawbacks of a metallized tint is that the metal coating in the film may interfere with radio signals, GPS and phone signals. More often than not, GPS stops working entirely, hence, if you’re prone to getting lost then this may not be the product for you. The price tag is also a step up as the extra protection comes with a cost.
Similarly, the reflective luster may not be your cup of tea. While these things can only be a slight minor inconvenience, they are worth considering when buying a tint for your car.
- Efficient UV-ray protection
- Offers privacy
- Scratch resistant
- Prone to signal interference
Dye and metallized tints rolled into one distinct package, you get the best of both worlds with a hybrid tint. Hybrid films are created when layers of dyed film and metal film are laminated together. You get the sleek minimalist design of a dyed tint with all the functionality of the metal film.
Hybrid tints are great for reducing UV exposure, while providing a mid-level tint that is not too dark or reflective.
It does not interfere with electronics as much when compared to a metallic tint. One downside however, is that it is much more costly than a dyed tint but cheaper than a metallic one. If you’re looking for a tint with all the advantages while keeping a light look that does not interfere with night driving, this is surely one to keep on your radar.
- Efficient UV-protection
- Offers privacy.
- Signal interference
A smooth matte black finish with high color retention qualities, a carbon window tint is infused with carbon Nano-particles and zero dyes. They have a unique matte finish making them a subtle and elegant option as compared to the shiny and reflective metallic or dyed tints. The ultra-reflective carbon particles do not fade with use over time and retain their dark black color.
Using carbon tints is not only beneficial for your car but can have several health benefits as well. The embedded carbon particles are known to block up to 40% of infrared light. This is the main contributor to increasing cabin temperature and in tropical countries, this could very well be a game-changer. Not only will it reduce the heat of the car cabin in summers but also keep heat trapped in during winters, acting as an insulator. This means you may need to turn on the air conditioning unit less, thus saving on fuel costs.
They also filter UV rays quite efficiently at about 95%, preventing your interior from any degradation. Since carbon tints do not have any metallic particles, they do not interfere with radio or GPS signals as well. With all these benefits, carbon tints can be the perfect option for you as they feature almost everything, the trade-off, however, is the elevated cost and that they may create some glare and haze.
- Highly UV efficient.
- May create glare and haze
A premium product with possibly the highest price point in the market, ceramic tints are the pinnacle of window protection. Utilizing nanotechnology to its fullest, this tint is made from a multi-layered film that uses microscopic, non-conductive ceramic particles that are infused with infrared blocking technology.
The best part - they do not sacrifice visibility or alter the style of the car by coating it with a darker tint. Ceramic window tints reject UVA, UVB and infrared rays almost completely. They boast up to a 99% reduction of such harmful rays. This can reduce the internal temperature of the car by about half.
They surpass all other tints in their ability to reduce glare. The strength they offer is unmatched as they are highly shatter resistant and immune to scratches and scrapes. They also repel water and dirt quite easily. Ceramic tints have cemented themselves as the gold-standard of window-tinting. This, however, does make their price point the highest due to their premium quality protection and benefits.
- Extremely UV efficient
- Shatter resistant
- Gold-standard of window tinting
- Very Expensive
Lastly, we have the crystalline tints. These are completely transparent tints that do not provide any privacy. While there are some doubts regarding their performance in reducing UV rays and insulation, rigorous testing has been done to prove their efficacy. They are not as efficient as ceramic or carbon tints but do provide a considerable amount of protection against UV rays and infrared.
- Clear aesthetic
- Effective UV blocking
- Lack of privacy.
The Final Word - What Tint to Choose?
There are quite a fair few factors determining the type of tint you may want to get. There are pros and cons to each material, whether you want to go for a DIY project or get a professional to do it, and the cost factor that needs to be considered.
With DIY-enthusiasts, this method is becoming increasingly popular as pre-cut films are available in the market. However,
DIY window film tints are limited as they prioritize easy installation, which may lead to a reduced quality of the tint film. With professional installation, the only limit is the budget you possess. DIY tinting can also leave unfavorable marks, smudges or air bubbles on your car,
however, with a professional installer, all such worries are eliminated. A professional auto salon may also offer you extra incentives such as a warranty. All of it boils down to one major factor and that is the cost. With a higher budget, you can get a professional job with an overall premium quality tint.