How Does Window Tint Work?

June 20, 2020
How Does Window Tint Work

The UV Index is a measurement by the National Weather Service that reflects the severity of the sun’s ultraviolet rays in a given place at a given time. The UV Index Scale for Southern Florida regularly reaches extreme levels, which can be bad news for you and your ride. That’s because UV rays can be just as damaging to your car’s paint job as they can be to your skin. UV rays can also impact the inside of your ride, causing plastics to crack, leather upholstery to fade, and electronics to warp.Sunscreen protects your skin and paint protection film protects your car’s finish, but what about the inside of your car? That’s where window tint comes in.Not only does window tint protect the interior of your car by blocking out most of the sun’s damaging UV rays, it also helps keep you cool and can provide additional skin protection. What is window tint? And how does it work? Read on to find out.

Overview of How Car Window Tint Works

When solar radiation strikes the unprotected windows of your vehicle, 90 percent of visible light or more is transmitted into the car. The three components that make up the sun’s rays include visible light, infrared light, and ultraviolet rays. Window tint regulates the levels of light and heat that pass through the window and into the interior of the vehicle. The different levels of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) are determined by the type of window film selected.Clear polyester film makes up the bulk of the tint film applied to car windows. The remaining layers are made up of tinting agents like metals, ceramics, and dyes added to achieve the desired performance and/or appearance characteristics.

Components of Window Tint

Polyester is typically the main component of window film because it is strong, clear, stable, and flexible. The desired performance characteristics will determine what tinting agents will be layered in. Different applications are available for solar, safety, security, and aesthetics. One side of the sheet has an adhesive backing and the other has a scratch-resistant coating.

Specialty Car Window Tints

There are various tinting options available to cater to your needs and desires. Automotive window tint continues to get more sophisticated as technology and manufacturing capabilities improve. Some of the high-performance window tints available for your vehicle include:

  • Metallized Window Film: Small metallic particles help metallized film reflect away heat from the interior of your car. The metallic content also strengthens the window and makes it more shatter-resistant. A lot of drivers prefer the shiny appearance of metallized window tint. However, one major drawback of metallized window film is that the metallic content can interfere with cell phone signals, GPS transmission, and radio reception.
  • Color Stable Carbon Film: 3M’s patented nano-carbon polyester technology is at the heart of Color Stable Auto Film, one of the best types of window tint available on the market today. This film is guaranteed to never turn purple, and the unique nano-carbon polyester technology allows for maximum heat rejection and blocks up to 99 percent of UV light. Color Stable Automotive Window Film sold and installed by authorized 3M dealers carries a lifetime manufacturer warranty against bubbling, peeling, blistering, and purpling.
  • Ceramic Series Window Tint: Another high-quality window tint film is ceramic film. Containing no metal, dye, or carbon of any kind, these car window films are made using a nonconductive ceramic particle that blocks up to 99 percent of incoming ultraviolet light and cuts solar heat in half while allowing maximum visibility. Like carbon window films, ceramic-series window tint does not interfere with radios, GPS systems, or cell phone signals.

State Tinting Laws in Florida

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates state-specific window tint compliance laws. Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%) is how authorities measure the darkness of window tint. Tinting laws specific to Florida include:

  • Front side windows must allow in more than 28 percent light
  • Back side and rear windows must allow in more than 15 percent light
  • Dual side mirrors are required if back window is tinted
  • Non-reflective window tint applied to the windshield must be above the AS-1 line
  • Front and side windows must not be more than 25 percent reflective

Professional Car Window Installation

The International Window Film Association (IWFA) suggests hiring a professional to install automotive window tint. According to the IWFA: “Professionally installed films look better longer and are usually more likely to perform to specifications for their warranted lives, or even longer, than those improperly installed.” THE IWFA also recognizes that professional dealers and installers can assist customers in selecting the correct window tint film to meet the desired performance and aesthetics.Auto Super Shield is the premier window tint installer in Southern Florida and carries the best types and brands of window tint including 3M Color Stable Black Carbon film, Prestige Film’s PhotoSync, and SunTek CXP Window Tint. Contact us to learn more about the window tint films we offer or to schedule a window tint installation appointment today.


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