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Window Tint Comparison: What Is the Difference in Window Films?

Are you considering a window tinting installation for your home, business, or car? Are you wondering about window tint differences? The right type of window film can offer various benefits, including a comfortable interior, UV damage protection, and glare reduction. Some tints also block outside views to give you more privacy and protect your windows against shattering or cracking.

Due to the various window tinting options available, selecting the right one for your needs can be challenging. In this comparison guide, we at Sun Tint take an in-depth look at each type of window tint, its features, benefits, and drawbacks.


Dyed Window Tints

When hearing the term “window tint,” most people think of a dyed film. From bottom to top, this conventional window tint consists of the following layers:

  • An adhesive layer that sticks to the window surface

  • A dye layer that darkens the tint and underlying window surface

  • A protective polyester coating

The dye layer gives the window film its tinted appearance, much like sunglasses. Tints are available in different visible light transmission (VLT) ratings. The higher the VLT rating, the more transparent the tint.

Glare control is the most significant advantage of dyed window tints. Consider this option to protect your children’s eyes while sitting in your car’s backseat. Installing a dyed film will also prevent light from reflecting off the surface of a television or computer screen.

Depending on the darkness of the tint, it may absorb some of the solar heat, resulting in a cooler interior. However, dyed window tints generally don’t filter UV or infrared radiation. As a result, these films don’t prevent UV damage. Over time, ultraviolet rays can also give the tint a purple color.


Metalized Window Tints

A metalized window tint contains a metallic particle layer, which makes these tints reflective. This layer bounces back solar radiation, including infrared rays, resulting in a cooler indoor environment. Some of these films have a layer to prevent UV radiation.

The shiny appearance of these tints makes them suitable for various commercial and industrial applications. These films are highly scratch-resistant and durable, with a relatively long lifespan. The interior side of these films is non-reflective and doesn’t filter visible light, allowing natural light inside your building.

Some films are dual-reflective, which means they don’t reflect your indoor lighting at night. As a result, you can enjoy an unobstructed view over your landscape lighting or a city skyline.

Hybrid Window Tints

A hybrid window tint combines the features of a metalized and dyed film. In other words, you get the solar reflective ability and the tinting effect to reduce indoor glare.

Hybrid windows offer all the benefits of metalized window tints, including indoor privacy, heat prevention, and optimal energy efficiency. The UV filtering layer of hybrid films protects your interior surfaces, such as seats, upholstery, walls, and flooring, against fading and cracking.

Quality hybrid films are resilient and scratch-resistant with high tensile strength. If you are looking for a security film to protect your windows against break-ins, accidents, and natural disasters, hybrid films are a viable option.


Carbon Window Tints

The carbon particles in this window tint provide exceptional heat rejection and abrasion resistance. Carbon films have a sleek, tinted appearance, making them a popular option for automotive and architectural applications. Unlike metalized tints, carbon films have a matte finish and are available in various colors.

Carbon films, such as the 3M™ Automotive Window Film, block up to 99% of UV rays, significantly reducing your risk of interior damage. Carbon films are ideal if you want to protect your car’s dashboard, seats, and steering wheel against discoloration, fading, and cracking. These films also offer optimal glare control without compromising visibility.

Longevity is another advantage of carbon films over-dyed films. Carbon films don’t fade or discolor and maintain their appearance for the duration of their functional lifespan.

Carbon films are available in various VLT ratings to control visible light. Films with a VLT rating below 50% block outside views, providing occupants with privacy.


Ceramic Window Tints

If you want to take advantage of the latest window tinting technology, consider a ceramic window tint installation. With its nano-ceramic construction, this multi-layered window tint blocks 99.9% of all ultraviolet radiation, effectively preventing interior damage.

Additionally, these tints filter 95% of all infrared light radiating against your windows. After a ceramic film installation, you can expect a significant reduction in indoor heat build-up. The result is a lower load on your air conditioning, resulting in energy cost savings.

Ceramic films’ VLT ratings range from 5% to 70%, with the latter being the most transparent. You can choose a darker tint to reduce indoor glare without compromising the view of your surroundings. Ceramic tints have durable construction, and their structural integrity contributes to window safety and security.

These tints are a favorite among vehicle and property owners due to their extensive range of benefits. Even though this window film costs more than other tints, its durability, protection, and energy efficiency are worth the premium.


Laminated Window Tints

Consider a laminated window tint if you want complete transparency with no shading. These films are entirely transparent but block infrared and ultraviolet radiation, keeping your interior cool and comfortable. Even though this window tinting allows natural light into your home, it has a reflective layer to reduce indoor glare.

The V-Kool Cool & Clear is a popular example of a laminated window tint. This film has a multi-layered sputter coating, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layers, and a scratch-resistant coating for added protection. The film’s pressure-sensitive adhesive prevents your window from cracking or shattering on impact.


Make an Informed Decision With Sun Tint

At Sun Tint, we aim to make sure you understand window tint differences so you can select one that best suits your needs. We offer professional window tinting installations throughout Indiana and Kentucky. Our professional and experienced team can help you select the best tint type for your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about our tinting options and request a free, no-obligation estimate.

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