Finding the Best Window Tint
Car tinting is the process of using laminates or films to coat onto the glass interior of the front, side and rear windows of the car. It is often done to reduce heat, glare, and UV that gets inside the car. Polyester is the mainly used material for tinting due to its durability and clarity.
Window tinting is one of the basics of owning a car. With your windows tinted, the temperature inside the car is kept cool even when under direct sunlight. It also protects you from UV and other harmful elements. Moreover, tinted windows provide privacy.
Car Tint Laws
There are considerations when choosing the car tint to use on your vehicle. The best window tint does not necessarily mean it is the right tint unless it complies with the car tint laws in your area. Unfortunately, privacy is not an exemption to car tint laws if in case this is your reason for getting a full tint service from an auto servicing company.
Certain guidelines on tint levels set out by DMV authorities in your area must be followed. Failure to comply may cause charges and fines.
You also have to know that the law on car window tinting varies by state. What is allowed in your state may not be permitted in other locations. To know the rules and regulations pertaining to car tinting, you can get information from your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office.
While the laws on car tinting differ from state to state, most regions follow several basic rules and regulations. The basic car tint laws involve compliance to luminous reflectance levels set out by your state’s DMV office. Basically, this is the amount of light that passes through tinted windows.
Each state has an identified VLT or Visible Light Transmission percentage (for example, 32% VLT for sedans in Alabama) and if your window tint goes below this level, then this only means that you are not complying and authorities may issue you a citation. In addition to VLT percentage, the amount of reflection your window tint generates must also be in compliance with your state’s car tint laws.
When you have fully understood the laws pertaining to vehicle tint in your area, it becomes easier to decide on the best window tint to use.
Car Tint Types
Dyed Film. This type of laminate uses dye for protection against light. This is the cheapest type of film tinting, but can fade quickly depending on the quality of dye used. Many car owners use this type because it gives the blackest appearance due to its non-metal structure, which complements to most cars. While this is poor on heat reduction, it reduces glare and helps protect interior upholstery from fading.
- A high-quality tinting film, carbon film is mostly black and looks similar to dyed film. It can block up to 40 percent of infrared that passes through your car’s windows. Because it also contains no metal components, it doesn’t interfere with radio efficiency. It is also longer-lasting than dyed films
- This type of window tinting film is the best window tint for most car owners. However, it is also the most expensive. It offers exceptional performance and clarity, and a nice finish. It is a multilayered film that comes thinner than ordinary paper. Despite its clarity, it has the ability to block 97% of infrared and up to 60% of heat that gets in the car. This type allows light to enter your vehicle by 90%.
Going for ceramic tint instead of regular may have more benefits for you and your car. Firstly, using ceramic window tint reduces the heat and UV dramatically than when you use regular. It also gives a more hip look than regular, which also fades more quickly.
Window Tint Brands
There are many brands of window tint to choose from. The most prominent brands are often the most expensive, but most car tint shops recommend them for their durability and performance.
The best window tint brands in the market today are LLumar and FormulaOne, Solar Gard, and Madico. 3m is also a good choice, although according to some users, the brand is not in the same class as the first mentioned. Anyway, the tinting film to use really depends on what works and looks best on your car.
Car Tint Installation Price
The price of window tint installation varies on many factors, including the type of film, window tint brand, and the auto shop to get the tint installation service from. Going for expensive tinting film will make you pay more and vice versa. If you choose home service, the cost of the installation will also go up. The type of vehicle you own will also affect the car tint cost.
Expect to pay more on larger vehicles like SUVs and vans. Vehicles with steep or curved windows that require complicated installations could also make the price go up. Less established car tint shops may offer the service at $100, while luxury car tint companies typically charge $400 or up.
Before closing the deal, don’t forget to talk about warranty. Warranty is your only assurance that the product and services you get are of good quality. If all of a sudden the installation or the tinting film itself fails or gets broken, you can use the warranty to cover for the damages.
The tinting company will be the one to repair or replace damaged parts, or repeat installation if necessary without additional charges. Note that warrantees also vary by shop. Some car tinting companies offer life-time warranty, while others issue warrantees that are only good for up to a year.