If you're someone thinking about getting your windows tinted, whether it is for a residential or commercial application, then there are a series of points you should be aware of so you make the best decision for your particular environment and situation.
The first and undoubtedly the most crucial thing you need to discriminate about window film is the difference between good window film and bad window film. Here's why:
Good quality window film will last for the life of your windows but bad window film will barely last 2-3 years, depending on the rigours of your environment. http://tiny.cc/opgzdy
The only way for a non-professional person to tell the difference between good and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When inquiring with a supplier, be sure to ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it's not at least 12 years save yourself the pain. And also beware of the shady operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it seem 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 degraded.
Here's the tip, (and by the way I've found this to be true with most things in life), if your only consideration in getting quotes is looking for the smallest possible price, then you will naturally find yourself with the bad product and the real price you pay will be in 2-3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look ghastly. Be warned, the cheapest price is most likely to lead to regret!
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING TINTING
There are many and varied benefits you can get from window tinting, so the first thing you should be sure of is the most important reason for installing window tint.Lets look at each advantage in a little more detail so you can better recognize the most appropriate solution for your application.The main advantages of good quality window tinting are:
Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of infra-red radiation through windows. That really is cool!
UV Blocking: Premium window film blocks up to 99% of IR radiation from coming through windows. And as a bonus, it also eradicates 93% of glare, which does wonders for your view and makes things look really 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 prying eyes during the day.
Impact Safety and Security Films: These specially designed films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are designed to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand a bomb blast without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass spraying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass dropping like a guillotine, the major problems associated with safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the impact and noise required to break and enter is so noticeable thieves, would rather just move on in search of an easier, 'softer' target.
Finally of course there's the matter of looking good. Good quality window film also makes windows look good; and for many people it's the aesthetic charm that tinted windows add that is the driving force for their installation.
ISSUES RELATED TO CARS & VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to drivers and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car or truck.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint legally allowed on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window film except for a visor strip across the top). The northern Territory and Western Australia are the only exceptions. In the Northern Territory you are legally 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 point. Most cars already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, so this needs to be taken into consideration when adding tint to a window. Here's what I mean.
If the factory installed windows 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 addition of both tint ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting laws, the result can be a fine. But even worse, 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 nulling of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. And if that's not bad enough criminal charges could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The last thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle is deemed unroadworthy, which means the driver can't drive the car again until it has been put through roadworthy testing, in which case the illegal tint will have to be stripped off the windows. That's why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you're selecting the appropriate tint.
So what's the moral of this story? When it comes to tinting windows, make sure you use a quality product and that your installer has the expertise to be able to offer you the best solution for your circumstances. That way you'll end up with a range of benefits, instead of a number of issues.