Thinking about tinting your windows? Doing so has numerous benefits, but there are somethings you should be aware of before you commit.
Tints Have Benefits Beyond Looks and Privacy
Alot of people want tints because of their aesthetics and the privacy they provide, but they also have many other practical benefits. Window films can block solar energy, keeping you and your car cooler. This effect is especially noticeable when you leave your car parked in the sun on a hot day. Blocking the sun’s UV rays also protects your skin and your car’s interior.
Not All Tints Are the Same
You have several different options when it comes to window tinting. There are numerous types of films, including the following.
- Dyed window films consist of three layers of materials: an adhesive, dye and protective layer. They are affordable, though not as durable as other types. They protect against UV rays, but not heat.
- Metalized films protect against heat and UV rays. They are more durable and expensive than dyed window films. Because they contain metal, however, they can interfere with your cell phone, radio and GPS signal and your car’s electronics.
- Hybrid films are a combination of dyed window and metalized films. They have less metal, so they’re less likely to cause electronics interference.
- Ceramic films block UV rays and heat, but won’t interfere with your electronics. They are one of the most expensive options.
- Carbon films also block UV rays and heat and won’t cause interference. It is moderately expensive and in the middle of the road regarding performance.
You can also choose between different percentages of tint. The higher the visible light transmittance, the more light the film lets through. Seventy percent tint lets in 30 percent of the light. Fifty percent allows in 50 percent.
Laws Vary by State
Each state has different laws about what percentage and types of tinting they allow. Different rules also apply to different parts of the car. Make sure you check your local laws before modding your windows.
If you travel to a different state with stricter tinting laws, you probably won’t have a problem, but you still could get a citation from state law enforcement. If you frequently travel to a neighboring state, you may want to check its rules in addition to your home state’s laws.
Dark Tints Can Impede Your Vision
You should be aware excessively dark tints can impair your vision, especially when you drive at night or in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun during the day. When choosing how dark to make your windows, consider when and where you typically drive. If you often drive at night or the weather in your area is often overcast, you may want to avoid tints or choose a lighter shade.
Window Films Have Pros and Cons During Emergency Situations
In car crashes and other emergencies, tinted windows differ from regular windows in several ways. If a tinted window breaks, it won’t shatter like a regular window would. Instead, the adhesive properties of the tint hold the window together in one piece, which can prevent you from being cut by glass shards.
Tinted windows, however, can also be a hindrance to emergency personnel. Rescue workers at a crash scene will look into the windows of the cars involved to assess the situation and determine how best to proceed. If they can’t see inside your vehicle because of a window film, they have less information to work with.
Tinting your windows has both pros and cons. Depending on your goals, it may or may not be the right choice for you. Consider the conditions you normally drive in, the laws in your state and these other factors when deciding whether — and to what degree — to mod your windows.