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Types of Car Window Tint

Types of Car Window Tint

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When you take your car to have the windows tinted, you might be surprised to find out that there are several different types of window film to choose from at different price points. This guide will help you figure out what type of window tint is best for your needs.

Dyed Tint Film

Dyed film is probably the most common type of film, largely because it tends to be the most inexpensive. It’s made when dye is applied between a layer of adhesive (which sticks to your window) and a protective outer polyester layer. This gives a dark look to the windows that a lot of people like, and it blocks up to 50% of the visible light that would otherwise come into your car.

Dyed film does have a few disadvantages. It’s easy to apply incorrectly so it gets bubbles trapped inside (although this isn’t a problem if you have it applied by a professional). It doesn’t block quite as much heat as other types of film, and if you want more than 50% of the sun’s rays blocked, it’s best to look at other types.

Metallic Tint Film

Like the dyed film, this consists of layers. First there’s the adhesive that sticks to the window, then a layer that blocks ultraviolet radiation, followed by a metallized layer that’s designed to reflect the heat and light so the car stays cooler and darker. Finally, a protective layer is applied to the outside to protect against scratches.

Metallic film blocks more light than dyed film. It’s therefore more effective at reducing heat and glare. It’s also very durable and won’t fade over time like dyed film sometimes does. But metallic film has a few disadvantages. Because of the metallic layer, it can block cell phone signals, as well as some of the other signals within your car (like the tire monitoring system). It also tends to be significantly more expensive than dyed film and has a shiny appearance that some people don’t like.

Hybrid Tint Film

This kind of film is a cross between the dyed and metallic types. Less metal content is used, so it doesn’t interfere with cell phones or radio signals, but you still get the reflecting and absorbing properties of both types of film. Although hybrid film is more expensive, it’s good performance is worth it for a lot of people.

Carbon Tint Film

Carbon tint film uses a layer of carbon instead of a layer of dye. In appearance, it’s similar to dyed film with a flat, matte finish. Unlike dyed film, the carbon color will not fade over time. It also absorbs UV rays and a good deal of heat to keep the interior of the car cooler. Carbon film generally performs as good or better than metallic films, but doesn’t interfere with any signals.

Ceramic Tint Film

Ceramic film is the newest type on the market. It’s the most expensive, but that’s because it works better than any of the others. It’s very good at blocking heat, ultraviolet rays, and light. Best of all, it actually strengthens the window as well.

The choice of what window film to buy depends on the amount you’re willing to spend, the look you want, and what performance you hope to get out of it. If you’re still unsure, talk to the professionals at the shop, and they can help you figure out which one is right for you.

See also: 

Legal Limits on Window Tinting

What You Need to Know about Removing Window Tint

How to Protect Your Car from Sun Damage

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