BAY AREA – Many people think all car window tints are the same, but there are actually several different kinds, each with specific attributes and functions. That’s why, when planning to have your vehicle’s windows tinted, it’s a good idea to consider your priorities. Whether you’re looking to maximize UV protection or simply want the darkest shade possible, there are products that can meet your particular preferences.
One thing to consider is the shade of tint you’re looking for, as tint products range from fairly light to completely opaque. For example, the 3M™ Color Stable comes in four shades: 5 percent visible light transmission (the classic “limo tint”), 20 percent (medium-dark), 35 percent (light-medium) and 50 percent. While you can go as dark as you want with your vehicle’s side and back windows, keep in mind that California law limits the shade of front windshield tint to 90 percent.
While shade is a key concern with window tint, you should also consider functional attributes. For example, if you’re looking to maximize UV protection and heat rejection, a 3M Crystalline window film is a great choice. Though on the lighter side in terms of shade (ranging from 40 to 70 percent), these films offer 99 percent UV rejection and 97 percent infrared rejection—a combination that will go a long way toward reducing sun exposure and increasing the comfort of your vehicle’s interior.
Of course, another important consideration when choosing a tint product is your budget. If you’re looking for an economical option that still offers a reasonable level of quality, 3M FX Premium Film is a good choice: it’s reasonably priced and has a lifetime warranty against bubbling, peeling, and delaminating. If your budget is a little larger, consider the 3M Color Stable, whose lifetime warranty also covers fading.