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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is for Window Tinting information, discussion and pictures. It is intended to provide basic information, links to specific topics regarding tints, laws, and a few current Forum discussions. I am by no means an expert on the subject - just trying to get control over many threads on the same topic. The Forums are experiencing rapid growth in membership and with that comes many questions on a number of topics - this topic is just one of the them.

Unfortunately there are many open discussions regarding this topic - merging threads would make those threads that are open very difficult to follow and confusing. Some discussions have pictures, some discuss pricing, some discuss the type of films, and some have questions without answers. Hopefully this sticky will provide a starting point for those of you contemplating window tint or those that just want to educate themselves on the subject.

The information links provided are not meant to be an exhaustive listing. I am sure there are many other good sources of information on the topic that may be helpful. If you have a specific link that you think should be included please post it up and I will add it to this post to keep it easy to use.

Let's see if we can get pictures of tinting posted up in this thread, preferably a full side or 3/4 angle, with the type of film used and the percent tint included in the post.

Why Tint?

There are many reasons to tint your car from protecting against health concerns, safety and privacy reasons, as well as preserving your investment in your car. A few top reasons to tint:

1. Avoid overheating – the interior can be up to 60% cooler during hot summer days.

2. Protect your skin – Harmful UV rays from the sun can cause skin cancer. Tinting can block up to 99% of these damaging rays.

3. Accident protection – In an accident, tinting can help shattered glass hold together, protecting the occupants.

4. Safer driving – Tinting reduces dangerous glare from the sun, snow, and other headlights.

5. Enhanced privacy – Tinting protects your privacy and contents within the car.

6. Prevent cracking and fading – Harmful UV rays and heat cause the interior upholstery to crack and fade. Tint is like a sunscreen for the inside of your car.

7. Enhances the appearance of the vehicle.

The Five Specific Types of Window Film

Dyed or Colored Films

The most recognizable type of film is dyed or colored film which people are familiar seeing on cars and outdoor vehicles. This kind of film is colored during the melting and stretching process and works to absorb the sun's heat as opposed to repelling or deflecting it. It also reduces the ability of people to see inside which can deter crime and vandalism.



Sputtered (Metalized) Films

Metalized films are infused with various kind of metals such as copper, nickel and aluminum among others. This metal deflects heat and sends it back to the outside during summer and also deflects interior heat back into your car during the winter. The metals are inserted into the film during the creation process and they are infused on an atomic level. When this process is completed there is an even distribution of metals across the whole of the tinting film. This kind of film is most often used on homes and offices and not on automobiles.



Deposited Films

Deposited films are similar to metalized films in that they use a combination of various metals to achieve heat reduction. The kinds of metals used for this process are limited however and they usually contain nickel or aluminum.

Hybrid Films

Hybrid films are exactly what they sound like. They take the best properties of both dyed and metalized films and combine them into one film which does it all. By combining the reflective and absorptive qualities they can achieve a lighter tint color while still reflective nearly all of the sun's energy which is typically transformed into ambient heat through unprotected windows.



Ceramic Films

New to the window tinting arena is ceramic tint films. These films are created using nanotechnology and are at the cutting edge of window tint technology. Ceramic tints reduce the amount of interference sometimes found in colored or dyed films while literally strengthening the glass itself once it is installed. It is also especially resilient and can reduce the chances of glass shattering. As it is such a new advancement, it is more expensive than other options available and is generally regarded as the best film for automotive applications.

How Does Window Glass Come From The Factory?

Window glass does not have a 100 percent light transmission. A clear pane of glass has a physical standard of 92 percent light transmission. Automotive glass has safety glazing installed to protect the occupants. The glazing material may bring this light transmittance value down to a minimum of 70 percent light transmission, as permitted by federal regulatory agencies.

If you add a window film that has a 50 percent light transmission over a window having a 70 percent light transmission it brings the “Net” light transmission down to 35 percent light transmission (.70 x .50 = .35).


Tint Percentage Reference



Window Tint Laws

United States:

Quick Look State Laws

Tint Law Basics

State Specific Tint Laws

Canada:

Canadian Tint Laws (PDF)

Australia:

Australia Tint Laws

United Kingdom:

United Kingdom Tint laws

Europe:

European Tint Laws (PDF)

Window Tint Automotive "Vizualizer"

Window Tint Visualizer

Window Tint Discussion Forum

Window Tint Forums

Window Tint Film Manufacturers

Llumar

Gila Films

Formula One

3M Automotive Film

SunGard

SunTek Films

Solar Guard

Hanita Coatings

Johnson Films

Madico

Huper Optik

Window Tint DIY Kits

Snap Tint

Window Tint

Forum Discussions on Window Tinting

Some Pictures

Many Pictures

Discussion #1

Discussion #2

Discussion #3

Discussion #4
 

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My tint guy came by today and put American Standard 15% on everything but we left the front window as is. Darker than I thought I would like but seeing out is no problem at all. He has done 5 cars for us.... a real pro. $135 total.

He said the hottest car (no pun) he is tinting right now is the.... wait for it.... Optima of course

Pics in my garage by the weekend
 

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Just got mine tinted today. What a pain in the ass it was. Deal was when I bought the car, I could get 20 on all windows, salesman said "no prob". When I took my car in to the dealer, the service writer said they couldn't do illegal (35 is legal). So after talking to the manager, he just said to go pay for it myself and they'd reimburse me with the receipt. So I go to tint shop today and ask for illegal (15) and he said no prob but I won't get a receipt and I have to pay cash. No receipt, no reimbursement from dealer, fml. After explaining the deal 4x, he finally said OK and did a receipt saying he installed 35. Thanks for reading. Coolstorybro.img


edit: That's my gf's Kia Boregno in the background. Its nice, I wouldn't of stepped in the Kia dealership if I hadn't liked her SUV so much.


 

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3M metallic on my '12 Corsa Blue SX. All windows and rear windshield are 15% and the whole front windshield is 30%.


k5.4.jpg k5.7.jpg k5.12.jpg k5.13.jpg
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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Nice, this is mine with 13% all around (5% across the top of the windshield)
 

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Backing out of the garage at 530 am..... Back window completely black :) 15% on everything but the front window --left the factory strip.

Driving to work in the dark was otherwise fine. No problem seeing out of the side windows. Must be the back window slope that causes it to be so dark. Backup camera would have come in handy
 

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Ugh, I can't believe NH, the "Live Free or Die" state, requires that there be NO tint on the front side windows :(
They let people drive motorcycles without helmets, but I can't tint my windows? grrrr
 

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I went with 15% for the first time. I always went with 5% on my other vehicles. I am really liking the 15 because it is dark enough during the day but i can still see out at night.
 

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I just had to remove my tint because I got a 5 day tag by the DMV but I've had it on for a year without any issues so I will re-do and try again!
 

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In Indiana, you are only allowed to have tint to the bottom of your rearview mirror - any percentage tint below that line is illegal. it might vary on your state laws, though.
 

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The only regret I have with this car has nothing to do with the car... I should've done darker tint... :angry:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
^^ IMHO that's the good stuff! (Wondered when you were going to post these pics up :))

Did you have that done at Got Shade in Delaware by any chance?
 

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I need to clarify my statement about the rear window being very dark/black today backing out of my garage for the first time after getting my 15% tint installed yesterday evening.

It was only hard to see backing out of my specific driveway due to almost zero lights of any kind on that part my street.

Driving to work was absolutely no problem seeing out the rear window.

Sorry if I misled with my previous comments
 

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itscoldoutdog
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^^ IMHO that's the good stuff! (Wondered when you were going to post these pics up
)

Did you have that done at Got Shade in Delaware by any chance?
haha thanks :) ..great job with the thread BTW
no that was my second option (being in PA and all :( ). Got Shade has pics of a spicy red optima on their website though I noticed! haha..They are supposed to be good and the price I got from them was the same as the one I chose. I went to an authorized installer/distributor in MD, Absolute Perfection aptinting.com..tied in the appointment with a business trip out of BWI airport
 

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Discussion Starter #18
haha thanks :) ..great job with the thread BTW
no that was my second option (being in PA and all :( ). Got Shade has pics of a spicy red optima on their website though I noticed! haha..They are supposed to be good and the price I got from them was the same as the one I chose. I went to an authorized installer/distributor in MD, Absolute Perfection aptinting.com..tied in the appointment with a business trip out of BWI airport
Ah - ok, Thought I would ask since I am having them do my tinting next week. I'm stealing your setup exactly :cool:
 

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itscoldoutdog
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nice!
I'll caution you to make sure they have the 30% film in the shop. Since FormulaOne's film % range is kind of rare (including both 30% and 35% in their line-up) the shop i went to skipped carrying 35%..they went 50-40-30-15-5 for their inventory... So just make sure if you really want 30% they have it in-stock.

I was on the edge of 30-35-40, then when they didnt had 35 my choice was easier, but took me off guard..just figured they'd carry each film % that the company makes.
 

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I did 35% up front and 18% in the back. The installer wouldn't go any darker on the front side windows because of Texas state laws. 35% wound up being perfect for me.



Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
 
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