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The glass used for windows in buildings, homes, and cars, while offering the advantage of letting light in, often compromises the privacy that the occupants desire, and can also let in more than the desired amount of heat. Tinted glass, however, provides an easy solution to these problems. This term refers to any glass that has been treated with a material such as a film or coating that reduces the transmission of light through it. Glass can be tinted with various types of coating, which block and/or reflect different amounts and types of light, according to the needs and preferences of the consumer.
One of the most common ways in which tinted glass is used is in automobile windows. Almost all cars come with tinting at the top of the windshield to reduce solar glare when the sun is low in the sky. Apart from this, the windows of many cars are tinted either at the factory or as an aftermarket add-on by the consumer, to provide privacy for the car’s occupants, as well as to reduce the buildup of heat in a car while it is parked outside.
The laws of every state in the U.S. regulate the degree to which car windows can be tinted, especially the front windows. These limits are in place in order to enable police to identify the driver and passengers of a vehicle, as well as to allow motorists to see through the windows of other vehicles to spot hazards that otherwise could not be seen. Each state’s laws limiting window tint are different, but all specify the minimum allowed percentage of visible light transmission (VLT) for windows in private vehicles. The windshield and the windows immediately to the left and right of the driver are generally required to have a higher VLT percentage than the back windows in private vehicles.
Another popular use of tinted glass is in windows of homes and commercial buildings. Residential glass tinting is much easier to do than automotive tinting. It can even be done by the homeowner himself, with some practice. Glass in homes that is tinted serves many practical purposes, such as limiting ultraviolet light transmission through windows to reduce the fading of furniture and carpet, and reducing heat gain inside the home by reflecting solar heat energy, thereby saving the homeowner money in cooling costs.
Tinted glass is also used in commercial buildings to keep the inside cooler, and it has the added benefit of giving the outside of a building a more uniform, aesthetically pleasing appearance. Depending on the creative use of different colors of tinting, the building can also take on a unique and interesting appearance while being insulated from the sun at the same time.