At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Window tinting is a simple process where a thin, transparent sheet of film is applied to a vehicle's window to reduce radiation and heat from the sun. With a thickness ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 inches (0.0025 to 0.0102 cm), window films are made from a variety of adhesives which can protect a vehicle in many different ways.
Decreasing the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and heat that enters a vehicle can be quite beneficial. Window tinting adds life to a vehicle's interior and reduces or altogether prevents wear of certain fabrics. Additionally, by reducing the amount of heat that enters the car, your air conditioner will work more quickly.
Tinting can also add a sense of security and privacy to drivers and passengers. Not only can it make it difficult for bystanders to notice valuable possessions within a car, it can hide the occupants, as is common in limousines. Just remember to check local rules, as some city and state ordinances regulate what can be tinted and how dark the tinting can be.
Currently, there are three popular ways in which an individual can get tinted windows. The most popular choice is film tinting. Simple and inexpensive, the thin film that is applied to window glass comes in a variety of tints such as flat, metallic and mirrored. Some automotive experts insist that this type of window tinting has the additional benefit of helping to prevent glass from shattering in vehicle accidents. Such safety measures, however, are only helpful during the first few months of use as the film can easily crack or peel.
Another type of window tinting is OEM tinted glass. Instead of applying a thin film to the window pane, the tint is added when the glass is made. OEM tinting typically has a lighter tint than other tinting options. Additionally, it is rather expensive to replace.
The third type of window tinting is coated tinting which applies a unique solution to the surface of a glass window. Often used in the form of a spray, this variation is the most effective way to tint a window. Still, it is a difficult application process that should be accomplished by experts.
Window tinting seems like a safe and effective way to protect vehicles, but due to legal matters, its popularity isn't as great as it might otherwise be. Tinted windows can create hazards for drivers at night, so to help ensure safety, some jurisdictions have enforced laws based on the darkness of films. For instance, the tint limit in New Jersey is 70 per cent while the tint limit in Arkansas is 25 per cent.