Editorials » Automobiles » SUV

Factory Tint Versus Installed Window Film

By: Mike Feldman

Most, if not all new 2008 Model SUV's and Mini-Vans come equipped with a dark 15% visible light transmission "factory tint" on vehicle windows other than the front driver and passenger windows and of course, the windshield. Most consumers believe that since the glass is already tinted there is no need to install an after market window film other than potentially matching their front windows to the existing tinted glass. SUV owners are not aware that the factory tinted glass has a very limited heat rejection coefficient and in most cases virtually no ultraviolet; UVA or UVB reduction! Sure the glare is reduced by nearly 80% and your passengers have additional privacy, but the heat gain through factory tinted glass is very often extreme and the UV remains un-blocked!
There are two issues that a professional window film installer will consider when approaching a factory tinted vehicle. The first is the critical requirement to "match" the color of the aftermarket window film and the flat reflectivity; or rather non reflective, elements of the "factory tinted" glass. It makes little sense for an SUV driver to install a window tint that is shiny or a completely different color hue as compared to the balance of their vehicle's glass. This issue is resolved by having a non reflective ceramic window film installed like the FormulaOne Series Pinnacle window films or the nano-ceramic Huper Optik German Technology Window Films. In both instances the front driver and passenger window will have a perfect color match to the rear glass. FormulaOne Dealers are all quite familiar with their local state tint laws and will only install front window visible light transmission films VLT that meet the statutes. In Florida that requirement is a 28% VLT for front windows. The installation of window film on a windshield is expressly forbidden with the exception of a strip that is frequently installed on the top of the windshield glass from the interior right up to the AS1 line. The aftermarket professionally installed films have nearly 99.9% UVA and UVB rejection and heat rejection at a factor of double or more compared to the "factory tinted" rear windows. Many SUV drivers will have a very light 50% VLT film or higher installed on their interior glass on the "factory tinted" glass to gain double the heat rejection and UV rejection without adding any additional reflectivity to the glass! In addition with the rapid growth of on-board electronics and BlueTooth technology these Pinnacle and Huper Optik Films will not interfere with EM signals that also relate to GPS, radar detectors or premium satellite radio like XM or Sirius. Several other window film manufacturers have or are in the process of introducing their own non metallic high performance window films.
SUV owners should recognize that they have only tackled one very small portion of their tinting requirements! This is a new age in technology and there are solutions available that will match any budget.

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About The Author, Mike Feldman

Mike Feldman is President of Advanced Film Solutions, Tampa Bay FormulaOne High Performance Window Film
Mr. Feldman a 33 year veteran of 3M and former National Sales Manager of 3M Window Film founded Advanced Film Solutions after taking an early retirement from 3M.

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