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5 Types of Window Film: What Type is Best For You?

Updated on September 2, 2011

Quick – what's the first thing you think of when you hear the words 'window tinting'? Chances are you instantly think of race cars and boy racers looking for ways to enhance the look of their car. But window tinting isn't just for cars anymore. Both home and business owners have woken up to the fact that window tinting can address a multitude of problems and challenges. These applications range from saving money and increasing security to advertising and home decoration. The variety of tinting films can be overwhelming if you're just beginning to review options, but here we'll go over different styles and what they can do for you.

The Basic Types of Window Tinting Film

Window film generally comes in one of two ways. First is color dyed film which helps absorb heat and is most useful for cars and outdoor recreational vehicles such as boats and RVs. The second is film which is treated with metals such as nickel, aluminum and copper among others. These metal treated films deflect heat and are most commonly used on homes and offices. Films infused with metallic elements can still be tinted to any color and sometimes both techniques are used together and result in hybrid films which combine the best qualities of each option.

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. Dyed film should not be used as a backing for thermal films as it can result in trapped heat.

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 home 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.

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 which cane used for this process are limited however and they usually contain nickel or aluminum. As a result, the options available with this line of film can be somewhat limited.

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 in the face of severe storms and can reduce the chances of glass shattering. As it is such a new advancement, it is more expensive than other options available.

Choosing the Right Film

No matter what your needs or concerns, there is a film that will fit the bill. And all of these films offer outstanding protection from the sun's UV rays which can fade and bleach furniture, carpeting and all hangings. One company specializing in window tinting Las Vegas homes and vehicles boasts a 99.9% UV protection rate. Going over your options with a local window tinting specialist will allow you to determine the correct type of film and they will also be able to offer helpful advice on which films will result in lower energy bills while going easy on your budget.

Which Film Type Do You Think Is Best?

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