Beware: Not all Car Window Tinting is the Same

Mon, 03 Aug 2020 13:48:55 GMT

Tinting your car’s windows can have a large number of benefits, with very few substantial drawbacks. Tinting your windows increases privacy and protects your car’s interior and keeps the car much cooler due to the film’s reflective pro
perties. Additionally, many window tints block substantial amounts of UV light from entering your car, acting like lightly-tinted sunglasses for your car. This functionality reduces eye fatigue and long-term eye damage, and further can protect your car’s interior, especially leather-clad components. 
As with most things in life, not all window tinting is created equal. From the effectiveness of the tinting film to the ease of application to the long-term durability of the film, a high-quality window tint can be astronomically superior to a low-grade window tint. Other considerations include if you are getting the film applied professionally or doing it DIY. 

What are the best car window tint film brands?


MKBrother offers a vast range of tinting films and some pre-cut packages. The tint is available in 50%, 35%, 20%, and 5% strengths (% refers to the amount of light let through the film, i.e. the smaller the percentage, the stronger the tint, and is often referred to as the VLT percentage). MKBrother also offers a more expensive 1.5 mm 2-ply tinting film, which promises to be more durable and scratch-resistant. 

The Black Box Tint

The Black Box Tint offers several different tint film lines, Alpine, Ultimacool Duo, and Ultimacool. The Ultimacool and Ultimaccol Duo are their base and mid-range offerings, with standard UV Light reflection, and several different percentage offerings. The Duo mid-tier line offers 2-ply film as an upgrade over the base. The Alpine line features a nano-ceramic coating that provides enhanced heat protection and incredible durability.



True Line Automotive

If you are looking for pre-cut kits for individual vehicles, True Line Automotive provides some of the best products. Featuring a full spectrum of different VLT percentages, True Line Automotive has hundreds of different kits for cars of all makes and models. True Line Automotive promises a no-cutting-required application process, making it ideal for those looking to DIY it. 

MotoShield Pro

MotoShield Pro offers a premium line of window tinting, including advanced Nano Ceramic properties, and provides a substantial VLT range, including 70%, a VLT percentage rarely seen from other manufacturers. MotoShield Pro also offers pre-cut kits for a large variety of cars and trucks and features a significant level of customization to select which windows you would like tinted. MotoShield Pro also offers large rolls of its films, cut 100 feet long, with widths of 20 inches or 40 inches.





One of the most wide-reaching companies in the industry, Lexen offers pre-cut kits for various makes and models of both cars and trucks. All of Lexen’s products feature 2-ply 1.5mm film with UV reflecting functionality. Lexen also offers rolls of its tinting film, with 20 inch and 40-inch widths, and 10 foot or 100-foot lengths.



3M offers a large range of automotive tinting films, although importantly they offer very few pre-cut kits. Featuring the Crystalline Series, 3M boasts that this film can reflect more heat and light away from your car without being as dark of a film. This lets your car maintain its standard appearance while getting all of the performance benefits of darker-toned tinting films. 3M also offers a large range of more economical tinting options, all of which adhere to their quality control and baseline performance guidelines. 



What can happen with low-quality tint film?

A low-quality tint is most often recognized by its low price point. Commonly, auto part retailers or ambiguous online storefronts will offer these tinting films as an economical option to get some of the benefits of tinting your car’s windows. Unfortunately, these cheaper tints are often of very low quality. Low-quality tint has a few resulting drawbacks, the first being poor aesthetics. You may notice bubbling and fading of the window tint over time, even when applied professionally. These lower grade tinting films often will not have any UV light-reflecting properties, leaving both you and the car’s interior vulnerable to UV lights destructive effects. Additionally, lower grade tinting films can be more challenging to apply, less flexible and more challenging to stretch (an integral part of the automotive film application process). This challenging application process can result in bubbling in the film at the point of installation, especially problematic if you are applying the film yourself. 


What benefits do you get from high-quality tint on your windows?


High-quality window tint will offer not only the best fit and finish of any tinting film option, but these films often will boast several built-in functions (e.g. ceramic technology, UV light blocking). Additionally, high-quality window tinting will allow for more customization in pre-cut kits, offering different coverage levels and splitting VLT ratings between the front and back windows. Finally, the overall increased effectiveness of high-quality window tint ultimately makes it the most economical option. While being more expensive upfront, your investment will pay dividends down the road in terms of efficiency, durability, protection, and longevity. 

The bottom line is to take time to research what film you are tinting your car’s windows with, consider the functionality difference between different brands and products, and either be prepared to practice your film application skills or select an automotive tint shop with an extensive project portfolio and lots of positive reviews.