Understanding window tint percentages can help you pick the one that’s best for your intended purpose. Window tinting has many purposes, and benefits. Many people don’t know that window tinting helps retain interior quality and keeps the car cooler. Window tinting is so effective that it blocks out up to 99% of ultraviolet rays. This protects interior upholstery and leather from fading.
Understanding Window Tint Percentages
A window tinting percentage refers to the amount of light the tint on the window screens out. You’re familiar with the concept if you have ever worn a pair of sunglasses. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect when viewing different window tint percentages.
Car Window Tint Basics
Window tint is a vinyl material that prevents blocks sunlight from passing through the glass it’s placed on. Most consumers understand this much, but when it comes to the different percentages, many people aren’t as certain. The percentage refers to the amount of light allowed through the screen, which means the lower your number, the darker the tint.
- The tint darkness is measured as the visible light transmission percentage, or VLT%
- Front side windows are driver’s and front passenger windows. NOT the Windshield.
- Rear side windows are any side windows behind the front side windows, and include rear-seat passenger windows
- The windshield’s shade band is a band of film that extends down from the top of the windshield.
- The AS1 line is a marking from the glass’ manufacturer near the top sides of the windshield.
- Tint reflection refers to reflective window films, usually metallic films.
- First number is for cars, the number after the slash / is for SUVs and Vans. No slash means same % for all vehicles.
- Restricted colors mean color tints that are forbidden in the state. (if any)
Window Tinting Percentage Illustration
As you may see, something like 20% or lower will make your windows really dark and hard to see through so therefore there are laws that regulate how dark can you go.
This makes sense in some other way, since not only you have to be able to see through your windows clearly at night or in low visibility conditions but also law enforcement needs to be able to see the interior of the car for their own safety during a traffic stop.
No Tint – Factory Windows
The clear glass like it is found on regular windows as installed at the factory.
Fifty (50) Percent Window Tinting Films
Fifty percent shade blocks fifty-percent of the available light from reaching the interior of the car. It is a great option for blocking heat and ultraviolet radiation.
Thirty-Five (35) Percent Tint
Michigan and Indiana are two states that cap the legal window tint at 35%, meaning just 35% of the light is allowed. This is a noticeably dark tint on a vehicle.
Twenty (20) Percent Tint
Don’t confuse this with “factory windows,” which are non-tinted glass. When certain windows have a “built-in” factory tint, it will typically allow 15-20% of the light through the glass.
Five (5) Percent Tint
Five percent window tinting looks almost like a sleek obsidian black sheet. It lets only 5 % of the light through the glass. It’s often used on limousine windows for that sleek luxurious look.
How dark can you go?
Window tint is represented as a percentage of visible light transmission levels (VLT percentage) that can pass through the window. A higher percentage indicates a greater amount of light coming through the windows, so a low tint percentage would appear much darker.
Every state or county is able to set their own tint laws on an allowable tint limit. The common allowable limits are 50 percent for the driver’s front and passenger’s front window, and 35 percent for the rear passenger or side windows and the back window. That means the front windows will allow more light through the window tint than the rear windows, though the difference in appearance is minor.
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