Tinted vehicle windows have become a common sight on today's roadways. When applied by a skilled professional, automotive window tint adds beauty and elegance to a vehicle while also giving drivers additional glare, UV, and privacy protection.
Whether you want to select a tint option at a car dealership or you plan to add aftermarket tint to your current car's windows, you'll want to think about some key considerations first. Here are three car window tint questions to ask yourself.
1. What Level of Darkness or Reflectivity Can I Legally Use?
Today's auto window tints come in a wide range of darkness levels. Makers rate these darkness levels as a percentage of visible light transmission (VLT). For example, a tint possessing a VLT of 35 percent permits only 35 percent of visible light to pass through it. You can find tints ranging from five percent to 95 percent.
However, driving laws don't allow you to explore this range to the fullest. Each state has its own regulations as the acceptable VLT range for windows on different parts of a vehicle. Rear and side window tint on New Mexico cars must have a VLT above 20 percent. (On SUVs, rear and rear-side windows can sport any VLT.)
New Mexico imposes some other restrictions as well. You can't use any kind of reflective tint (as in mirrored silver tint) on front or rear windows. You must also avoid tint colors such as red, amber, or yellow. Tint on rear and side windows requires the use of side mirrors.
2. What Kind of Tint Best Suits My Specific Needs and Goals?
Different kinds of tint can accomplish different objectives for car owners and drivers. Each formulation or darkness level has its own set of relative strengths and weaknesses. You need to ask yourself what you specifically want your auto window tint to do for you before you purchase a specific type.
Darker tints can spare your eyes a great deal of fatigue during daytime driving. While your windshield can only have tint along its top five inches, the darker tint on other windows can still reduce the ambient light and reflected glare inside your vehicle. They also make it harder for outsiders to see inside your cabin.
At other times, dark tint can prove more problematic. In low light conditions, you may find that you can see only approaching headlights out of your dark-tinted rear window. If you expect to do a lot of driving at night or in poor weather, ask your auto tint specialist for advice on a reasonable VLT level.
Metallic tints can provide plenty of privacy during the day by bouncing most incoming light right back at onlookers. Unfortunately, the metallic components in these tints can also block cell phone signals. If you need to make frequent use of your phone while in your car, you'll want to choose a different option.
If you only want to add thermal insulation or UV protection to your side or rear windows, you can select infrared vinyl films that have little or no visible tint. Like other kinds of vinyl film, infrared film can protect occupants from up to 99 percent of dangerous UV radiation.
3. What Advantages Can Professional Tinting Installers Offer?
Even if you have direct access to high-quality vinyl window tint, you should leave the actual tinting process to professional installers. Preparing windows to receive tint, cutting the vinyl panels so that they will fit the windows perfectly, and then adhering the film without creating creases or bubbles requires skill and experience.
Professional tinting installers not only do the job correctly the first time, but they also guarantee the quality of their work and products through warranties. At the same time, they can do the work more quickly and efficiently than any amateur possibly could, freeing you up to take care of other things in the meantime.
Horizon Auto Glass & Tint can answer any of your auto glass tint questions and make sure you get the results you seek. Get a quote from us today.
Horizon Auto Glass & Tint serves clients in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.