In Perth the summer sun gets really hot. Average temperatures range from 17.5 – 30°C (63.5 – 86°F) and will regularly push in the high 30’s in hot spells, and in stationary cars the temperature can easily push into the 60’s. Many people living in Perth install window tinting to reduce the rate their homes and cars heat up, and also to reduce glare through their windows, and if you live in Perth and are looking to buy window tinting, then there are a number of things you should understand to ensure you select the best window tint for your particular application.
The number one and undoubtedly the most crucial thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good and bad quality window film. Here’s why. Premium window film will last for the lifetime of your windows whereas bad quality window film will only last up to three years, especially in Perth.
The only way for a novice to tell the difference between good and low quality film is price and guarantee. When talking to a supplier, ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it’s less than 12 years keep looking. And also look out for the unscrupulous operator who offers you a guarantee on low quality film and hikes the price, to make it appear like it’s good film, but will either not be around, or simply do nothing if you get back to them because your tint has failed.
Here’s the tip, if your only consideration in getting quotes is looking for the cheapest possible price, then you will most likely buy a rubbish product and the real price you pay will be in around 3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look horrible. Be warned, the cheapest price will likely to lead to regret! Get a quote from a quality company.
REASONS FOR INSTALLING WINDOW TINT
There are a range of benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will package some of these benefits, so the first thing you need to identify is the most important reason for installing window tint. Lets look at each benefit in a tad more detail so you can more completely the most appropriate solution for your circumstances.
The main benefits of good quality tint are:
Heat Rejection: Premium window film rejects heat by blocking up to 73% of infra-red radiation through windows. That really is cool!
UV Rejection: Good quality window film eradicates up to 99% of infra red radiation from penetrating windows. And as a bonus, it also blocks 93% of glare, which does wonders for your view and means things look cool!
Privacy: The right film will also provide daytime privacy, enabling everyone inside to be cooler, enjoy the views, and at the same time have total privacy from onlookers in daylight.
Impact Safety and Security: Specialist impact and safety films stop glass from shattering on impact. Safety films are made to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand a bomb blast without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass flying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass falling like a guillotine, the major risks associated with safety are avoided. It also stops your windows from becoming a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the impact and noise required to force entry is so noticeable – criminals, would rather just move on in search of an easier, ‘softer’ victim.
Style: Lastly of course there’s the matter of style. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it’s the aesthetic charm that tinted windows provide that is the main reason for their installation.
SPECIFIC ISSUES RELATED TO CARS AND VEHICLES
The next point I want to discuss is relevant to vehicles and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car or truck.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint allowed on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window tint except for a visor strip across the top). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the Northern Territory you are legally allowed a minimum VLT of 16% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.
So here’s the point. Most cars already have a slight tint in the glass in their front windows, so this should be considered when adding tint to a vehicle. Here’s why.
If the factory glass on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35% is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT reading will be calculated by the combination of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be considered because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting laws, the result can be a fine. But even worse, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could mean the nulling of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial culpability of the accident. Additionally criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The last thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle is deemed unroadworthy, which means the driver can’t drive the car again until it has been put through roadworthy testing, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint for your car.
So what’s the moral of this story? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a good quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the right solution for your situation. That way you’ll end up with a range of benefits, instead of a headache.