How dark is 20 percent window tint?

Whether you're a Mafia Don or a Hollywood star, a nice window-tinting job on your limo provides privacy and prestige, both of which go a long way in promoting your public persona.  If you're just a regular Joe or Josie, though, with no real public persona to protect, quality window tinting on your car, truck, van or SUV brings a list of benefits you're sure to appreciate too, besides the fact that it just looks cool.  It must, of course, be a quality job to promote the desired effect, with "quality" here referring to both the installation process and the materials used.

When you think about it, few automotive aftermarket products deliver as many tangible benefits as a good window tinting.  Most obvious among these is the protection of your privacy – especially important to those who get a thrill from driving around naked or engaging in any number of illicit activities while on the road.  Privacy isn't only important to Mafia Dons and Hollywood stars either, and besides, it might be good therapy to be able to flip off the jerk that just cut you off, knowing he can't see what you're doing.  That way you can get your feelings out without promoting violent road rage on his part.


Other Good Reasons To Tint

Privacy aside, another important benefit of vehicle window tinting is the way it cuts down on the glare.  Window tint is made from very thin polyester that has been treated with various metals and dyes to get the desired color, shade and light-altering characteristics.  Some tint film is designed to reflect a certain amount of light while others are made to absorb light more than reflect it.

This all plays a part in determining how the characteristics of sunlight are changed as it enters your vehicle.  Cutting down the glare makes driving easier, safer and more comfortable, especially when the sun is low in the sky and might otherwise be the cause of another one of those splitting, rush-hour traffic headaches.

Speaking of comfortable, not only is the sun's glare cut down by a good quality window tinting but the car 's temperature stays considerably cooler and more comfortable too.  This can add to your well-being, and not only when driving either.  When you park your car somewhere on a hot day, window tinting will keep the interior considerably cooler.  That way it won't get like a baker's oven inside, which makes it better for you and better for your car's interior too.  The seats, dashboard and carpets won't age as quickly when they're protected from the sun's rays by tinted windows. 


Why it Works So Well

A good tint blocks out a certain percentage of direct sunlight from invading your space and also stops infrared (IR) and ultra-violet light (UV) too.  This is basically what a high-quality pair of sunglasses does for your eyes, although in this case, it's like putting a pair of top-quality shades on your entire car or truck.  This will help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.  People fork over big bucks for those little bottles of SPF (whatever number) sunscreen to get the same results that you'll automatically have every time you're behind the wheel.  All of your passengers get the same treatment, of course.

Unlike wearing sunglasses, however, which would impair your ability to see well enough to drive at night if you were to wear them after sundown, window tinting is primarily designed to cut down glare coming in from the outside, not to hamper your ability to see clearly from the inside.  Tinted windows actually help make nighttime driving easier and safer too because it helps cut down the glare produced from oncoming headlights.  It's all good.


Technically Speaking

Clear, non-tinted window glass on a vehicle typically allows about 90 percent of visible light to enter the cabin.  The reason it's not 100 percent is because about five percent is reflected and about five percent is absorbed.  Window tinting is designed to block a certain, specific percentage of visible light, with darker tints blocking more light.  It will also block a specified amount of ultra violet and infra red light as well – which are parts of the light spectrum known to cause skin cancer and also to create heat buildup inside a vehicle.

The polyester tinting film used in window tinting is applied to the inside of the window glass after it's been thoroughly cleaned.  It's glued in place, cut to fit exactly and smoothed to remove all wrinkles and/or bubbles.  A cheap tinting material or an unprofessional application will generally scream out the truism, "You get what you pay for."  Nothing looks cheesier than a nice car with a bad tint job, except maybe a senior citizen with a bad dye job!