You've decided that tinting the windows of your ride is the way to go for looks and added protection and now you're looking into the different types available. You start reading and soon you're scratching your head and wondering what the hell all these window tinting terms mean. Look no further! This glossary of terms puts things in plain English.
Visible Light Transmitted (VLT): This is the percentage of light you can see (not UV rays) that passes through the glass after tint is applied. To make it really simple, the lower the VLT number, the darker your tint will be.
Visible Light Reflected (VLR): Think of a mirror. The higher the percentage on this one, the shinier the surface of the window tinting will appear. Regular glass reflects between 8-10% of visible light, to give you a reference point.
Ultra Violet (UV) Block: UV rays are the rays you can't see, the ones that damage the interior of your vehicle and your skin. You definitely want a high rating here.
Emissivity: Fancy word for the amount of heat from the sun that is reflected or absorbed by the tinting. Think blistering hot seat belts on a hot summer day. You want a lower number here.
U-Factor: The amount of heat transferred from where it's hotter, to where it's cooler. It's the same idea as the R-Factor for insulating your house. The lower the number, the better it insulates.
Shading Coefficient: This number compares the window tint's gain in solar heat compared to glass with no protection. All you need to know here is the lower the number, the better the window tinting will manage heat.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or G Value: Tells you the total amount of solar heat that will get into your vehicle with the reflection and absorption properties of the film.
Total Solar Energy Rejected: The total percentage of the sun's energy that is kept out of your vehicle by the tint. You want a higher number here.
There are three terms in window tinting that work together to make up a percentage of 100 so we'll group them together:
Total Solar Energy Reflected: The percentage of the sun's energy that will be reflected away from your truck.
Total Solar Energy Transmitted: The percentage of the sun's energy that will still come through the tint film.
Total Solar Energy Absorbed: The percentage of the sun's energy that the film actually absorbs instead of reflecting or transmitting it. If you are not having your window tinting installed professionally, keep this number below 50% to prevent window breakage.
There you have it. The terms sound like they could be a whole other language but broken down they're not so bad. The main thing is to know whether you want high numbers, or low numbers when you choose your tinting.
Keep this glossary handy when you're shopping around and you'll not only sound like a pro when you order your tinting, you'll be able to pick out the best option for your ride. Don't forget to check with the pros at Chux Trux for your window tinting needs!
By: Chris Ripper