If you are interested in getting tinted windows for your car, then there are quite a few things that you should know first. Here is a basic explanation of the features of tinted windows to help you get started:
What are tinted windows?
Tinted windows are windows which have a thin coating applied to their interior. This coating does not hinder their ability to open and close, but provides quite a few different benefits, depending on the types of coating.
Some coatings are used for thermal insulation, while some are used for security. Automobiles generally use a polyester film that is strong, yet relatively transparent.
What are the benefits?
For automobile usage, the primary benefit of tinted windows is that they reduce light entering the window, which can make the glare of the sun much less noticeable. Another common reason for getting tinted windows is to increase privacy, since it is much harder to see into tinted windows. However, this decreased visibility is also a safety hazard, as is mentioned below.
Other uses include insulation, since they can effectively maintain the internal temperature of a car much more effectively than untinted windows, or security, since they actually enhance the strength of windows.
Finally, some individuals simply like the aesthetic appeal of tinted windows, sometimes even using films with a pattern or design.
What are the legal restrictions?
Each state has different restrictions on the exact level of opaqueness which is permissible. Federally, your front window and the two side windows directly adjacent to the driver must allow a minimum of 70% of visible light through. However, for rear windows the acceptable range is from 24-80% VLT (visible light transmittance). Some states also request that side windows adhere to a stricter standard than the national law. This means that the least restrictive states allow tinted windows that permit, at a minimum, 24% of light to pass through tinted non-front windows. If your windows fail to pass a VLT test, then you may receive a ticket.
The primary reason for these laws is that it can be a safety hazard to have heavily tinted windows. They can prevent drivers behind you from seeing obstacles and road hazards ahead of you, which can result in accidents.
How does one get tinted windows?
In general, you will need to go to a specialist in order to have tinted windows installed. While it is possible to install them yourself, you should still consult a specialist beforehand, in order to ensure that your desired result is possible. They can help you pick out a material that works, as well as explain the procedure to you.
Tinted windows can vary vastly in price and quality, so make sure that you are purchasing a window tint that is as valuable as it costs.
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