The rear windows of many cars manufactured today have what is called ‘privacy’ or ‘factory tinted’ glass. These cars are easy to spot – the back windows are nice and dark while the front windows are conspicuously clear!
It’s extremely common for car owners of such ‘factory tinted’ cars to want their front windows tinted to match their rear windows. This is done by tinting with a film that provides as close a color match as possible, without going darker than the legal limit. (The darkest legal tinting limit for front windows is slightly lighter than most privacy glass). In the state of Arizona the legal VLT% (Visible Light Transmittance) is 32%.
Having the front windows tinted makes a huge cosmetic improvement for a car with factory tinted privacy glass, not to mention the added benefits of UV protection, heat rejection, privacy and glare reduction.
So, is it worth applying a film to your factory tinted windows too? While factory tinted windows certainly provide privacy, they can lack the additional benefits that a window film can offer.
What are factory tinted windows?
Factory tinted glass is different to glass tinted with a window film in an automotive service center like TINT 360. The term ‘tinting’ literally means to add color to something. When automotive glass is tinted as part of the manufacturing process, color is added to the glass itself. The result is essentially just a darker version of un-tinted glass. Factory tinted glass from the manufacture cannot be removed, and is embedded within the glass itself.
Tinting Factory Privacy Glass With A Film
The use of a quality window film to tint glass brings with it substantially greater benefits than the factory tinting process. Window film is a thin layer of material which essentially laminates and insulates the piece of glass. It is this thin material that is responsible for reducing UV radiation by 99% or more, as well as reducing a substantial amount of solar energy heat and infrared heat transfer.
While factory tinted glass will provide a better level of UV and heat protection than clear glass, it will not provide the level of protection a window film can.
Clear Window Films
As the use of privacy glass in automotive manufacturing has became more and more common, so too has the use of extremely light, almost clear window ceramic window films. Ceramic based window films applied to factory tinted glass ensure that these windows will provide the same level of protection as film tinted windows.
A good quality clear window film will reduce heat transfer through factory tinted glass by an additional 65%, and reduce infrared heat by 90% with select films and UV radiation by 99.9%.
Is it worth tinting over top of my cars factory privacy glass?
If you often have passengers (particularly young children) in the rear seats of your car, a clear ceramic window film will certainly keep them more comfortable and properly protected from harmful UV Rays.
Likewise, if you want to maximize fade protection in your new car, a clear ceramic window film will help keep UV and heat at a fairly even keel across the whole car.