Is Polarized Car Window Tint The Right Solution For You?
Polarized car window tint is an effective solution on the market for those looking to install tinted window film. To make sure you are in the best position to choose the right tint for your needs, this article runs through what polarized tint is and the various advantages of choosing a quality polarized tint for your car windows. It also answers some commonly asked questions such as how much this type of car window tint costs, how long it takes to install, and how to ensure you achieve a quality tint finish that will offer the best performance and look good on your car.
What is polarized car window tint?
The process of window tinting involves applying a thin film onto the surface of car window glass. Polarized car window tint is one of the various types of automotive window tint film. It has distinct properties which might make it the ideal fit for your needs.
If you’ve ever worn a pair of polarized sunglasses, you’ll be familiar with how this kind of lens can reduce glare, make images sharper, and boost colors by reducing the amount of reflected light that enters your eye. All of this makes for enhanced visual clarity and comfort.
Polarized technology is useful in situations where you may be subject to intense light or glare and must remain fully aware of your surroundings. For example, anglers often wear polarized sunglasses because they can help see clearly and spot fish beneath the water’s surface.
Polarized car window tint uses similar technology, with a special filtering film consisting of polarized tinted layers that block and reflect light in an efficient manner.
The (brief) science behind polarized tint
To understand the unique benefits of a polarized tint, we need a quick recap of those high school physics lessons on how light moves.
Basically, the light our eyes usually take in travels in all different directions at different wavelengths. But when light hits a flat reflective surface (such as water or wet roads) and bounces off, the way it is reflected means the light can have a more intense glare as more of the light is now traveling horizontally.
Polarizing filters reduce glare by blocking more of the light traveling at a horizontal angle. The principle is the same for sunglasses, automotive window tint, or indeed the polarized tint used for windows in buildings.
Why get polarized tinted windows?
People often assume that people chose car window tint for looks or privacy. But in fact, there are many other benefits to installing window film on your car.
Polarized window tint offers the same general functions as other types of tinting, with specific benefits in the optics department:
- Reduce glare and help you see your surroundings more clearly
- Keep your car cool by blocking solar energy from entering the car
- Protect the driver, passengers and car interior from harmful UV rays
- Make your car more secure
Before getting onto more practical considerations, let’s dig a little deeper into each of these functions so you can choose the best window tint for your vehicle.
1. See clearly and drive safely by reducing glare
All drivers have experienced how sudden glare from blinding sunlight or headlights can be distracting or even dangerous when it interferes with your ability to see what is going on around you.
Bright sunlight can create glare, especially if you are driving near surfaces that reflect light such as water, glass, or flat highways. Polarized car window tint mitigates this problem by reducing glare and excess light so you can see better and focus on driving safely.
As well as keeping you safe, polarized car window tint can make longer journeys more comfortable by toning down intense light sources. That means you can enjoy looking out at your surroundings without getting blinded by the sun or dazzling glare.
2. Window film can make your car cool (literally!)
Getting into a car that has been parked in the sun can feel like jumping into an oven. Polarized tint film helps to keep your car cool by blocking some of the sun’s rays and hence rejecting solar energy that would otherwise come in through the windows.
This protection is all the more important if you live in a warm place like Florida or Arizona. If you often use air conditioning while you drive, you’ll even find that car window tint can save you gas by reducing the need to use that fuel-hungry air conditioner.
Because of this function, installing tint film can not only enhance safety and comfort, it also makes cars less susceptible to heat and so more sustainable and cheaper to run.
3. Block those harmful UV rays
It’s easy to forget how much UV light you can be exposed to when sat in a car. UV rays are a leading factor in causing skin cancer and a growing concern with the breakdown of our ozone layer. Dermatologists recommend avoiding overexposure to the sun, which might be an issue if you spend extended periods in sunlight whilst in your car.
A quality polarized window film offers protection for you and your passengers by cutting out some of these harmful UV rays.
Not only that, tinting windows can also reduce damage to the interior of your car, as extended exposure to UV light can cause interior fabrics and other materials to fade or weaken.
4. Enhanced privacy and security
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of applying tinting to your car windows is that it gives you an extra bit of privacy from passersby and other people on the road. Not only that, but darkened tint film makes it more difficult for people to see if there are any enticing valuables inside your vehicle.
In the event that a thief does try to break into your vehicle, installing a window film can even slow them down by creating an additional barrier to get through.
Very important: Ensure your tint film is compliant with local laws
Why is auto tinting regulated?
Each state has different laws regulating how dark you are allowed to tint your windows. These laws are intended to ensure that drivers can see other vehicles better when on the road – for example, being able to see through other cars to what is beyond. These rules are also designed to ensure that law enforcement officers can see what is going on inside as they approach a vehicle.
State laws often set specific limits on the level of tint used on different windows in a car. These are stated in terms of Variable Light Transmission (VLT), which indicates the amount of light that can pass through the window.
Tinting laws vary across geography
The exact rules and limits on automotive tinting can vary considerably from state to state. For example, in Illinois, you can install a tint of 35% VTL on the side windows and rear window (i.e. tint that lets more than 35% of light through). In California, tint used on front side windows must let in at least 70% of light (i.e. 70% VTL), but there is no restriction on the level of tint in the rear window.
Some rules apply to how much of a window can be tinted and rules for the car windshield are generally stricter for safety reasons.
All of this can get pretty complex, so make sure you check local laws before tinting your windows or driving a car that was equipped with window film in another jurisdiction. Too dark, and you might find yourself getting pulled over and getting a ticket.
Moving ahead: The value of a professional tinting service
Choosing a high-quality tint film is essential, but ultimately it will only perform well and look right if it is installed properly. Even minor flaws like a small piece of lint on the window or allowing very small bubbles to form can affect the qualities of the tint and make the finished result look unprofessional.
For the best results, your best bet is to speak to a professional who can help guide you through the process and different brands, choose the right product film for your needs, and complete the installation to a high standard.
While it is possible to order tint film and do the job yourself, DIY window tinting can take much longer and lead to unsatisfactory outcomes. If done incorrectly, you might end up ruining the tint kit or even damaging your car windows. Leaving the job to a dedicated professional can save you time and even money while ensuring you get the best tint for your vehicle.
Another advantage of using a professional service is that the specialist can advise you on relevant state laws and ensure the tinting on your vehicle is in full compliance so you can avoid getting a ticket.
So, come to us at Tinting Chicago if you want to get the most out of your polarized car tint. Our qualified specialists can ensure that the job is done efficiently and to the highest standards, complete with a limited one-year warranty, so you can enjoy a safer, more comfortable drive.
* This service by a special request only, please call us for details.
** Limited 1 year warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the benefits of tinting outlined in this article sound appealing, you’re probably wondering about the practicalities of the process. We’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions below so you can figure out what solution works for you.
How long does it take to apply tint?
Installing window tint is a relatively quick and efficient job for a professional - you can figure on having the job done in a couple of hours so it won’t be long before you can get back on the road.
What type of tint should I choose?
Various kinds of tint have different properties, advantages and drawbacks. No one solution will be the best for everyone -it really depends on your priorities.
For example, some types offer better durability and performance in terms of blocking light but you will have to splash out significantly more for them. On the other hand, some of the most basic cheap tints can fade with age (if you've ever seen cars with purple windows, this is probably the reason). Certain metallic tints can even interfere with your cellphone reception.
If you are considering polarized tint, our specialists can guide you through the options to see what the best solution for you is.
Can polarized car window tint be removed?
Tinted windows offer many advantages so usually people wouldn’t want to remove the film once it has been installed. But there could be cases when this is necessary, such as if the car is to be driven by someone with different preferences or it is being sold into another jurisdiction with different tinting laws. Whatever the reason, removing tint is a pretty straightforward process that can be done with common tools such as a hairdryer and razor blade.
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