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FAQ: Home and Office Window Tinting

Benefits of Window Tinting

Gain Privacy

Window tinting films provide privacy from the side with the most light. This means that during the day when the amount of light outside is greater than it is inside, people inside a building can see out but those outside cannot see in.

  • The greater the difference between the level of lighting outside a building and inside the building the greater is the difficulty in seeing into the building.

  • On overcast days or at dawn and dusk when the difference between inside and outside light levels is ess, privacy is reduced.

Window tinting films that permit less than 25% of the light to pass through (eg. Ambiance 25) provide excellent privacy. As the amount of light passing through the film increases, privacy is reduced.

  • The Ambiance 40, which permits 38% of the light to pass through, makes it a little more difficult to see inside while the ClearView ICE 60, which allows 64% of the light to      pass through, and appears clear on the glass, provides no privacy.

  • The ClearView ICE 60 and ClearView 75 are an excellent choice for shopfronts where shopowners want customers to see in but also want to protect stock against sun damage.

We are often asked whether window films provide privacy at night? The answer is no.

As outlined above window films use the difference in the level of lighting between the inside and outside of the building to provide privacy. Basically, we humans can see from the dark into the light but not the reverse. At night curtains or blinds must be drawn for privacy.

  • Alternatively, a frosted film can be installed to provide privacy both day and night

Reduce Glare

Glare is a word used to describe excessive light. To reduce or eliminate glare you need to reduce the amount of light entering the room. However, care must be taken to avoid blocking too much light and making the room "feel" dark.

Reduce Sun Damage and Fading

Short Answer: Window tinting films reduce the rate of fading by blocking 99% of the ultra violet (UV) spectrum and by reducing heat and light. A film like Ambiance 75 which blocks 99% of the UV spectrum, 75% of the Infra-red spectrum (heat) and 77% of the visible light spectrum will reduce the rate of fading of carpets, curtains and furnishings by about 78%. This means your things will last a lot longer – the amount of fading that would normally be expected after 3 years will take 10 years with the film installed.

Solar control films save energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions

Windows are one of two major sources of heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter (the other is the roof). Window tinting is the most cost effective form of building insulation and will significantly improve the thermal performance of the windows. Homes and offices are cooler in summer with window tinting, rejecting up to 80% of the sun's heat, and retaining warmth in winter, preventing up to 30% of heat loss.

Where a building is air-conditioned, the installation of window tinting will reduce the heat load on the air conditioner and save energy. This will reduce your electricity bill and because you consume less energy you help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power stations which contributes to global warming. The typical pay back in commercial building is 2 - 3 years.{/slide}{slide=What is heat?} Heat is energy from the sun. This energy is in the form of ultraviolet (UV), visible light, and infrared (IR) radiation. These different forms of radiation have different wavelengths measured in nanometres (nm) as shown in this diagram.

solar spectrum                       

Some of this energy we want in our home and some we would prefer to keep out.

  • Visible light stops our home feeling dark, but too much light (glare) is uncomfortable.

  • Ultraviolet light causes furniture, carpets and curtains to fade and can damage our skin and eyes so it is best to keep this out.

  • Infrared radiation keeps us warm, but too much can make our home feel hot.

  • Many products have been developed to control the effects of the sun.

  • Window tinting is the most popular and cost effective option.

Film Selection

Identify your priorities

What do you want to achieve?
Will window tinting make my home feel dark?

It has long been recognised that solar energy can be reflected away from a window and the earliest window films were highly reflective
(eg. Mirror Tint). These films were very effective at blocking heat but they also blocked the light and many people didn’t like their shiny appearance.


Film manufacturers then made films that were non-reflective. These films absorbed the heat into the glazing system and re-radiated much of the heat outside. These films worked by shading the windows from the sun (much like shade cloth) which meant that films that achieved the highest heat reduction also blocked the most light, and many people complained that it made their home feel dark.

As a result, concern about window tinting films making a home feel dark is now very common. And it is true, standard window tinting films achieve heat reduction by shading the window. This means the level of natural light entering the room falls as the heat reduction of the film increases. Typically, a standard window tinting film that achieves 70% heat reduction will block 80% to 90% of the natural light from entering the room and make it "feel" dark. On overcast days artificial lighting will be necessary.

How do Smart Films control heat and not make a home "feel" dark?

The latest technology Smart Films are made from exotic materials with unique spectral properties (ie. materials that will block or transmit solar energy depending on the wavelength). This means Smart Films can block the heat (wavelengths 700 – 2100 nanometres) and the ultraviolet (wavelengths 280 – 400 nanometres) but let through visible light (wavelengths 400 – 700 nanometres) so your home won’t feel dark.

Spectrally selective Smart Films achieve high heat reduction by selectively blocking parts of the light spectrum. The wavelengths associated with infrared and ultraviolet light are blocked while visible light is allowed to pass through. This means a clear spectrally selective film can achieve quite high heat reduction. However, a clear window tinting film will not provide the glare reduction or the privacy some people may seek. Smart Films Ambiance 25 film blocks 75% of the infrared and 99% of the ultraviolet spectrum and blocks only as much natural light necessary to eliminate harsh glare and provide privacy. This window tinting film does reduce the level of natural light entering a room but the reduction is not discernable to most people. The film creates what most people describe as a softer, more pleasant, lighting environment – hence the film name Ambiance.

Smart Films offer a no compromise solution to heat, glare and fading. There is a Smart Film to fulfil the specific requirements of most people. What are your priorities?

Film Installation

Is the window tinting film installed on the inside or outside of the glass?

Inside

Do I need to clean the windows before the window tinting film is installed, ... or do anything?

No.

The installers will thoroughly clean the glass prior to film installation. It would be appreciated if larger objects placed near windows could be moved to provide a clear work area. If security bars are installed on the inside of windows, these will need to be removed before the window tinting film can be installed.

What is the installation process?

The window tinting film is pre-cut in our workshop to your window size prior to arrival for installation. The glass is thoroughly cleaned to remove dust and grease. A small amount of soapy water is then sprayed on the glass and on the film to activate the adhesive. The window tinting film is then placed in position and the moisture squeegeed out. The film is then trimmed to the edge of the glass leaving 1–2mm gap to allow for expansion of the glass without damage to the film.

How long does it take to dry?

This largely depends on the amount of direct sunlight that strikes the window and the time of year. During summer on a west-facing window all moisture will evaporate away in about a week. During winter on a south or east-facing window the moisture may take a month or even longer to completely disappear

Is there a film installation standard?

Film Maintenance

Will the film bubble?

Bubbles may appear in film for three reasons:

1. Retained Moisture. It is quite common for any moisture used to clean and apply the film that remains under the film after final squeegeeing to pool into a moisture blister. This becomes most evident on the 3rd or 4th day after installation. These moisture blisters will slowly diminish in size and will completely evaporate away. Moisture bubbles are not a concern. How long it takes for a moisture blister to completely evaporate away is a function of the amount of direct sunlight received on the window and the time of year.

2. Air Bubbles. During installation all air should be squeegeed out. Occasionally, while there is still moisture under the film air may creep back under the film near an edge or the installer may have missed small air pockets during squeegeeing. Air bubbles appear “white” when viewed from outside and do not disappear. The installer must be notified as soon as possible to return to the job and squeegee out the air.

3. Adhesive Failure. Some years after installation the adhesive on lower quality films may break down and let go from the glass. This is a common sight on cars. The failure of adhesive is covered by warranty.

What is covered by the window film warranty?

The films are warranted against bubbling (adhesive failure), peeling, cracking, crazing and delaminating for the full period of the warranty and will be replaced free of charge if defective. Fully metallised films are also warranted against fading/colour change

Warranty

Are window tinting films easy to clean?

Yes.

An occasional wipe with a soft damp cloth is all that is required to remove dust. Greasy finger marks can easily be removed by adding a drop of dishwashing detergent to the water. And unlike glass the film does not dry streaky. So window cleaning will be less of a chore.

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