Why do people darken the windows on their car? It’s a common practice, but what’s the point? For most people, there are three answers to that question. The first is privacy. People can’t see into a dark window very easily, so they don’t know what you’re doing while in your vehicle. The second is to block sunlight. Sunlight can damage the interior of the car, and it makes the vehicle a lot hotter. The third is security. If people can’t see things inside the car, they have less incentive to break into it.
If any of that sounds compelling, then you might want to look into darkened windows. You’ll find that there are two popular options: privacy glass and window tint. We can take a look at each to see which might be right for you.
What Is Privacy Glass?
Privacy glass is a type of glass used on motor vehicles. It is dyed during the manufacturing process, which means you cannot add privacy layers to a window after it is installed. The dye has to be added when the glass is made.
The added dye darkens the window to reduce the amount of light that goes through it. This makes it harder for people to see into the vehicle. It also blocks sunlight to reduce the amount of solar energy that passes through the window.
Because of varied state laws, privacy glass is typically only available on rear side windows. Front windows, windshields, and rear windows are not allowed to have pigment beyond a certain level (which is different in each state). So to stay in compliance across the country, privacy glass is avoided for any of these windows.
What Is Window Tint?
Tint is a film that is applied to glass after the glass is installed. The quality and efficacy of the tint vary based on the manufacturer and installation process. In general, tint is designed to reduce solar passthrough in the windows of your car. Technically, any window can be tinted, but for the sake of comparison, let’s stick to automotive window tints.
Tint can block visible light to make it harder to see into the vehicle. This is the privacy and security component. If it is harder to see into a vehicle, potential thieves are less likely to spot something they might want to steal from inside.
Tint also can be used to block UV rays. UV sunlight is the primary cause of sun damage, which can rot and otherwise harm any and all things inside of your car. Sun damage is common on dashboards and seats in vehicles that get too much exposure.
Additionally, tint can block infrared sun rays. These are rays that carry a lot of heat and can cause your car to get very hot in direct sunlight. It’s why your vehicle can regularly get 20 degrees hotter than the outdoor air temperature. Blocking infrared rays dramatically cools the vehicle.
It is important to touch on state tinting laws. Most states only allow 30% of visible light to be blocked by window tint. This is to help with driver visibility, and there are some that argue window tint creates safety hazards.
Regardless of the motivation, the laws are in place. Because window tint is done aftermarket, it is important to only enlist services from qualified tint professionals who can guarantee that their work stays within regulations.
How Are They Different?
Ultimately, we are discussing two different methods that pursue the same goals. They are trying to filter sunlight for the sake of privacy, coolness, and protection.
Because tint films are applied after the window is installed, they are more variable. You can get specific tint values to do the things you want. If you’re worried about UV rays, you can opt for a tint that has high levels of UV blockage while letting in a lot of visible light. That’s just one example. The takeaway is that tint is more customizable in terms of performance.
On the other hand, privacy glass is put together during manufacturing. This makes the glass considerably stronger. It also means that there is no film that can bubble or degrade over time. Privacy glass will retain its light-blocking properties for the life of the vehicle (unless the window itself is damaged).
Which Is Right for You?
So which one is the better choice? It really depends on what you want. If you have specific ideas of what your light-blocking treatment should do, window tint is better than privacy glass. If you want something permanent that you never have to worry about, privacy glass is the way to go.
Whatever you choose, you will always need reliable window experts who can take care of the glass. For that, you can always rely on Advanced Auto Glass. Contact us today, and we’ll discuss all your window needs.