Window tinting and sun protection – does darkening your windows make you safe from UV rays?

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Recently I’ve learned there are many things one must consider when looking for a new car – before handing over cash for that new set of wheels. According to my “car enthusiast” boyfriend, one must look at the make, model, fuel efficiency, cost per kilometer to drive, and, most importantly, safety – does it have ABS brakes? Curtain airbags? How well does it protect you in a collision?

The conversations have generally gone like this:

Him: What would happen if a tree fell over in the middle of the freeway right in front of you?

Me: Huh? Why would a tree be near the freeway?

Him: I’m being serious, you need ABS brakes.

Me: But I really like this (insert car model here), look, it’s so shiny.

Him: But it doesn’t have any safety features!

Me: But it’s so pretty.

Him: Sigh …

While many people consider these safety features, one of the things many of us don’t consider when purchasing a car, is protection for our skin against UV rays. At Cancer Council, we get asked a lot about whether or not people should get their windows tinted to protect from high levels of UV radiation, which can cause skin cancer.

So, should you shell out for tinting on your windows to keep your skin safe from UV? Opinions vary on how much protection window tinting offers, but as a general rule, you should be wary of any car dealers selling that car which was owned by “one little old lady” and has “100% protection against the sun because of its window tinting.”

Research shows that window tinting in cars offers some protection against UV radiation.

As the Cancer Council Australia Position statement states:

  • UV radiation levels inside a car vary depending on factors such as whether the side windows are open or closed and the orientation of the vehicle with respect to the sun. 
  • They are generally much lower than outside in full sunlight, varying from as low as 4% up to 50% of the ambient UV radiation outside the vehicle.
  • Clear auto glass (side windows) blocks about 97% of the UVB radiation and about 37% of UVA radiation. 
  • Laminated windscreens block all of the UVB radiation and about 80% of the UVA radiation.
  • Clear windscreen films can reduce the transmission of UVR further so that as much as 97% of the UVA is blocked. This depends on the quality of film used.
  • Clear or tinted films can also reduce the amount of UVA and UVB penetrating through the side glass. The amount of protection varies with different products.

So, our recommendation is that if you’re not spending a lot of time in the car with your children every day, there’s really no need to get window tinting. However, it’s a wise choice if you’re spending much of your day behind the wheel such as a salesperson or a truck driver would.

Cancer Council also recommends:

  • People – mums, dads, and kids included – use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when out and about in the car when UV levels are high (3 or above) – especially if you’re planning on being in the car for a long time.
  • Keep your windows up to ensure the tinting is covering your exposed skin to ensure added protection – use air conditioning if you have it (if not see the point above).
  • As per the above, tints can vary but we recommend a better quality tint if you want to get your own. However, you should also be aware that if you’re planning to get your car windows tinted, there are tinting levels you can’t exceed.

The National Road Traffic Act requires a minimum luminous (light) transmission for certain windows as follows:

  • Windscreen 75%.
  • Driver and passenger front windows 70%.
  • Windows behind the driver’s seat (excluding internal windows) 35%.

These regulations may vary between states and territories.

If you’re planning some road trips this summer (or even if you’re not), remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide to protect yourself from skin cancer. You can also download the free SunSmart phone app to check out skin protection times.

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Cons of DIY window tinting

While doing the job yourself can be satisfying, it is best if you know its disadvantages as well. They will help you to make the best decision possible. Its disadvantages include:

    1. Not an easy task: While it isn’t impossible to install the tints, doing it professionally is undoubtedly difficult. Irrespective of whether you are experienced in other repairs, this one calls for an entirely different set of skills. Thus if it’s your first time doing it, you will definitely face challenges.
    2. Lack of an adequate working space: To install these tints successfully, you will need a clean and spacious room. Again, the room ought to be dust-free. Even the slightest dust particles can easily tamper with the process. Thus, it may be challenging to do it on your own.
    3. Legality: Car modifications and repairs are regulated across the country. However, while we do have resources, we ought to let you know that some are illegal. Different states may have different jurisdictions, but mostly they will be similar. By purchasing the tints and doing the work yourself, you are accepting the legal liabilities that come with it.

Be aware of car tinting laws by searching online resources

Again, even when you know you’ve complied with all the rules, a DIY kit isn’t enough for states that require some certification for the tints.

Cons of a Professional Installation

Are they experienced? Often, we may assume that the person we have hired is experienced in the job. At times, however, that may not be the case. You, therefore, should ensure you have seen some of their past work, or even reviews from satisfied customers if they have a website. Being prudent will ensure you have hired the right person.

Otherwise, you may end up hiring inexperienced or untrained personnel which in turn could result in losses. Don’t believe a word they say without some proof.

Cost: While cost is a significant factor some individuals may give cheaper quotations and in the end give unsatisfying services. Mostly, a professional will charge higher than the price of DIY, but in the end, the results will be worth it. Don’t only go for an individual with the lowest price as they likely to a shady job.

Don't skimp on car tinting windows prices or you might not get professional quality and end up with bubbles

Quality: Most professional contractors will have quality materials to choose from, but this won’t always be the case. But, some may have counterfeit and poor services. This may end up being more expensive than DIY.

It is advisable to go for the longest-serving companies in your area as they most likely to have the most experienced employees. Also be sure to inspect their premises for modern equipment, a clean environment, licensing and a valid insurance cover. There aren’t many contractors to choose from, so ensure you have secured the most reliable one. Chances are the garage you take it to has other types of work on the books.

A dirty environment is an indication of poor services. A professional should ensure they perform the installation cleanly, and in case of an accident, their insurance cover should be able to compensate for the same. With these, you should be able to reach a good decision. However, we highly recommend hiring a professional instead of doing the job yourself. You will be able to note the difference, and the job will also be satisfying.

Written by the experts at Los Angeles Window Tinting Pros who you can find here:

Los Angeles Window Tinting Pros
5042 Wilshire Blvd Unit 33427 Los Angeles, CA 90036 United States
+1 323-306-0524

Pros of DIY window tinting

1. Budget friendliness: With the many DIY tutorials on the internet, you can accomplish the task. However, just like with most automotive accessories, quality varies with price. Therefore, while the budget is an important factor, so is the durability and ease of installation.

2. The ease of fitting with the pre-cut kits: The availability of pre-cut kits makes it easier to install them on your own than with the whole sheets. These kits are designed to fit into your windows right from the box. They are also much user-friendlier than past designs.

Different manufacturers have different pre-cut kits for hundreds of models of cars; shop for the particular car, and you could possibly save some cash.

DIY window tinting for cars is easy with video tutorials that show step by step instructions

3. Less expensive: Apparently, taking the DIY route will save you some money. But, if you are worried about making mistakes, then you can try our discounted replacements kits.

4. Self-reliance: Successful installation of the tints gives you some sense of accomplishment. A job done well means you can take pride in yourself.

Pros of a Professional Installation

If you choose to go the professional way, then here are the benefits:

Experienced Installation: An expert will have the necessary tools and skills to deal with the most of the challenging situations.

Additionally, the outcome will be compelling: probably better than yours.

Professional car window tint completed

Guarantee: Any reputable shop will guarantee its work. If you aren’t contented with some of their services, they will be willing to make it right. Therefore, the results will be worth it.

Saves time: While doing it yourself might be cheap, it may end up frustrating you or even make it more expensive. For instance, you could break the glass while in the process. As a result, it is advisable to go for an expert as they can install it quickly thereby saving you some time.

Similarly, it could be cheaper to hire a professional in other areas than to do the job yourself. Shop around and make sure a company you are to hire is insured. It could be advantageous in the event of an accident.

Additionally, you should consider hiring professional with shops, the right paperwork, and experience in the particular field. This ensures you get quality services. The state’s regulations should also be considered and where possible have some certification; you might visit a state requiring the same.

5 Cons of DIY Tinting

If you have been reading our blogs, you should be aware that tinting makes for a great way to reduce glare, minimize heat and enhance privacy. When looking to tint their car windows, consumers can choose to either hire a professional or do it themselves using a DIY window-tinting kit. While a DIY process will be less costly, a professional installation has its own benefits.

In summary, below are five major reasons why you should avoid at home DIY window tinting kits.

Familiarity with local tinting regulations

Image of judges gavel to be familiar with car window tinting laws

Law enforcement agencies consider dark windows to be a safety concern when they make a traffic stop. This is why a good number of cities limit how dark people can tint their windows. Majority of professional window tinting companies are up to date with the relevant regulations. While there are those that will provide tint that is darker than what is legal, most companies will ensure that you do not get in trouble with the law. With DIY kits, you will not have such an assurance and may end up being impounded, pulled over or fined. In such cases, ignorance of the law will be no defense.

Film quality, usability, and durability

Apart from when you buy an expensive, high-quality tint kit, there is a chance that the film in your DIY window tint kit will be of lower quality than the one a professional will use. In case you are doing it for the first time, you will find it hard working with window film since a slight breeze can cause it to crinkle or crease and dust may also stick to the film. At the same time, the amount of money you will pay for a higher grade film will be almost the same as the cost of a professional installation.

Quality car tinting durability

They use high-grade film in order to avoid crinkles, creases, air bubbles and debris.

There are no second chances

As much as you may apply window tint film on your vehicle window successfully, you may not do a perfect job. When this happens, you may want to try again. However, the sticky adhesive that keeps the film on auto glass makes it harder to remove window film than to apply it. This means that if you remove the film to apply it again, you will require a new set of films, a factor that will increase your costs and erase DIY savings.

No warranty, No returns

They will do the job again and give you a warranty replacement in the event you have a problem with our tint job. However, when you make a mistake when tinting windows on your own, you will have to buy another kit in order to redo the job. Once you have applied the film to your window, you cannot remove and return it to the store. This means that DIY kits will not allow you to enjoy warranties.

Installation is extremely affordable

The main reason why people go for window tinting is to protect the interior of their car from fading and cracking and also protect the occupants. In this light, some people opt for DIY kits in an attempt to save money. However, low-grade films for tinting windows do not have the necessary features to offer this kind of protection.

Rather than offering protection from the harmful effects of the sun, the low-grade films will at best give an extra shade inside the cars. As such, you may want to hire a professional to install a mid-grade or high-grade window tint.

How to Tint Your Car Windows

Car window tinting is a popular car customization technique nowadays. It provides you with complete privacy. You will also be safe from the sun’s UV rays. The tint increases visibility by reducing the blinding light from the sun. It’s also a security measure because burglars won’t be able to see any goodies inside your car. The tint will keep you cool during summer and will protect your car interior such as the dashboard from fading.

There are lots of dealers out there who can tint your car, at a fee of course. However, car tinting is not a difficult task. You can do it yourself. This article will guide you on how to tint your car in five simple steps.

1. Clean the Window Glass Thoroughly

Clean window glass thoroughly when doing at home window tinting

Cleaning the windows is the first and most important step in car tinting. Don’t take any shortcuts and thoroughly remove any dirt or dust. Failure to do so can make your tint appear bumpy. To effectively clean the windows, use adequate water and soap, or preferably use a well-known glass cleaner. It’s recommendable to carry out tinting in an enclosed area, to avoid dust or dirt from settling on the windows after washing.

2. Measure the Window Sizes Accurately

Make sure you get the correct measurements of your windows. Don’t forget to have an additional two inches for every window. Don’t estimate. It’s best if you use a measuring tape for accuracy.

3. Evenly Cut the Tint

Cutting film evenly for auto window tinting

The third step entails cutting the tint as per the measurements of each window. Make sure that you include the extra two inches. It’s best if the tint is bigger than the window size because this guarantees that it will fit perfectly.

4. Installation

When installing the tint, you should spray the application solution on the glass. Gently remove the adhesive backing of the film. Begin placing the tint on the window. The sticky side should be in direct contact with the glass. Apply the tint from the bottom going upwards.

5. Smooth Out the Bubbles

Smoothing out the bubbles for automotive window tinting

Gently smooth out the bubbles that will have formed in between the glass and the tint. You can use a hand squeegee to remove the bubbles. Spraying hot water on to the glass can make smoothing out of the bubbles easier. With the help of a razor, cut off the excess film. Make sure the tint is covering the entire window.

It’s advisable to buy a window tint that comes with a manual on how to clean the windows. However, you should avoid any harsh window cleaners because it can make your tint fade easily. After installing your tint, avoid rolling your windows for three to four days.

Following the above steps will help you properly install tint to your car windows. It’s not a complicated task, but you should ensure you have all the materials. Applying the tint yourself will save you some cash. If you, however, incur any difficulties, don’t refrain from approaching a professional.

Why Tint Your Car? The Top 6 Reasons

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Car tint is usually installed for one or two main reasons depending on the personal preferences and needs of the owner. However, there are many additional benefits to tint that not many car owners have considered and which make tint an all-around amazing idea no matter which way you look at it. Here are the top 6 reasons to get your car tinted:

  1. Better Driving

Driving with the sun directly in your face isn’t just an annoyance – it can be deadly. Car window tint shields your eyes and prevents glare from all sources of extreme light so you’ll never be caught driving badly due to no fault of your own.

  1. Awesome Privacy

Let’s face it, in some of the more unsavory parts of town it’s always a good idea to keep a low profile. Cart tint guards your personal privacy no matter where are you. And not only that, but it also protects the things inside your car when you’re not around. No more stashing your valuables out of sight every time you park!

  1. Upholstery Protection

The heat and UV rays from direct sunlight can turn your upholstery into a mess in a few short years, but did you know this is highly preventable? Car tint keeps your car interior from getting hot enough to warp, fade, or crack, and blocks up to 90% of harmful UV rays from entering.

  1. Shatter Proofing

Tint helps to keep your car’s window from shattering upon impact with an object or in the event of an accident. This can go a long way to protecting the health and lives of your passengers if anything unexpected happens on the road.

  1. Keeping Cool

With the right window tint, you can reduce the heat inside your car in the scorching summer months by up to 60%. Keep the heat out and never worry about pitching up at work drenched in sweat ever again.

  1. Staying Healthy

Direct sunlight and the associated UV rays don’t just damage your skin and accelerate aging, it can also cause skin cancer over a prolonged period of exposure. Reduce harmful UV rays by up to 99% by installing quality car tint.


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