Stere Depot in San Diego and El Cajon breaks down how window tinting works. If you want car tinted windows come to Stereo Depot.

Window tinting might have near-magical benefits (check them out here), but installation experts aren’t casting a spell to transform clear glass into a protective, chic-looking tinted glass. If you’re wondering how to tint your own car windows, the easy answer is “Don’t! Take it to a professional!” But if you’re simply curious and wondering how window tint works, here’s a quick guide:

What is tinted window film made of?

Automotive window tint is basically a high-tech sticker, made of a thin sheet of strong polyester laminate. Mostly clear, the sheet has an extra-thin layer of tinting agents (various metals and dyes) in a wide range from barely-shaded to limousine-dark. One side of the sheet has a scratch-resistant coating, while the other side features an adhesive to bond to the glass window.

How does tinting block sunlight?

The obvious answer is shade, but not all shade is created equal. What makes window tint especially powerful is its ability to block the sun’s radiant energy—the same energy that burns your skin when you’re not wearing sunblock. Aside from the visible light we can see, the sun pumps out infrared and ultraviolet (UV) rays; window tinting blocks about 99% of those dangerous UV rays, saving your interior—and your skin—from damage.

Why is tint installed on the inside of windows?

Short answer: longevity. The non-adhesive side of window tint might have scratch-resistant properties, but it’s only intended to handle the minor wear and tear expected from activity inside the car. Outside the car, weather and road debris would scratch, dent and otherwise damage the film  and significantly reduce its lifespan.

Does window tint affect night driving?

It doesn’t! One of the biggest myths about window tinting is that it impedes visibility in the dark. But most varieties of tinted window film maintain visibility in the dark and as a bonus, they’re designed to reduce glare.

How dark can I tint my windows?

Most state laws regulate which windows can be tinted and how dark the tint can be, which is why clear tints that still offer UV protection are available. Here’s what California has to say about window tint:

Sedans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

SUVs and vans:

  • Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side windows: Must allow more than 70% of light in.
  • Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used.
  • Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.

Still curious? Ask Stereo Depot in San Diego and El Cajon

At Stereo Depot, we offer not only a wide range of tinting options, but also a lifetime warranty on labor—that’s how confident we are in our trained specialists. If you have more questions about the benefits of window tinting or how it’s done, stop by one of our two stores in San Diego or El Cajon, or give us a call today at (619) 286-1234.