For car owners who want to have their windows tinted, dyed sheets have long been the traditional option. In fact, for several decades most window tinting products were either standard dyed sheets or “metalized” alternatives — and these products are still applied to vehicles today.
However, recent advances in technology have opened the door to new types of window tint. For example, car owners now have the option to purchase ceramic window tint instead of a standard dyed product.
Of course, both regular and ceramic window tint products have their own unique advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to know the differences between the two. Let’s discuss some key differences in more detail. First of all, we have to understand how regular window tint products work.
Regular Window Tinting
When we refer to “regular” window tint, we’re generally talking about dyed tint products. These are made out of thin sheets (usually laminate or polyester-based) that are dyed to predefined gradations. These gradations usually range from 10% to 90% — the lower the percentage, the more light is blocked, and the harder it is to see into the vehicle. (For example, a 50% tint results in very little darkness, and blocks only half of the light coming into the vehicle; whereas a 5% tint is so dark that it is illegal in several states.)
These sheets are usually dyed black, or a shade or brown or gray. However, there is some flexibility in the colors that are used. While these dyed tint products are excellent for blocking visible sunlight, they aren’t all that effective when it comes to preventing UV rays from entering the car’s interior and elevating the inside temperature. In fact, these tints can actually raise the thermal stress on your window glass — i.e., they can actually add more heat to your windows than was there before.
In addition to the dye itself, a scratch-resistant coating is also applied to these sheets. This coating is usually flimsy when it comes to protection against sharp objects and projectiles, although it works well enough for normal wear and tear.
Regular window tint products are the most affordable option on the market right now. They aren’t as durable as other sheets, but if budget is your main concern, then these may be your best bet. However, you may have to re-tint your car over and over again as a result.
Ceramic Window Tinting
Ceramic window tint products operate upon the same general principles as “regular” tints. For instance, ceramic tints also use thin sheets of laminate or polyester. So the question is: What makes them different from their standard counterparts?
In terms of their manufacture, ceramic tints have a key edge over other dyed products: as a result of advances in the field of nano-ceramics, they are coated with ceramic particles that can’t be seen by the naked eye. What these tiny ceramic particles do is reflect and block visible sunlight, infrared light, and UV rays. At the same time, there are certain things that ceramic window tint products do not block – for instance, they don’t interfere with Wi-Fi signals, radio waves, or cellular reception.
Due to their reflective properties, ceramic window tint products don’t add any additional thermal stress to the windows on which they are applied. Since they block UV rays, they also keep out the heat from the car’s interior. Moreover, ceramic tint products tend to be more structurally durable than other options on the market (e.g., they are less likely to scratch, rip, tear, or break when subjected to sudden force or steady pressure). Of course, all of these outstanding features make ceramic tinting one of the more expensive options in the automotive industry (as well as the residential sector).
The Pros and Cons of Dyed Tint
- Dyed (“regular”) tint is generally the most affordable product type on the market — so if you want a tint but don’t have the money to purchase one of the premium solutions, then dyed tint may be perfect for you.
- Dyed tint products do what they’re supposed to do: they block visible light and absorb some heat from the sun.
- Regular window tint products are great for people who value their privacy but aren’t worried about protection from UV rays or infrared light.
- Dyed tint products aren’t the most long-lasting solution on the market. They tend to fade and discolor at a significantly faster rate than their counterparts — which means that even if they never suffer severe damage from an external source, they may still need to be replaced at frequent intervals.
- Regular tinting doesn’t do very well at blocking UV rays or infrared light. This typically results in more interior heat and more thermal stress on the window itself.
- Dyed products can be damaged fairly easily compared to ceramic tints and other, more sturdy solutions.
- Dyed tinting with metallic components can interfere with cellular and Wi-Fi signals.
The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Tint
- Ceramic tint products have unsurpassed capabilities in terms of blocking visible sunlight, infrared light, and UV rays. That means they won’t contribute to high temperatures in your vehicle’s interior.
- Ceramic tint products won’t add any additional thermal stress to your windows. For instance, ceramic tinting may register a British thermal unit (BTU) reading that’s anywhere from 4 to 5 times lower than that of a standard dyed product.
- Ceramic products are non-metallic, which means you won’t have to worry about poor reception or Wi-Fi signals within your vehicle.
- Ceramic tinting offers the greatest degree of structural stability, and can endure forces that would scratch, tear, or rip regular tint products. This means you shouldn’t have to continually replace them under normal circumstances.
- Ceramic tints offer exceptional privacy without the negative side effects of dyed products.
- The only major downside to ceramic tint products is their pricing. Ceramic tinting options tend to be more expensive than regular dyed sheets, so they may not be the best option for you if pricing is your number #1 concern.
If you’d like more information on regular or ceramic window tinting, reach out to our team of experts today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.