www.technicaltinting.comWhether for a vehicle, home or commercial application when referringto window tint film, one of the most important characteristics is howmuch light the tint allows to pass through. In most applications, this isimportant when attempting to gauge how much security, privacy andprotection from heat and harmful UV rays a tint offers. In automotiveapplications, however it is especially critical as a number of stateshave laws limiting how dark the tint can be on a vehicle’s windows. Asa result, window tinting manufacturers have created a method forcalculating how much light a window tint allows to pass through it.However, there are a few things to consider when discussing thedarkness of a window tint.
www.technicaltinting.com Regardless of the application, all window tint film is measured by the materials visible lighttransmission levels (VLT). The VLT value is the percentage of visible light the tint allows through from the exterior ofa vehicle, building or home to the interior. The lower the VLT percentage, the darker the tint isand the more outside light it blocks. A window tint that has a VLT value of 5% indicates that the window film only permits 5% ofthe exterior light to pass through it, while a film with a 50% VLT value allows 50% of the lightfrom outside to pass through. In addition, because window tints are also offered in a variety of colors whenprofessionals are referring to a tint they typically identify it by the tint’s color and VLT value.For example, a charcoal colored tint with a VLT of 5% is known as charcoal 5%. Likewise, agreen colored tint film with a VLT of 50% is called green 50%.
www.technicaltinting.com While many might assume that the VLT of a window tint is the only factor to considerwhen calculating the final VLT of installed window tint, there is one additional aspect that mustbe considered. Every piece of glass, regardless of the application, blocks a certain amount of light. As aresult, glass also has its own VLT value, which must be accounted for in order to determinethe installed window tint’s final VLT value. For example, if a state law indicated that the lowestlegal VLT value for a tinted car window was 30% and an individual were to install a windowtint with a 30% VLT rating, the windows final VLT rating would actually fall below the legal limitbecause of the window’s natural VLT value. Because of this, window tinting professionals use a simple formula to calculate theinstalled window tint’s final VLT value:V1 (VLT value of glass) x V2 (VLT value of tint) = V3 (final VLT value)
www.technicaltinting.com Let’s assume, for example, the legal limit for the window tint of a vehicle is 30% and thevehicles glass has a VLT value of 75%. In this case, since we already know the VLT value ofthe window and the final VLT value we want to achieve we simply need to rearrange theformula to calculate the proper tint to install as follows:V3 (final VLT value) ÷ V1 (VLT of glass) = V2(VLT value of tint)0.30 (30%) ÷ 0.75 (75%) = .40 (40%) According to this formula, installing a window tint with a VLT value of 40% will result in afinal VLT value of 30% as desired. Professional installers using this formula save theircustomers a significant amount of money not only in traffic tickets for illegally tinted windows,but also in the reinstallation of window tint which most traffic courts require when a driverreceives a ticket for illegally tinted windows.
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