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Window Tint: How Dark Should I Go? Let’s Find Out!

window tinting by american wrap companyInstalling window tints can be one of the best decisions you make. Other than increasing the aesthetics of your vehicles, they can go a long way into improving your privacy while driving. Even better, window tints help to regulate the internal heat of your car, which can easily help reduce the amount of energy you spend on cooling it during hot summer days.

Since tints also help to regulate the penetration of UV rays, they can help reduce the chances that you will develop skin cancer from excessive exposure. One aspect that can affect the effectiveness of your window tints is the level of darkness you choose to have them in. While you might want to choose excessively dark window tints, there are laws that you need to follow as well as considerations to make.

Read on to know how dark your window tints should be:

Why Regulate Window Tint Darkness

While you might want as much privacy as possible by using window tints, it might actually end up being a safety hazard. For instance, if your windows are too dark, it might be tough to see while driving. You might think that this might not apply for side and back windows, but it does. Installing window tints that are too dark introduces blind spots to your line of sight.

On the other hand, the law regulates window tints for security reasons. Take an example of a police officer approaching your vehicle. They might want to see the driver as well as examine whatever is inside the car. In a nutshell, the laws are concerned with the light transmittance and the luminous reflectance capabilities of your windows.

The Basics of Tint Laws

Different states have different tint laws. For instance, a state might allow drivers to have a rating of at least 70% VLT (visible light transmission), meaning that all vehicles should have at least 70% of visibility. In case the VLT is less than 70%, you are non-compliant with the law. However, some states might have more lax requirements than others, and it all trickles down to the weather conditions of the state.

For instance, in Alaska, where road visibility is quite poor, the VLT is quite high compared to Florida. For the former, the fact that there is enough sunlight to let light into your car reduces the danger of using dark window tints. Even in the states with great weather, however, there still has to be a minimum VLT percentage to allow police officers enough visibility into your vehicle, especially in the front seats.

The Law Also Varies With Window Location

You need to observe different window tint darkness levels depending on the location of the windows you are dealing with. For instance, while California tint laws allow for front side windows to have a minimal VLT of 70%, the laws that govern the rear side and rear windows are a little bit laxer. As for Arizona, the front side and rear side windows are allowed a minimum VLT of 25%, with the rear window being allowed a minimum of 10%.

When it comes to windshields, majority of the state laws require little to no window tint. Some laws also have provisions on the number of stickers and decals that can appear on a windshield as well as the specifics of where you place them. In regard to the color of the tint, most states are against mirrored material, one-way glass, or other opaque materials. This is because these items easily eliminate visibility.

Medical Necessity Exemptions

Tint laws have exemptions. This mostly applies to individuals who have certain medical conditions that can be exaggerated by too much exposure to sun rays. Different states include different diseases in their exemptions. Some of these medical conditions include:

  • Melanoma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Bloom syndrome
  • Lichen planusactinus
  • Actinic folliculitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Pellagra
  • Hydroa vacciniforme
  • Solar urticaria

If you are part of the exemption for these laws, you have to carry the right documentation every time you are using your car as proof. The documents should prove that you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is exacerbated by exposure to excessive sunlight. The diagnosis should be made by a licensed medical professional. The documents should also outline the specific UV exposure required to meet the medical condition requirements as well as the length of time you should limit your exposure to UV light.

You should also have documentation stating the specific vehicle the tint exemption is applied. If you are not certain of whether you meet the tint law requirements, you can always have your vehicle tested.

Choosing the Right Window Tints

When choosing between window tint options, it is vital to understand the tint laws in your areas. This includes the different requirements for all windows. As long as the tint darkness you choose doesn’t cross the minimum requirement, you can choose to keep your windows as dark as possible. This also trickles down to the level of privacy you want while driving your car- darker windows will offer you more privacy.

Also, you should concentrate on the level of UV rays protection that a tint option offers you. The best options should protect you from both UVA and UVB radiation, which can lead to skin cancer. It is wise to seek a solution that offers you this protection over the long term. It should also be quite easy to maintain the material you opt for.

What Makes Ceramic Tints Effective Enough?

Ceramic tints are a great option as they contain non-conductive particles. This can be quite effective in regulating the level of heat in your vehicle, lowering your energy budget. Other than helping you block out harmful UV rays, the tint doesn’t fade away, unlike other sub-par tint options. Also, it doesn’t interfere with your car’s electronic signals.

The right window tint darkness level should improve your privacy, make it comfortable enough to drive in your car as well as protect you from the effects of UV rays. However, compliance with tint laws should be a priority when choosing one. Contact the American Wrap Company today for quality window tinting solutions or insights.

Tyler O'Hara

Owner/Founder at American Wrap Company
Ever since I was a young boy in elementary school I have dreamt of working on cars. My mom still has a folder of sketches that were takin away from me because I was drawing cars during class. I have always had a deep passion for cars, trucks, motorcycles and any thing fast! When I’m not working I love to escape from the city with my dogs and go camping, fishing, surfing, dirt biking and anything else outdoors and away from the city! I was born and raised in Thousand Oaks California and have lived in Ventura County most of my life. I was raised by a middle class blue collar family and was taught to have strong values. I have a very high level of respect, honesty, integrity, kindness to all people and compassion.
Tyler O'Hara

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