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Things to Know About Auto Window Tint Percentages

Automotive window tint has plenty of uses, such as adding privacy to the vehicle and providing UV-ray protection to keep occupants and the car interior safe from sun damage. Installing window tints also helps regulate your automobile’s indoor climate for a more comfortable driving experience. In addition, it is also an inexpensive way to enhance your vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.

When you decide to have your auto windows tinted, it is important to understand the different tint percentages and other relevant information involved in the process. If you do not know where to start, the following guide will help you learn about the matter.

Window Tinting Terminology

You might come across particular terms when going over your window tinting plans with a window tint technician. Therefore, it is sound practice to familiarize these terminologies to make the discussion easier.

Here are some commonly used terms in window tinting:

  • Factory tint – Auto windows are not all made to be 100% clear. They are often tinted during factory production in which the shade is embedded in the glass, meaning it cannot be removed but can be tinted over with aftermarket tint.

  • Aftermarket tint – As the name implies, an aftermarket tint is a thin film applied onto your car window’s interior surface post-manufacturing. Several types of these films are available in the market, and they vary in thickness and material.

  • Visible Light Transmission or VLT – This is the amount of visible light that can penetrate through the window tint and is expressed as a percent.

  • Visible Light Reflection or VLR – This is the amount of solar energy reflected off the vehicle’s glass and away from its interior. VLR is the opposite of VLT.

  • U-Value – It is the measure of heat transmission through the auto glass and window tint assemblage.

  • Front-side windows – This set of windows include the ones from the passenger and driver’s side, but not the windshield.

  • Rear-side windows – These refer to any window behind the front-side windows.

  • Shade band – Also known as a sun strip, a shade band is a film coming down from the top of the windshield, primarily used to block out the sun.

  • Color restrictions – There are specific tint colors that are not legal in a state.

  • Tint reflection – This is commonly used when talking about reflective window films such as metallic ones.

State Window Tinting Laws

Some car owners might want to select much darker auto window films for privacy reasons, but local regulations might prevent them from doing so. Each US state has different legislation on allowable tint darkness, reflection, and even tint colors.

If you do not drive outside your state or have no intentions of moving away, choosing a particular window tint level should not be a problem. However, if you drive around the US a lot, it might be impractical to get darker tints.

Additionally, it is ideal to entrust your car window tinting with professionals as they are well-versed in these different state regulations.

Window Tint Percentage Options

As mentioned previously, the VLT in window tints is presented in percentages, and the lower the percentage, the less visible light will be able to pass through. A lower percentage also means a darker shade.

Among the most common window tint percentage choices are as follows:

  • 90% window tint is among the lightest options available. It allows 90% of visible light to come through the glass and gives you clearer visibility while offering decent glare reduction and UV protection.

  • 70% window tint is noticeably darker than the 90% option and keeps out about 30% sunlight.

  • 50% window tint blocks half the light from reaching your vehicle’s interior. It enables you to enjoy the many benefits of window tinting, like sun protection and glare reduction, without producing much of a darkened appearance.

  • 35% window tint creates a darker look while still allowing you to see through the glass easily. This tint level is a popular choice because it gives a sleek and stylish appearance that complements the vehicle.

  • 20% window tint is an ideal option if you are aiming to increase privacy. It is still possible to see through the window from the outside when up close, but it can be difficult.

  • 4% window tint is among the darkest tint percentages available. This tint level is illegal for many automobiles but is often used on limousines’ back windows.

Calculating Car Window Tint Percentage

Applying automotive window film over factory-tinted glass can make your car windows look darker than intended. Before installing a window tint, you must first determine the possible VLT percentage that will result from tinting over your existing car glass.

This process can be done using a device that reads VLT or by referring to your trusted window tint technician. Furthermore, it is advisable to measure the VLT of your front windows and back windows separately.

Once you have identified your original windows’ VLT percentage, you can determine the resulting tint level when the aftermarket tint is applied. The formula involves multiplying the existing glass’s VLT with the window film’s VLT. For example, if the original window’s VLT is 70% and the aftermarket tint’s VLT is 20%, the final tint percentage after the window film installation will be 14%.

(70x20)/100 = 14%


Knowing relevant information about window tinting enables car owners to choose the suitable window film product that meets their preferences while allowing them to comply with state legislation. It also makes the discussion with your window tint technician easier when you are already familiar with certain terminology used in the process.

There are many window tint companies in the market, but they might not provide the same quality products and services. Consequently, you must choose only reputable and well-experienced providers to ensure resilient window tints that last for a long time.

Where to Get Durable and Reliable Window Tints?

KEPLER Window Films and Coatings provide professional-grade window tints built with the latest technologies. Our reliable team of specialists are dedicated to delivering you the best service using only the best products. Whether you are looking to keep your car cool, add privacy to the home, or protect your business, we have a window film solution for you!

Get in touch with us today by filling out a contact form on our website.

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