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How Does Window Tinting Work? The Science of Shaded Glass

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2017 Volkswagen Tiguan tinted window dark glass windshield black Window Tinting Work

A 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan with tinted windows

There are many useful features on today’s cars that we take for granted without even understanding how they work. Window tinting, for instance, is incredibly helpful for visibility and privacy, but how many of us can actually explain the science behind these “sunglasses for your car”? In laymen’s terms, here is how window tinting works.

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The Science behind how window tinting works

Window tinting utilizes a particular type of polyester-based film that allows certain types of light rays through while reflecting or absorbing others. Depending on the utilization and amount of metal and dyes within the film, different levels of visible light can be blocked, which is why tint levels are differentiated by the percentage of visible light allowed through.

When technicians adhere this laminate film to the inside of the car’s glass window or windshield, the amount of light that passes through the window from the outside is dramatically reduced, while the amount of light that travels from the inside isn’t affected. That’s how window tinting is actually different than sunglasses: Unlike those cool Ray-Bans you wear on your face, window tinting does not impede visibility in the dark.

Window tinting has many benefits — more than you probably realize. Not only does it protect your eyes from the sun, but it also blocks nearly all damaging ultraviolet rays which can harm your skin and your car’s interior. Plus, it keeps the cabin slightly cooler.

Bottom line: The couple hundred dollars it costs to tint your car’s windows is worth it for the many safety and comfort benefits. Of course, if you do choose to tint your car’s windows, make sure you know what the darkness laws are in your state.

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Sources: Window Works, Wise Geek