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Buying Window tint Film on eBay can be a good investment. The return on your initial investment can be realized in a short period of time. Further, the long term accumulated savings is money that can be spent somewhere else! With the prices of Window tinting on eBay right now, and a little "Do It Yourself" know how, this is a purchase you do not want to pass up!
NOT ALL WINDOW TINTS ARE THE SAME!
This guide is written to dispel the myths and confusion about window tint film so you can make an educated decision before you buy Tinting Film. Most importantly, Residential Window Tint and Auto Window Tint are very different from one another.
Residential Tint vs Auto Tint:
Residential Window film, also know as "Flat Glass Film" CAN NOT be used in Automobile Applications with any degree of success. The reason for this is Flat glass film uses a stronger, more permanent type of adhesive, will not follow the curved surfaces of Auto glass, and has different physical properties than auto tint film because it is manufactured to produce different results. Reflection, UV Rejection, (The Blockage of UV Rays) as well as insulating values. On the other hand, Auto Tint Film should only be used to tint a residence IF precautionary measures are taken. Depending on the type used, Auto tint film installed on a residential structure could easily damage your windows through breakage or cracking. Under NO circumstances should you use a darker auto tint film (30% or less) on insulated, double pane house windows. The bottom line is, If you want to save costly repairs to your house's windows, it is okay to stay away from Auto Tint film.
Tint Film Properties work with each other to produce the desired effect of the end product.
- Reflection: All Home Tint Films have some degree of Reflective Properties. Silver or Bronze Metalized films afford enhanced interior privacy during the day, although the non-metalized films provide a very good degree of privacy as well. Metalized films are not legal for the application on automobiles in most states. NOTE: Many residential films are often "Metalized", meaning they have Silver or Bronze reflective properties. IF applied without proper cleaning and preparation of the glass, these Metalized films will show imperfections alot more than non-metalized films. (Non-metalized films will show inperfections on a poorly prepared surface too, but not as bad.) Proper preparation is essential!
- UV Rejection: This is the ability of the tint to keep harmful UV Rays out of the interior of your house. These harmful UV rays cause cancer, fade curtains, carpet, and upholstery. MOST residential films block 96% or more of these harmful rays! The High Performance Residential films can block 99% or more! Auto tints seldom have this component manufactured into the film. That is why parked automobiles with tinted windows STILL get hot inside with the windows rolled up..
- Tinting: This is the percentage of the amount of light allowed in past the film. For instance, a film with a number of 30 will let 30% of the light in while a film number of 5 will only let 5% of the avaliable outside light in. Therefore, the lower the number means the darker the tint! There are also the "Limo" and "Blackout" tints avaliable. Limo is at around 2% or less and Blackout. Well, Its just that! (Nice if you're a mushroom or vampire.) Most states have laws pertaining to the amount of tint for automobile windows. Check your local and state laws before purchasing tint for your car windows.
- Adhesive Properties: How do you know if you have got Dry Adhesive (Residential film) or Acrylic Adhesive? (Automobile Film) First of all, both types of film have positive and negative points. Dry adhesive is just that. Dry Film is easier to handle and is more forgiving than Acrylic film. Unlike the dry backed film, if acrylic backed film happens to roll up on itself, (ie: such as if you were to accidently drop one corner while holding it as your helper sprays it prior to installation) it can quickly ruin the whole sheet, even after being totally soaked with the application solution .
Okay, so you're asking. "What properties in the tint do I want?". "Where do I start?"
As far as residential tinting goes, keep these 3 factors in mind: 1) Metallized or Non- Metalized? 2) Percentage of Tint? 3) Regular or High Performance? Personally, my two favorites are the Bronze or Silver metalized film with 30% - 50% tint or the High Performance Non-metalized Neutral Grey Smoke film with 30% -50% tint. With these, you can still take in the view outside while affording a good degree of privacy as well as cutting cooling and heating costs substantially.) These two examples are a good starting point too. If you need to look outside less and want more privacy inside. Go with a darker tinted film that is metalized. On the other hand,
if you are an avid bird watcher or need to know whats going on more outside your windows, go with a non-metalized, lighter tinted film. 70% or above. Even at these higher tint percentages, you will still get some privacy, protect your curtains, and upholstery, as well as reduce your cooling and heating costs! Its all a matter of personal preference.
Rule of thumb: The lighter the film, the less your privacy. The shinier (more reflective) the film, the more your daytime privacy. At night, ALL films will appear more or less reflective inside, depending upon the brightness of your indoor lighting. For privacy at night, pull your draperies or blinds closed.
Brand Names versus Off-Brand Films:
Expensive, brand name films have established themselves and ARE good but, there are alot of non-brand name films that are just as good. and will do everything the brand name films do. In some cases. even better! Once again, it's a matter of personal preference.
You may have noticed that tinted window film prices on eBay are all over the price scale. There are expensive films in smaller sheets and inexpensive films in larger rolled quantities. Precut panels are nice for car applications and there are precut films of many varieities. On the downside, ALL window tint film WILL crease like aluminum foil so you must handle it carefully. If you buy a precut panel and you crease it, it's yours. Crease and all! You either have to order another piece and wait for days. perhaps weeks or just live with the crease. Buying a large quantity of off-brand, "good" or "better" quality film allows you to "practice" on a smaller window first. Off-brand High Performance Tinting will fall somewhere between good and excellent as far as quality goes. A 100 foot roll is a good choice to start with. Why? If somehow you manage to mess something up during the installation, you don't have to wait for a replacement film because you have got a whole roll to work with and you didn't pay anywhere near the price for the whole roll as you may have for several "custom" precut sheets!
Choosing a seller:
- Questions - ASK THE SELLER QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR PURCHASE. This is the best way to gain information about the window tint you are interested in. If the seller can't answer your important questions, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Suggestions - If you are still unsure what type of film you want. advise the seller with the details of what you are looking for as far as privacy (tint), energy savings (heat or cooling loss) and keeping out those harmful UV rays. they should be able to help you make a decision you will both be happy with.
- Feedback - Check the sellers feedback. You will find that, aside from the film itself, the way it is packed and shipped is just as important! There are many dis-satisfied buyers that have recieved damaged film because it was handled carelessly or packed poorly.
Anyone can install window tint! Aside from alittle know how and some basic tools for application, cleanliness and patience throughout the process are also very good attributes to possess. Sometimes the truth hurts but, 99% of those who have bad experiences with applying ANY windows tint are either impatent in handling the film or did'nt take the time to clean the surface(s) properly before and during the application proceedure, ending in a less-than-desirable result. Bottom line is that it is NOT the fault of the window film! Window tint films are manufacturered to very strict guidelines and tolerances and must pass rigorous testing before being sold to the consumer or tinting shop. They are also very delicate and must be handled as so. I'll be honest with you. I was real hesitant about the "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) approach at one time too but, I overcame that by just doing it.
If you carefully follow the instructions in my other "Installing Residential Tint \ Do It Yourself" Guide you WILL succeed !
Once the neighbors see your tinted windows, they may want the windows in their house done too! Sell them your left over film and make ALL of your money back! Cha-Ching! (That is what I did. So I ended up with a full house of tinted, energy saving windows and all it cost me was several hours of labor. )
Residential Window Tinting is one of the best ways to enhance the appearance of your house, save you money on heating and cooling costs, cool your investment down by as much as 15 to 20 Degrees and prevent the fading of carpet, curtains, and upholstery! YES. You CAN save money by tinting the windows in your house or auto if you buy Tint Material on eBay and install it yourself!
See my other guide for Do It Yourself Residential Window Tinting.
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