Window Tinting 101


3M Night Vision 15, Sun Control Film, Mckinney, TXThere are 3 basic film types.

  • Sun and/or Heat control,
  • Safety & Security 
  • Decorative and Privacy.


What do the numbers mean? Most people get the numbers backwards.  Throughout our lives we have been taught the higher the number the stronger or darker or bigger the object or product would be. In fact, window film is the exact opposite.

Window film or window tinting comes in reflective and non-reflective.  The darkest window film or window tint is a 5% VLT and generally gets lighter in 10% increments with 70% being the lightest.  The most popular films are 50% VLT in our Prestige Line and 15% VLT in our Night Vision and Optishade from Avery Dennison.  We also carry two 5% reflective films.  Optitune 5 from Avery Dennison and DR 5 from Llumar .  All of these products are safe to install on double paned or insulated low-e windows!!!  There are several more in between but this will help you when choosing the right window tinting for your home or office. Always remember the lower the number the darker the film. It represents the amount of visible light transmitted through the film. Different types of windows and glass cut different amounts of visible light. VLT is the acronym for visible light transmitted. A good rule of thumb to think about when choosing a window film/tint for your home or office is to go a shade darker than you are comfortable with. This information comes from 100’s of customers.   Check out our window film visualizer here.

To put visible light into perspective when it comes to home window tinting or commercial window tinting. Let us start with your home. If your home was built after 2002 in the state of Texas, your home has low-e glass with an approximate VLT of 50%. To observe how dark 50% VLT is go to the back of your home and look through a window close to your back door. In most cases your view looking out of your back door will be slightly lighter because the glass in your door is clear and your windows are low-e, that is 50% VLT versus clear.

Visiting our showroom at 650 East Hwy 121 Business Suite 310 in Lewisville, Tx 75057 will give you a great perspective of window films. Google  Zander Place in Lewisville it will get you to the right spot.


We at Home Window Tinting & Commercial want to simplify the process and put some things into perspective for you.  What I have observed over my 37 years in the industry is people either have a preconceived perception of  window film/tinting for their home or office or simply did not know the product even existed. Here are some of them; it is too dark, to reflective, will bubble up or turns purple.  The biggest myth is window tinting or window film is not safe to put on double paned windows.  You will hear it will make all your windows crack or causes seal failure (foggy windows).  This is simply not true.  Thermal fractures may occur but is rare and is covered by all the film manufacturers we use up to $500 per pane of glass for 5 years.  Thermal fractures occur in less than 1 in 1000 panes of glass that we apply film to.  It can however void the warranty. We take that warranty over for you if you have one in place.  Typical window warranties are 10 years from the date of close and do not cover the labor cost after the first year. 

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) independently tests, certifies, and labels window films for their energy efficiency.   Not all window films are created equally and all window films are rated by the NFRC and you can find this label on the packaging. 



In a lot of cases people simply way over think when it comes to applying window tinting to their home because they don’t have all the facts. 

I have on many occasions heard this statement; Tim I don’t want that dark shiny stuff on my house, I just don’t like the look. Then I point to a house either across the street or down the road and say, what do you think about that one. The most common reply is, that looks great and my reply is that is that is our dark shiny stuff, which in most cases is 3M Night Vision 15. Our most popular product to date.
As you have already learned, window film comes in many different shades. We can achieve different goals for specific areas of your home and office by mixing films. Many homeowners make the statement.  I want my home to look consistent especially on the front, yet they have white shutters on almost everything, dark shutters on the study and blinds in the garage. Does this sound familiar?
Home Window Tinting is almost always applied to the inside surface of the window. However, we do have exterior products to help to improve the performance of doors or master bath glass that have textured surface on the inside.  

Warranty Information

3M Window Film/Tinting has fantastic warranties for your home and office. Residential customers receive a Lifetime labor and materials warranty on sun control films and commercial customers depending on the film itself vary from 12 to 15 year warranty. See the complete listings of our warranty section here.

Thermal Fracture and Seal Failure

When it comes to thermal fractures aka cracking of your window due to the application of window film/tinting, there is simply nothing to be concerned about. Thermal fractures are covered by 3M company and us for up to $500.00 dollars per pane of glass and if we observe that you may have a higher dollar windows, we will offer you and extra warranty which is very affordable.
Seal failure aka foggy windows. Window film DOES NOT CAUSE SEAL FAILURE. This has been a thorn in our side for decades. If you ask anyone who claims window film causes seal failure to present their documented evidence, you will not hear back from them. It simply doesn’t exist. We hear this statement from many people who replace windows for a living. Ask them this; What percentage of windows that you replace have window film or tinting on them? If their answer is above 1% then they do not know what they are talking about because less than a 10th of 1 percent of all windows in the world let alone the Dallas Ft. Worth area have window film on them.  If you have a current window warranty in place, the application of window film does void the warranty, but so do a lot of other things. 3M and Avery Dennison take over existing window warranties and match them concisely and you get a new piece of film on that new window at no charge.

Safety & Security Films

3M Ultra Safety & Security films as well as Madico 15 mil safety films is what we prefer to install for our customers to protect your family & valuables. We also hold patents and Trademarks for an attachment system for doors named  ZSecure. (Patent #  9,938,763 & 10,400,503) it keep the glass in the frame. If you decide to choose safety and security with the intent of keeping the bad guys out, it MUST be attached to the frame. This is not open for discussion.  However if you want to just add some film to help hold the glass together we can do it with out an attachment system.  Be sure to look at our latest YouTube video coming soon to our website to show you the wrong way and the right way.

Decorative Window Films

Decorative window films come in many different varieties, colors and designs. If you can imagine it, we can help you design it, produce it and make it come true.  Click the picture below to go check out our decorative film visualizer.   


Contact us today and schedule a complimentary consultation!