To a person casually familiar with window tinting from decades past, residential window films are synonymous with one thing: Light Loss. You want to block 65% of the solar energy and heat coming into your home? Your room is now 65% darker. You now have a dark, shiny building that looks more like you’re trying to hide something inside than you’re trying to save money on heating bills.
Except none of that is true anymore, and hasn’t been true for the last 20 years. That’s why, among other things, the industry usually refers to the process as “Window Film” rather than “Window Tinting”. Because the new solar-control film is practically invisible, with no discernible reduction in light levels — but still working to counteract the heat buildup in your house and block damaging ultra-violet rays.
“Today’s technology uses absorbing metals and materials that have reflectors we can’t see,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association. “The harmful rays are still absorbed or reflected, but this work is done outside of the visible light spectrum. Today’s films can stop solar energy and be color-neutral.”