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How do 
Window Film Percentages Work ?

When looking at window film options, one of the most important factors to consider is the film's VLT (Visible Light Transmission) percentage. VLT is one of the most commonly used metrics in the glass and glass tinting & treatment industry. It is a standard that is helpful in analyzing how much visible light will penetrate and how much privacy the product you are looking at can offer. The higher the VLT percentage, the more light will be able to pass through the window. An easy trick to remember this is that Limo Tint is always very dark, and limo tint usually refers to 5% VLT. 

A window film with a VLT of 50% will allow 50% of the light to pass through the window, and this is usually the tag on a specific film. For example, the 3M Ceramic 40 is a 40% VLT film. So what does this translate to? It means that a film with a lower VLT percentage will be darker, more reflective and offer more privacy than a film with a higher VLT percentage. With some films the lower VLT's will also offer higher heat rejection capabilities. 

The VLT percentage can be used to determine the best type of film for a specific application. For example, if you want to reduce glare and heat but still want a lot of natural light in a room, you might choose a film with a VLT of 60%. On the other hand, if you want to block out most of the light and create a darker room, you might choose a film with a VLT 20% or lower. 

On one end of the VLT spectrum we have 0% films and vynils, like whiteouts and blackouts. These allow no visible light to pass through and create complete two way privacy. On the other end of the spectrum we have very clear films like 3M Prestige 70. Typically film VLT's do not go much higher than 80, anything over 50% is usually considered very clear. A standard quarter-inch "clear" glass is about 83% VLT. 

It's also important to note that VLT percentages can vary depending on the type of window where the film will be installed, as the VLT of the film and the VLT of the glass are usually complimentary. For example, a film with a VLT of 50% on a single pane window will block less light than the same film on a double pane window. It is always recommended to consult with a professional installer to ensure that you are getting the right film for your specific needs.

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