Picking the right shade of tint for your car can be pretty easy once you've decided why you want the tint in the first place. Most people look for tint for one or more of the following reasons:
- Keep the heat out
- Keep the glare out
- Improve the look of the vehicle
Let's say you are simply looking to reduce the heat inside your vehicle. Well if you remember back to science class in middle school, you will recall that sun rays can pass through glass with ease, however, they don't leave so easily. These rays are more commonly referred to as Ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is what you feel when your skin cooks in the summertime inside your car no matter how cold your AC blows. If you are most concerned with keeping heat out, go with a strong UV blocker. Ask your vehicle tint specialist to recommend a tint film with a high UV rating.
If you want to keep glare out, then you're likely looking for a darker shade tint. This will keep the interior of your car a little darker but may not necessarily reduce the heat (though it will a little). Most dyed tint film can reduce UV rays and therefor reduce heat, but its main purpose is to reduce light.
If you want your ride to take on a new look, few things can do that better than a clean shade of dark tint. Most economy film can take care of that. Just be careful to go with a high quality tint film that won't turn purple on you after one summer (yes, it is very common with cheap film). To avoid this, make sure your tint specialist offers a full warranty on the tint film. The last thing you want is to have to pay to have the cheap stuff removed (which could cost hundreds!) and new film reinstalled.
When your tint specialist refers to a percentage "35% film, 5% film, etc., they are referring to how much light can pass through the film. For instance, a 20% film will only allow up to 20% of sunlight through whereas a 5% film will only allow up to 5% of sunlight through (that's pretty dark).
In the state of Arizona, the darkest shade permitted on your driver and passenger windows is 35%. All other windows can be as dark as you want. Just remember, if you live in rural areas or areas where there are few streetlights, it may be very difficult to see at night.
The smartest thing you can do when shopping for window tint is ASK QUESTIONS. The more you educate yourself ahead of time will mean that you are more likely to get the exact results you want.
Also, be sure to go to a reputable tint installer. Ask about warranty information and whether or not the warranty includes just the film or the installation as well. A good tint shop in your area will do things right because they want you to be as safe as you are happy.