If there is anything that the recent wildfires ravaging California are telling us, it is that global climate change is real, it is happening, and it is having an ever-increasing impact on our lives. As we have all learned from the news, or have experienced in our own lives, weather patterns are changing, and devastating storms or other weather events are occurring with more frequency and are more destructive than ever.
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded in a September 2018 report that the last five Septembers (from 2014 to 2018) have been the hottest on record with regard to the globe’s land and ocean temperatures. But there is hope. We can turn the trend around with more green construction.
Calgary’s top window tinting company, Tint Tech, is on the cutting edge of the type of window film technology that fits nicely in the panoply of new technologies meant to help the environment. In fact, the need to more efficiently use renewable energy presents a marvelous opportunity for entrepreneurs to revitalize the construction marketplace. It also gives consumers a host of new green-friendly product options so they can do their part to help the environment.
Let’s take a moment to talk about a new type green-friendly window film technology that Tint Tech is excited about – Daylight Redirecting Film.
Daylight Redirecting Window Film – What it Does
One of the trends in green construction is a concept called Passive Construction. A “passive home” is one that is designed to work with the environment and to rely less on air-conditioning systems for warm and cool air. A passive construction home must first be well-insulated so that the interior of the home can make the most out of whatever air is already inside, without warm or cool air escaping due to poor insulation.
Next, the passive construction is designed to make the most out of natural light, shade, and wind. That is where daylight redirecting film (DRF) comes into play.
- Daylight Redirecting Film Takes Advantage of “Prism Lighting”
Daylight redirecting film is a very thin, plastic window film that is applied to home windows. The film will refract or reflect incoming light upwards. By doing so, the natural light coming into a room helps light the room more evenly.
Without getting too scientific, daylight redirecting film uses a form of prism lighting. That type of lighting takes advantage of some quirks with the human eye’s response to light. Specifically, when you take a lit room and you cut the light in half, the human eye does not perceive the room as half as bright. In fact, the human eye, which adjusts to some degree, perceives that the brightness of a space has only dimmed slightly.
- Redirecting Sunlight in a Room Leads to a Naturally Lit, Brighter Space
Because the human eye does not perceive a significant change in brightness even when the change in the actual amount of light is significant, daylight redirecting film capitalizes on that reality. By refracting or reflecting (i.e. redirecting) light from the brightest parts of a room to the dimmest, thereby more evenly redistributing the natural light, the overall room will be perceived as brighter.
Picture a room with one window. The natural light coming from that one window will of course be brightest closest to the window, and will be much dimmer on the wall farthest from the window. When you add the daylight redirecting film, the film pushes the light farther into the room. While the initial brightness closest to the window is a little less, the rest of the light is distributed more evenly throughout the rest of the room. That, in turn, tricks the human eye into perceiving the entire room as brighter.
The end result is that you will likely use much less electricity for lamps and ceiling lights during the day, while you enjoy simple natural light coming into the room. In fact, daylight redirecting film has been known to increase a sunlit area in a room by 200%.
Daylight Redirecting Film – How it is Made
Like many other architectural window films, daylight redirecting film is made of acrylic with a flexible polyester backing. One side of the window film has a pressure-sensitive adhesive on it so an installer can peel the backing and stick the film onto the window surface.
However, unlike other architectural window films, the daylight redirecting film is molded with tiny prisms. Those prisms will do the work of redirecting the light throughout a room once the natural light hits the film. In addition, other types of redirecting film have slits or horizontal bumps, rather than prisms, which will effectively reflect the natural light upwards, again working to redistribute the natural light more evenly.
It is important to note that daylight redirecting film is translucent, not transparent. However, the reflection-based films are more transparent than the prism-based films.
Other Green Construction Ideas Beyond Window Film
While the daylight redirecting film is a great way to use natural light, we would be remiss if we didn’t finish our discussion by mentioning some other great green construction ideas out there.
There is a burgeoning demand for construction materials that take advantage of all types of green technology. In fact, research shows that consumers are willing to spend more money to ensure their homes are “more green.” The benefits, like healthier living environments, better resale value, and lower utility costs, make clear why there is such a demand for green construction.
Here are just a few examples of what green construction solutions beyond window films are out there:
- Photovoltaic/Solar cells are being used to achieve the goal of “net zero energy” households.
- Use of natural building materials – like stone counters, local lumber for flooring and cabinets, and roofs protected with greenery (so-called “living roofs”) – will also reduce a carbon footprint.
- Insulating a home, and making the most of natural light, shade, and wind, will reduce a reliance on air-conditioning systems in the home.
- Use of water-conservation designs, like low-flow toilets, and water-saving indoor fixtures will help for areas with drought conditions.
The climate crisis we face actually provides an opportunity for human ingenuity to come up with fascinating new ideas so that we can make our world live in harmony with nature.
Tint Tech, as Calgary’s best in architectural window tinting, is committed to smart, green solutions to help the environment. Daylight redirecting film is just the beginning of the types of products we have to help you save the environment. Call us today for more details at 403.968.8469.
At Tint Tech, we always have our minds on our jobs. Even when we’re off duty, we are thinking about window tinting and other after-market improvements to a car. That’s because, at heart, we are car guys who love to make sure our ride looks as perfect as it can.
That brings us to a story from just a few weeks ago. One of our Tint Tech specialists was on a trip and had to get a ride from a ride-sharing app. The driver was nice, the car was nice, but – oh no – the window tinting job on the car was, sadly, just terrible. The medium-level tint was peeling in places, bubbling in others, and had strange folds as if the tint was applied in haste, or the tint was allowed to stick to the surface before all of the imperfections were worked out.
It was a tough sight to see given that we at Tint Tech, Calgary’s top window tinting shop, take such care to make sure that any window tint we apply fits on the window surface like a second skin. Without question, this poor driver needed an upgrade. While window tinting can look great on a car, a poor window tinting job could decrease the look of a car exponentially.
What to Do When Your Window Tinting Is Not the Best?
This little experience with our ride-sharing driver got us thinking. What can you do if your window tinting job – whether you did it yourself, or it was done by a sub-standard window tinting operation – is not looking like it should? Can it be repaired? Do you just need to start over from scratch?
Well, you should be happy to know that there is hope. You too can still have the window tinting job of your dreams where you can gain all the benefits that window tinting provides while still having the tint be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. As Calgary’s window tinting specialists, allow us at Tint Techto give you a few tips.
Tip #1 – Get a Pro to Repair Your Window Tint (like Tint Tech)
Before getting too deep into the ways in which you can fix the window tint on your car all by your lonesome . . . it is worth remembering that the most hassle-free, stress-free, mess-free way to fix the window tint on your car is to have a professional do it for you.
Yes, doing the job yourself will likely cost less in terms of dollars. But, can you put a price on aggravation? Frustration? Trial and error? Technically speaking, you will save money. But your time and your stress are worth something. Save yourself that valuable time and stress, and get the job done right the first time.
Tint Tech specialists are always available to talk to you about cost-saving options when it comes to repairing window tint. Speak with a specialist by calling 403-968-8468. We will be sure to give you an honest assessment of the repair options available to you.
Tip #2 – Getting Rid of Those Pesky Air Bubbles
If your window tint surface has air trapped between the tint and the window, here is how you can easily fix the problem.
- Do It When It is Warm Out – Auto window tinting film is much easier to work with when it is warm. So, if you are going to get rid of the air bubbles in your window tint yourself, the first order of business is to leave your car out in the sun for an hour or two. Of course, if you can’t wait for a warm, sunny day, then a hair dryer will give you the kind of heat you need.
- Wet Down the Window Surface – Once the window is nice and warm, spray water on the window tint with a water bottle filled with cold water. The cold water on the warm window will help make the window tint adhesive more flexible.
- Slide the Air Out – Here is where the rubber meets the road. If the air bubble is close to the edge of the window tint, then you can get a straight edge (a credit card can work) and push the air out. Just slide the credit card at a 45-degree angle against the window and push the trapped air to the edge of the tinting.
- Or, Pop the Air Out – If the air bubble is more in the center of the window, then get a needle or safety pin and pop the air bubble, so the air can be released. Then, as above, use a straight edge to smooth out the tinting. Try to use long strokes with medium pressure to ensure that the window tint is completely smooth. Those tiny holes you made when you pricked the air bubble should close up easily because window tint has some degree of flexibility to it.
- Keep Things Moist – Remember that through this process you should keep that water bottle handy. If the tinting starts to dry while you are removing the air bubbles, spray window tint to make the job easier.
Tip #3 – Replacing a Section of Window Tint
Sometimes the flaws in the window tint are too many to handle with a small pin-prick and credit card. When you know there is a section of torn or otherwise unsightly window tint, here are the steps you can take to fix it.
- Measure – Mark out the square of window tint you want to remove.
- Cut – Using a razor blade, cut out the square of window tint that you want to replace. Make sure that your razor goes through both of the two layers of the window tint.
- Remove, Starting From the Corner – Begin to pull out the section of window tint out by the corner.
- Moisten the Peeling Section – Use your water bottle to spray the area, so that removal of the square you cut is easier.
- Clean the Window – Once you have removed the square of tint, then you should thoroughly clean the window surface in that area to make sure all adhesive is removed.
- Cut a Section of the New Film – This step is crucial. Cut a square of the new film that is bigger than the square that is now missing the tint.
- Apply the Bigger Square and Cut – Press the new tint onto the surface. Where the new tint overlaps the old tint is where you should cut – cutting through both the old and new tint film. Then, remove the old film you cut, and have the new tint adhere to the window. That way the seam between old and new should be virtually invisible.
A bad tint job is worse than no tint job. So, if you find that your car’s window tinting could use some fixing, then follow the tips above to make sure that your car is looking its best. Of course, we advocate that the best tip is Tip #1 – get a professional to fix your tint for you.
Tint Tech fans and auto window tint enthusiasts . . . it is time to talk about shopping around for the best auto window tint that is right for you. We at Tint Tech, Calgary’s auto window tinting experts, are always happy to discuss with you the various kinds of window tints at various price points. Yet, if you want to do a little homework first, then this article is for you.
The Challenge of Shopping for Auto Window Tint – the Paralysis of Too Many Choices
Did you ever sit down with your significant other, cuddle up on the couch with popcorn and some Diet Coke, grab the remote, and commit to finding something to watch on Netflix? At first blush, you think it’s going to be easy.
But the sheer volume of available movies, in all types of genres, starts to overwhelm. You and your loved one start to get confused with all the choices, start to disagree on whether action, thriller, or rom-com is the way to go. Then you start to bicker on which trailers you want to watch and which are a waste of time.
Before you know it, an hour has gone by, your loved one has gone into the kitchen to make another snack, and you are no closer to deciding on a movie than when you first sat down. Frustrating, right? We’ll call that phenomenon the “paralysis of too many choices.”
When it comes to shopping for good auto tint for your car, you may go through the same phenomenon. There are literally hundreds of auto tints on the market, and it can be incredibly hard to find the right one for you. While you may know a thing or two about what type of movie you generally like watching, most people are not experts on the differing qualities of auto tint. So, you are truly left in the dark – and not in the dark-auto-tint kind of way.
To break through the “paralysis of too many choices,” let’s talk about 5 things that you need to keep in mind when shopping for auto tint. And, of course, the professionals at Tint Tech in Calgary are always on the ready to consult with you when you need guidance. Just grab your cell and call 403-968-8468.
#1 The Length of Time Tint Will Last
First and foremost, you need to have a sense of how long you will need your auto tint to stay looking fresh and new. If your car has had a few years on the road, then you may not need a window tint to last a lifetime. You already know that there is a shorter shelf-life for your ride as it is.
That said, you will want to consider the amount you drive, the conditions and climate in which you normally drive, and the amount of direct sunlight your car will sustain on a routine basis. If your hot rod rarely sees the light of day and you only take it out on special occasions, then the quality you are looking for may be different than an auto tint for a car that you use every day, and park outside in the sun.
Overall, as a general rule of thumb, most auto tint film is designed to last over 10 years, which may be a lot longer than you are planning on keeping your car.
#2 The Application Process
In our most recent blog post, we took an in-depth look at how paint protection film is applied to your vehicle’s paint job. The auto tint application process is similarly detailed, and our specialists at Tint Tech take extra care to make sure the job is done right, the first time.
Typically, the auto tint application process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours to complete, depending upon the number of windows being tinted and the type of tint the Tint Tech specialist is working with. Don’t be surprised, however, if the installer wants to keep the vehicle for a half day, just to make sure that the job is complete, and the auto tint film has time to dry. (Shameless plug: We invite you to make an appointment with a Tint Tech tint installer to make sure your job is done right).
#3 The Warranty
Virtually all quality auto tint film comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Yet, you should do a little extra digging to make sure of the precise warranty length and of any other requirements that come with the film.
Some auto tint requires that a professional installer apply the tint to be eligible for the warranty. Doing it yourself could void the warranty. Also, most warranties will be deemed void if the installation is illegal, meaning that the tint is too dark under current window tint laws.
#4 Finding the Right Window Tint for You
As a threshold matter, we recommend that you consult a professional auto tint dealer, like Tint Tech, to find the best film for your car. According to carbibles.com, the best car window tint products in 2018 are as follows:
- LEXEN Computer Pre-Cut Tint Kit. This tint is one that you can do yourself, and allows you to buy the film pre-cut for your car. LEXEN is a high-quality dyed polyester film with added thickness, that makes it scratch resistant and will block up to 99% of UV rays.
- TRUE LINE Automotive Computer Customized Window Tint Kit. Similar to LEXEN, all you need to do is give the make, model, and year of your car, and you will get pre-cut window film sent to you. It also has 4 levels of tint available.
- Diablo 36 inches Roll Window Tint. Unlike the pre-cut products, this tint film you buy in rolls. Getting the rolls rather than pre-cut gives you the luxury of some practice material, in case you don’t get it right the first time. This tint is metal free so, once applied, it does not interfere with your cell phone or GPS reception.
- F&B LED Lights Headlight Vinyl Film. Just to throw a curve-ball at you, there is tinting film for surfaces other than your windows. So, if you want to add some pizzazz to your headlights and brake lights, check out this new product.
#5 Picking the Right Auto Tint Dealer
While some of the products above allow you to do it yourself, it is always best to spend a little extra to make sure that tint installation is done correctly, with no bubbles, frayed edges or any other imperfections. Tint Tech guarantees that you will be more than satisfied with the installation job we do for you. It is important to do your research, but know that Tint Tech, with decades of experience and specialization in auto window tint, is the right choice for you. Call now at 403-968-8468.
In our last installment, we talked a bit about the fascinating new technology behind paint protection film – the clear, incredibly strong, resilient, and razor thin urethane film applied to your vehicle to protect the most vulnerable areas of your vehicle from stains, road debris, stones, and scratches.
In particular, we took a deep dive into the mystery of how paint protection film has “self-healing” properties. Any scratch on the surface of your vehicle covered with paint protection film will disappear by simply applying heat to your vehicle’s surface. The science is so advanced that simple heat from the sun while your car is parked outside is enough to activate the “self-healing” process.
Now, we need to go the next phase of the paint protection film story – how it is applied to your car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle. We at Tint Tech – Calgary’s number one shop for auto, commercial, and residential window tint, as well as the paint protection film experts – know a bit about paint protection film because it is a major part of our business.
Indeed, more and more of our customers are opting for paint protection film because word is starting to spread that it is one of the best ways to keep your new car or truck looking new for the life of your vehicle. Tint Tech, of course, only employs certified professionals to apply paint protection film for our customers. Call us at 403-968-8468 to speak to one of our experts about whether paint protection film is right for you.
In the meantime, here is a primer on how paint protection film is applied to your car. The process is as much an art form as it is a science, and we pride ourselves on getting a fabulous finish applied correctly the first time, every time.
Application of Paint Protection Film
In theory, applying paint protection film is similar to putting on a band aid. With a band aid you make sure that the adhesive side sticks to your skin, apply it, and you are done. The same goes true for paint protection film. The film has an adhesive side to it, apply it to your vehicle, and then you are done, right? Well, practically speaking it is, as they say, “easier said than done.”
A band aid is small, whereas paint protection film comes in somewhat larger sheets that are difficult to maneuver. Thus, applying the very sticky and thin sheets onto a slick painted surface perfectly, with no bubbles, folds, air pockets, or other mistakes, is virtually impossible for any layperson. Further, the warranties for paint protection films usually require professional installation.
Accordingly, you only want a professional to handle your paint protection film project. Learning how to do the application process right the first time takes years of training and experience.
The application process can take a few hours, depending upon how much of your vehicle you want to protect. Here is a run down of how the process goes.
1st – Cutting the Paint Protection Film to Fit a Part of Your Vehicle
You want your paint protection film to, as you would expect, only cover the painted surfaces on your car or truck. You do not put the film on headlights, the grill, or other non-painted surfaces. To make installation easier, manufacturers of paint protection film have created a library of patterns to cover virtually all of the new cars being made today.
The patterns are intricate and need to be precise, down to the millimeter. Say, for example, you want to protect the front bumper or “bra” of your Tesla Model 3. The installer would find the pattern for the Tesla Model 3 front end, and load the pattern into a digital plotter. Once the sheet of film is loaded into the plotter, the plotter will cut the sheet to exactly cover only the painted surfaces of your Model 3.
There are instances when the installer must do a custom cut of the protection film because there is not a pattern in the manufacturer’s library. That can be done, but requires much more time on the part of the installer to custom cut the film to the precise measurements.
2nd – Preparing the Vehicle’s Surface
Paint protection film needs to be a “second skin” on your vehicle – one that is imperceptible to the naked eye. That is because you want to protect the painted surface, not obscure it. Therefore, the surface of your car or truck must be as clean as possible.
The installer will wash the relevant painted surfaces to get rid of all dirt, debris, wax, road bugs, and any other imperfections on your vehicle.
3rd – Positioning the Film on Your Vehicle
This is where the “art” of applying paint protection film comes into play. Because the installer is dealing with a very strong adhesive that is meant to last for the life of the vehicle, the installer needs to be careful on how the film is positioned on the relevant portion of the vehicle before locking it into place.
The process to position the film requires an interesting use of what is commonly called a “slip solution.” Using a mixture of baby soap and water (the slip solution), the installer will lubricate the vehicle surface, the paint protection film, and his or her hands with the solution and then lay the film, adhesive side down, on the vehicle’s surface. With the lubrication of the slip solution, the installer can slide the film on the vehicle until it is in just the right place.
4th – Anchoring the Film in Place
Just as the slip solution allowed the installer to move the film on the painted surface until the film was in precisely the right place, the installer next uses a “tack solution” (a combination of water and rubbing alcohol) to lock the film in place. The tack solution allows the adhesive to do its job and stick to the painted surface of the vehicle.
5th – Getting Rid of any Bubbles and Finishing the Edges
Once the installer has anchored the film in place with the tack solution, the installer has a small window of time with a little “play” in the film to get rid of any residual air bubbles under the film. The installer will simply use a squeegee to push away any liquid or air bubbles left under the film. This is done so the entire sheet of film is attached to the vehicle’s surface and the adhesive on the film is allowed to do its work.
In addition, the installer will likely also use a heat gun to make sure all of the edges of the film remain anchored to the vehicle surface. The installer may also use an adhesive primer on the edge to give it that extra amount of staying power.
You want to have your car or truck protected with film to keep it looking brand new. And, you want that film installed by a professional. So, call the professionals today at Tint Tech, 403-968-8468. We are Calgary’s top paint protection film installers, and we are ready to help you love the look of your vehicle as long as you have it.