Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Which Window Film/Tint Brand is the best?

We are asked this several times a day by our curious customers!

The answer is simple in our minds but often complicated by our lips, but I will try and keep it simple here today!
It has never been one manufacture for all needs since I have been in the window film industry (33 years) and not really since Made In The Shade has been in business (1980).
I was an Advanced Certified Trainer For the 3M Company from 1998 to 2008 and watched them fail again and again to develop a good program, with good films and marketing. They would think they had it, and it just led to more warranty claims and/or a shortcoming in roll size or aesthetics, depending on the type of film.

The last two years we were a dealer we had to turn in almost $40,000.00 in warranty claims, a year! So you see, the most popular or oldest is not always the best! I finally gave up and split the blanket with 3M in 2008 for numerous reasons. 

These are all reasons a dealer may choose to Leave a manufacture: Film Failure, Delays in Warranty Service, Slow payment to us for Co op and Warranty Claims, Ugly Films, Films that break Glass, Bad or unfriendly Service, Unfair business practice, Anti Trust. Obviously it benefits the customer when a dealer leaves a manufacture for these reasons!
Pre 1998 we at Made In The Shade tried to find the best films for our customers needs. 3M pressured us and bullied us to be more and more exclusive until by 2001 we were primarily selling 90% 3M films, the 10% were the many films they did not make or were limited by roll size. Ironically we were initially pressured by the US area manager Mike Feldman, whom has now seen the light as a retired 3M executive, (33 years of service) and is now a successful window film dealer in Florida. Mike fully understands the difference in quality between 3M and everyone else! You can check out Mikes Site and Blog to see his expert film choices along with helpful information!

First it's window film history time:
The first film's developed were all a series of mistakes, and basically dyed plastic with high failure rates. Silver films made with deposits of aluminum on the plastic (usually Vapor Coating) were among the first, then Copper and many other metals followed. Over the years many types of coloring systems and combinations of metals and alloys have been used.

Films for Sun Control fall into these categories: 
Reflectives like copper and shiny aluminum
Reflective Neutrals which are grey to grey black because of the dull looking metals used like stainless steel, nichrome and titanium
Dual Reflectives, which are are less reflective on the inside, than the outside for better Night Vision, basically the outside has a reflective metal and the inside does not
Non Reflectives which usually have a significant amount of color/dye added and no metal or ceramic added (these films will fade or change color in 1 to 5 years)
Spectral Select films are made to allow in more light (3 to 4 times more) than these other films, but still stop a great deal of heat. These films usually stop a larger portion of heat light or infra red light to allow in the visible light. See our site for more extensive info.

Now that I have given some basic history of window film, what about window film manufactures? 
First the often debated: Who was the first to invent Window Film as we know it today! No One Company! It is nothing like it was when first developed by any number of manufactures! Madico claims to be founded before 3M as a company called Hysil. 3M claims to hold the original patent (dyed Polyester), but this does not mean they invented it first. What if there were a joint effort to develop films from say...Madico and 3M? Ask yourself who invented metalizing plastics of any type, maybe it was the inside of a potato chip bag! Maybe they should get the credit! I say...WHO CARES NOW!
It does not matter who developed window film first, nor who has been around the longest, and especially when they do it wrong, or no longer do it all from start to finish themselves. 3M is probably the biggest window film outsourcer; someone else makes either the whole film or it's components for them!

Films have been constantly improving over the last 5 decades and have literally 1000's of uses and the technology used for films literally has thousands more uses! 
Solar Control, Safety and Security and Graphic and Designer films have many varied formulas and here is a little basic information about the types we sell and install.

If we talk Dual Reflective or Night Vision Films 
I like the Avery Dennison Optishade and Optitune series, Madico/Sungard has many choices we like in their Dual Reflectives, the whole Suntek Dual Reflective series and the Solargard True View series. these 4 are currently our favorites. The Favorite choice of our customers of late is the Avery (4 years) and Sunscape Select in the 5 to 25% VLT. I like Avery because; they have the lowest inner (13%) and outer (37%) reflectivity and a lower emissivity than others (.63); This means it will look less mirror like on the outside looking in, and you can see out at night when your lights are on. These films will reduce heat transfer day or night and year round, for great energy saving benefits in any season. In my opinion the Avery, True View, and Sunscape have the most natural View looking out but not everyone likes the Amber exterior of True View. Most Dual Reflectives look black, grey black to silver depending on how dark. Usually, the darker the more exterior reflection.

Other companies have a Dual Reflective, Vista made by Eastman Chemical Co. which makes Llumar as well, Panorama made by St Gobain which makes Solargard as well, but in our opinion they have too much reflectivity on the inside and out. Like 3M they tout these Dual Reflective films as a Night Vision film. But the only thing you see, is yourself in your window on the inside at night and the outside during the day! Hanita window films  was purchased in 2016 for $75,000,000 by Avery Dennison, and has very clear films looking through and solid performance. They make excellent exterior application Dual Reflectives with the best warranty. There are many more manufactures we have tried but just aren't what we choose. 

Reflectives and Non Reflective Metalized Films 
All manufactures make Silver (Mirror like) and Bronze (Copper looking) and they all have a major common aesthetic issue, which is interior reflectivity that will be a mirror on the inside at night if your lights are on. The positive is that they are among highest heat reducing because of the high reflectivity. We have used Madico for bronze films for as long as I have been at Made In The Shade (30 years) and have had zero warranty issues! And I think they look the best as well. Silver from any of the major manufactures is fine. 

Neutral Metalized films are also made by all manufactures and we prefer Sunscape Select DG 35-45-55 but the 3M Nearl 20-35-50-70 series (The only 3M film I recommend) is a solid attractive film that they actually fully manufacture in 36-48-60 inch but outsource the 72". 

Non Reflective Metalized Usually constructed with a dye layer to the adhesive side (glass Side) and a dye layer to the scratch coat side (interior room side) with metal sandwiched in between dye layers. We rarely install these films because of the high amount of Dye which fades or changes color and short warrantees 
(1-5 years). Again, any major manufacture will do, but not all make this category for buildings. We have used Llumar and Solargard most frequently up until Avery developed the Natura Line.
When we talk Spectral Select we have to talk about the grand daddy, the one and only... 
VKool! This brand came from a company called Southwall Technology in the early 70's. The same company makes Huper Optik which also makes a ceramic Version of these films. Southwall has also been purchased by Eastman Chemical Co.! We can get Huber Optic, Vista and Panorama for you through our partners at Window Film USA, but we prefer the VKool because of the clarity and high Infra Red Reduction (93 to 98% of the whole IR Spectrum) and phenomenal performance, which is a result of their unique multi layered and multi metalized construction. Films like this may corrode near the coast or high humidity areas if not installed properly by thoroughly evacuating water and/or caulking the bottom and sides with a inexpensive caulk. A non metalized ceramic film may be applicable in such an area if edge sealing is not desired.

The N.F.R.C. gives the VKool VK 70-55-40 films the highest performance rating for films of it's kind and per depth of darkness overall!

Many manufactures have developed low cost Spectral Select films in a metalized, ceramic, or nonmetallized Nano Particle version. Avery and Suntek both make one we use frequently when VKool can not be afforded by the customer. Suntek's is called Ultra Vision and Avery's is called Elite, they have substantially lower pricing than Spectral Select films have had in the past. If we are talking heat reduction in degrees, it out performs 3M Prestige and the 40% shade is Dual Pane Safe (Prestige 40-50% VLT are not) and it also has a nice Neutral low reflective look. It does not perform as well as VKool 70-55-40 and is not a Low Emissivity film like VKool but then no ones Spectral Select lowers emissivity like VKool. 

Madico, (Arguably the oldest Film Manufacture), makes a premium line called Sunscape Select which includes both a Nano Particle (Pure Vision) and Ceramic called Madico Advanced Ceramic which they tout as their High Definition film.  The Sunscape and M.A.C. both have the best standard glass warranty, which is 5 years on Thermal Breakage and 5 years on the units seal for dual pane; this compares to 5 and 3 or 2 and 2 for most of the industry. Madico and VKool arguably have visually the clearest films on the Market to look through.

VKool's (VK 70-55-40), Hupers Ceramic (60-50-40) and Madico's M.A.C. (60-50-40) make a great car film if you do not like it dark, but want a great heat reduction, it is however is very expensive and difficult to install on vehicles. We do several applications of Spectral Select films on windshields every month using Madico Black Pearl IR and our favorite is Madico Winco! Winco car film is thee clearest most natural film I have ever seen and out performs everything we test it against, including 3M Crystalline and, it is less expensive!

Exterior Films!
Each Manufacture usually has exterior films in at least Silver and often Bronze. Solargard and Hanita window films have the best overall choices and warranty's for exterior films. They have each category of aforementioned film types in exterior films with warranties ranging from 3 to 15 years! I rarely see the need to recommend exterior applications but for hard to reach windows or certain types of glass, it may be best and the performance is outstanding. It is often required they be sealed on all 4 sides with a structural sealant like Dow 795 or 995 to receive the benefit of the full duration of the warranty.

"What about Safety Films", you ask!
The application of Safety and Security films can save life's from broken or flying glass do to impact or explosion! It is used throughout the world for Bomb Blast Mitigation and theft deterrent! I like the Llumar Magnum, Bekert Armorgard and Madico 8ml films because they pass the Large and small missile test and have a better rating for large missile and bomb blast than most companies. I like how much clearer their Safety films are to look through too; The 3M Ultra films are so hazy and distorted and they fail so quickly! Come see my garage window that has 10 year old failing Ultra NV25 400 3M Safety Film that failed at 3 years! I know I know, I need to re do it!

Now let me talk about Auto Truck and RV film! 
Car films have almost the same categories in order below of low to high pricing. All stop 99.9% of UV:
Non reflective dyed which is usually the least expensive and lowest performing but better than nothing for sure. They remove 30 to 40% of the heat.
High Performance or Hybrid metalized films. Basically add metal to the dyed film and sometimes between two dye layers or in the dye layer. It provides a better heat reduction per shade or depth of darkness than dyed film alone. They remove 40 to 66% of the heat but the higher the heat reduction the more reflective they look.
Full Metal Films which are plastic and metal, have a great heat reduction per depth of darkness but, the most reflective in appearance. This category was harder to work with and especially on back windows that have to be heat shrunk. The heat to shrink the film causes the film to ghost or have blurring where high heat and extensive shrinking is needed.  Rarely chosen and we no longer offer it. 
Ceramic and or Carbon auto films are a more popular choice these days because you get Metalized heat rejection like properties without the reflective look. Carbon gives the coloring that will not fade. Ceramic only films can look reflective or grayish so adding carbon tones give a more neutral look. Carbon only films will have a heat reduction similar to Dyed films and for the added expense carbon only films are not worth it if heat reduction isn't higher. All of these films are not conductive, they will not interfere with radio, cell or Bluetooth signals.
Nano particle films are the newest coolest thing but usually cost the most. They have a low or no reflectivity in and out but offer a heat reduction as good as a Metal or Carbon Ceramic film. They are considered Spectral Select because they are designed to removed the highest amount of IR energy. They also will not interfere with signals as they are non conductive. 

We do cars of all types and we feel the best film program is a mixture, because it is the best overall program. The warranty from each manufacture is the same. It covers the film against bubbling and peeling along with fading and change of color! We offer only Lifetime Warranty Products; the film is warranted for as long as the original purchaser owns the car, the film was installed on. We have the Sungard Black Pearl Non Reflective, Sungard Black Pearl High Performance , Madico Onyx High Performance , Sungard Black Pearl IR and Wincos to choose from. 
Visit our site for more extensive information today!

There are several other manufactures to choose from for vehicle films like: Eastman Chemical Co. which makes the Llumar standard series and Formula one and Vista, Solargard made by Saint Gobain, American Standard Window Film, Global, 3M and Johnson, to name a few we have used but obviously no longer choose to use. There are several others and they all have Lifetime warranties available for when they fail and they all will honor the warranty. This has been a solid consistency in the Window Film industry but it is a huge inconvenience to the Customer and the Dealer! With our current line up we have had minimal issues for the last 14 years opposed to weekly returns with 3M.

Last but not least are Decorative Films!
Most manufactures sell Deco films but they don't necessarily manufacture them and are reboxing products made over seas in Korea, Japan and China. 3M has a large offering because of the graphic division and makes an amazing product called Dinoc which can actually have varying textures like wood, stone etc. 3M, Oracle and Avery make the best vinyls. For basic Frost Films any major manufacture will suffice and usually warranty the films for 5 years on interior windows but sometimes 0 to 5 on exterior windows. A company called Decorative Films LLC a Solyx Distributer aquires and distributes the widest variety of Deco Films.

Watch for Avery Dennison films and especially the new line of Dual Reflectives because they are looking pretty good! Suntek is a good film for the budget minded. They were the fastest growing window film manufacture in the U.S. and probably the world, so they must have been doing something right. Compare this to 3M which is the smallest by sales volume in the U.S. Suntek has been recently purchased (2014) by Eastman Chemical Co. which holds the Southwall (VKool and Huper Optic), Llumar and Vista films as well.
Madico has purchased the Brand Sungard about 12 years ago with all of it's equipment out of Bankruptcy, and have made some improvements in capacity overall and have started improving R and D. They released an Auto Carbon Ceramic car film Black Pearl IR as of 10-6-2016 and we LOVE IT.
As smaller manufactures like Xpel, Global, Johnson and Geoshield and many others, continue to endure and improve, the competition rises and everyone must improve. It is exciting to me that a new innovation can come at anytime from any manufacture! We will update as we gain knowledge!

I think and feel what this really comes down to is:
  • The dealer has to do their homework and be responsible in his choices and refuse to be leveraged by the manufactures
  • The end user customer, needs to do their home work about the dealer; Are they Certified by the International Window Film Association? Are they properly licensed and insured? Do they have good training programs for the sales and installation team?
  • Can they prove their statements with data and Certification, and References?
  • Do they follow the I.W.F.A. standards for installation and offer a written labor guarantee?
  • Do the companies they pick to buy your film from have good sustainable warranties?
Hope this information helps you find a Manufacture and or a Dealer for your needs!
Contact us today for free Honest and Helpful Information!
480-985-9293 Local
1-888-577-TINT (8468) Out of Town
Email us at

Image result for 3m logo


Friday, February 4, 2022

Bad 3M Prestige Bad! Don't blame the Doggie! It is how you make the Film - Tint!!

I get asked often what I think of 3M Window Films and Probably 3M Prestige the most. I just show these pictures of warranty work I have recently completed!
First and foremost let us not blame the faithful family friend and companion. He didn't make the film, he just licked the window!

These are pictures of 3M Prestige 40 that the family dog Licked away the color coat which was stupidly put in the scratch Coat by 3M Window Film. A foolish Design flaw yet to be corrected!

Made In The Shade installed thousands of Square Feet of this Lick a view film before we were aware of the design flaw!

We have had several customers with pets (Cats and Dogs) giving a clearer view to their tinted window! We have had bathroom and kitchen windows washed clear of the color! One Lady admittedly cleaned her windows excessively (Daily) and washed the color off most of the film on the whole house!

3M Prestige has many serious flaws: The color coat as shown here in these pictures is the most ridiculous and obvious. This is the key to its high Infra Red absorption, when it is gone or faded you lose protection and performance; Other visual issues are Orange peel look, blurring and distortion in a few short years. Looking at the sky through this film has a dirty air quality view, a brownish hue.

Lets talk about glass breakage too! The film has little to no visual where does all that heat from the absorbed Infra Red go? INTO YOUR GLASS AND FRAME! So guess what happens when to much heat builds up in your dual pane unit? IT CRACKS! When we were a Prestige dealer we installed a couple hundred thousand Square Foot of this Faulty Film. We came to realize that only the 70% Visible Light Transmission was okay for Dual Pane Glass, before 3M did!

Lets talk heat reduction! As one of the first to be offered 3M Prestige I recieved the 1st Marketing literature, and it had all the usual specs all 3M Window Film did, including heat reduction. The numbers were as bad as a non metalized dyed film of the same shade! Prestige 40 on Dual Pane Glass was no better than a Standard 35 Neutral film AND it was discovered unsafe for Dual Pane Glass!

New Marketing Literature was soon released and for the first time "Heat Reduction" was missing! They cleverly replaced it with a new never before used or acknowledged term "Total Solar Energy Rejection on Angle"! See our Blog The Prestige Truth!

They also decided Infra Red needed to only be measured at 900 to 1000 Nano Meters, never mind the spectrum is from 750 to 2500!

The truth is the best Spectral Select film that is safe for your Dual Pane is VKOOL! Alway has been and still is the King! The N.F.R.C. rates it he highest!

Lets move on to another recent warranty issue with 3M Low E Copper

All 5 Pictures are the same home owners windows! It is failed 3M Low E Copper! Notice the Cracking and distortion! Not even the Dog will want to lick this ugly window!

I tried to take pictures of many of these issues over the years but it hardly does the horrible 3M film justice as it does the building and vehicle owner injustice! I recently had to do my poor Mothers Windshield on her Honda civic. The Auto tint version of Prestige was Crystalline and it also created many re do issues for my customers. Her windshield was so blurry and distorted she could not see safely out of it any longer and the film had shrunk away from the edges and left unsightly light gaps! The 3M Color Stable gave us fading issues along with imprinting along the top of the door glass where it rolls up into the frame!

I am no Longer a 3M Window Film Dealer for many reasons but Quality of the product and me being a squeaky wheel about it was the the beginning of the end as a dealer! The last 5 years as a dealer amounted to $100,000.00 of warranty claims. The last year as one of the largest dealers in the U.S.A. we had almost 10% of what we bought become warranty returns, which was almost 30 thousand Bucks! I'm not Bitter or Angry, I just know better now and feel it is important that the truth is told!

We now make it our goal to only bring Quality durable products to our customers and not what we feel we have to buy due to a quota or threats from the manufacture.

Update as of 6-17-2014; We are getting calls on average of 2 failed past 3M building window tinting jobs a month! This is astonishing considering the amount of foreclosures and vacancy's! 3M is warrantying the issues although at a snail pace. We are now referring people directly to 3M as they delay getting us the replacement film or returning our calls. This failure rate is approximately 5 times higher than the other manufactures we have installed and 2 to 3 times sooner! We quit installing all 3M Window Tinting in 2008, we hope the end is near!

Rest assured with the films we sell, Puppy and kitty can lick away...or better said it won't lick away!

Call Today!
Local: 480-985-9293
Out of Valley: 1-888-577-TINT (8468) 
Made In The Shade Inc.
Where YOU Are The COOLEST!

The Color Purple Is Not for your Auto Windows, and Bubbles belong in Champagne!!

Driving around the Valley of the Sun, it always amazes me to see all the autos out there with Purple and/or bubbled windows! Some of these are older, but some are not so old. When your car windows turn purple or bubble, it has gone bad and it's time to replace the tint!

Because the sun shines 85% - 90% of the daytime in Arizona, automotive window tinting is very important. Unfortunately, there are many companies willing to take your money and give you cheap window tinting. The cheapest tint job is not the best tint job, and like any purchase, you get what you pay for. Saving a little money now, will inevitably cost you more in the future!

Inexpensive window film consists of polyester film dyed to achieve the desired color and darkness. The purple appearance is caused when the ultraviolet rays from our always shining sun break down the dyes in poor quality film. Film bubbles because it is of poor quality and the result of a failure in the adhesive process.

Quality window film and a professional installation will help you avoid the embarrassment of purple, bubbled windows, and save you money in the long run.

We not only offer 5 types of high quality window film in various shades, which are backed by a lifetime warranty, but we also offer a written labor guarantee on the installation! We offer Free online and Phone Estimates 6 Days a week, Monday through Saturday 8am to 5pm

Call Today! Local: 480-985-9293 
Out of Valley: 1-888-577-TINT (8468) 
Made In The Shade Inc. 
Where YOU Are The COOLEST!

Understanding Heat Reduction And Window Films!

Claims about “infrared rejection” or other infrared controlling characteristics imparted to glass by solar control window film are abundant in current marketing literature, but the claims that are being made do not reflect the true performance of the product in rejecting heat.
There is no formally recognized measurement of infrared rejection by the fenestration (window) industry, and as a result, a few manufacturers (3M in Particular) have decided to publish “IR Rejection” values at specific wavelengths or over a narrow range (They attempt to deceive you). This methodology results in an incomplete assessment of the solar infrared energy, since the energy across the infrared portion of the solar spectrum varies widely, 780 to 2500 Nano meters. 
Measuring IR at a single point or in a small range does not encompass the total amount of heat gain caused by the infrared component of the spectrum, only a small part of it. It is critically important to become informed about the entire solar energy spectrum, not just one factor in the range, as well as the additional effects of absorption on heat gain.

Solar Energy
An understanding of solar energy is required to fully understand infrared rejection claims. The Solar Spectrum is made up of Visible light (49%), UV (2%) and Infrared or NIR (49%).

Visible Light reaching the surface of the earth that can be seen by humans is located between the wavelengths of 400 and 780 nanometers (nm) in the spectrum. It accounts for 49% of the overall solar energy from the sun but only 44% of the Heat. As the Visible light hits a surface the heat builds on that surface.

UV, or Ultraviolet Light falls between 100 nm to 380 nm and is not visible to the human eye. This energy is highly energetic and destructive (Skin Cancer, Burning, Fading) but, when considering heat the amount of energy it carries is small compared to the amount of energy contained by visible and infrared light. This form of light only accounts for 3% of the heat.

Last, the remaining energy is Infrared Radiation. The near infrared portion of the solar spectrum runs from approximately 780 nm to 2,500 nm and carries about 49% of the solar energy - just under half of the total solar energy. Although it accounts for 53% of the heat from the sun! Technically, radiation beyond 2,500 nm is also infrared, but this “long wave” radiation is a very small portion of the total solar energy, and is mostly associated with radiation from room temperature and warm objects. It is widely accepted that the NIR radiation is 780 nm to 2500 nm, meaning the entire NIR “band” is 1,720 nm wide.

Industry Recognized Performance
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is the industry recognized performance characteristic describing the heat transmitted by a glazing unit. The methods for developing the procedure to test SHGC were developed by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which is comprised of window manufacturers, vendors, and government agencies. 
The SHGC is recognized by the U.S. government, federal energy laboratories, Energy Star, the window and glazing trade associations such as: the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, the International Window Film Association (IWFA), and AIMCAL, the Air Conditioning Contractors Association, consumer groups, and many more organizations.

The SHGC (or its counterpart, the Total Solar Energy Rejected, TSER) reflects the true performance of solar heat gain or rejection through a window into a building, and its calculation includes IR rejection. Separating the IR rejection for purposes of reporting heat gain is misleading.

The SHGC value includes two elements of heat gain through a window. The first is the amount of radiation directly transmitted thru the glass and entering the home. The second element is the amount of radiation that is absorbed by the window, and subsequently re-radiated into a home. Some window films and coatings (3M Prestige) operate by absorption, which blocks radiation and converts it to heat energy in the window pane. The higher the absorption of a window or window film, the more blocked heat it re-radiates into the home as the window heats up. 

The SHGC is determined by NFRC standards, and includes both energy transmitted directly through a window into a home, as well as energy that is absorbed by the window and re-radiated into a home.

Radiation through window film is measured with a spectrophotometer according to the method ASTM E903, and absorptive effects are calculated with formal NFRC standard thermo physical conditions. A critical component of these methods is that they take the weighted solar spectrum into account, meaning that rather than treating each wavelength the same, they are weighted according to the amount of energy they carry.

Performance Claims
Some window film manufacturers report performance for“IR Rejected” in a variety of ways because there is not one, uniformly accepted test method for measuring IR. SHGC, the accurate and recognized performance value of the heat rejecting ability of a window film, varies widely between window film products with similarly claimed “IR Rejection” values. This is due to the fact that each manufacturer measures “IR Rejection” differently, generally at a single point or narrow range at which the film may perform great and thus, best marketed in that range.
This is a misleading calculation as it does not reflect the total IR measurement. The window industry prefers SHGC because it accounts for infrared heat as well as heat from visible light, which is greater than infrared light alone, and because absorption effects are a significant contributor to heat gain through windows.
The testing standard ASTM E903 is the method used to take transmission and reflection data along the entire spectrum, including the infrared. The data collected for a product with this method is used along with standard simulation conditions in the calculation of the SHGC. Companies reporting “IR Rejected” use E903 to collect data, but report only specific wavelengths.
Some specific examples of these claims include: Product A: A product manufacturer reports the“IR Rejected” at only one wavelength, 1000 nm, where the energy from the sun has already significantly tapered off.
Product B: A manufacturer of a product chose to report the “IR Rejected” at 1025 nm, which carries about 10% less solar energy than reporting it at 1000 nm.
Product C: The manufacturer chose a point to the far right of the spectrum, out in the near infrared at approximately 1450 nm, where there is almost no solar energy left.
Product D and E: Manufacturers not reporting a specific wave length or range of wavelengths over which they make their “IR rejected” claims.
Product F: The manufacturer of this product (3M company) only reports their “IR Rejected”number between 900 nm and 1,000 nm, for a total bandwidth of 100 nm. Noting that the entire NIR band is 1,720 nm wide, this figure represents about 6% of the entire width of the NIR. Therefore, the “IR Rejected” reported by this company (3M; 3M Prestige) ignores 94% of the infrared wavelengths.

Below is an energy graph of the infrared portion of the solar spectrum. It shows the solar spectral irradiance (the energy of the sun at sea level) of the near infrared (NIR) between 780 and 2500 nm. This graph demonstrates two things; first, the pink segment represents the portion over which “Product F” (3M Prestige) has reported its “IR Rejected” value. Please notice the amount of IR that is not accounted for. Additionally, the respective single wavelengths at which products A, B, and C have reported their “IR Rejected” can be noted on this graph. Notice that none of these wavelengths is indicative of the entire spectrum. 

Transmission, Reflection, and Absorption in Solar Performance
It is important to understand transmission, reflection, and absorption when discussing the behavior of films in the infrared portion of the solar spectrum. Reflected energy never enters a building through a window, nor does it enter the glass- it is ejected away from the building without affecting the temperature of either the glass or the interior. 100% of transmitted energy passes through a window and becomes heat gain inside of a home. Absorbed energy takes a more complicated path in the window system. Absorbed energy is taken into the pane of glass, thus heating up the window and its frame. Some of this absorbed energy that is stored in the window is radiated back outdoors, while some of it enters the home.
This is important because the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) takes into account the effects of all three phenomena. Infrared numbers currently reported in the industry refer only to energy that is not transmitted, and ignore the heating effect of absorbed radiation. This is another reason the SHGC is the superior and industry recognized performance of a window, since not only does it take into account the full solar energy spectrum, it accounts for the harmful effects of absorption on home interior temperatures.

The window on the Top is more absorbing than the window on the Bottom. The heat gain into the home from the Top window (A) is greater than the Bottom(B), because the Top window has higher absorption. “IR Rejected” claims do not address this phenomenon.

If you go to any home improvement store and look at the windows, you will find an NFRC label reporting SHGC. Building codes, energy simulations and Energy Star ratings all use SHGC as a means of measuring total solar heat gain. Additionally, numerous municipalities, energy companies, and organizations are offering rebates for solar control films that have a low SC and/or SHGC.
Some window film manufacturers chose to publish IR figures which could mislead the consumer with the exception of VKool. As we look to publish IR performance, we find it important to weight it against the energy striking the glass, thus we will be providing a weighted average for IR Rejection accounting for the entire IR region, 780 to 2500 nano meters, much like VKool already does! Reporting IR values by any other means negates the fact that energy at shorter wavelengths is exponentially more powerful than energy at longer wavelengths. At 780 nm there is much more energy than at 2000 nm. An unweighted average would not account for this difference in energy over the entire range.

“IR Rejected”
The purpose of this Article is to inform the general public on the subject of infrared energy. The infrared portion of solar energy is only one part of the total energy transmitted to earth within the solar spectrum, and it does not take into account the significant effects of absorption. Furthermore, there is no standard method to report these values, and most window film product manufacturers (unlike VKool) report “IR Rejection” for their products at a single wavelength or narrow band. The industry accepted and most accurate performance values used to report heat gain or rejection due to the application of window film are Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and its counterpart Total Solar Energy Rejected (TSER).
However it is important for people to also understand that High Infrared reducing Films or Spectral Select Films which reduce 94 to 98.3% of the whole infrared spectrum, will give you more light with a similar or higher heat reduction than conventional and or reflective films, that are 2 to 3 times darker . VKool reflects more infrared energy than other films like 3M Prestige thus making it safer for Dual pane (Lower heat absorption) and giving it an overall higher heat reduction per depth of darkness with a clearer view and less visual reflectivity!
Contact us today to speak to a knowledgeable professional for help choosing a film to meet your needs!
Local: 480-985-9293
Out of Valley: 1-888-577-TINT (8468) 
Contact Made In The Shade Inc.