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Window tinting is about more than just a sleek look for your vehicle – blocking the sun’s UV rays can make your ride more comfortable and protect your car’s interior. Over time, the sun can cause damage to leather interiors, dash covers, and other components of your vehicle. During the summer months, tinted windows can help keep your car cooler and your vision clearer as they keep more of the sun’s rays out of the inside of your car. Whether you’re thinking about tinting your windows for aesthetic, comfort, or practical reasons, there are a few things you should know!

How Dark Is the Tint?

Window tinting is measured as a percentage of the light allowed into your car. A tint’s darkness is measured by the visible light transmission (VTL) of the tint itself. If you buy a window tint film with an 80% VTL, for example, that means that 80% of light is allowed into your car and 20% of the light is blocked. Many consumers make the mistake of understanding a tint’s darkness the other way around – that an 80% VTL means that’s how much light will be blocked. But it’s important to know that the lower a VTL rating is the darker the tint will be – and the higher a VTL rating is the lighter the tint will be.

How Dark Can I Tint My Windows?

Just about every state has different laws on how dark you can tint your windows. And not all windows are tinted equally! Most states have laws or regulations about how dark the front, side, and back windows can be tinted separately. Across the country, a 50% VTL limit is fairly standard. 

In Arkansas, however, you’re allowed to tint your windows to a specific VTL according to whether you drive a sedan or an SUV/van. For all vehicles in Arkansas, non-reflective tint is allowed only on the top five inches of the window to keep your windshield clear and visibility high. On the front side windows of all vehicles, tint must allow more than 25% of the light in – so the lowest (and darkest) VTL allowed is 25%. Back side windows can be tinted to a 25% VTL on sedans and 10% on SUVs and vans. For all vehicles, the lowest VTL allowed for back windows is 10%.

These are representative state regulations. Before you invest in window tinting, check state and local laws to make sure you’re not wasting your money on an illegal tint darkness. 

How Dark Should I Tint My Windows?

When you’re considering how dark to tint your windows, keep in mind that window tinting provides aesthetic, comfort, and practical benefits. Aesthetically speaking, tinting your windows will change your car’s entire look – providing darker window surfaces that can complement your car’s paint job, tires, and other components. For comfort, consider how much light you want to allow into your car and whether or not a super dark tint would affect your ability to see and judge distance. Practically, think about the safety benefits to darker tint – making it harder for people to see into your vehicle and potentially helping to thwart thieves. Also consider the protection a darker tint might offer to your car’s interior, keeping it in the best shape possible and protecting your resale value.

Once you’ve made these considerations, you’re ready to choose a tint darkness and schedule your window tinting installation.

Trust Your Car to the Pros

Don’t just order the VTL tinting you want and assume you can get the job done yourself. Trust the pros at Fast Glass Services to get the job done right the first time! Our glass technicians have all the tools and experience needed to make sure that you choose the right VTL tint, that your tint goes on smoothly and is there to stay, and that you’re ready to drive off with a professional tint job in no time. Contact us today to learn more or schedule your tint job!