The newest thing in window tint is a lightly colored film that, thanks to nano-technology, shuts out as much heat and UV rays as its George Hamilton-hued counterparts. “It blocks all the infrared rays, which cause heat, so it does not have to be dark,” says Leslie Ewing, co-owner of Made in the Shade in Mesa.
“That’s why people are liking it so much. There are so many places in the Valley where people have excellent views. . . . It also blocks out glare.”
Introduced in May by 3M, the Prestige window tint is made from 286 layers of nano-thin microlayers of plastic, according to David Ewing, Leslie’s husband, business partner and certified installer of 3M films. The line comes in four shades and has a heat reduction as good as or better than films two to three times darker, he says.
Additionally, Prestige film is not made with metallics, which are used in the highly reflective films. According to 3M’s product information, metallic films have problems with corrosion — more of an issue for areas with high humidity or coastal areas.
Prestige film also comes with a lifetime residential warranty. “It’s the best there is,” says Ewing.
The downside, of course, is cost, which starts at about $12.25 per square foot installed, she says. In comparison, other window tints start at about $7.25 per square foot installed.
And it’s peak window tinting season in the Valley, where homeowners have found tint to be a cost as well as cosmetic advantage. Window tints can block as much as 80 percent of the heat that would otherwise come through. Most films will pay for themselves with lower air-conditioning bills in a few years.
The laminates, which can be applied either through a professional contractor or as a do-it-yourself project, block out virtually all UV rays that cause discoloration in carpets, furniture and walls. Another potential advantage, if a dark tint is used, is increased privacy.
The trend is moving away from reflective films, which are prohibited by some homeowners associations.
Made in the Shade
3820 E. Main St. Mesa (480) 985-9293 www.amadeintheshade.com