Window film for your home or business comes in a wide variety of options and features. Not all film is alike, so it is important to consider what is your top priority or what you want most out of window film and work from there. If privacy is your number one priority, you’ll be glad to know your choices are not limited.
Choices in Privacy Window Film
Window film for privacy has four different offerings:
- Solar or Sun Control Window Films (Tint)
- Privacy Mirror (One Way) Films
- Blackout / Whiteout / Translucent (Frosted Appearance) Films
- Decorative Window Films
Each privacy window film option has their own pros and cons and not every film is going to be perfect. There will be some trade-offs you need to accept, so take some time to decide what is most important to you when choosing a privacy window tint or privacy window film.
Solar or Sun Control Window Films
Solar or sun control window films are the most popular choice of consumers. To gain privacy, customers will have to choose a dark window film like one with a 15% visible light transmission (VLT) such as 3M Night Vision 15 to make it more difficult for people outside of homes or buildings to be able to see in.
Pros: You still get the benefit of natural light entering the room with a solar or sun control window film. Darker films also tend to reject more heat from the outside, and like many other window films on the market, they have up to 99% UV protection.
Cons: Darker films used to create privacy tend to have higher exterior reflectivity. If you do not like a shiny, almost mirror-like appearance on the exterior side of your windows, you may not want to choose a solar control film to create privacy. Also privacy can only be guaranteed during daylight hours. At night, the strongest light source tends to be from lamps and overhead lights in rooms. If a room with tinted glass at night has the lights on, the interior of the room will be somewhat visible. You’ll still need to rely on shades or blinds in the evening if you desire total privacy.
Privacy Mirror (One Way) Films
A privacy mirror or one way film is similar to what see popularized in TV shows and movies. A witness is in a viewing room looks at a police lineup in an adjoining room. The rooms are divided by a wall with a window that is mirrored with a film. In order for the one way film to work properly, the viewing room must be dark or have a minimal amount of light.
Pros: Excellent for offices and industrial settings when you wish to obscure rooms from view.
Cons: Not recommended for glass on an exterior wall of home or building. The high reflectivity of a mirrored film can cause increased heat absorption, thus putting additional stress on the glass.
Blackout / Whiteout / Translucent (Frosted Appearance) Films
Blackout, whiteout, or translucent films are a total privacy solution. Often times these films are turned to for creating privacy in a room or to obscure from view the objects or people in a room. The translucent films, which are the films that have that frosted appearance, are very popular for bathrooms. They create total privacy, but still allow for natural light to enter the room.
Pros: Translucent films allow diffused to enter into the room. Just like blackout or whiteout films, a translucent film completely obscures the view in and out of a window if you are looking for total privacy.
Cons: What may be a benefit to one customer may not be for another when it comes to these films. If you need to be able to see out a window, blackout, whiteout, or translucent films may not be the best choice as they completely block any kind of view.
Decorative Window Films
Decorative window films give the homeowner or business owner an option to customize their glass without having to go to the effort of replacing glass to get a stained glass or etched glass appearance. There are literally hundreds of designs, colors, and patterns to choose from all to reach the level of privacy you desire.
Pros: You can virtually get any color or pattern to choose from. Any kind of design you want can be chosen or created into a custom film to give the glass in your room a unique, one of a kind look.
Cons: Decorative films tend to be more expensive than other window films and some colors or patterns can obscure your view.
How To Get Privacy Window Film Installed at Your Property
If you feel privacy window film or window tint is right for you and your property, the next step is to schedule a one on one consultation with a qualified window film installer in your area. Most companies offer free consultations and can provide you with samples of privacy window film for you to take a closer look at. It is advised to always get an on-site consultation with a qualified window film company to make sure the right films are presented to you that meet your specific needs for privacy. Remember, not all window film is the same.
For homeowners and business owners in the Boise, Idaho area and surrounding communities, contact Meridian Window Tint. Outside the Boise, Idaho area a free resource is available from the International Window Film Association (IWFA) to find an installer of privacy window film that can help.