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Window Tint Shades and Darkness: Exploring Percentages


An exceptional window tint can bring a multitude of transformative advantages to any vehicle owner. Whether you seek a added style, effective heat management during scorching summer months, or the safeguarding of your vehicle's interior from sun-related harm, professional installation window tinting delivers immediate value. Some of the notable benefits include:

  1. Heat Control: Window tint is meticulously designed to obstruct the infrared radiation responsible for solar heat. This dual-purpose feature not only maintains a cooler and more comfortable interior but also contributes to energy savings by reducing the need for excessive air conditioning.

  2. UV Ray Shielding: Harmful UV rays can inflict various detrimental effects on passengers and the vehicle's interior. They pose health risks, leading to sunburns and skin cancer for occupants, while also causing upholstery and interior surfaces to fade, crack, or warp. Window tints designed to block UV rays provide essential protection for both you and your vehicle.

  3. Glare Reduction: The blinding glare when driving towards the sun can seriously compromise visibility and safety. A glare-rejecting film acts as sunglasses for your vehicle, mitigating glare and enhancing overall visibility.

  4. Aesthetic Enhancement: Window tinting bestows a sleek and eye-catching appearance upon your vehicle, making it a highly popular choice among car owners.

  5. Enhanced Privacy: Window tinting makes it challenging for external observers to peer into your vehicle, affording you and your passengers increased privacy.

With numerous shades and options available, selecting the ideal tint can seem overwhelming. How do you navigate the legal requirements while meeting your aesthetic and functional preferences for window tinting? Shade9 is your trusted guide, offering premium window film solutions and expert advice tailored to your needs.

VLT% (Visible Light Transmission Percentage):

Automotive window tinting is quantified by VLT%, representing the amount of visible light passing through the material or surface. Lower VLT% corresponds to darker shades, with, for example, a 5% window film would be considered the darkest or "limo tint". A 40% VLT allowing 40% of light to pass through while blocking the remaining 60%.


Window Tinting Laws: Each state has distinct laws governing the minimum allowable VLT% for different vehicle types and windows. Be sure to review your state's regulations. For a quick overview, here are West Virginia's Window Tinting guidelines:

  • All Vehicles: Windshield tinting is generally prohibited except for a non-reflective tint on the top of windshield. Length as long as AS1 line.

  • Small Cars: Front and rear door windows should have a minimum of 35% VLT.

  • Trucks and SUV's: Front door windows require a minimum of 35% VLT, while rear door windows and back windshields have no specific VLT limits.

Choosing the Right Shade:

Once you're familiar with your state's regulations, you can explore available options to make an informed choice aligned with your visual preferences.


Selecting an Effective Film: A common misconception is that darker window tints inherently offer superior heat, UV, and glare reduction. However, the most effective films adeptly block both UV and infrared rays— the culprits behind sun damage and heat buildup. High-quality window films achieve this while preserving natural light transmission and the aesthetics of your vehicle. These high performance films allow you to choose a very light (or even clear) film and still reject large amounts of heat.

Dark Tints: Many drivers favor the darkest legally allowed tint for its visually appealing darkened windows and enhanced privacy. In West Virginia, a 35% tint often meets these preferences, providing a visibly darker look and increased privacy. Alternatively, those looking for maximum privacy go for the darkest possible film which is 5% tint. This 5% tint is especially popular on the back of SUV's and Trucks.

Medium Tints: A 20% tint strikes a middle ground, delivering improved privacy and the sought-after sleek appearance. This shade also matches the factory tint or "dye" (read more about the difference between window tinting and factory tint)

Light Tints: For those wishing to maintain their vehicle's existing aesthetics, advanced technology in certain films allows for a lighter shade while offering the benefits of heat rejection and glare reduction. 50% and 80% films are very light and provide excellent benefits without darkening up your vehicle vary much. These films are also very commonly applied to full front windshields.


At Shade9, we take pride in being Bridgeport, WV's top choice for window tinting services. With over 10 years of experience, we are experts in helping drivers select and install the perfect window film for their vehicles.

Whether you need assistance choosing the right tint, are interested in our paint protection options, or have a clear vision for your tinting project, The Shade9's professionals are ready to assist. For expert guidance on the best tint for your vehicle or to explore our home and business services, contact us today!

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