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What is Window Film?

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Lets get right down to it - Window Film is literally a piece of plastic (either polyester, or vinyl) which has been either dyed, colored with metals, embossed, or printed on. The final steps of manufacturing involves an adhesive layer laminated to one side, whether its a cling-on or adhesive backed window film. Some films have additional features such as a Scratch Coat (SC) which prevent damage, or additional UV coatings and dyes and metals. 

Types of Window Film

"Window Film" is the general term for various films, and includes the following product types:


Decorative Films - The most popular window film among do-it-yourself home owners are decorative films because of their wide variety of patterns, easy installation, and overall functionality at add privacy. Decorative films include a range of products for privacy functions, style, faux stained glass or even making sure someone doesn't walk into a glass partition. Decorative films are either printed on, embossed or sometimes both. 

If you need to add privacy or style:  Shop Decorative Films


Solar Films - According to a research paper published by the International Window Film Association Solar Film is extremely beneficial to existing homes and buildings, and for the price, solar films are the most effective and cost efficient way to save on your energy bills. They are typically metallized which allows these films to reflect a large amount of heat from the window and reduces the amount of heat transferred into the home. During the winter, they help insulate the glass and keep the heat in the building.

Solar Films can block up to 85% of total solar energy, and save money on energy bills. 


Security Film - These are optically clear PET films that are designed to be installed on glass and hold it together in case of breakage. 
  • 4 Mil Safety Film - Installed on doors and windows to hold glass together from day-to-day accidental breakage from golf balls, baseballs or someone simply walking into the glass accidentally. 
  • 8 Mil Security Film - While more heavy-duty films are available, 8 Mil Security Film is spec'd by United States Homeland Security as anti-shatter film or "shatter-resistant window film" designed to hold glass together in one sheet and prevent projectile damage as well as entry. FEMA 426 Reference Manual even specifies security films to "Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings"
  • 12 Mil Security Film - For serious precautions 12 mil security films are available. While 8 mil films are rated for bomb-blast mitigation, the 12 mil film is available for serious security needs. 


Automotive Film - More commonly known as "window tint" these are typically dyed polyester films that are designed to be molded or "shrunk" to curved automotive glass for blocking light or reducing heat inside of a car. Automotive films really do make cars look sleek, and in most car commercials you'll notice all the windows are tinted to enhanced appearance. While professional installation is common in most cities in the US, do-it-yourself installation is becoming more and more popular. 


UV Blocking Film - Blocking UV Rays makes up about 25% of what causing fading. Heat makes up a larger portion, but you have to sacrifice light to block heat. UV Films are virtually clear and block 99% of UV rays. These films are typically 2mil thick and manufactured by laminating a UV coating to clear polyester. 

While UV Blocking Films are great - if you are looking to slow fading (you can never prevent fading 100%) than Solar Films are the route to go. UV rays only make up a small portion of what causes fading. 

These are the basics to explain "what is window film" and hopefully will help guide you in which product is right for you. If you have any questions about what window film is right for your application, please feel free to Contact Us - email, Live Chat or call 1-800-284-4083 and we're glad to help. 

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