Everyday we run across customers who are getting bids from other competitors to only discover that they are getting bids for products containing dyes, pigments, or color stable films. Always question what is being sold to you. If it is called color stable, dye, pigment, ink etc. I strongly recommend that you use another material on your home. You may not notice it 2, 3 or 4 years down the road but I promise you that within 5-10 years those films will fade to purple or begin to go clear quickly and you may not even realize it. Manufacturer’s are getting smart by labeling their films as dye free because they change the way they add color to them by using ink instead of dyes or pigmenting them in a way that they don’t use the word “dye” but it is virtually the same concept sure it won’t turn purple or blue like the older generation but it does fade clear eventually. Think of a fabric like a rug for example, these rugs are made with dyes and some dyes fade faster than others but you put it in the sunlight and guess what happens, that’s right it fades however a cheaper dye fades faster but the end result is still the same. Manufacturer’s cover these “dyes” up pretty well with using terms like but not in all cases, dual reflective films, some ceramics, or spectrally selective window films. Many traditional reflective films use dyes in between two layers of metal.

Don’t get me wrong, dyed films aren’t all bad, manufacturer’s can control colors easier and develop very pretty films with dyes, inks, or pigments. Some (maybe two or three) manufacturer’s have develped pigmented (color stable) films that will hold up for a good amount of time and look nice during its life but be careful when selecting these products as they age they will start to fade clear before turning color.

Questions to ask the sales person:

What gives this film its color?

How long has this technology been around? There are two or three “new” technologies that have been changed or tweeked. The manufacturer’s have adjusted their manufacturering process of the product to make them look different a.k.a. adjusting the pigments to meet certain looks.

How does this film reduce heat? Absorbed/Reflected/Transmitted are three methods (the only methods) If no documented information about absorption is posted be cautious about this material!!!!!

Be cautious with their answer do not except it blocks all the IR (Infra-Red) heat energy. I will go into greater detail another day about IR.

Ask to see a installation with the film that is more than 4 years old if available.

Where is this film manufactured? Get the manufacturer’s address to confirm this information. You’ll be surprised how many companies label themselves as a manufacturer but aren’t and how many are considered a manufacturer by the IWFA (International Window Film Association) but don’t have a manufacturing plant. Call the IWFA and ask who is registered as a manufacturer or distributor. They will tell you.

Are they a member of the IWFA? If they are a member they pay a membership fee which goes to the IWFA to promote windowfilm. I do not recommend going with a company who is not a member.

Are they a Solar Control Film Specialist by the IWFA? This means they passed a test about their knowledge of window films using the IWFA standard. I recommend you choose a company who is a Solar Control Film Specialist because they know more about the construction of films and how they work more than an average window tinter. I say this because the manufacturer’s do not qualify their dealers very well. It is a unregulated industry and most window film companies are very small companies (which isn’t a bad thing) but they come and go so quickly that as a consumer if there is a problem with the installation you never know who is going to be around next year.