Is Ceramic Window Tint Worth It?

Book Your Appointment Now: $395-595* For Ceramic Window Tint Service Call 602-621-9695
Additional fee will apply if we will need to remove existing tint.
* This price applies to most but not all vehicles. Please call us with your make and model.

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers.

Does Ceramic measure up? It does, and it is the best value for your dollar.

But before we get into the details, let's back up a second and talk about window tint in a broader sense.

Why We Want to Block Visible & Infrared Light

Our summer heat is in legendary abundance and the temperature in your vehicle pushes even higher because of direct sunlight. Yes there is the ambient weather to consider, but the visible and infrared light rays are the ones responsible for the "cook an egg on your dashboard" interior temps. Like the greenhouse effect, our windows will collect the solar energy (especially when parked) and expose anything inside the car to sweltering heat.

It's surprising how much heat you can avoid just by blocking some visible light. There are so many products for the home that take advantage of this principle (screens, curtains, awnings, shade trees, etc), and we even orient buildings to avoid direct sunlight coming in. The ultimate Arizona perk might just be covered daytime parking, that's a testament to how much visible light matters in our extreme desert climate.

When we reduce the transmission of heat, it becomes less painful to get back into your vehicle after being parked in the sun. Even a brand new car is going to take a little time to cool down if it's been sitting all day long. When we prohibit a large amount of the light from getting inside your car, the air conditioning can catch up faster and keep up more efficiently.

Every degree that tint can save you is a difference that you will feel. This applies to the air temperature but also the surfaces of your car itself. Sunlight is what turns your steering wheel and seatbelt buckle into hot lava, and a quality film can mean the difference between touchable vs dangerous until cooled.

Psychologically, our brains assign even more comfort to a slightly darker space (regardless of temperature). You'll also eliminate or at least greatly reduce the glare coming in which also makes for a much nicer experience.

Why We Want to Block UV Rays

Modern medicine tells us that UV rays are harmful to our health, and that we receive extreme levels of them in Arizona. While our bodies do get some benefit from them (some boost to our Vitamin D production, for example), the risks are significant and UV radiation is classified as a complete carcinogen - something to be protected from.

Your skin is about 16% of your body and your largest organ, and UV does damage in these ways:

  • Tumor initiator (UV is a mutagen)
  • Tumor promoter
  • Atrophies the skin
  • Creates wrinkling of the skin
  • Leads to pigmentation issues

Over 1 million Americans are affected by skin cancer each year, and genetics can increase the risk.

We spend a lot of time in our cars, and we owe it to ourselves to be proactive in reducing our exposure to carcinogens. Commuting is more of a necessary part of modern life than a fun activity. Why risk skin cancer for something mundane like the daily drive? A good film will block 99% of UV rays, it is a no-brainer choice. Save the UV exposure for waterskiing and exploring the wilderness, experiences that matter.

You may be wondering about windshield tint, which is traditionally not part of a full window tint service. Yes, there is 99% UV blocking clear film available for your windshield. You do not need to leave this surface unprotected. Your dashboard and your skin will thank you.

How Well Does Regular Tint Work?

Since we've pinpointed the two most important benefits of tint, let's now look at what an average film will bring to your vehicle. We'll use our Premium Window Tint as the example film. Notice that the darker you get, the more solar energy (heat and light) is kept out of your vehicle. The industry measurement is called "Total Solar Energy Rejection" and that number takes into account more than just opacity, for the full picture of heat rejected.

Tint "Total Solar Energy Rejection" Chart

film type TSER film description blocks UV?
HP 50% 36% energy rejected Light tint Yes
HP 35% 49% energy rejected Our pick for front door glass Yes
HP 20% 53% energy rejected Our pick for rear and back glass Yes
HP 15% 53% energy rejected Even darker Yes
HP 5% 59% energy rejected Limo tint shade Yes

The film percentages in the chart above go from very light film to very dark, with the shades getting darker as the % number goes down.

35% has been marked in red, so that you can easily compare the energy rejection to Ceramic in the next chart. You can see that if you were to outfit your glass in this shade of tint, you would be getting 49% energy rejected from the sun to your car's interior, and 99% UV rejection. Just by adding tint to your vehicle! That's huge, and it only takes one stop-and-go traffic incident to make you wish you were getting hit with about 50% less heat and sunlight.

It's worth noting that there is a wide variance in the "everything less than ceramic" category. It is always a good idea to ask for product specifics when you are purchasing window tint, to ensure you are getting the best protection for your dollar. A "regular" film in a different shop may have significantly lower TSER numbers than the chart above (we do spend more to get a premium product) and may or may not block UV.

Is Ceramic Window Tint Worth the Price?

Here's a similar chart to the last one, and you'll notice something very cool: even the lightest shade is still significantly higher performing than a regular film. And that "regular film" was a very good one in its own right!

Ceramic TSER Chart

film type TSER film description blocks UV?
XR Black 70% 49% energy rejected Very light tint Yes
XR Black 55% 50% energy rejected Light tint Yes
XR Black 45% 52% energy rejected Relatively Light tint Yes
XR Black 30% 58% energy rejected Our pick for front door glass Yes
XR Black 20% 64% energy rejected Our pick for rear and back glass Yes
XR Black 5% 66% energy rejected Limo tint shade Yes

The closest analogy to our 35% film is going to be 30% in this product line.

You'll see that the Ceramic 30% is going to reject 58% of the total solar energy. That's more than half of the total solar energy hitting your glass, and it makes for a difference you can feel. Don't just take our word for it: come down in person and feel it on our heat box display. It's very tactile and straightforward, your own hand will give you the straight scoop.

Also marked in a mossy green is our nearly-invisible film at 70%. You can see that even our lightest and most transparent Ceramic film is going to reject more heat than our Premium 35%. This is why we always do windshields in Ceramic, and why you can get great tint without having to go dark.

Bottom Line: Get Your Windows Tinted

No matter what, please do not drive around in full blazing Arizona sun with the full brunt of the sun's rays beating down on you. Get the UV protection, available in Premium or Ceramic films, and get something that will last for the lifetime of your vehicle. There is nothing cool about window tint that is effective for only a single season, and consider how much of the sun's energy is going to beat down on you over the years. GET TINT. Treat your skin right and be at ease every time you buckle up.

If you are able to do so, we highly suggest upgrading to Ceramic and adding the windshield. You are going to get ~50% TSER protection that will not fade or degrade. The ownership cost is negligible over all the years that you drive the car.

It's a win for your skin, your eyes, your family, privacy, comfort, and style.

But let's also do a little math to see how the value adds up.

Doing the Math: Is Ceramic Worth It?

If you like Excel spreadsheets and running the numbers, this section is for you! You will see that the annual cost is a pittance to upgrade to Ceramic tint, compared to the average length ownership of about 7 years.

Value & Cost of Ownership Numbers

type blocks light? blocks UV? install cost lifespan reinstalls cost after 7 years cost per year
Low quality film Yes but fades ? Varies $99 1-2 years 3-6 times $700 if redone every other year ($400 in new tint + $300 in removing old tint)
to $1300 ($700 in tint + $600 in removing old tint)
Common quality film Yes but fades Likely $170 3 years 2 times $710 if redone at years 3 and 6 ($510 in new tint + $200 in removing old tint) $101
Good quality film Yes Yes $295 Lifetime none $295 $42
Ceramic quality film Best Yes $395 Lifetime none $395 $56

Because of our lifetime warranty, your tint service is a one-time expense for the life of your vehicle. This greatly impacts the all-time cost of ownership, because taking tint off and re-doing it is expensive. Each subsequent appointment needs is priced much higher to account for getting the old stuff off, not to mention the inconvenience of all the appointments.

We have seen plenty of windows that faded 1-2 years after the customer bought the car from a dealership. It sounds too fast to be true but it really does happen! Combine this short product life with bargain basement tint service, and it really is possible to need another service every year or two. It just doesn't hold up to the Arizona sun.

As a product fades, it also gets less effective over time. It happens slowly so it may not be noticeable to the driver, until one day it starts to peel and they get the whole thing redone. And then wow, what a difference the new tint makes! Hopefully they choose something that will last.

You will get the best bang for your buck with ceramic film and a lifetime warranty.

Book Your Car: Call Jonathan at 602-621-9695

Read more about skin cancer and UV radiation.

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