Blackout Window Film: How to Choose the Right Level of Darkness

by | Aug 8, 2023

You need blackout window films if you’re tired of the glare, of the sun making it difficult for you to drive.

Or the snooping passers-by and neighbours peering in at every opportunity.

With blackout window films, you can protect yourself from prying eyes and enjoy long drives while the sun is out without having to worry about glare.

However, you cannot just install a blackout window film. There are so many factors at play that you need to consider, especially in Canada.

So, before you install the blackout window film, consider the following.

1. Comply with Canadian Tint Laws

You need to understand the Canadian tint laws that govern the province you live in because each province has different rules and regulations for window tinting. 

The Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act governs tinting by calculating the amount of light that passes through the window film.

This is also called Visible Light Transmission (VLT) percentage.

As a result, a higher percentage means that more light can pass through, resulting in a lighter tint. While a lower percentage has a darker shade as little to no light can pass through.

Here is a table showing different provinces and their VLT.

Province Windshield Front side Back side Rear
New Brunswick 70% 70% Any Any
Yukon 70% 70% Any 70%
British Columbia 7.5 cm None Any Any
Quebec 15 cm 70% Any Any
Manitoba 12.7 cm 50% Any Any

Failure to comply with these rules you risk attracting penalties.

VLT Levels And Their Characteristics

There are various VLT levels ranging from 5% to 90%. The darkest tint is 5%, while the lightest tint is 90%.

Here are the VLTs’ characteristics:

  • 90% to 70%. It allows a high amount of visible light to pass through but it protects from glare and UV rays. However, someone outside the car at a distance can still see you. 
  • 50%. The amount of light passing through here is not as high as 70%, but it is still significant. This VLT blocks the heat and UV rays and provides some privacy. It is perfect if you prefer a balance of visibility and privacy.
  • 35%. This offers a darker shade but maintains reasonable visibility and privacy much better than 50%.
  • 20% to 15%. It is commonly known as factory tint since most vehicles come with this VLT when leaving the manufacturer. It is darker than 35%, therefore, providing better protection from UV rays and privacy, making it difficult for snoopers to see you unless they are up close. Therefore this VLT is perfect for commercial or residential purposes to prevent snooping and protect belongings.
  • 5%. This is the darkest VLT available and most commonly found on limousines as almost no visible light passes through. It is perfect if you want maximum privacy and security. However, Canada prohibits 5% VLT, so you can’t use it on your car windows.

2. Consider Your Preferences and Needs

You need to consider what you value most. Do you want more privacy, meaning less light passing through your windows? Or are you okay with some light but still need to block UV rays?

If you want to block harmful UV rays, a translucent window film will do while providing little to no darkness.

But if privacy is your main concern, especially if you want to protect your belongings in the car, go for 35% to 15% VLT.

Additionally, consider how much aesthetics matter to you. This is because adding blackout window films will significantly impact the look and feel of a vehicle. 

So, if you’re unsure how your car will look after installing the blackout window film, look for a similar car to yours with blackout window film.

The make, model and colour should match so that you can see how it looks. If you like how it looks, go for the blackout window films. But if you don’t like it, use a translucent window film to block the UV rays.

Hire a Trustworthy Professional to Install your Blackout Window Film

We have all seen peeling window film, or one with bubbles all over damaging a car’s aesthetics because no cleaning or buffing will make those air bubbles disappear.

So to avoid having to change your blackout window films after a few months which ends up being expensive, choose a professional like VanCity Window Films to fix it for you. 

So, why VanCity Window Films?

In Canada, we are the best providers of blackout window film solutions because we do not install the film without a thorough inspection of the space we are installing it.

We check the make and model of your vehicle to ensure that the blackout window film fits perfectly without leaving any air bubbles.

If you crave some privacy, book an appointment with us. Let us help you experience the full benefits of blackout window films.