LA Commercial & Residential Window Tinting

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Window Film and Window Tint?

Talk about opening a can of worms, this particular Q&A just turned into a mini blog! “Window film” and “window tint” are sometimes confusing terms because they are often used interchangeably, even though they can refer to slightly different aspects of window treatments. Here’s why they can be confusing:

1. Overlapping Definitions: Both terms can be used to describe materials applied to windows, which can serve various purposes such as solar control, privacy, security, and decorative enhancements. These materials come in various shades, colors, and types, which can further blur the distinction between the two terms.

2. Varied Usage Across Regions: The terminology used for window treatments can vary from region to region and even among individuals and industries. What one person calls “window film,” another may refer to as “window tint,” and vice versa. This lack of standardized terminology contributes to the confusion.

3. Marketing and Branding: Manufacturers and suppliers of these products may use the terms “window film” and “window tint” interchangeably in their marketing materials and product descriptions. This can make it challenging for consumers to discern the differences between the two.

4. Broad Scope of Applications: Window films and tints can be used for a wide range of applications, including solar control films, security films, decorative films, privacy films, and more. Each of these applications may use either term, further complicating the distinction.

5. Lack of Clarity in Conversations: In casual conversations, people may use “window film” and “window tint” without specific differentiation, assuming that the context will clarify the intended meaning. This can lead to misunderstandings when discussing specific types or purposes of window treatments.

To reduce confusion, it’s essential to clarify the context and purpose when using these terms. For instance, specifying whether you are referring to solar (or ‘sun’) control window film, privacy window tint, or decorative window film can help ensure a more accurate and clear discussion. Additionally, consulting with professionals in the field can provide guidance on the most appropriate terminology for specific applications and needs.


Window Film:

CSI treats this term as the top level or parent. ‘Window Film’ encompases all types of films used in our industry. There are categories of Window Film such as Solar Film, Decorative Film, Safety & Security Film and Graffiti Film.

Window Tint = Solar Film:

Although as stated above can mean many things to different folks. We feel the word ‘tint’ in Window Tint suggests a shade or darkness level in a ‘Solar Film’ (again, Solar film is a ‘category’ of Window Film).

Do you sell 3M Window Tint?

Yes, we sell 3m decorative window film such as Dusted Crystal which is a vinyl version of a white frost film although for over 20 years and counting we prefered other brands for the Solar, Safety & Graffiti film categories. 3m has over 60,000 products other than window tinting. We stick with brands that have more concentration along with proven history, excellent programs and high quality products that outperform. Check out our solar page for a little more on some of our prefered brands.

How much does residential or commercial window tinting cost?

Our Window Tinting Costs varies depending on many factors such as product type, the square footage of product used, difficulty and access of the glass panels to be treated, the condition of the frames and many other variables. We attempt to make it super easy for you to contact us or find quick answers to general pricing options throughout our entire website. We have a handy window film price graph situated on our landing page and window tint price page where you can visually compare prices. If you want an accurate estimate we have a more detailed form you fill out, the more data you enter into this online form named ‘cost estimator’ the more accurate we can reply back to you with an estimate. You can go directly to our Window-Tint-Price section and start filling in as much data as you can, click the plus sign to start a new line item, attach relevant photos and add comments. We’ll promptly reply to you however requested with an estimate. Or if you are local and rather have us do an onsite consultation at your house or business either call us directly or fill out our contact form.

Will window film really stop the fading of fabrics?

There is no product that can completely eliminate fading 100%, but a good quality window film is your best option to combat premature fading without losing your view of the outdoors. Our industries general consensus states the main causes of fading from our sun are:

  • 40% UV
  • 25% Visible Light
  • 25% Heat
  • 10% miscellaneous (indoor lighting and humidity)


Over the years new meter’s became available that weren’t readily available in the past. What we have discovered by the use of these tools was that a common theme seemed to be reoccuring. Visible light seemed correlated to a higher degree, the more we tested samples onsite the more this hypothesis seemed plausible. Therefore we side with caution and recommend a 50% VLT film or stronger if your goal is for fade reduction as an example. A 50% VLT window film product is much lighter than you would imagine. So an updated chart for what causes fading would look something more like the following:

  • 40% UV
  • 30% Visible Light
  • 25% Heat
  • 5% Other


We have a page committed to the subject of what causes fading because we strongly feel it’s that important. We have a saying here at Clearview Sun Control, Inc., an educated customer is our best kind of customer!

Do you have a film that provides privacy at nighttime?

In short, yes, but there is no such window film that can completely block the view from the exterior during nighttime while allowing you to see through it from the interior at the same time. Privacy films can be considered many things, medium to very dark, reflective (two-way), frosted (allows light in) or 100% opaque blackout or whiteout films. The important thing to remember is as soon as you turn your interior lights on at nighttime, no matter how dark or reflective the solar film is, others can still see through it from the outside.

The only way to get complete nighttime privacy with a window film application is by choosing a frosted or opaque type of film which is part of our decorative window film line, these films will accomplish nighttime privacy but in most circumstances you will not see through the glass either direction day or night. Solar films are designed to see through, decorative films in most cases are not! You can slightly see through some ‘patterned’ decorative films. Window coverings are still the best option for nighttime privacy when you require transparency through glass.

Check out our blog ‘Enhancing Privacy at Night: Exploring Window Film Treatment Options‘ for more information on nighttime privacy films.

Is window film applied to the interior or exterior of a window?

All films except for extremely rare circumstances are applied on the interior surface of the glass. Exterior films are applied for three reasons.

  1. If for any reason a window is not accessible from the inside, an exterior window film would then be your only option unless the glass is pulled out from the frame.
  2. You are applying graffiti film. Graffiti films are thick clear films applied on the exterior surface of glass, mirrors and even elevator doors designed to protect the surface from accidental and (or) malicious behavior. This saves you from having to replace the damaged surface.
  3. If your glass is laminated. Most films can not be applied to the interior side of laminated glass although exterior films can be used.

How is window film applied?

  1. We prep your windows for installation by scraping and cleaning the glass thoroughly.
  2. The film is then cut and trimmed to size of the window pane it’s being applied to.
  3.  The protective plastic sheeting is removed exposing the adhesive.
  4. The adhesive is activated with a safe cleaning solution then applied to your window.
  5. We squeegee out the extra solution with a special tool towards the edges of the frame.

What is window film made of?

Window film products are the result of a very sophisticated manufacturing process using only the finest raw materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing technology. Transparent layers of high quality polyester are laminated and coated using special adhesives, ultraviolet inhibitors and protective scratch resistant coatings. Select concentrations of metal particles (or ceramic particles) are sputter coated onto sheets of polyester, allowing for varying degrees of color and solar energy rejection performance capability. The result is the finest quality window film products in the world.

What are the benefits of window films?

Because our window films can reject up to 82 percent or more of the sun’s total solar energy and block out nearly 100 percent of harmful and damaging ultraviolet, you can experience these benefits after installation:

  • Increased fade protection
  • Reduced interior heat
  • Reduced utility costs
  • Reduced glare
  • Improved occupant comfort
  • Increased privacy
  • Extended air conditioning equipment life
  • Added protection from accidents, storms, earthquakes and burglaries

Do window films cause seal failure?

No, window films do not cause seal failure. All of our Huper Optik and Panorama films are IG unit safe. When recommended films are applied to the inside pane of an (IG) unit, there will be some absorption (except with clear safety films) of the sun’s energy, which will increase the temperature of the glass pane. Some of this heat will transmit to the airspace, slightly raising the airspace temperature. Even a 20° F increase (unusual for most films) will result in a less than 3% change in air pressure, whereas properly made units are designed and tested to withstand 22% changes in air pressure.

Risk of seal failure is greatly determined by the quality of workmanship and the quality of materials that go into building the (IG) units. The best guard against seal failure is to purchase well-made units from reputable window manufacturers that have solid experience and histories with insulated units. Most films come with a standard 3 year (IG) unit seal failure warranty. As a premium warranty dealer our Huper Optik and Panorama/Saint-Gobain customers automatically receive additional coverage at no cost.

What is the warranty on Panorama window films?

As South Bay’s premium warranty dealer, every customer inherits the finest warranty program available to date. Highlights on our recommended window films are:

  • Lifetime residential
  • 16 years commercial
  • 10 years glass breakage
  • Up to $1,750 per unit coverage
  • Match existing window manufacturer’s ‘seal failure’ warranty

For additional information about our integrated premium warranty program please click here.

Will window film kill my house plants?

In most cases if a house plant is already receiving adequate light the use of window film will not harm it. New growth or flowering may be slowed and for a few days a plant may go into a state of shock while it adjusts. If a particular plant normally wilts by the end of a sunny day, it will actually thrive better with film installed.

Although there are some obvious guidelines in determining what, if any, effect window film will have on a plant (for instance, dark green plants need less light than lighter colored ones), there is one sample test which can be done prior to film installation: merely move the plant to an area with less sunlight for a few days. In addition, most nurseries or local agriculture agencies can advise you whether a particular plant needs closer to maximal or minimal light.

How do I clean my windows after installation and what should I use?

Always use fresh clean soft materials to wash and dry your window film surfaces. A soft cloth or a clean synthetic sponge is recommended for washing the window film followed by another clean soft cloth or soft rubber squeegee for drying.

A good economical cleaning solution for window film is one ounce of liquid dish soap added to 1 quart of fresh water.

What kind of guarantee does Clearview Sun Control provide?

We guarantee our workmanship 100%, if for any practical reason you are not satisfied with a particular installation let us know on the spot or call us and we will fix or replace it at no additional cost. Our strict installation policy ensures professional results every time.

How many years has Clearview Sun Control been in business?

We opened our doors in August of 2001. We were the first company in Los Angeles to offer the original nano-ceramic, patented, multi-ply window film, when we say Clearview Sun Control, Inc. is a trendsetter in our industry we mean it!

Will window films cause glass to break?

Glass breaks when stressed. There are five types of stress, which may cause glass breakage:

  1. Thermal Stress–from absorption of solar radiation.
  2. Tensile Stress–from the weight of the glass itself.
  3. Mechanical Flexing Stress–from wind.
  4. Impact Stress–from flying objects, hail, baseballs.
  5. Twisting Stress–from building or window frame sagging or settling.

The first type, thermal stress, is the only one which film may affect. The use of window films will increase the thermal stress on sunlit glass. However, there are also other factors which will increase thermal stress such as: partial shading of windows from overhangs, tightly fitting drapes or blinds, signs or decals on windows, heating and cooling vents directed at glass. In addition, different types of glass (annealed versus tempered, clear versus tinted) have different solar absorption rates and will withstand different degrees of thermal stress.

Panorama for example has recommended film-to-glass tables for use by qualified dealers. If a consumer is ever in doubt, he/she should request a copy of such guidelines. Listed are some glass types or conditions where the use of a solar control (not clear safety) type of window film is not recommended without extreme caution.


Our films come with a standard 5 to 10 year limited glass breakage warranty.

Will reflective films obstruct my view at nighttime?

It’s true that most medium to dark metallized window films will reflect interior lights. It all depends solely on the film you choose. We offer an easy solution with films that are “dual-reflective”. Dual-reflective is a manufacturing process that is designed to make a film less reflective towards the interior side of a room. This way you can have all the benefits a reflective film has to offer but with an additional bonus, less reflectivity indoors. This allows you to see much more clearly especially during nighttime. The goal for better night view is a product with low interior reflectivity VLR.

Which type of window film can be used on laminated glass?

Generally any exterior solar film is safe. Most of our premium window films qualify too. If your glass happens to be tempered/laminated, which is pretty uncommon, then your choices have improved since tempered glass can withstand much more absorption.

The goal is to use use a film with the least amount of absorption. Most window film specifications do not show absorption specs, so generally these types of projects are job specific and need to be pre-approved through the manufacturer prior to installation.

Which brands do you use?

Unless you insist on a particular brand we prefer Saint-Gobain, Huper Optik, and Madico due to their exemplary product line, warranty, and personal experiences over the years.

Does Clearview Sun Control tint automobiles?

Unfortunately we do not. Our services have always catered to the residential and commercial market only. We are aware that some web directories have incorrectly placed us in this category, we are addressing this issue.

What locations does Clearview serve?

Our services cater to South Bay Los Angeles. This includes: Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Culver City, Westchester, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, San Pedro, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and everything in between.

We venture in as far as Anaheim and service many Orange County residents as well. We’ll travel even further for our referred customers!