Tinting or application of solar films onto clear glass significantly reduces radiant heat gain and glare caused by the strong Australian sun. This makes them ideally suited for summer. Low‑e films deal with heat transfer conducted through the glass, irrespective of the sun. These films are a great way to keep warm in winter. There are also films that have a cumulative effect and provide protection for both summer and winter.
As a general rule of thumb for solar films, the higher the level of radiant heat rejection, the higher the shading factor. In other words the more heat kept out, the less light let in. Choosing a dark and reflective high performance film on a hot cloudless summer day seems a natural choice, but it is wise to consider how the room would look in winter. After all, the film will be on the window all year round. Often, a film with a slightly lower solar heat reduction performance but with better light transmission and less reflectivity is the best choice.
Low-e films are usually lighter than most solar films and they work differently. The main purpose of low-e films is to minimise heat transfer through the glass when there is a temperature differential between its two faces. Glass, being a relatively good conductor of heat, will allow this transfer to take place quickly. By applying a low-e film onto glass and thereby enhancing its insulating properties, results in slowing down of heat flow and reducing the amount of heat transfer that takes place. This is particularly useful in winter but also very beneficial in summer making low-e films work well all year round, unlike their solar counterparts, which are suited for summer only.
Glare and light are the same. Most people looking to reduce glare do so with a dark toned film. Darker films have the highest solar absorption so whilst they shade well, at the same time they increase transfer of heat by conduction (by raising the temperature of the glass). It is therefore necessary to assess the cost and benefit before choosing a suitable toning of film.
All film applications offer some degree of daytime privacy, with the level of privacy determined by how dark or reflective the product is. An internal light source reduces the level of privacy. At night when lights are on, solar and low-e films offer no privacy from the outside. Opaque or obscure films are a great solution where privacy is required without losing daylight.
Films have layers of different coatings that deliver specialised advantages for requirements that result from diverse situations. A solar coating reduces radiant heat penetration by effectively shading glass and reducing glare. A low-e coating increases the insulation of glass thereby reducing conducted heat flow through it, regardless of shading. A UV inhibiting coating protects furnishing from fading. Finally, there is also a scratch resistant coating to provide protection from day to day knocks and bumps. All of this can be confusing, however, with our experience and expert advice, we will be able to assess and suggest the best film that will suit your situation.
We also normally use only metallised films. These products have longer-term warranties and are generally more efficient in performance. They consist of particles of metal rather than a dye to create the solar coating. The big breakthrough with these films is that they experience minimal colour loss over their life, ensuring a high level of protection for an extended period.
Many of our films have a star ranking on the Window Energy Rating Scheme. The tests show that solar films reduce radiant heat gain by up to 80%. Low-e films on the other hand, can improve the total thermal performance of glazing by up to 40% – that is, for both solar and conducted heat.
The benefits you seek and your glazing infrastructure require the right choice of film and its correct application. As a result, one of our fully trained and qualified installers always applies the film to assure quality and performance. Send us an enquiry or call us and we will help you make this process easy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Solar film reduces penetration of radiant heat (heat direct from the sun) through unshaded glass.
Low-e film reduces conduction of re-radiated heat (heat absorbed and transferred through glass) by increasing thermal insulation of the glass, regardless of shading.
Films can be solar, low-e or both at the same time.
Low-e stands for low emissivity. Emissivity is the ability of a surface to absorb and release heat. Low emissivity films decrease the ability of glass to absorb and release heat. They work all year round, protecting from heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
Application of films is usually from the inside directly onto the flat surface of glass. External films are available, but in a limited range.
That depends on the film and the time of day. Dark or reflective films decrease the ability to see inside during the day. Decorative films that are opaque or obscured are the only real way to offer privacy at night, without losing light during the day.
This depends on the film. The darker the film, the darker it will become inside. However, a well-chosen film for the size of the total glass area, its orientation and shading, will not affect the lighting condition adversely.
There are many varieties of films, some reflective and others not. Specifically for solar heat reduction, a more reflective film will absorb less heat and therefore work better. However, most people prefer the look of non-reflective films. As a result, there are films that are partially reflective for good looks as well as performance.
Yes. All films make glass stronger. There are of course films dedicated to this task.
This is possible but unlikely. Thermal cracking of glass occurs when a particular type of glass has the wrong film applied, causing stresses that crack it at its weakest point. There are many types of glass and not all films are suitable for each type. With expert advice, this risk is minimal.
In summer, the full sun operating on unshaded windows can make you feel like you are in an oven. A solar film effectively reduces the amount of direct heat that enters through your glass to make you feel cooler.
Particularly in winter, large glass areas have a detrimental effect on the amount of heating required to keep you warm. A low-e film is the perfect solution for such circumstances. It makes glass a better insulator so that it conducts less heat – to the outside in winter and to the inside in summer. This gives low-e films an advantage as they work for you all year round.
Most films have a UV inhibiting coating that protects your furnishings from damage due to fading. This also protects the film from degradation, so it lasts for decades and keeps on looking new.
A well-chosen film has a multi-purpose functionality and with correctly selected toning, reduces just the right amount of glare for your eyes without diminishing light in winter to uncomfortable levels.
Most solar films do provide some daytime privacy. Toning and reflectivity of films determines the amount of privacy they achieve. At night, only opaque or obscured films provide privacy without much light loss during the day.
All films increase security of glass. Films effectively hold the glass together when it is being smashed or cut. The thickness of the film determines how much force is required to penetrate the glass. For this reason, specialised safety and security films are thicker and provide more resistance to forced entry from outside.
The toning and reflectiveness of solar films largely determine their thermal performance. For this reason, there are many solar films available with diverse shading and reflectivity coefficients covering most requirements. Low-e films are generally lighter and non-reflective, unless they serve a dual purpose and incorporate solar protection.
You want the film to last. Our films use the latest gluing technologies as well as scratch resistant coatings to ensure that the films can withstand the test of time.
Our films come with a guarantee to work well and look good for a long time. They will not bubble, develop spots or coloured patches, nor will they scratch easily. We take care during installation to make sure that the job is done once and only once.
Films enhance thermal resistance of glass, both against radiant heat gain in summer (solar films) and conducted heat loss in winter (low-e films). Other benefits include shading from glare, protection from UV, increase to daytime privacy and security.
Purchase is made to suit the glass type and benefits sought, always with professional advice and installation.
We are a local Australian company, based in Adelaide. We service the immediate Adelaide area with advice and free quotes for highest quality flat glass films. If you’re looking to protect your glass areas, we’ll have the film that suits your needs.