With the various types of sun control and energy saving window films available, what is the best UV blocking window film? Well, that depends.
Most residential and commercial window films are equipped with some degree of UV protection. However, some products (like those from 3M™) offer additional benefits for enhanced appearance, heat retention, or privacy.
Most 3M™ sun control window films block 97% of harmful UV rays, several of which also block heat and prevent dramatic temperature swings. But when it comes to determining the best UV blocking window film, the choice often depends on what additional features are desired. To help shed healthy light on which product is best for your needs, below are several types of sun control and UV blocking window film products worth considering from 3M™.
3M™ Traditional Series
As a commercial-specific window film for office buildings, retail storefronts, and other business applications, the Traditional Series from 3M™ is a UV blocking sun control film that’s designed to save energy, improve privacy, and enhance aesthetics – all on a budget. The Traditional Series includes P18 Classic silver and Affinity commercial-grade films. The darker tint options further helps reduce glare and eye discomfort, while the increased reflection of this film helps enhance daytime privacy and can create a more uniform exterior appearance.
The Traditional Series for Commercial blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays and provides energy savings resulting in potential paybacks in less than three years. It also can be applied to over eight different LEED Certification credits.
3M™ Neutral Series
With options available for both commercial and residential applications, 3M™ Neutral Series significantly blocks the amount of harmful UV rays while delivering ample heat rejection, energy savings, and improved comfort. This UV blocking film is also available in a variety of glare-reducing tint levels to better suit your preferences. Its soft hues give this film an attractive look that’s fitting for both residential and commercial windows.
3M™ Thinsulate™ Climate Control Series
3M™ Thinsulate™ Climate Control Series is one of the most popular window film products for both commercial and residential applications. For buildings exposed to four season climates, 3M™ Thinsulate™ delivers insulating and temperature control capabilities. It also provides an effective and affordable alternative to replacing inefficient, single-pane windows, which is a common scenario for older homes and historic structures.
3M™ Thinsulate™ can improve the sustainability, comfort, and appearance of new office towers, registered historic buildings, and every sort of building in between. With its UV blocking capabilities, it provides adequate fade protection while remaining virtually invisible. In short, its neutral appearance will not dramatically change the look of glass windows – inside or out.
3M™ Prestige Series
3M™ Prestige Series window films uses industry-leading, spectrally-selective technology that’s designed to keep building occupants cool, comfortable and protected. It’s available for residential and commercial applications, as well as a Prestige Exterior Series that delivers advanced Visible Light transmission.
The 3M™ Prestige Series uses non-metallized, multi-layer optical film and nano-technology to block up to 60% of the heat and 97% of the sun’s infrared light coming through your windows. As one of the best UV blocking window films, they also reject up to 99.9% of damaging UV rays to effectively reduce fading of your furnishings.
Prestige Series window film provides low interior and exterior reflectivity that enables occupants to enjoy views from inside, all while maintaining an attractive look from outside. Unlike other UV protection and sun control films, they can become carbon negative in as short as six months from install.
3M™ Ceramic Series
3M™ Ceramic Series window film is a non-metallized film that comes in a natural tone to provide optimal clarity. In addition to blocking 99% of UV rays, the Ceramic Series is also proven to keep occupants cool by rejecting up to 80% of the sun’s heat-producing infrared rays. It’s a popular window film when aesthetics and natural appearance is just as much priority as UV and sun protection.
Advanced ceramics allow these UV films to maintain their color and appearance over time. They’re designed with a scratch-resistant coating to ensure clear, unobstructed views for years, and they’re manufactured for both commercial and residential applications.
3M™ Night Vision™ Series
3M™ Night Vision™ Series has been specially designed to deliver improved savings and comfort while providing enhanced sight at night. While not limited to nighttime hours, the Night Vision™ Series helps block the sun’s damaging UV rays, minimize glare, and reject up to 71% of the sun’s heat.
Night Vision™ Series films allow 15% to 35% of the natural light into your rooms by day, and thanks to a low interior reflectivity, occupants can still enjoy a clear view by night. Also designed using 3M™ nano-technology, the film’s color stability is greatly enhanced so no distortion in outside view is evident. You can find this window film available in commercial and residential-grade options.
Honorable Mention: CoolVu Transitional Film
While all of the UV blocking films above are from 3M, we couldn’t conclude this post without mentioning CoolVu Transitional Window Film. These are some of the most functional, attractive, and advanced solar window film options on the market today. CoolVu Transitional films are known for their ability to adapt to the intensity of sunlight, dynamically optimizing your indoor environment.
In essence, CoolVu activates from a clear to a tinted state when exposed to sunlight. By adapting to the amount of sun exposure, CoolVu Transitional Films provide much needed sun control only when occupants really need it. They deliver 99% blockage of UV rays and up to 80% reduction in solar-induced heat gain, but without compromising the sun’s natural light. To learn more, visit our page on CoolVu Transitional Window Film.
These are some of the best UV blocking window films for both energy savings and solar protection against fading. For more information about these window film products, how much they cost, and other options, contact our experts at Window Film Depot.