Residential Solar Window Film

Is Tinting House Window Worth It? Pros and Cons of Tint..

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Residential Solar Window FilmWhen it comes to shelling out the money for another home improvement project, is tinting house windows really worth it? Sure, tinting home windows might cut down on glare and heat gain during warmer months, but is the ROI worth the cost? 

As experts in different types of window treatments, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of tinted home windows. Of course product selection is crucial when it comes to maximizing your investment. But what many homeowners overlook is the importance of having the window treatment installed professionally. This can be the difference between decades of savings or a few short years before the tint needs replacing. 

Pros and Cons of Tinted Home Windows

Are the windows in your home old, weak, or energy-inefficient? Treating windows with the right window film is one of the easiest and most economical ways to boost energy efficiency. But that’s not all. Certain types of window films are equipped with additional benefits for added reinforcement, UV protection, and daylight redirecting properties. Here are some of the pros of tinting home windows with the proper type of film. 

The “Pros” of Tinting Home Windows

  • Prevent fading of interior furnishing and upholstery – Have you ever noticed how curtains, drapes, and upholstered furniture near the windows fade over time? This damage is the result of prolonged UV exposure from the sun. To combat this from occurring, some window film products deliver 99.9% UV blocking capabilities.
  • Block infrared solar energy that causes heat gain – It’s no secret that if you sit by a window receiving direct sunlight, it’s going to feel warmer. That is unless the window is equipped with a sun control film. Such products are designed to block 97% of infrared light, which in turn can minimize AC-taxing heat gain all while enhancing comfort.
  • Control energy leaks and heat loss – With products like 3M™ Thinsulate™, low emissivity capabilities improve the insulation value of a typical single-pane window close to that of a double-pane window, and of a double-pane comparable to that of a triple-pane. This advanced yet invisible insulation technology helps retain heat keeping you warmer during colder months.
  • Improve visibility to the outdoors – Another common feature found in certain types of 3M™ Window Film is lowered interior and exterior reflectivity. In essence, this feature enhances outdoor viewing from the inside while maintaining an attractive look from the outside.
  • Redirect natural sunlight deeper into your home – With daylight redirecting window film, as much as 80% of sunlight can be redirected up onto the ceiling, casting light as deep as 40 feet from the window into a room. In fact, according to 3M™, there’s a link between enhanced natural light and increased productivity. Hospitals have even shown improved patient recovery with daylighting effects from such window film.
  • Enhanced safety and security – Taking the “pros” one step further, some window treatments are equipped with all of the latter benefits as well as added protection against forced break-ins and natural disasters. Not only do these safety and security films prevent shattering, but in the instance there is a break, the film helps hold the glass together, thereby preventing flying shards from causing injury. In many instances of forced entry attempts, these films will deter threats immediately.
  • Take advantage of energy tax credits – While a lot of homeowners see the energy-saving benefits of investing in window tint, they don’t always take into consideration additional opportunities to recoup their investment. Under current legislation, the US Department of Energy allows you to claim up to 30% of the cost of a qualified product, including installation fees. To learn more, visit our post on window film tax credits.

The “Cons” of Tinting Home Windows

  • Not all home window tints are created equal – Selecting the right window treatment is critical. Not only is it important to choose the proper window film for your climate, but going with a budget tint can provide limited benefits in terms of heat retention, sun control, UV blocking, and other aspects that might be important to you. In short, choose a window treatment wisely, ideally with the guidance of professional.
  • Certain products can invalidate the window manufacturer’s warranty – Home window tinting might help create an energy-efficient home by regulating the inside temperature, however some tints and films might void the window. For this reason, it’s important to work with a dealer who offers a window film that replaces the window manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Depending on the size of your home, it might cost you – Of course with any home improvement project there’s going to be a cost. Window tinting is no exception. For larger homes, a professional installation might cost several thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done. However, when you factor-in the long-term energy savings with such an investment, the payback can be as soon as just a few years. Just see some of our case studies for proof.

So, Is Tinting Home Windows Worth It?

When weighing the pros and cons of tinted home windows, the choice should be obvious. From improving the energy-efficiency, safety, and security of your windows to enhancing UV protection, daylighting, and visibility to the outdoors, the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. However, this is only the case with certain window film products that deliver on these capabilities and provide years of ROI.

To learn more about whether or not residential window film is right for your home, contact us at Window Film Depot or call (866) 933-3456.

solar safety window film

Solar Safety Window Film: Combine Security with Energy ..

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solar safety window film

When we look at sun control window film and safety window film, we often think of two very different products. For some window film manufacturers, that may be the case. But with products from  3M™, you can have the best of both worlds. That is, a solar safety film that provides reinforced protection against forced entry break-ins and severe weather damage, as well as advanced sun control benefits that regulate indoor temperature and save on energy costs. 

What’s the Best Solar Safety Film on the Market?

While most safety and security window films from 3M™ also offer UV blocking and temperature regulating capabilities, one product line that gets the spotlight is 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film Solar Safety Series. This solar safety window film comes in a commercial and residential line, but offers advantages for a number of applications, including:

  • Retail storefronts – With large glass windows and doors a common design for retail shops, not only are they vulnerable to smash and grab events, but the sunlight alone can cause damage. The sun’s UV rays can cause products, fabrics, and upholstery to fade over time, not to mention the heat gain and heat loss that occurs with conventional storefront windows.
  • Schools and educational institutions – From elementary schools to major universities, student safety is of critical importance in today’s educational institutions. The right window treatment can help prevent unwarranted entry, all while blocking the sun’s glare, UV rays, and heat. This not only improves comfort, but also productivity.
  • Governmental buildings –  Also a sensitive target to threats and unwarranted entry, governmental agencies and offices can be vulnerable to both security threats and solar concerns. Security window film can help mitigate blasts and provide RF attenuation (or anti-eavesdropping) capabilities.
  • Corporate office buildings – Large, glass-exposed office buildings are susceptible targets to both solar and safety concerns. High rise office buildings are prone to heat gain and AC overuse during sunny warm months, not to mention security and vandalism threats.
  • Homes and residential complexes – Be it a home, apartment building, or condominium complex, all of the same solar and safety window film benefits apply. Not only can such films provide added safety from intruders, but the energy saving advantages can make a big difference on the utility bill.

Of course other types of businesses and organizations are no exception to the list of possible applications. This hybrid-natured solar safety film delivers benefits for just about any building and its occupants.

To learn more about the 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film Solar Safety Series, visit the residential or commercial product pages, depending on your desired application.

3M™ Safety & Security Window Film Solar Safety Series

In terms of security, not only does the Solar Safety Series help prevent intruders immediately upon forced entry break-in attempts, but in the instance of a blast or natural disaster, the film maintains the integrity of shattered glass, thereby preventing flying shards from harming occupants (this being one of the most common causes of blast-related injuries and fatalities.)

As for sun control, the Solar Safety Series from 3M™ is an energy-conscious window film that significantly rejects heat gain during warmer months. In addition to regulating temperature and minimizing AC unit overload, this film also provide anti-glare capabilities for improved visibility and increased reflection which helps enhance exterior privacy.

The Solar Safety Series is available in silver or neutral tones which allows customers to create a more uniform exterior appearance with that of its application. The film can be applied with 3M™ Attachment Systems which provides additional safety and security in areas of need. And if you’re concerned about voiding any warranty associated with the glass windows and doors themselves, rest assured knowing that the Solar Safety Series comes with a comprehensive warranty from 3M. 

Interested in learning more about solar safety window film options. Reach out to us at Window Film Depot by visiting our contact us page, or by calling (866) 933-3456.

Shatterproof Window Film Installation

Window Protection Film: 5 Solutions to Reinforce Glass ..

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Shatterproof Window Film Installation

Window protection film comes in many forms and applications. From reinforcing glass storefronts subject to smash and grab events to preventing unwarranted entry and armed threats, protective window film can provide a combination of solutions for certain environments.

Like the many different purposes for window protection film, the variety of types are equally diverse. For instance, certain products are designed with shatterproof capabilities to mitigate hazards from broken glass. Similarly, other solutions deliver more advanced protection against human intrusion, including ballistic threats from firearms. 

Ultimately, the application and desired benefits will often dictate which protective window film products are most appropriate. Below we shed light on five different types of window protection film, and for which applications they’re best suited for.

1. 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films

Among the most universally-applicable options for window protection film is 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films. Available for residential and commercial applications, this product line mitigates hazards from shattered glass during natural disasters, blasts, or forced entry. As such, 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films deliver a wide range of protection for a number of possible occurrences.

Reinforced with 3M™ Ultra Series technology, the micro-layered and tear-resistant design of 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films increase security and provide added protection against smash and grab events. In addition to protecting against break-ins and flying glass shards, these films also provide solar and energy saving benefits as well. 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films are designed to significantly block the amount of UV rays that cause fading, as well as prevent dramatic temperature swings caused by solar heat gain. 

2. 3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems

Engineered to combine the resilience and protection of safety and security films, 3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems deliver some of the highest levels of protection. Designed as an adhesive or profile attachment system, this advanced glass protection solution provides assurance against impact energy from catastrophic earthquakes and forced entry events – with enough strength to even handle serious bomb blasts. 

In essence, 3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems integrate or attach the filmed window to the window frame, creating a powerful shield. This combination is proven to significantly outperform window film-only systems, providing added assurance and dependability. Learn more about about 3M™ Impact Protection Attachment Systems.

3. DefenseLite™ Forced Entry Glazing Solution

While technically not a protective window film, DefenseLite is a unique technology that offers similar benefits. DefenseLite is a retro-fit security shield that’s mounted onto existing window glazing, thereby creating the ultimate solution against forced entry. DefenseLite is a heavy-gauge architectural-grade polycarbonate and extruded framing system that’s 250 times stronger than glass alone. DefenseLite has been independently tested with many different blunt force objects ranging from batons, hammers and hatchets with amazing results.

As the name implies, DefenseLite is designed primarily for protection against intruders. Engineered using unbreakable UV-coated polycarbonates and proprietary anchoring mechanisms, common applications include schools, storefronts and buildings subject to break-ins and forced entry attempts. DefenseLite blends seamlessly with the existing window glazing, making for an invisible layer of protection without moving parts or unsightly reinforcements. DefenseLite is not a window film treatment at all and outperforms applied safety and ballistic film solutions exponentially. For more information, visit our DefenseLite page.

4. BulletShield™ Ballistic Panel

As a level-up from DefenseLite technology, BulletShield is also a transparent polycarbonate security shield that’s mounted over existing windows and glass doors. So while it’s not an actual film, BulletShield does provide a bullet-resistant, impenetrable layer that’s particularly designed to protect against firearm threats. It can be installed over existing glass windows and doors on either the interior or exterior of the glazing frame, which offers affordable retrofit protection.

Unlike most bullet-resistant window film treatment, BulletShield is the leading security glazing solution for schools, courthouses, government buildings, police stations, and businesses vulnerable to ballistic threats. It’s been independently tested to provide UL 752 ballistic ratings, preventing breach against 9MM, .44 Magnum, and AR-15 bullets. Used by thousands of customers throughout the U.S., BulletShield provides a transparent design that delivers unbeatable performance under attack.

5. 3M™ Anti-Graffiti Films

3M™ Anti-Graffiti Films are a form of protective window film designed to prevent scratches, gouges, abrasions, vandalism and graffiti tagging that occurs on storefronts and buildings. Unlike certain window treatments that require extensive installation, anti-graffiti films are a targeted solution that’s easy to remove and replace quickly – without the hassle of replacing your windows.

Damaged glass is often very expensive to replace. With 3M™ Anti-Graffiti Film, there’s no need to replace the entire window when instead you can leverage a cost-effective barrier that can be easily replaced. Not only does this protective window film deliver a money-saving alternative that’s a small fraction of the cost of new glass, but it also provides solar UV protection benefits. 3M™ Anti-Graffiti Films reject 99% of the UV rays that cause fading. For retail stores, this can help extend the life of display merchandise that’s otherwise subject to sun-induced fading.

Protective Window Film Installation

 Window protection film provides much needed resilience to help protect a building’s weakest link: glass windows and doors. Whether for greater resistance against mother nature, added protection against smash and grab attempts, or both, protective window film offers the best defense against a wide range of elements. Learn more about your options for window protection film, including professional installation services, and contact us at Window Film Depot or call (866) 933-3456.

best uv window film

Best UV Blocking Window Film for Solar Protection &..

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best uv window filmWith 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.

 

prevent graffiti and vandalism

Prevent Graffiti and Vandalism: 5 Strategies for Retail..

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prevent graffiti and vandalismDespite the various ways to prevent graffiti and vandalism, very few options are reliably effective in deterring unsightly tags and property damage. Band-aid fixes like proper lighting and plant coverage may be marginally successful in warding-off vandals. But in most cases, retailers and business owners can benefit from having greater reinforcement installed to effectively prevent graffiti and vandalism.

We’re not saying solutions like a row of flowers or a well-lit and well-monitored property doesn’t help prevent vandalism and graffiti. Rather, it’s often a combination of measures that provide ultimate prevention against these threats. Here are five strategies that can be effective solutions for retailers, businesses, and any property owners subject to graffiti and vandalism.

Anti-Graffiti Window Film Installation5 Strategies for Graffiti and Vandalism Prevention

According to a report by the EPA, the annual cost of monitoring, detecting, removing, and repairing graffiti damage has been estimated as high as $15 to $18 billion in the United States. Establishments subject to this damage can help reverse these numbers by employing the following graffiti and vandalism prevention strategies.   

1. Anti-Graffiti Film

One of the most cost-effective ways to prevent graffiti and vandalism damage is anti-graffiti film. It’s widely used as a powerful way to discourage vandals and to mitigate tagging on windows and other surfaces. Nearly invisible after being installed, anti-graffiti film is not only a deterrent against vandalism, but it also reduces and even eliminates the need for costly glass replacement. Based on statistics from products like 3M™ Anti-Graffiti Films, a single window replacement can easily be 10-20 times more expensive than the cost of anti-graffiti film installation. 

2. Impact Protection Attachment Systems

Often combined with anti-graffiti or surface protection films for optimal vandalism prevention, impact protection attachment systems offer the highest level of protection for glass walls and windows. These systems attach to the glass surface and window frame, creating a strong shield that prevents not only vandals and forced entry, but also earthquakes, bomb blasts, and other catastrophic events.

3. Anti-Graffiti Paints and Coatings

Anti-graffiti paints and coatings are protective barriers that can prevent materials used for tagging from bonding to a building’s surface. Essentially these products work like special spray paints that create protective surfaces that graffiti tagging can’t penetrate. Anti-graffiti paints come in three different coatings: 

  • Permanent coating: creates a protective barrier that doesn’t allow spray paint to bond to the surface. If the surface is vandalized, only graffiti cleaner is needed for removal. Permanent coatings are often more expensive, but if properly cleaned and maintained, only one coat is needed.
  • Sacrificial coating: forms a clear layer over the targeted surface. If vandalized, the coating is removed or “sacrificed” with a pressure washer, along with graffiti. Once removed, another coating needs to be reapplied.
  • Semi-sacrificial coating: used to protect the surface pores of a wall. If vandalized, this coating can be easily removed with a combination of graffiti removal cleaner and a pressure washer. After the graffiti has been removed, an additional coating can be optional depending on its condition.

4. Barriers

Creating a barrier can comprise of many different possibilities, some more tasteful than others depending on the property. Barriers can range from dense plant life like hedges, ivy, and shrubs or more conventional solutions like gates and fences. Designed to prevent vandals from easily accessing walls, the additional effort it takes to climb over or around these barriers can deter the effort of vandals or turn their attention elsewhere. When combined with anti-graffiti films and surface protection coatings, vandalism and graffiti can be even more preventable.

5. Multi-Layer Surface Protection Film

As the name implies, multi-layer surface protection film is versatile option that can be used for a wide variety of applications. For some exposed buildings, it offers an easy way to prevent graffiti and vandalism. Easily applied in a matter of minutes, multi-layer surface protection film can be used in both vertical and horizontal applications, making it an ideal choice for virtually any type of smooth surfaces, like exterior mirrors and glass, concrete and ceramic tile walls and floors, vinyl surfaces, and other non-porous compositions like granite, marble, quarry, and porcelain.

Aside from these effective strategies for graffiti and vandalism prevention, other common measures involve security cameras and personnel, flood lights and other lighting designs, signage, preventative murals, and other obstructions that might deter vandals. For more information about some of the film products, contact Window Film Depot for more information.

Best Insulating Window Film for Winter Thermal Heat Retention

Best Insulating Window Film for Winter and Thermal Heat..

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Best Insulating Window Film for Winter Thermal Heat RetentionIf you’ve been considering options for window insulation film, then you’re probably well aware than not all products are created equal. There’s a number of different winter window film options that are designed for thermal heat retention, as well as weatherizing window film to retain cool air during the hot summer months.  

As for the former application for winter months, which window film options are best? Sure, there’s the classic solution of using plastic heat shrink films to cover windows during the colder months, but this quick fix option isn’t always applicable nor sustainable for certain projects, such as apartment buildings, condos, and offices with large windows.

When it comes to pinpointing the best winter window film for insulation and heat control, we’ve got you covered. Below are a couple of the best options we recommend for all types of applications, including the energy saving benefits customers can reap from their investment.

Insulating Window Film for Winter and Summer Months

It’s no mystery why one of the top choices for window insulation film is a product that offers the best of both worlds. That is, an insulating window film that effectively prevents heat loss during cold winter months while also shielding against heat gain during the summer months. 

This top pick is the Thinsulate™ Window Film Climate Control Series from 3M™. Available for both commercial and residential applications, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Climate Control Series provides additional comfort and energy savings during both seasonal extremes throughout the year. In fact, this low emissivity window film helps improve the insulation value of a typical single-pane window close to that of a double-pane window, and of a double-pane close to that of a triple-pane.

What makes this option better than conventional alternatives is that it maintains optimal window clarity while also blocking the sun’s harmful rays during peak times of day. This summer/winter window film hybrid delivers high visible light transmission with a neutral appearance to help maintain a building’s existing appearance.

In addition to offer insulating properties and optimal visibility through windows, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Window Film Climate Control Series significantly blocks the amount of harmful UV rays that cause fading, helping to extend the life of furnishings.

When professionally installed, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Window Film Climate Control Series provides total solar energy rejection of 47% during the summer months, and heat loss reduction of 40% during the winter months. Over the course of the season, this investment can help both residential and commercial customers realize their energy savings goals.

Window Insulation Film for Commercial Applications

Designed specifically for commercial office buildings, retail storefronts, and other business applications, 3M™ All Season Window Film is another great option to improve energy savings and occupant comfort.

Similar to the Thinsulate™ Climate Control Series, 3M™ All Season Window Film is an insulated window film helps saves energy and enhances comfort during the cold winter months as well as during the heat of summer. With case studies showing a potential payback of three years, building owners can recoup their initial investment and realize sustainable energy savings for many years to come.

What also makes 3M™ All Season Window Film one of the best window insulation films is that it offers advanced sun control properties, such as UV blocking and anti-glare capabilities. For commercial spaces that demand a high level of focus and concentration, these benefits can help improve employee productivity while keeping a space naturally lit without needing blinds, drapes, and other conventional sun blocking measures. 

This insulating window film treatment comes in two types: Low E 20 and Low E 35. The Low E 35 is slightly more advanced and provides greater solar energy rejection and visible light transmission. To learn more about this product, click here.

Final Thoughts on Winter Window Film

It seems like the cold season starts creeping in sooner than we can say goodbye to summer. For those located in northern regions, this couldn’t be more true. Instead of relying on quick fix solutions to help save on energy costs, consider a long-term investment that will pay for itself in just a matter of years. To learn more about your options, or to receive a free estimate for your project, get in touch with our team at Window Film Depot, America’s #1 3M™ window film installer.

office productivity hacks

5 Office Productivity Hacks to Improve Organizational M..

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office productivity hacksIf there’s one essential ingredient to a thriving office environment, it’s employers taking care of their employees. Managers and task handlers are the lifeblood of an organization, and their level of output and morale will often directly influence a company’s long-term success.

This is especially true in offices that require a high level of focus, creating a healthy and inspiring working environment pays dividends. In highlighting simple ways to help facilitate such an atmosphere, below are five office productivity hacks designed to help improve organizational morale and overall output.

1. Dial-in the Office Feng Shui

Feng Shui, which is the Chinese system that focuses an environment’s spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (or “qi”), is a concept that’s been heavily adopted by western culture. While most popularly applied to the interior design of living spaces, principles of Feng Shui can also be applied to work spaces as well.

A few Feng Shui office productive hacks to consider include:

  • Desk placement: In a small office, for example, it’s best to position a desk to have a view of both the door and the window. For shared office spaces or open floor plans, avoid positioning desks so that workers are sitting back to back.
  • Artwork and imagery: In a Feng Shui office, it’s important to be surrounded by images and objects that keep you inspired, creative and productive. Consider flowers, paintings, rugs, and suitable window treatments. Hang beautiful pictures, mottos, and images that capture what you, or the company, is seeking to accomplish. 
  • Plants: Plants do the best job at bringing fresh energy from the outdoors inside. Choose plants that not only look nice, but also help to purify the air of indoor pollutants, such as snake plants, chrysanthemums, spider plants, aloe veras, broad lady palms, and Chinese evergreens.
  • Color and mood: The color of a space in itself can affect energy and how people feel. In addition to wallpaper and paint, decorative wall graphics and architectural films offer endless creative possibilities to transform the color and vibe of a space to be more uplifting.  

2. Optimize Natural Sunlight and Control Glare

Piggybacking on the aforementioned Feng Shui ideas are a few additional ways to further enhance the ambiance and energy flow of a work space. One of the most important but overlooked hacks is optimizing natural sunlight while taking control of distracting glare

While many office interiors are equipped with blinds, shutters, drapes, and other sun control measures, these solutions block sunlight almost entirely, thereby relying on lighting systems to keep a space properly lit. 

An alternative solution that offers a number of benefits is sun control window film by 3M™. Not only can the right type of window film minimize dependence on artificial lighting systems and lower energy consumption by as much as 52%, but 3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film is designed to redirect as much as 80% of sunlight deeper into the building. 

3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film is an award-winning product that uses micro replication technology to redirect sunlight onto the ceiling to better illuminate a room as deep as 40 feet from the window. In fact, buildings with abundant natural light have been shown to increase employee productivity and even boost retail sales with this window film, according to 3M™. It’s also easy to integrate into new or existing windows.  

3. Make Regular Breaks a Must

In office environments of the 1980’s and 90’s, it was common to have structured break periods when workers could step away from their desk and relax for 10-15 minutes. Today, the concept of break time is far less structured. As long as employees are getting the results expected of them, most workplaces allow workers to manage their own day-to-day schedules and when they wish to take breaks. 

Unfortunately, this level of freedom can oftentimes mean busy employees neglect taking breaks all together. While it may seem like a day without breaks would improve productivity and output, the opposite effect is actually the case. Several hours in front of the computer can be taxing, both mentally and physically. A marathon workday with no breaks will almost always have diminishing returns. 

An interesting study by the time-tracking productivity app DeskTime isolated the top 10% most productive employees and analyzed their computer-use behavior during one workday. The research found that “the most productive people work for 52 minutes, then break for 17 minutes.” 

DeskTime’s magical 52:17 ratio hinges on the idea that short periods of work produce great results because they’re essentially sprints – intensive, purposeful work sessions that come after a proper rest. Not convinced? You can learn more about the study here.

4. Create a Clear Workflow and Managerial Structure

While this might seem straightforward and obvious, setting a clear workflow and managerial structure is a productivity killer that’s actually quite prevalent. All too often, output is severely crippled simply because employees are not clear on what they’re supposed to be doing at a given time. Sure, workflows may be inconsistent and change based on unique circumstances, but higher-ups in the company should strive to codify them as much as possible.

In short, clarify the chain of command. Make sure everyone understands who they report to and avoid creating situations where employees feel like they have too many managers or people to report to throughout the day.

5. Let Employees Work However They’re Most Comfortable

Even in conventional office spaces, everyone works differently. Some prefer to operate in more collaborative and open atmospheres, while others require greater privacy to do their best work. In short, employees perform best when their environment is optimized to their individual needs. For employers and HR professionals, that often means giving workers more options.

In the modern office, this might involve: 

  • dedicating certain spaces to quiet productivity sessions as well as collaborative areas that are more interactive and social 
  • incorporating standing workstations or office furniture that supports an ergonomically-healthy environment
  • allowing employees to work remotely, even if just for parts of the day at coffee shops, libraries, etc.

The rise of email, video conferencing, and other collaborative technologies has allowed dispersed teams to work seamlessly together without issues. 

With some of these office productivity hacks, it doesn’t take much to turn a mundane environment into an inspiring space that fosters morale and output. Even low-budget investments like a tastefully-selective rugs, detoxifying plants, rearranging office furniture, and structured break periods can have a tremendous impact.

Patterned Decorative Glass Film

7 Types of Decorative Film for Interior & Exterior..

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In the world of window films, decorative film is one of the most popular categories. In addition to being high in demand, the spectrum of decorative glass film is vast, spanning from various applications (i.e. glass doors, walls, interior and exterior windows) to an endless array of types, such as frosted privacy film, perforated graphics, architectural films, and many more. To highlight some of these various styles, below we share seven different types of decorative film for interior and exterior applications.

1. Frosted Glass Film

Ideal for windows, glass walls, and doors, frosted glass film can add a layer of privacy while still allowing natural sunlight to illuminate rooms. Frosted films come in many different styles and offer endless design possibilities. They can be partially or fully-concealed and integrated with distinct patterns, gradients, and custom designs. While often used to create private spaces for homes, offices, and other facilities, they can also complement the beauty of architectural and interior design styles. 

frosted glass film decorativeFrosted glass film is a popular choice for both interior partitions and exterior windows. For interior applications, the 3M™ FASARA™ series offers a number of distinctive styles well-suited for both commercial and residential living spaces. In addition to providing products and installation services, we help customers explore options within this decorative film category and pinpoint the ideal match for their project needs, in both feature and aesthetic. 

2. Textured and Gradient Decorative Film

Both gradient and textured decorative films can be a visually pleasing and practical pairing of gradual transitions and minimalist style. There’s no hard choice between coverage and obvious sightlines. Textured and gradient window films make it easy to emphasize the attractive qualities of space and what needs to be disguised. 

Gradient Textured Decorative Glass FilmWith gradient window film, customers can choose from a wide range of geometric and organic patterns, or have a window film installation professional orient gradient opacity from different angles, depending on the desired effect. 

Like specialty glass and some types of gradient films, textured decorative film provides ample privacy while adding an elegant accent to both interior and exterior spaces. Not only are such decorative films tasteful alternatives to window blinds, shades, and drapes, but they permit natural light and cater to stunning design possibilities.

3. Architectural Film

Architectural films are a style of decorative glass films that are used for decor, functionality, or both. Architectural window films typically provide the energy saving and UV blocking benefits that sun control films offer but with added aesthetics and design possibilities. Although mostly common in offices and commercial spaces, architectural films can also add character to the interior and exterior of homes.

dichroic decorative architectural filmArchitectural films allow customers to create stunning interior environments as well as creative exterior environments by incorporating unique characteristics and mood perspectives. From frosted and matte finishes to alluring color spectrums and geometric patterns, decorative glass window film offers both creative design ideas and advanced sun control capabilities that some customers require.

Decorative Di Noc 3M FilmAt Window Film Depot, we offer a wide range of architectural decorative films from 3M™, including products from the FASARA™ series of glass films, DI-NOC vinyl wrap finishes, and Dichroic Films for architectural laminated glass.

4. Perforated Vinyl Film

Ideally suited for custom and commercial applications, perforated vinyl film offers a whole world of possibilities. From transforming glass doors and windows into prime advertising real estate or adding an alluring aesthetic to storefronts or restaurants, perforated film is applicable for both short-term and long-term needs. 

perforated vinyl window film decorativePopular for storefront signage, window displays, promotions, and other visually-centric applications, perforated vinyl film in can allow for one-way viewing from interiors or may be used on storefront glass to promote a business. Truly decorative in their very nature, perforated films offer creative possibilities for branding and marketing.

In fact, advertising and marketing agencies often work with installation teams like Window Film Depot to help them actualize campaigns that feature head-turning window graphics, displays, and other indoor and outdoor media. When it comes to custom perforated vinyl film, we can design both decorative and intentional concepts, as well as handle the printing and installation of the finished product.

5. Patterned Decorative Film

Trending on the side of custom window film and specialty glass, patterned decorative film can offer a refreshing vibe that adds style and originality to a space. While not limited to commercial applications, the sophisticated styles of patterned window film bring both personality and privacy to any space. They can create distinct moods and levels of coverage by skillfully balancing transparency, matte areas, and surface finish.

Patterned Decorative Glass FilmSimilar to textured, gradient, and frosted films, patterned decorative film can add an inspired accent to any project. From geometric patterns, contemporary barcode stripes, and etched sparkles, patterned glass film is a true complement to an interior’s creativity. 

6. Specialty Decorative Film

The category of specialty decorative film is often used to describe a very diverse collection of unique films that render different colors, moods, and perspectives. These distinctive films can be used to customize both interior and exterior glass to create style and character.

specialty decorative filmSpecialty decorative films are often translucent, colorful hues such as blue, green, red, and yellow tints. These films add color to glass and illuminate when light passes through. They can be installed alone or in combination with opaque white and black film to produce a number of different effects.

7. Custom Decorative Film & Window Graphics

Many customers require custom window graphics and films to accommodate certain initiatives. While most common in commercial applications, custom window graphics can help actualize compelling marketing strategies to grab the attention of target customers. Not exclusive to retail shops and storefronts, window graphics offer limitless creative potential to develop impactful ideas for both large and small scale projects. 

custom decorative film window graphics

Custom decorative films and window graphics can be used to showcase sales and promotions, feature new inventory, make announcements, or leverage as signage and long-term applications. They can also be used to enhance interiors with new moods and perspectives. Imagine transforming a modest storefront into head-turning marketing tool with creative, properly placed window graphics. Or envision a newly-inspired office space that’s been rejuvenated with color, imagery, and other alluring graphics. With custom decorative film and window graphics, the boundaries are limitless.

For more information about decorative window film for either interior or exterior glass, contact Window Film Depot for product assistance and a free estimate. 

Dynamic, Adaptive CoolVu Transitional Window Film

Transitional vs. Switchable Smart Film: What Do Your Wi..

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Transitional Photochromic Window Film Tinting InstallationTransitional and switchable film may seem similar on the surface, but both options offer very different features and functionalities. Both are some of the industry’s most advanced window films that offer dynamic, transformational capabilities, however, when looking at how each of these window films function and what benefits they provide, switchable film and transitional film each cater to very different needs.

The good news is this makes the decision between transitional film and switchable film fairly easy for most consumers. In short, prioritizing privacy or sun control is often the determining factor. Below we share information about the core capabilities and differences between transitional and switchable film, and which type is more fitting for certain applications.

Switchable “Smart” Film

Switchable film, commonly called “smart film,” uses electrochromic technology to allow users to manually switch glass from a transparent to an opaque state. Switchable glass film is often applied to interior glass walls, windows and doors, as it provides a dynamic layer of privacy when needed. It can also be used as a backdrop for projectors and other means of collaboration.

From brands like 3M™, Smart Tint®, and Intelligent Glass, there are a number of different switchable films on the market. Although some of these options do not require professional installation, the features these products offer can greatly vary. For example, one of the biggest drawbacks in certain “smart film” solutions is the inability to reduce solar heat gain and protect against UV transmission through glass. Similarly, most switchable films are battery operated, thereby requiring added maintenance over time. 

Most projects involving switchable film are interior glass applications, such as commercial office buildings, governmental agencies, and educational facilities. While these unique films provide transformational qualities required for privacy, they often lack the sun and temperature control capabilities that transitional film delivers. At Window Film Depot, we educate customers about switchable smart film and which products are ideally suited for their needs. 

Dynamic, Adaptive CoolVu Transitional Window FilmTransitional Film

As the name implies, transitional film changes from a clear to a darker tinted state, but only when exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. By effectively adapting to the amount of sunlight coming through glass windows and doors, transitional film delivers concentrated levels of sun control, only when needed.

The most popular product in this class is CoolVu Window Film. This film uses a proprietary method to create a stable photochromic reaction in the instance of UV transmission. One could argue that transitional window film is inherently more intelligent than “smart film” because it automatically adapts based on the level of sun exposure it’s receiving. 

Perhaps the most compelling quality about CoolVu Window Film is that it selectively filters solar energy, blocking out 99% of the sun’s UV radiation and over 80% of the infrared heat gain through glass. In turn, most CoolVu installations can pay for themselves within 3-5 years, depending on a building’s design and the climate in which it’s located.

Which Window Film is Better?

When it comes to sun control capabilities like blocking the solar heat gain and damaging UV rays, transitional film is the obvious winner. In the context of privacy, switchable “smart film” may be more appropriate. However in some cases, using both transitional and switchable film can actually make sense. For more information about these types of window films and other glass treatments, contact Window Film Depot to get a free estimate.