BulletShield Ballistic Window Protection Product

What is Ballistic Glass? Which Solutions Protect Windows Best?

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BulletShield Ballistic Window Protection Product

Often referred to as “bulletproof” glass, ballistic glass can refer to a range of glass products that are resistant to attacks by firearms. However, none of these products should really be marketed as “bulletproof” because this implies that bullets ricochet off the surface when in reality, most ballistic products are “bullet-resistant,” actually absorbing the impact of bullets.

The goal of ballistic glass products is to stop initial shots fired, slowing the attacker down and allowing those inside to escape to safety. Ballistic windows will often take numerous rounds of bullets before they become penetrable, but they do not stand up to a continual barrage of bullets.

There are plenty of products out there that claim to be bulletproof or bullet-resistant. Here, we’ll discuss which options are available and how to choose the ballistic product that’s right for you. 

Ballistic Glass Options

It’s essential to understand the difference between the various products on the market that can sometimes be described as having ballistic glass qualities.  

Laminated Glass

This type of glass is layered with a combination of PVB or resin interlayers to make it less susceptible to shattering. While it can enhance security and protect a building’s occupants from dangerous shards, it is generally not viewed as bullet-resistant. Like a car windshield, the lamination keeps the glass together after it has been penetrated, but it is unlikely to support a bullet from entering a building. 

Ballistic Window Film

Some security window films may market themselves as “bulletproof” or as “ballistic film for windows.” These thin films made of polyurethane layers can be applied to existing glazing, so they might be appealing to those looking for a quick fix, rather than replacing the entire glazing system. However, these films are unlikely to stop a bullet in the same way that ballistic glass would. 

Ballistic Glass

Though it is called glass, this ballistic product is more commonly manufactured from a plastic-like polycarbonate, which has the appearance of glass with 250 times the strength. The polycarbonate, which has often been enhanced with layers of polyurethane, is what provides the highest level of bullet resistance, absorbing the impact of the bullet and keeping it from entering the building. 

Ballistic Glass Ratings

When searching for a product to defend against ballistic attacks, you should search for something that has a ballistic rating. If a product does not list a ballistic rating, then it shouldn’t be considered bullet resistant. Ballistic glass products are rated based on how many and what kind of bullets it can resist from certain firearms. There are two industry standards commonly used to rate bullet resistance: Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard 752 or National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 018.01. 

Within these two rating standards are eight levels of bullet resistance. Level 1 has an average glass thickness of 13/16” and can withstand three shots from a 9mm handgun. The thickness of the glass and power of the firearms it’s meant to withstand increase as the levels go up. Level 8 has an average thickness of 2 ⅜” and can withstand up to five shots from a 7.62mm rifle. As you can see, the effectiveness varies greatly, so make sure you understand which level you are getting when you purchase any ballistic glass product. 

Best Ballistic Windows & Doors – BulletShield 

Dubbed “Body Armor for Windows,” BulletShield, DefenseLite’s ballistic glass product, offers impressive ballistic resistance at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Rated to UL 752 ballistic standards, these impressive polycarbonate shields mount onto existing window and door frames, creating a protective layer that mitigates ballistic attack to keep your building protected from active shooter threats.

bulletshield unbreakable glass windows security ballistic bullet-resistantThese bullet-resistant shields are engineered to flex under attack, so they stand up to multiple shots, stalling the shooter and allowing time for those inside to seek safety. BulletShield’s ballistic glass can be installed on both doors and windows in schools and campuses, hospitals, government buildings, or any business that is susceptible to ballistic attack.

Each system is custom fabricated based on perceived threat levels, budgets, and existing glazing conditions. Installed by certified dealers, these ballistic systems may utilize exotic plastics, polycarbonates, or glass-clad shields, depending on performance requirements. All-weather adhesives, high-performance films, VHB tapes, and mechanical security anchors may be used to install the system.

With active shooter situations on the rise, there is no better time than now to enhance security with ballistic-resistant glass. Keep your students, employees, and building occupants safe with BulletShield.

riot glass unbreakable glass windows doors

Unbreakable Glass Windows: What Options Actually Work?

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riot glass unbreakable glass windows doorsUnbreakable glass windows are a confusing product type in the window industry. There’s a great deal of misbelief and misconception around unbreakable glass and whether certain products deliver on such promises.

This because there are many catch-all terms and labels that are tossed around as “unbreakable glass,” when in reality, most security products on the market can indeed be penetrated with enough force and willpower.

Despite its ambiguity, there are in fact unbreakable glass options on the market. Buyers must understand the various types of products and how they differ in terms of strength and un-breakability.

What Is Unbreakable Glass?

unbreakable glass windows glazingUnbreakable glass can be classified into two primary types:

  • Laminated glass windows: A specialized type of security window designed with a thin piece of transparent film that’s sandwiched between two panes of normal glass, also known as shatterproof glass.
  • Polycarbonate window panels: Flexible and high-strength panels that look just like regular window glass, but they are actually made of a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and other plastic.

Both of these widely-known types of “unbreakable glass” are far more durable and lightweight than normal glass windows, but they’re not created equally. Below we go into greater detail behind each of these solutions and which option might be best for you.

Laminated Glass (aka “Shatterproof Glass”)

In the window industry, unbreakable laminated glass is often tossed around as “shatterproof glass.” This has become a catch-all term that vaguely defines a certain variety of laminated security glass products. However, this term can be a bit misleading because most shatterproof laminated security glass is not 100% unbreakable

Rather, it’s designed to be very shatter-resistant. When this type of laminated security glass does break, it holds glass shards in place to prevent the glass from shattering dangerously inwards. So while this solution might help protect against natural disasters and storm threats, it might not be enough to protect against a bomb blast or a determined intruder.

unbreakable glass windows security glazingLaminated security glass can delay entry by a few minutes to total non-entry, depending on the thickness of the glass and the determination and tools of the individual trying to gain access. It can be a sufficient deterrent for vulnerable locations.

For instance, laminated glass can be a sound solution for retailers who wish to better protect their storefront and merchandise against smash-and-grab theft, burglary, rioting, and looting. It can also be installed on glass windows and doors of homes and residential complexes to help deter intruders and threats. 

As an alternative to laminated glass upgrades, safety and security window film can offer similar advantages and features. Security window film is often far less expensive to install and can also offer added benefits, like energy savings, sun control, and UV protection.

Polycarbonate Panels

If you’re interested in unbreakable glass that truly lives up to its name, polycarbonate panels are the type you want. Polycarbonate panels are significantly more difficult to break than both standard glass windows and laminated glass mentioned above. Compared to these latter options, polycarbonate panels deliver superior protection against forced entry attempts, burglaries, and weather-related disasters.

Although these panels look and function like glass windows, they are made of a combination of polycarbonate, acrylics, and other plastic resins. The combined strength and durability of its material composition makes polycarbonate panels a truly unbreakable and impenetrable solution.

While a laminated glass or shatterproof windows can effectively delay forced entry attempts, a polycarbonate window will always maintain its integrity against the most relentless and aggressive of attacks, including bomb blasts. Some polycarbonate panels have been engineered for ballistic protection, which provides protection against firearm threats. 

defenselite unbreakable security glass windowsOne of the best examples on the market is DefenseLite polycarbonate security panels. DefenseLite is 250 times stronger than glass and nearly invisible once installed. It’s been test across a wide range of blunt force objects and weapons and is proven effective as an unbreakable glass solution for the most demanding applications. It’s also easily mounted to existing glazing frames using a custom vented aluminum extrusion that creates a stand-off from the primary window and door glass.

DefenseLite also produces BulletShield, polycarbonate shields that offer UL 752 ballistic protection at a fraction of the cost of alternative products. RIghtfully acclaimed the body armor for windows, BulletShield is a bullet-resistant option that’s been tested with a wide range of firearms. You can learn more about this ballistic unbreakable glass solution here

bulletshield unbreakable glass windows security ballistic bullet-resistantAt Window Film Depot, we specialize in many different types of protective glass solutions. Whether you need a security deterrent to prevent burglaries and looting, or a full-on ballistic solution to stop armed intruders dead in their tracks, we can help you determine the optimal solution to fit your needs. Get in touch with one of our professionals by contacting us online or call 866-933-3456  for more information. 

retail theft prevention

Anti-Smash & Grab and Retail Theft Prevention: 3 Examples of Reinforced Storefronts

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retail theft preventionDuring times of pandemic and civil unrest, the prevalence of retail smash and grab events escalate at alarming rates. A vast majority of these crimes start at a storefront’s glass windows and doors where security is most vulnerable. Not only can these events result in stolen merchandise on display, but amid large riots and mass looting, the toll can be even more devastating. 

Fortunately, measures can be taken to better protect and reinforce glass windows and doors and effectively prevent unwarranted entry. At Window Film Depot, we’ve helped many different retailers install the protection needed to deter smash and grab attempts. Below are three examples of how our solutions have helped with retail theft prevention.

Mobile Communications Store

A popular mobile communications store based in Seattle, Washington required a way to prevent high-occurrence smash and grab events. Because solely safety and security film deemed inadequate based on sledgehammer attack methods of local perpetrators, the store needed a stronger solution that would work to keep assailants from breaching the storefront and stealing inventory. 

The requirement called for DefenseLite Pro Series, a custom made clear shield that was designed to fit the existing storefront window doors. Unlike most security window films that prevent glass shattering and delay entry, DefenseLite stopped intruders dead in their tracks by preventing breakage altogether. Not only did the custom-designed DefenseLite solution prevent forced entry attacks, but our professional installation maintained a clean storefront appearance.

See more information about the case study.

Outdoor Clothing Retailer

A vulnerably-located outdoor clothing retailer store based in Minneapolis, Minnesota needed an aesthetically pleasing anti-smash and grab solution that maintained the store’s open design while having as little impact on the storefront’s appearance as possible.

After determining the threat levels and budget for the necessary security upgrades, Window Film Depot recommended DefenseLite for an effective theft prevention solution. Because intruders were capable of using heavy blunt force objects and high-force projectiles to gain access, DefenseLite would level-up the outlet’s security to its new desired standards.

In just two days, Window Film Depot installed a custom, powder-coated DefenseLite trim package that ensured the new retrofit blended seamlessly into the storefront design. Not only was the finished product tastefully integrated, but it provided the necessary prevention against forced entry and retail theft.

See more information about the case study.

Retail Warehouse

A nationwide network of retail warehouse stores demanded a security solution for a number of reasons. Not only were smash and grab attacks on stores a retail theft problem, but they also presented a severe safety issue for store employees stocking shelves during the night shift. 

Security window film was initially tested and later approved to help mitigate unwarranted access into the stores after hours. Window Film Depot mobilized to all 905 stores and installed 3M 8 millimeter security film with Dow 995 anchoring caulk – all after hours in order to reduce any impact to store operations.

What’s the Best Retail Theft Prevention Solution?

When it comes to warding-off retail theft and vandalism, there are more solutions for retail theft prevention than window film. While anti-smash and grab film can prevent immediate shattering of glass doors and storefront windows, ultimately these window treatments will only buy you extra time if an intruder really wants to get in. For some retailers, window security film works just fine to accommodate their store’s location and potential threats. But for others that demand more effective solutions in preventing forced entry, products like DefenseLite are recommended.

glass door security film

Glass Door Security Film to Better Protect Schools, Businesses, and Homes

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glass door security filmIt’s no surprise that glass doors are one of the most vulnerable points of entry for looters, burglars, gunmen, and other potential threats. Likewise, glass doors are also one of the most common entryway systems for businesses, schools, and even homes and residential living spaces. 

While many glass doors are designed to be structurally sound and strong enough to withstand minor impacts and abrasions, in the attempt of forced entry, glass doors are a weak deterrent against anyone willfully seeking unwarranted entry.  

Glass door security film has been designed to help provide a protective solution to this growing problem. Not only is security film a cost-efficient investment that can be installed on virtually any type of glass door, but it’s also highly effective in deterring threats. Of course, this is just one of several solutions that we offer here at Window Film Depot. So in this post, we share a number of options and their benefits for protecting glass doors for various applications.

Protecting Schools Unwarranted Entry and Threats

One of the biggest concerns in maintaining safety and security in schools is preventing unwarranted entry from threatening intruders. Over the past decade, school shootings have been a tragic recurrence in the news and many educational institutions are investing in ways to keep students and faculty safe. While there are many solutions to help prevent school shootings, security window film is a viable option for glass doors.

Among the most universally-applicable options for glass doors is 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films. This line of products significantly mitigates shattered glass from high-impact forced entry attempts as well as blasts and natural disasters. Not only are 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films easy to install, but they’re also fully transparent by using a clear, micro-layered, and tear-resistant design. In the instance of an attempted break-in, the film keeps the broken glass in place, making it difficult for intruders to penetrate the glass and get through the door.

A level-up from 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Films are more advanced products like DefenseLite™ and BulletShield™. While these solutions are technically not a film, these retro-fit security shields are mounted onto existing window glazing to provide a reinforced barrier that’s 250 times stronger than glass alone.

Preventing Looting, Burglaries, and Smash and Grab Attempts

Businesses, particularly retail storefronts, are susceptible to all types of threats. Among the most common are burglaries, smash and grab attempts, and looting amidst chaotic riots and protests that escalate out of control. Glass door security film provides a convenient option that’s both budget-friendly and highly-effective in preventing these occurrences. 

The added value in installing products like 3M™ Scotchshield™ Safety & Security Window Film is that they also offer additional benefits for businesses and retailers alike. Among the most valuable is energy savings. Because these films have UV blocking sun control capabilities, dramatic temperature swings caused by solar heat gain can be prevented, thereby reducing the drain on air condition systems. The same UV blocking features also prevent fading that can occur with furnishings, inventory, and upholstery over time.

Glass Door Security Film for Residential Applications

The versatility of 3M™ Safety & Security Window Film provides homeowners and living complexes a simple way to keep residents safe. Whether as a sliding glass door security film for an outdoor deck entryway or as a protective security measure for an apartment building’s main entrance, security film delivers essential reinforcement while giving occupants added peace of mind.

As a unique advantage compared to residential window tinting, opting for a security window film for glass doors makes these entry points far more difficult to penetrate. In turn, this can prevent windows from shattering from both human and natural causes. For the former, security films are effective in deterring intruders while giving you more time to take action. And like mentioned above, the sun control capabilities deliver added benefits for energy savings and UV protection.

At Window Film Depot, we are the #1 3M Window Film installer in the U.S. We specialize in both commercial and residential glass door security film installation, and we work with all types of customers to help them choose and install the ideal product to best meet their needs. Ready to get started? Contact us online or call us at 1-866-933-3456.   

Etched Glass Window Film

5 Etched Glass Window Films That Enhance Curb Appeal

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Etched Glass Window Film

Etched glass window films provide an excellent option for both aesthetics and functionality. Not only can these unique films add a layer of privacy, sun control, and energy savings, but they also offer a tasteful option that can enhance the curb appeal of any building or dwelling.

Etched window film and glass finishes come in many different styles, so it can be difficult to choose a certain product for a given application. To help provide some inspiration and direction, below are five products from the 3M™ FASARA™ series worth considering.

Yamato

Whether for conference rooms, private offices, partitions, or verandas, Yamato delivers a semi-frosted, etched glass look that’s ideal for windows that require additional privacy. Yamato is perfect for spaces that have classic and historic charm, but can also suit more contemporary and modern applications.

Etched window film fasara yamatoThis decorative glass treatment is constructed from durable and flexible polyester materials, which provide easy and accurate application to a variety of glass substrates. Yamato is a great option for a uniquely-textured look that adds character to any glass window or door.

Prism Silver

Prism Silver is one of many different geometric designs that’s ideally suited for decorative applications. Next to its counterpart Prism Noir that has a greater shading effect, Prism Silver provides a visually-stunning option that’s suitable for both interior and exterior windows.

Etched window film fasara prisim silver

In addition having 3D design effects that stands out among certain backdrops, Prism Silver is a functional option that blocks almost 50% of solar heat transmittance.  

Seattle

For a more linear design, Seattle is an etched window film option that’s uniquely tailored with faded vertical textures and an edgier personality. Its wavy style is reminiscent of sandy beach waves but in a congruent, dissolving effect that provides uniformity and consistency.   

Etched window film fasara seattle

While the applications for Seattle might better suited for select retail and commercial environments, this product offers a creative way to enhance the look of standard glass pains.  

Mat Crystal I

As a popular option for privacy applications, the Mat Crystal I is also one of 50+ different 3M™ FASARA™ Glass Finishes that transforms plain glass into the look of cut or textured glass at a fraction of the price. It’s counterpart, Mat Crystal II, offers a slightly different fade effect that provides great transparency.

Etched window film fasara Mat CRYSTAL i

This decorative finish can be used to control sunlight and privacy while enhancing interior aesthetics. The versatility of this window treatment also allows you to tailor the level of privacy a space possesses. Both Mat Crystal products are some of the best choices for a frosted window film with faded transparency.

Altair

As a level-up from Yamato, Altair is an etched window film that defines frosted privacy glass. Altair truly captures the frozen-over look and feel of textured glass with random etches similar to that of an ice surface. 

Etched window film fasara altairAs a slightly more powerful option for heat control and energy savings, Altair provides 60% solar heat transmittance and visible light transmittance, which is a step up from some of the products above that offer less of a barrier.

For more etched glass window film ideas, check out our architectural films page. Or for help determining the right product for your application, contact Window Film Depot at (866) 933-3456 or visit our contact page to learn more.

Best Window Film for Bathroom Privacy

Best Window Film for Bathroom Privacy: 5 Tasteful Styles That Work

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Best Window Film for Bathroom PrivacyBathrooms are one area of a home or business that demands ultimate privacy. And given the high humidity nature of bathrooms, sometimes conventional window treatments like blinds and drapes don’t make for the best options. In turn, bathroom window privacy film can provide the best of both worlds.

When looking for the best window film for bathroom privacy, the options might feel overwhelming. From frosted and opaque window films to mirror and texturized glass finishes, aligning both the aesthetic and functionality is important for any application. While privacy is of the utmost importance, sun control and heat blocking qualities can provide added benefits and noticeable energy savings.

At Window Film Depot, we’re experts in helping homeowners, building owners, and business owners alike pinpoint and install the best window film for bathroom privacy and performance. To shed light on a few effective types, we’ve highlighted some of the best privacy films for bathroom windows. 

3M™ Mirror Film

As the name implies, 3M™ Mirror Film offers high reflection qualities to give a mirror-like appearance on the outside. A great option for interior and exterior bathroom window applications, 3M™ Mirror Film is a versatile and flexible choice that adds privacy from outside viewers while still providing transparent vision from the inside looking out.

3M™ Mirror Film for Bathroom Privacy

Contrary to popular belief, 3M™ Mirror Film is applicable to both residential and commercial applications. Homeowners and apartment occupants don’t have to rely on curtains or drapes for privacy in the bathroom. Furthermore, added sun control properties help minimize the amount of heat gain that passes through windows during peak warm seasons.

3M™ FASARA™ Ceilo Film

As part of the 3M™ FASARA™ series of glass finishes, Ceilo is wonderful option for those looking for a bathroom window privacy film. Cielo, which means sky or heaven in Italian, offers the appearance of an overcast sky. As such, FASARA™ Ceilo film provides ample privacy without sacrificing available light and the sense of openness in your space.

Bathroom Window Privacy Film 3M FASARA Ceilo Film

Also fringing on the category of decorative window film, FASARA™ Ceilo Film is aesthetically pleasing option for bathroom windows. It’s polyester film with pressure sensitive adhesives, which makes installation a breeze for bathroom windows, partitions and any other glass surfaces. 

3M™ FASARA™ Milky Milky (San Marino)

More opaque than other FASARA™ films from 3M™, Milky Milky San Marino offers a pleasantly clouded appearance while still providing optimal translucency from the inside. For those looking for a frosted window film for bathroom applications, Milky Milky San Marino delivers both privacy and sophistication.

3M™ FASARA™ Milky Milky (San Marino) Bathroom Window Privacy Film
Both Ceilo and Milky Milky San Marino are just two options in the FASARA™ series of privacy and decorative glass finishes. This collection makes for some of the best window films for bathroom privacy, offering a variety of styles that lend elegant, clean, and functional characteristics. They’re also budget-friendly window films that deliver distinctive visual appearance and energy-saving sun control performance.

3M™ CRYSTAL Glass Finishes

With 3M™ CRYSTAL Glass Finishes, customers can invest in frosted and dusted window qualities that provide the same appearance of sandblasted or etched glass but at a fraction of the cost. Serving as the ideal bathroom window privacy film for interior and exterior applications, CRYSTAL Glass Finishes capture the look of cut or texturized glass with stunning visual appeal.

3M CRYSTAL Glass Finishes Bathroom Privacy Film

CRYSTAL Glass Finishes are available in different types: Frosted Crystal in translucent white and gold and a Dusted Crystal finish in translucent white. These bathroom privacy films also offer both customization and personalization options, as digital printing on dusted materials can be executed on most installations.

3M™ Blackout Film

Intended for a wide range of exterior surfaces, 3M™ Blackout Film is particularly useful for bathroom windows in commercial and retail environments. Blackout window film is the ultimate choice in privacy film, maintaining the view from inside while the reverse side is colored almost entirely black. 

3M™ Blackout Bathroom Window Privacy Film

Unlike other bathroom privacy window films, it absorbs most light rather than reflecting it. This allows customers and occupants to enjoy the same UV protection and heat blocking benefits of sun control window film, but with trusted privacy.

For more help finding the best window film for bathroom privacy, contact us Window Film Depot at (866) 933-3456 or visit our contact page to learn more.

Residential Solar Window Film

Is Tinting House Window Worth It? Pros and Cons of Tinted Home Windows

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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 Savings

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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 Windows & Doors

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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.