The Differences Between Factory Tinted Glass & Aftermarket Window Tint

Although factory tinted glass and aftermarket tint may be similar in appearance, the materials, manufacturing procedures, and installation process are very different, giving window tint film additional benefits that factory tint does not provide.

Materials and Manufacturing Process

The two tints are made from different materials and have a very different manufacturing process. Factory tinted glass contains pigments and dyes that are added to the glass during the manufacturing process. These dyes darken the color of the glass and reduce the amount of visible light that passes through the car’s window.

Aftermarket window tint is a polyester film comprised of multiple layers. This multi-layer construction includes an adhesive coating, layers containing metal particles, dyes and pigments, and a final layer that provides scratch-resistant protection the film. Different types and quantities of metals added to the internal layers impact the tint’s color, light transference and reflective properties of the film.

Aftermarket Tint Installation

Because the dyes and pigments are inside glass with factory tint, there are no installation procedures after the window is manufactured and installed in the vehicle. The same cannot be said for aftermarket tinted film, which will be applied to the interior surface the vehicle’s windows after the car has been manufactured and sold.

The film is first cut to match the dimensions of the vehicle’s windows. The interior side of the glass is cleaned to ensure that no dirt or dust particles will be trapped under the film, and then solvents are sprayed onto the glass. These solvents react with the adhesive coating on the film, allowing the installer to move the film into place before the adhesive cures.

Automotive Window Tint Removal

It is not possible to remove factory tint from a car window. This is because the dyes and pigments are mixed inside the glass. Aftermarket tinting film can be removed from the glass by using tools to peel the film and solvents to breakdown the adhesive coating.

Professional Installations
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For best results, work with window tinting professional. Although tint installation and removal can be a project for do-it-yourselfers, automotive tinting companies have the ideal facilities, equipment chemicals for a professional result. These businesses also know and understand the laws for your state and will help you select a tint that meets your needs and satisfies the legal standard.

Protection from Ultra-Violet Rays & Solar Energy

To satisfy the broad spectrum on state tinting laws, factory tinted glass is typically placed in the rear windows of the vehicle this tint reduces the amount of visible light, it does not provide the same level of protection from ultraviolet rays as aftermarket tint. Adding window tint to both the front and rear windows of your vehicle reduces the volume of harmful UV rays that enter the car. This creates a safer environment for riders and reduces sun damage and fading of the car’s upholstery and dash.

Aftermarket film also reflects and absorbs the sun’s solar energy from infrared light. When the sun’s energy goes unchecked, the temperature inside vehicle can drastically increase while the car sits idle in the sun. Factory tinted glass does little to reduce heat gain inside the vehicle, while aftermarket film maintains a more comfortable temperature inside the car.

Shattered Glass Protection

Although factory tinted glass is tempered and strengthened to increase durability, it provides little protection when the glass breaks. Typically resulting in pieces of broken glass flying into the vehicle during an accident or break-in. On the other hand, the adhesive and protective layers of aftermarket window film work to hold broken glass in place, reducing the chances of bodily injury for passengers.


Discovering Unique Applications for Madico’s Amber 81 Window Film

Madico Window Films are designed to solve specific issues and concerns for our customers.  From providing a more comfortable driving experience to reducing the heat and glare coming through a home or office building’s windows, we strive to provide products that make a difference in our customers’ day to day lives. Often, special uses are also discovered for our films that go beyond their initially intended purposes.


Madico’s Amber 81 film was originally designed as an automotive tint. While no longer sold as an automotive film due to a shift in consumer preferences for car tint coloring, it is now commonly used in the medical field*, technology based clean rooms, and for photography purposes. It is an amber colored window film designed to block UV light into the low visible light region.  UV light starts to transition to visible light around 380nm and a standard clear or lightly tinted window film will block over 99% of energy up until that 375nm. 


Madico’s UV Gard film blocks up to 380nm.  However, there are a number of medical and clean room applications that require additional blocking from 380nm to 400nm, where UV and visible light are both present.  Amber 81 provides excellent blocking throughout the 400nm range, with transmission below 10% all the way up to around 500nm. In situations where this type of extreme UV light blocking is required, the film is applied to all sources of light within the room such as windows, fluorescent lighting and even lasers.


The amber color of the film gives it this extra blocking capability, as opposed to our clear UV Gard film, which blocks transmission up to about 390nm and then increases to around 85% across the 400nm range.  UV Gard is better suited for museums and historic venues where only valuable furnishings need to be protected and a colored window film is not desired. The graph below shows the transmission of Amber 81, UV Gard, and a standard clear film through the UV and visible light regions.


Amber 81 is suitable for interior use and is covered by our standard 7 year warranty against film defects. 


*Before using any product to address health issues, a medical professional should be contacted to ensure that the product will in fact block the radiation necessary.