There are vast differences in the construction properties of automotive and architectural film. Automotive window film is designed to absorb solar energy, which means a car can actually grow warmer inside as the car sits idle. The magic of creating interior comfort happens as the window’s absorbed heat radiates as the car drives down the road.
Architectural window film, of course, is used on stationary structures. If one tried to install automotive window film architecturally, you can imagine how the solar-absorbing auto film would prove detrimental to a home or office environment. It’s for this reason that architectural flat glass is designed to reflect heat. In fact, if you were to try putting solar-energy-absorbing auto film onto flat glass, there’s a good chance heat buildup would cause the glass to break.
There are other differences. For example, automotive film is designed to be heat formed during installation, allowing the installer to shape the film as needed around the curvature of a vehicle’s windows. Architectural film uses a different adhesive than automotive film. It is formulated to give an installer more control when positioning film on large glass surfaces.