Choosing the Perfect Shade Level: Understanding Visible Light Transmittance (VLT)

Choosing the Perfect Shade Level: Understanding Visible Light Transmittance (VLT)

When it comes to window tinting, whether for your vehicle or building, understanding Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) is crucial. VLT is a measure of how much light can pass through a window film or glass, expressed as a percentage. This figure not only affects how much light enters your space but also impacts privacy and compliance with legal standards.

What is VLT?

Visible Light Transmittance refers to the percentage of visible light that passes through the tint film. For instance, a film with a 5% VLT is very dark, allowing only 5% of the light to pass through, thus providing maximum privacy. Conversely, a 70% VLT film is much lighter, allowing 70% of the light to enter, which offers less privacy but better visibility.

Choosing the Right VLT for Your Needs

The choice of VLT depends on various factors, including desired privacy levels, aesthetic preferences, and legal requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the different VLT levels available at Car Tint and their best uses:

  • 70% VLT Window Tint: Ideal for windshields, this high-transparency film ensures excellent visibility.
  • 50% VLT Window Tint: A balanced option that provides good visibility and moderate shading, suitable for windshields.
  • 35% VLT Window Tint: Offers good visibility and is lighter than most factory-installed tints, making it a legal option for front side windows.
  • 20% VLT Window Tint: This popular tint level offers medium visibility with more privacy and is often found on factory-installed tints.
  • 15% VLT Window Tint: Provides moderate visibility with increased shading, suitable for those seeking more privacy.
  • 10% VLT Window Tint: With darker shading, this tint level is an excellent choice for enhanced privacy.
  • 5% VLT Window Tint: Known as a “limo tint,” this dark shade offers the highest privacy level and is commonly used in limousines.

Legal Considerations

Before selecting a window film, it’s essential to consider the legal VLT limits in your area. Regulations vary, and certain levels of tint may not be permissible, especially for front side windows and windshields. Always check local laws to ensure compliance.


Choosing the right VLT for your window tinting is a balance between functional needs and personal preferences. By understanding the implications of different VLT percentages, you can make an informed decision that provides the right level of privacy, aesthetic appeal, and legal compliance.

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