We often get asked if you need to select a dark film in order to reduce fading or protect artwork in a home. The answer is not really, although dark film is definitely more effective because visible light is such a significant factor in fading. The key is to find a film that is effective and addresses all of your concerns about light levels. Almost all window films block 98%+ of the UV light. This is due to the fact that the UV inhibitors are incorporated in the mounting adhesive, not in the actual polyester film as many believe.
Because fading is caused by UV light, visible light AND heat, its important to look for a film that reduces ALL three. Look for films that block the most UV (measured in the 300-380nm spectrum), have a lower visible light transmission (VLT) and a higher total solar energy rejected (TSER). These films will give you the most fade protection.
It is also important to remember that no window film can completely eliminate fading – even if it is a dark film. Window films reduce fading, no window films can completely prevent it. Pay particular attention to any objects that are close enough to windows that the sun’s heat makes them warmer than other objects in the room during daylight hours. One example of this would be curtains. You will certainly want to use a heat-blocking film in a situation like that.
When selecting a window film for fade control, start with the darkest film that is acceptable for your application. The best way to determine what shade is right for you is to order a window film sample kit. The kit will give you a 5” x 7” piece of all five shades of ComforTech™ Ceramic Series that you can view in your home. You can tape them to a window and view them from the inside and outside to determine which color suits your needs best.
And as always, if you have questions, you can ask us at any time through the chat button on bottom righthand side of the site, at [email protected] or by calling us at 888-206-1413. We look forward to connecting!