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Opalux Window Film Blog
Why is it so important to purchase external window films for outdoor environments?
It’s a seemingly understandable question; why is it necessarily so crucial for a window film applied on the exterior surface of glass to have been specifically designed for this purpose? If there is an interior window film that has caught your eye, what’s stopping you from simply installing this film on the exterior side of the glass anyway, and accepting any drawbacks that may come with this?
In truth, there are some very serious reasons why it may be especially wise for you to specify an external window film over an internal one, when it is intended that this product will be constantly exposed to the ravages of outdoor conditions.
Durability and longevity are key factors
The most obvious justification for opting for an external window film for external use is the fact that such film will be better suited to withstanding the wind, rain, hail and other elements that can cause a window film to break down over time.
Here at Opalux, we would certainly advise against installing an interior film externally, due to the manner in which this type of film is processed rendering it ill-equipped to last for long in the face of outdoor weather and ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Sure enough, when you purchase a dedicated external window film from us such as our External Reflective – Silver 20 (SO-20RS-eSR) product, the weather-resistant construction – including additional UV barriers – will be instrumental in preventing the film from degrading. A strong water-resistant adhesive is also incorporated into this film – and together, such features help to give this product a seven-year vertical warranty, and an up-to-four-year sloping one.
However, the right external window film will also do so much more
While careful consideration of the above factors will assist you in achieving the greatest longevity, performance and value from a specialised exterior window film, there may be certain other aspects of your given application that you will guide your final choice of film.
One key advantage of exterior window film is that it helps to ensure a greater proportion of solar energy is expelled outdoors, instead of being absorbed into the window pane. This goes some way to explaining the particular popularity of external window films for installation on double or triple glazed units or extra thick glass.
If you are specifically seeking out safety and security film, again, you may elect to have this in an exterior grade where there is a risk to people outside your building. Alternatively, you might simply purchase an external window film if the interior surface of the glass is not easily accessible.
Call 0845 026 1125 or email email@example.com, and we’ll work with you to assess the various circumstances and risks that apply to your own intended application. This way, you can be sure of making the most informed possible choice of window film.
We can offer both interior and exterior film to help protect against graffiti
Graffiti on windows is a common urban menace, appearing on not just many buildings, but also the likes of trains, buses and even ferries.
If graffiti is a problem that you are looking to tackle as a specifier, architect, end-user or other customer, you will be pleased to learn that Opalux can provide window film that has been specifically designed to stand up to this kind of vandalism.
How does graffiti protection window film work?
The principle behind our anti-graffiti window films is simple: they consist of an optically clear transparent sacrificial coating that can simply be removed and replaced if the windows on which they are applied are subject to graffiti.
Such a crucial layer enables you to better protect otherwise vulnerable glazing from sustaining the scratch marks that would necessitate the replacement of the entire window.
As you might expect, however, such a window film needs to be of a certain thickness if it is to withstand the level of punishment that windows can sometimes take from graffiti operators, without the underlying glazing itself being damaged.
Allow us to talk you through your options for anti-graffiti window film
100 microns is the minimum required thickness of window films when they are purchased specifically to shield windows from the adverse effects of graffiti.
This is why we offer window films in precisely this thickness that have been tested and certified to EN 12600 Class 2B2, and which are suitable for organisations seeking to comply with Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
We do supply thicker films in this category, however, such as the 175-micron SA-175CL-iSR and SA-175CL-eSR films that are designed to be applied internally and externally respectively, as well as the 200-micron SA-200CL-iSR product. These films are sometimes specified if there are concerns about heavy-duty tools being used by graffiti operators.
As for the difference between internal and external films, the latter are routinely used if the inner panel of the window requiring treatment is inaccessible, or in cases of the outer panel of a double glazed unit needing to be upgraded. They are also constructed in a way that enables them to stand up to constant exposure to the elements.
To be sure of selecting the window film that is the best match to your requirements, you are advised to contact the Opalux technical department before placing any order – as you can do by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +44 (0)845 026 1125.
What if you want to reject solar heat without changing how your windows look?
Given the elevated temperatures and levels of solar heat gain that we tend to see at this time of year, it’s understandable that you may be seeking a suitable heat control film. However, when you are specifying film for a retail shop window, motor showroom or other commercial or residential setting, you might not wish the appearance of the windows to be noticeably affected at all.
The above, after all, are all examples of premises where a continued high level of transparency through the glass and an all-round natural appearance are important.
Thankfully, we offer the ideal glass film to reduce heat in such spaces, in the form of our state-of-the-art clear heat control films for both indoor and outdoor application.
A high level of performance, but no compromise to aesthetics
Our presently available clear heat control films include two internally applied window films, Specialist Heat Control – Clear (SO-70IR-iSR) and Supreme XL – IR Heat Control/Clear (SO-70XLIR-iSR), and a single film suitable for exterior use, Specialist Heat Control Clear External (SO-70IR-eSR).
All three of these window films offer such features and benefits as very high light transmissions, quick retro-fit installation, the effective filtering of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, the reduced fading of interior furnishings and a virtually clear appearance.
Another benefit of every clear heat control film in our current range is scratch resistance, although it is the exterior grade film that offers the weatherproof construction necessary to ensure it can stand up to the elements without deteriorating.
The exterior film comes with a five-year vertical warranty and up to two years sloping, while those specifying either of the internal films can be assured of a 10-year warranty.
Are these the right window films for your requirements?
It’s important to emphasise that our clear heat control products are very much glass film to reduce heat, rather than glare. While these films do provide a limited amount of glare reduction – 24% in the case of the SO-70IR-iSR film – it is expected that those specifying such films would largely use other means for lessening glare, such as curtains, blinds or awnings.
If, however, you wish to achieve a good level of solar heat rejection in a given building without the amount of daylight through the windows or the appearance of the glass being noticeably impacted, these films could represent an excellent solution.
Specifiers are urged, however, to contact the Opalux technical department for guidance on the most suitable window film to select, before doing so. Email email@example.com or call +44 (0)845 026 1125 to discuss your given application and to arrange a free survey and quotation.
Opalux patterned window film is far from a gimmick
The decoration of glass is often far from a merely superficial or aesthetic enhancement, and for further evidence of this, one only needs to look to Opalux’s acclaimed and extensive selection of patterned window film.
This type of window film is typically applied to glazed screens in such settings as reception areas, lobbies, corridors and internal office partitions – in short, almost any internal space where a requirement exists for both a light, open atmosphere and a degree of privacy.
Such window film is fitted to the interior surface of glass, and Opalux provides a wide range of options for such products to enable the achievement of the most suitable visual effect.
What privacy and decorative films do we presently enable you to choose from?
Whether you are purchasing window film as an architect, designer or specifier, and for a residential, commercial, retail or office building, you can expect plenty of cosmetically appealing, innovative and well-made choices in our present range of privacy and decorative films.
Those choices include the likes of the Rice Paper Effect (SKY-9000), our closest to the Stipolite Effect is our Medium Sandblast (MS-905), Augusta – Frosted 12mm Stripes on Clear (DE-AUGU-iSR), Georgia – Frosted 45mm Bands on Clear (DE-GEOR-iSR) and Nevada – Frosted 1mm Dots on Clear (DE-NEVA-iSR) films that have already won rave reviews from a broad range of Opalux customers.
With our other possibilities for decorative and patterned films encompassing Travis – Frosted 45mm Square on Clear (DE-TRAV-iSR) and Vermont – Frosted 4mm Stripes on Clear (DE-VERM-iSR) among others, our customers have plenty of opportunities to get creative in how they enhance and decorate the glass in the interior spaces for which they are responsible.
Highly regarded films that cater to the complete range of needs
Different patterned window films across our product selection vary in terms of the exact performance they deliver with regard to such parameters as solar energy transmitted, reflected and absorbed, as well as ultraviolet (UV) rejection and glare reduction.
However, the broad benefits of privacy and decorative window film across our range remain consistent, and include the likes of quick retro-fit installation, high light transmission and ease of removability. The latter quality can be especially important for the internal spaces in which window films like this are routinely applied, as they give the option to easily remove, replace or update the film in the future.
Would you like to learn more about the integral role that the most suitable window film can play in making various areas of your residential or commercial buildings more cosmetically appealing and hospitable for occupants on a day-to-day basis? If so, simply call Opalux today, on 0845 026 1125, to discuss your requirements and request a free survey and quotation.
Tinted window films from Opalux can serve a broad range of purposes
It only requires one glance across our online product selection here at Opalux to appreciate that window film can be specified to satisfy all manner of requirements, from heat and glare control and privacy to safety and security.
Much the same can be said of our tinted window films, which don’t merely bring an aesthetic benefit – as great as such a benefit can often be – but also many practical advantages.
You’ve got plenty of options as far as grey/black tinting is concerned
For cosmetic but also UV control or shading purposes, our grey/black window tints are a popular choice. These non-metallised, optically clear and deep-dyed window films have the basic effect of tinting clear glass in any of a variety of grey/black densities, from very light to very dark shades.
If, for example, it is a lighter grey tint that you wish to apply to a certain building’s glass, our Tinted – Light Slate 50 (SO-50SL-iSR) window film may be an especially suitable choice. As its name suggests, this film provides a subtle tint, and is an excellent option when the specifier or end-user desires a low external reflection.
The Slate 50 film offers a variety of other benefits, including the filtering of up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and assistance in reducing the premature fading of interior furnishings. However, it is the combination of a subtle light grey/black external appearance and a barely noticeable visual effect from the inside that especially leads many of our customers to choose it.
The situation is very different with the darker grey/black tint that such a film as the Exterior Grade SO-10NRG-eSR product provides. This film is designed for exterior rather than interior application, which helps to explain its scratch-resistant coating. It is also a superb choice of window film when you seek to alleviate severe solar glare problems, while achieving daytime one-way privacy and a uniform outside appearance.
You can also trust us as a source of transparent art colours
The art colours window films that we are pleased to offer in such hues as Light Blue, Purple, Green, Pink and Red are naturally very different tinted window films to the aforementioned grey/black products.
Nonetheless, these films can serve their own invaluable role for all manner of customers of ours, not least in enhancing the appearance and atmosphere of places and spaces ranging from classrooms, stage sets and sports centres to entrances, museums and children’s wards. These are films that represent excellent forms of decoration, while still maintaining optical clarity.
Could Opalux serve your needs for tinted window film? Our technical team is always available to discuss which product could be the most suitable one for your intended application; simply call 0845 026 1125 for a suitably in-depth discussion.
Are you looking for a solar control film with a slightly more understated appearance?
The value of solar protection window film like that stocked in many different varieties here at Opalux can scarcely be doubted, particularly when a need exists to minimise excessive heat and glare. However, one common reason for specifiers and end users sometimes being deterred from purchasing traditional solar control films is their highly mirrored, reflective appearance.
Such an aesthetic may be highly undesirable for many buildings, such as historical and listed structures that require a much more visually sensitive addition to their windows.
This is why it is greatly helpful for many of our customers that we can offer low mirror solar control window films that combine the aforementioned practical benefits with a suitably muted grey or bronze appearance from the inside and the outside of the building.
You’ve got no shortage of leading options to choose from
Among the low mirror solar control window film products presently in our stock are both internally applied and externally applied versions, the latter of a weatherable construction that enables them to stand up to the worst of the elements over time. Various factors may dictate whether you opt for an interior or exterior film for your own building – for example, if the inside surface of the windows that you wish to treat are not easily accessible.
Our website is highly informative with regard to the effects that our various low mirror films have. Purchasers of our Lower Mirror – Neutral Grey 20 (SO-20NG-iSR) film, for instance, can look forward to a formidable 80% reduction in glare by a product that also rejects as much as 99% of the ultraviolet (UV) rays that would otherwise pass through the glass.
As aforementioned, a bronze appearance can also be specified for low mirror window film from us; interior-applied versions of such film include both Lower Mirror – Bronze 20 (SO-20SB-iSR) and Lower Mirror – Bronze 35 (SO-35SB-iSR). These two films reduce glare by 77% and 55% respectively, with the total solar energy that they reject being 75% and 55%.
We can help you to pick the most suitable window film for any application
Whatever your aesthetic, practical and financial requirements may be in relation to any window film that you are looking to buy, you are encouraged to contact the Opalux technical department so that we can advise you as to which film best suits your intended application.
Call 0845 026 1125 today to receive the guidance that you require to select the most appropriate window film, as well as to arrange a free survey and the most competitive quotation.
Can window film be installed on tinted glass?
There are several reasons why you may be concerned about the prospect and viability of having window film applied to already-tinted glass. Given that much window film is itself tinted, you might be wondering what consequences the addition of a window film may have for visibility through your tinted glass, as well as such characteristics as ultraviolet (UV) rejection and glare reduction.
However, another factor may have come to your attention to lead you to ask the question “can window film be installed on tinted glass?” – namely the risk of thermal fracture.
Could the application of window film risk the integrity of your glass?
To understand why thermal fracture may be a more likely possibility if you have window film installed on already-tinted glass, it is important to appreciate that tinted glass is a major heat absorber, which can create a high level of stress within the glass.
With window film also absorbing a certain amount of heat, there is a risk that if the combination of the tinted glass and any applied window film results in a very high level of heat absorption, the associated thermal stress could cause the glass to crack.
Installing the film externally, rather than internally, may help
One potential solution to the above problem is to fit your window film to the outside surface of the glass rather than the inside. We offer various external films here at Opalux, consisting of the weather resistant construction that enables them to avoid rapid degradation due to sunshine exposure.
The main reason to choose externally applied rather than internally applied window film for application to tinted glass, however, is the fact that the former type of window film rejects the heat of the sun before it penetrates and is absorbed by the glazing unit itself.
This helps to lessen the chances of thermal fracture as a consequence of an elevated level of heat absorption in the glass. It is also why we recommend external over internal window film for other specialised and vulnerable forms of glass, such as laminated or Georgian-wired glass.
Ask us about the solutions that could best suit your given application
So, can window film be installed on tinted glass? The short answer is “yes”, but the longer and more complicated answer is that much depends on such factors as the type of window film used, as well as the level of tinting in the glass and the likely level of heat absorption.
This is why, before you purchase any window film for application to tinted glass, we would advise you to contact the Opalux technical team, so that we can help you to assess the probable risks and determine the solution that is least likely to leave you with any headaches.
Simply call the Opalux team now, on 0845 026 1125, or complete and submit our straightforward contact form, to ask us any specialised questions about window film or request a free survey of the glass at your property.
How does window film work?
While not all forms of window film work in exactly the same way, there are nonetheless certain consistent aspects governing how they function. The basic purpose of a window film is to provide an extra barrier on top of the window surface as a means of protection.
Different forms of window film cater to different needs
One only needs to browse the full selection of window films that Opalux offers to appreciate that there are many different types of window film and tinting, with each product having a slightly different purpose to the next.
The typical window film consists of a layer of clear polyester film, so that vision through the glass is maintained once the film has been applied to the window.
However, window films also routinely incorporate other tinting agents, including metals and dyes, to ensure the desired performance in the setting in which they are intended to be used.
A good example of this can be seen in how internal and external window films differ. Window films are usually applied on the inside surface of glass, rather than the outside. This is because externally applied window film would be exposed to the outdoor elements such as the sun, wind and rain, making it vulnerable to more rapid deterioration than would be the case if it was applied internally.
However, there are also certain circumstances in which it is not feasible or desirable to install window film on the interior surface of glass, such as if the interior surface is difficult to reach or the glass is laminated or Georgian-wired.
For these reasons, we can also supply specialised exterior-grade window films of the weather-resistant construction necessary to protect them against rapid degradation.
Select the window film that perfectly matches your needs
As you browse our online selection of window film here at Opalux – encompassing such variants as tinted window films, energy control films, UV control films, patterned films and many more – you will also be able to examine the exact specifications of the different options before you.
Different window films deliver different outcomes with regard to such aspects as the percentage of visible light transmitted and reflected, the levels of solar energy transmitted, reflected and absorbed, levels of glare reduction, and many more.
For more information in response to the question “how does window film work?”, particularly in relation to the particular type or variant of window film that you may have in mind, you are welcome to get in touch with the Opalux technical department today. Don’t hesitate to call 0845 026 1125 today, or to complete and submit our straightforward online contact form.
How long will the window film last?
Our customers frequently ask us: “how long will the window film last?”
In truth, there is no one answer for all situations, as this depends on a range of circumstances, including the material composition of the window film itself, as well as how it is to be used – not least the setting in which it is to be installed.
The window film itself is only one factor to consider
Naturally, here at Opalux, we take great pride in our manufacture and provision of the most technically advanced and expertly engineered window film that can be depended on to deliver impeccable performance over a prolonged period of time.
However, with window film being known to last for potentially decades in the right conditions, it is important to carefully consider the specific factors that could especially impact on the longevity of your chosen film.
The types of materials from which the window film is made are obviously crucial, but the type of window to which the film is applied is a similarly significant factor. It is vital not to install a window film on a surface for which it is not designed, as this will drastically reduce its effective lifespan.
If a window film intended for application to glass is instead installed on a polycarbonate surface, for example, it will not adhere properly to the polycarbonate, which will cause the film to bubble up and appear unsightly in a matter of days.
The orientation of the window – whether it faces north, south, east or west – and even the local climate and weather conditions can also potentially affect the length of time for which the window film remains in an acceptable state.
If in doubt, check the warranty
In the absence of other information about a given window film’s likely longevity in the setting in which you intend to install it, it is always instructive to consider the level of protection given by the attached warranty.
Our solar reflective window films are a case in point with regard to the difficulty of maximising a film’s lifespan when it is to be installed on the outside surface of glass.
The product warranty on our internal Reflective – Silver 20 film (SO-20RS-iSR) is a full 10 years, for instance. However, this falls to seven years vertical and up to four years sloping for the external version of the same film (SO-20RS-eSR), despite the latter boasting weather resistant construction with additional ultraviolet (UV) barriers.
Contact Opalux today for further insight
Remember that if you require a more specific answer to the question “how long will the window film last?” with regard to your own particular situation as a specifier or end-user, the Opalux customer service team would be pleased to advise you accordingly.
Simply call 0845 026 1125 now to ask us a technical question or to arrange a free survey and quotation for whichever window film from our range may have captured your interest.
Is window film applied to the exterior or interior?
Window film is typically installed on the inside surface of glass, in both buildings and vehicles. However, dedicated exterior window film is available for certain special circumstances, such as if it is difficult to obtain access to the interior side of a window, or if the type of glazing does not lend itself well to window film being applied on the inside surface.
As one of the premier suppliers of window film for both interior and exterior application here at Opalux, we can advise you on which type of film may best serve your specific requirements.
Don’t get these two types of window film mixed up!
If there are any questions our technical team is asked almost as often as “is window film applied to the exterior or interior?”, they are “Can I apply internal films externally?” and “Can I apply external films internally?”
Unfortunately, we do not recommend that you apply interior window films on the outside surface of glass. This is because the different way in which internal film is processed compared to external film means it would not be able to withstand the ravaging effects of external weather and ultraviolet (UV) rays. Interior window film applied outside would therefore have a much shorter lifespan than exterior film installed in the same setting.
It is, however, possible to apply external window films internally without any adverse issues.
In what specific circumstances may I buy external window film?
A good example of exterior window film is our External Reflective solar control film that can be specified in Silver 20 (SO-20RS-eSR) or Silver 35 (SO-35RS-eSR) variants. These films are of weather resistant construction, incorporating the additional UV barriers required to protect them from degrading due to exposure to the sunshine; they also have a strong water resistant adhesive.
We routinely recommend that our customers purchase these exterior window films over their internally applied equivalents if inside access to the glass isn’t possible, or if the glass is laminated, heavy tinted or Georgian-wired. Certain double or triple-glazed windows may also be best suited to window film being applied externally rather than internally.
Ask the Opalux team today for specialised and informed guidance
If you are still confused or unsure about any aspect of whether window film should be applied on the inside or outside surface of your own building or vehicle’s glass, please consult the dedicated page of our site for exterior-grade window films.
Alternatively, simply fill in and submit our online contact form or give us a call, on 0845 026 1125. We will then be able to advise you on which of our highly rated products may best suit your needs.