What are car windshield sunscreens?

Film on the windshield from the sun

As a standard means of protecting the driver from the sun's rays, cars are equipped with sun visors that are installed above the windshield. In most cases, these devices are quite functional, although not in all situations they provide protection for the driver's eyes from the sun's rays. Therefore, some cars, in addition to sun shields, have factory tinting. It should be borne in mind that the rays of the sun not only blind the driver, but can also damage the finishing materials of the car interior, especially such as leather, fabric and even plastic, with prolonged exposure. In the absence of factory tinting, you can use several methods of sun protection on the windshield of the car. The most common tint. Another way is sunscreen.


There are two classifications of materials under consideration:

  1. By functional purpose, these products are divided into ordinary and athermal. Products of the second type are more preferable, since they are more multifunctional and prevent the cabin from heating up in sunny conditions, while conventional sun protection analogues only prevent glare.
  2. By size, materials against the sun are classified into strips for sticking to the windshield, namely on the upper part, and into fragments that cover it similarly to tinting.

Athermal sun protection films

Athermal solar control film is a transparent multi-layer material produced using various metals.
The products in question have some significant advantages over tinting.

Since the athermal sun protection film is transparent, it has a high light transmission, exceeding this indicator even for light tinting, and therefore the corresponding requirements. In addition, such material against the sun prevents the penetration of ultraviolet and infrared rays. In addition, thanks to the use of athermal material, the car interior remains cooler on a sunny day than when using tinting, and even more so with transparent windows.

Depending on the features, some models of athermal films retain infrared rays, while others reflect. Options of the second type are more preferable, since in the case of ray retention, the windshield heats up and heat is transferred to the passenger compartment.

In any case, high-quality athermal sun protection film does not impair visibility through the windshield even in dark conditions and at the same time provides protection from heat and dazzle during the day or the headlights of oncoming cars. The degree of specularity inside is approximately 8%, which is 1% less than glass.

In addition, these materials can be considered as additional safety features, since in case of an accident they prevent the destruction of glass into fragments. In addition, the use of such a material saves fuel in sunny weather by lowering the temperature in the cabin and thus making it possible to use the air conditioner less. This also reduces the risk of getting sick from cold air currents.

Athermal film against the sun is suitable for both windshield and side windows of the car. In addition, there are various color options for such films.

Sunscreen Films & Stripes

In terms of quality, sun strips can be classified into two types.

  • Inexpensive and low-quality Chinese-made models in most cases are characterized by a smooth color transition. The main advantage of such strips is their low cost. Otherwise, these products are unattractive. First of all, they provide low visibility due to turbidity. In addition, they are short-lived, as they do not have a protective layer against scratches and burn out after about six months. In addition, the adhesive base of such films is mixed with a dye.
  • The second option is represented by products, for example, American-made. They are distinguished by the absence of a color transition, that is, they are monophonic. Such bands are much more durable than Chinese ones.

Stripe on the windshield

With regard to performance, both films and strips, as mentioned above, they only protect against glare. Still, it is somewhat more convenient than sun shields, as they have to be rotated when necessary, while the film protects constantly. In addition, it provides a wider protection zone, especially if you paste over not only the windshield of the car, but also the side ones. An additional function of such films, as well as the athermal films considered above, can be considered to be the prevention of glass breaking into fragments.


It is necessary to consider in more detail the features of the choice of solar films based on light transmission. First of all, it should be noted that the requirements of the technical regulations set the minimum allowable value of this parameter for the windshield at 70%. Athermal materials meet these requirements, i.e. more than 70% translucent. However, in the selection process, a similar indicator of glass must be taken into account. The transparency of factory glasses is about 90%.

The windows of some cars are factory tinted and these products should not be used for them, since the total light transmission rate is likely to be below the standard value.

It is determined by multiplying the light transmission of the solar control material by the corresponding value of the glass. However, the above reasoning is based solely on a formal point of view. In reality, the athermal sunscreen film is almost invisible.

Transparent athermal film

As for the strip against the sun, it is most advisable to choose models with 5% light transmission, that is, the darkest. The width of the strip, in accordance with the requirements of the technical regulations, should not be more than 140 mm, although there are also wider options. Strips, unlike film sheets, can be used for factory-tinted windshields. In this case, the tinting will look darker, but will remain within the limits of the values ​​\u200b\u200ballowed by the technical regulations, since the strip does not cover all the glass, but only its upper part.

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