Wire-glass skylight fading, tape tint below skylight?

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What I have:

I've got 3 skylights I'm trying to block UV/IR on with as high as possible VLT.  The skylights are wavy glass with wires in it, so no tinter will touch them.  They are also drafty when it's windy out.


What I'm trying to do:

I've been putting window insulation film from 3M on the bottom where the ceiling is to stop the drafts.  This is like cling wrap for food but you can heat shrink it for a tight fit.  It's actually applied in the attached picture, on the very bottom of the skylight "chimney" and stuck to the wooden trim.


My plan is to get some sheets of window tint and layer them in between sheets of this heat shrink wrap to filter the UV/IR out of the light and prevent fading on my floors and furniture.  Apparently I can't have the film applied to the glass directly, but this might work?  I know it's not a permanent solution but I can easily replace the cling film to hold the tint in place.  I'm assuming the backing on the tint is clear and I'd just leave the backing on it so it's not sticky.


What I've looked into:

I've seen 3M has a Prestige 70% VLT which has 99% UV and 97% IR.  I've also seen there's a 3M Crystalline 90% VLT for autos with 99.9% UV and 90% IR.  I'd rather have a 90% VLT, but does it matter that it's for autos?  I don't really care about clarity since it's for skylights and I won't be looking through it.  I just want UV/IR blocking and some 70% or higher VLT.  Other brands you might suggest?



I haven't been able to find anyone who can sell me any tint in the sizes I need: 1x 48"x48", 2x25"x25".  I found some 3M Crystalline 90% on ebay but the largest size is too small (they replied to my messages saying they cut the 60" roll in half??), and I haven't been able to find anyone selling 3M Prestige.  I contacted a local installer but they said they wouldn't sell precut tint to me.  I'm afraid most people will say this as it doesn't align with their warranties if they didn't install it.


What should I do here?  Will my plan even work as I think it will?


Thanks in advance!



Edited by StopTheFade
shrink pic

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There is some debate about the published IR specs of films, since a lot of manufacturers only produce numbers within a certain band/wavelength of the given spectrum. My recommendation is to base your performance value on the TSER (total solar energy rejection) or SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient). These numbers will give a better representation of how a film will perform in all wavelengths beyond IR. It appears that these days any film producer worth their salt should be submitting films for 3rd party verification through an organization like the NFRC. To my knowledge (which isn't much) no 3rd party testing singles out IR as a sole metric for testing film, that is limited mainly to sales literature and brand hype. 


Outside of that, best of luck purchasing a high quality uninstalled piece of film from a reputable dealer. If you do actually manage it, I would question it's authenticity because that is a big :nono  in the film biz........but it happens :dunno 


To me the best overall solution would be installing a piece of glass on that lower frame and then applying the film. If you have the budget go double pane glass instead of single for added insulation. From the pic, it looks like you have plenty of room for the glass and stop. :twocents 



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I agree with TE - Have a piece of glass installed and have that tinted.


I would add two things. First, no matter what film you end up going with, it's not going to prevent fading. Film just slows the process down. Second, visible light also contributes to fading, so a high VLT film, especially on skylights, isn't an ideal choice when trying to slow fading. 




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Thanks for the replies.  With all the work involved to get these temporarily less fading, it's probably better to just suck it up and get new skylights... oh well.  Thanks a ton for your advice though!


Curious, why is it so hard to get film from installers?  Is it that they don't want to deal with warranty issues if they didn't install it?  Is it some contractual agreement with the supplier that they can't resell it?  They're concerned I'll try to install it myself?

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It's more of a contract thing. I'm not sure if that's an unspoken agreement or in writing as I do not purchase that film. If I may suggest checking out express window films site you may find a film that's suitable for you. They have lighter high ir options (pearl ceramic) as well as dual reflective film. I'm skeptical as well about tinting those as no manufacturer is going to warranty it if something were to happen. I would only do it if it were my personal residence and I were going to change them out should this not work.


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Thanks for that link and the info.  Everything I can find seems to be for installers though with 60" x 100' rolls or so.  I just need 60" x 72" at most.  Where should I look for "scraps" like this? 


Also should I look for Pearl Ceramic specifically?  Which materials will do better at reducing fading?  Really I'm just looking for high VLT with as much fading blocking as possible.  I know VLT is a fader as well though.  I was thinking 70% or so would be adequate.


Also is there any real difference in architectural vs automotive films?


Thanks again!

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If I'm in your shoes I would probably just do the silver 68. Heat rejection is almost 50%, and the darkness you're wanting. They actually have a precut program now as well. May be best to call in for that but I'm not sure, as I only ever buy by the roll. I would highly advise against using an automotive film since it's a risky job anyways. 

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13 hours ago, TomTint said:

Get a silver 20 for the exterior. 

This is exactly what I was going to recommend. I may even have some I can send you. You’ll need to apply it to the outside of the glass. The manufacturer (Suntek) only warranties it for 3-4 years(if installed by a licensed film company), and only covers a limited amount of issues. I don’t recall the exact specs on the warranty, but it wasn’t lifetime. 


But it will definitely work. I did the outside of a strip club (extra offices) about 5 years ago and it still looks ok. 



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