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Need advice on home window film! Michigan


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Last August we lost a huge oak tree that had shaded the entire front of our house and our A/C unit. Since motorized blinds are soooo expensive, we decided to do a window film instead. So far we have had a Llumar rep and a ASWF rep visit and give us some small samples and quotes.  The windows are large and face south, so our living/dining room will be getting the full sun treatment now...as well as our furnishings, floor, etc. We can already tell a major difference in the inside temperature on sunny days, I can't imagine what it's going to be like in mid-July when it's 90 degrees outside. Not to mention burning up our A/C unit because it'd be running non-stop.  We want to cut down the heat during the warmer months, but try to retain as much as we can during the winter, too. 

 

The Llumar DR, I forget which darkness, was quoted at $1100 more than the ASWF Daydream 15. Both installers have great reviews. But now in doing more homework on this, I'm wondering if the price difference is because ASWF is an inferior product that may start to delaminate later on.   The main thing we are concerned with is Heat and UV protection from fading. Since the house was shaded by the tree before, we're not so concerned if it's a darker tint up top, but we don't want a dark tint on the bottom windows as I don't want the colors and brightness of our views from the lower eyeline-height windows to be affected much. And the more I research, the more confused I am getting.  Argh!  Information overload.  Do I want Dual-reflective?  Or the one-way mirror?  I don't really understand what the diff is.  You can't really tell from the small 8x6 samples they give you. Do I want the windows to be mirror-like on the outside? Privacy is not really an issue, as no one's going to see anything from looking thru the top windows except the top of our staircase.  And for the bottom windows, we already have fabric blinds we can put down if we want privacy. We debated on not doing the bottom windows at all since we do have fabric honeycomb blinds, but there's times that the sun is streaming in and blinding us or roasting us but we want to keep the blinds up to be able to see outside during the daytime.  Sooooo confused.   Pics of the windows attached.  The top windows are 102" tall at their peak, and 45" wide...each.   I didn't measure the bottom windows, but they're probably about 18" wide and maybe 60" tall...each.     Any recommendations would be appreciated!   Am located in SW Lower Michigan. 

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Edited by Mar68
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16 hours ago, Mar68 said:

The Llumar DR, I forget which darkness, was quoted at $1100 more than the ASWF Daydream 15.

 

 The main thing we are concerned with is Heat and UV protection from fading.

 

Since the house was shaded by the tree before, we're not so concerned if it's a darker tint up top, 

 

Do I want Dual-reflective?  Or the one-way mirror? 

 

 

1. I like Llumar... Never used ASWF so I can't speak to the differences. Lulu has been around a long time and it's a quality film. (Not to say the other isn't...)

 

2. You said you couldn't remember the darkness of the samples or what was discussed (I assume). Darkness matters in terms of fading. Visible light contributes to fading, so going too light isn't going to offer a lot of fade reduction. Ideally you want to stay in shades 35% or lower, IMO.

 

3. I have done a ton of job where we do darker up top and a shade lighter at eye level. It's not as noticeable because the view is different. Upper windows you have a sky view.. lower you're looking across your yard. 

 

4. You want a duel-reflective. The one-way mirror films are super dark. Darkness is in the eye of the beholder, but most customers feel it's rather dark. I personally like it... but that's me. lol 

 

If you were my potential customer, I would suggestion a 25% film for the uppers, 35% for the lowers. I might even do 15% for the uppers and 25% for the lowers, depending on how you feel about the samples I would show you. THAT would be the best bang for the buck in terms of heat reduction and fade reduction. 

 

One-way mirror films tend to be like like 7%... Limo tint on a car is generally 5%... just to give you an idea of darkness. 

 

Hope that helps and doesn't confuse you even more. :thumb2

 

 

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The first rep that came out with Llumar samples gave me a bunch of different ones from different lines of their film. Some one way, some dual reflective, some with the blue gray tint, some with the brownish tint. I think that is what contributed to my confusion, was all the various samples with no real recommendation from the person who is supposed to be the expert on the product.

The second rep came out with ASWF and only left one DR sample. After doing some of our own research, we kind of figured out that we think we want the dual reflective, in the brownish tint.

Yesterday a third rep came out who also deals with Llumar. He recommended either DR15 up top and DR25 on the bottom, or DR25 up top and DR35 on the bottom.  Interestingly, his quote came in only $50 higher than the ASWF quote. In other words, his quote for the exact same brand, Llumar, was almost $1,000 less than the other dealer who also deals with Llumar. ???  Both are locally owned companies, not large conglomerates.

Anyway, that's where it stands at the moment. We've narrowed it down to dual reflective with the brown tint, darker on the top windows and a little lighter on the bottom windows. Possibly 15/25, or 15/35, or possibly 25/35. It's so hard to decide with such small samples to base it on.

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3 minutes ago, Mar68 said:

In other words, his quote for the exact same brand, Llumar, was almost $1,000 less than the other dealer who also deals with Llumar. ???  Both are locally owned companies, not large conglomerates.

 

Prices are not set by the manufacture but rather, generally, by the going rate for the area. And of course the quality of the film. But that's more then likely why the prices were close. Now... The other factor is the quality of the install... All installers are not created equal.  Wouldn't hurt to get customer references from both companies.

 

 

 

3 minutes ago, Mar68 said:

Anyway, that's where it stands at the moment. We've narrowed it down to dual reflective with the brown tint, darker on the top windows and a little lighter on the bottom windows. Possibly 15/25, or 15/35, or possibly 25/35. It's so hard to decide with such small samples to base it on.

 

The samples are small, unfortunately. You can hold them up to your eyes like makeshift sunglasses... One thing to try not doing is holding a sample up to the window and comparing it to plain clear glass. Once everything is tinted, you're not going to be looking at both tinted windows and untinted windows. (Depending on how your windows and room(s) are setup. If you get my drift. 

 

 

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I would be leary of the 2nd llumar guy that was so much cheaper.  I also wouldn't trust the 1st one that left you with so many choices and no real clue. 

 

I used aswf for a bit and it has held up well enough on flat glass.  Don't think I've used it in many years though. My distributor changed who he gets film from. 

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Agreed...  If the customer doesn't know what they want, I will leave at max 3 samples. You leave too many and it just confuses the customer even more. You should be able to figure out what is best for their situation by asking the right questions. 

 

 

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Yeah, I think I finally know what it is that we want, after looking through this forum, getting the three different quotes, getting additional samples of just the Llumar DR films, and taking the other ones back to the first vendor who left me with a variety of different films in both gray and amber tints.  

Now I'm just trying to decide between the DR25 or DR35 on the lower windows.

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