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  1. I'm looking at films for daytime privacy and trying to better understand all the spec sheets and numbers. If you want daytime privacy should I be looking at ext reflectance numbers and is higher better to provide more privacy? Or is that misleading? I know you can have frosted film/glass which has low reflectivity and provide privacy but staying within DR films is it higher ext reflectance better for determining daytime privacy? I also noticed that the interior and exterior reflectance are somewhat correlated so for films that have higher exterior reflectance they also have higher interior reflectance. From what I understand for interior reflectance you want as low reflectivity as possible so you can see out at night. So seems it's a trade-off right? If I want greater daytime privacy which requires a good level of exterior reflectance then I'll likely sacrifice nightime viewing due to a higher interior reflectance. Is that how it works? So specific films I'm looking at are Slate 30 vs Fusion 28. For double-pane 1/8": - Slate 30 is ext refl of 29% and int refl of 15% with VLT of 28% and glare reduction of 66% TSER 53 - F28 is ext refl of 37% and int refl of 21% with VLT of 24% and glare reduction of 70% TSER 57 From these numbers is it correct to conclude that: 1) In general F28 will appear more shiny due to the higher reflectance then Slate 30? 2) F28 will provide more daytime privacy due to the higher ext reflectance of 37% vs 29%? 3) On the flipside will F28 be harder to see out at night since the int reflectance is higher 21% vs 15%? 4) For decent daytime privacy is there any guideline? Where I need to look for a min ext reflectance of 25%+? 5) Or is it more nuance than just looking at the numbers? I'm working to try to actually get samples installed on windows so I can do a visual comparison as numbers will only tell part of the story but I wanted to just understand what the numbers can and cannot tell me. Thanks so much!
  2. How funny! Yes, they are one of the installers I'm talking with, among the others that you also recommended. Good to know that C30 is an option if I want to go that route. Yeah confirming with my HOA on specific rules, the rules can be tricky. These windows face the back so think it should be less of an issue. For DR, would F28 work to give decent daytime privacy while not being too dark? That might be a happy compromise. Also thinking about Slate 30. Thanks!
  3. Some more context: my conservatory room is 10’ x 16’ with 8 80” tall windows on three sides with over 122 sqft of glass. This faces SSE so in the morning it heats up like a suana. It connects 16’ wide opening into the rest of the house which is a completely open floor concept of an area of over 1000 sqft which has good amount of light already coming in so the conservatory area is a relative smaller area to the rest of the house. The consultant looking at my setup said going to a low VLT would work since it’s not a closed off room where I’m tinting all sides plus it’s actually a lot of glass. It’s just a matter how low to go to get the daytime privacy desired. At V45 I rather just pick C40 for the better TSER. But my aim now is to see if I can get daytime privacy this looking at DR. Nighttime I know I get zero and it’s no different then what I have now. If I want nighttime privacy then will get roller shades. Thanks!
  4. Thanks everyone for their reply! We had our final consultation which was a HO dealer which showed us Ceramic, Drei, and Fusion. I do agree that overall comparing with all the other film samples we have HO has some really nice optics. At first I thought my wife (boss) wanted clear view and visibility as the top priority thus was focusing on ceramic and spectral select but after she saw the Fusion, she likes the idea of privacy and now wants me to look at DR films (argh!!!). Drei is an option but it's really expensive, C40 is already a premium and Drei on top of that just pushes it way out of budget. If I had an ocean view or canyon hills view maybe but this is just looking out in a backyard garden plus my wife/boss is now changing her mind where she wants more privacy (pulling my hair out at this point and might just get some roller shades). The other snag I ran into is that we can't go down to C30 as we're double-pane low-e glass. This was the only rep that inspected our glass etching, looked up the compatibility guide and said for ceramic we can only go to C40. So was super impress with that as no other installer mentioned this or checked. I had another installer that said C30 would be fine. I pointed out the guide I found online and they said they talked to their rep (who said no problem) and would get it in writing, but never heard back from them -- shrug. So the rep showed us the Fusion 10 which is also a nice film (plus cheaper to boot), my concern is that it's too dark and from reading other threads it seems better suited for businesses. I see for residential more people recommending 20 or 30 instead. I guess I can do the "sunglasses" test but will need to get more samples, my installers are going get super annoyed with me :). So now I shifted to focusing on these three DR films now: - HO Fusion 10/20/30 - Panorama Slate 10/20/30 - Vista Ultima V14, Celeste V18, Luminance V28 So my questions are: 1) For privacy (outside looking in) what min level of ext. reflectance should I aim for? 30%+, 35%+, 40%+? I imagine that the exterior reflectance becomes a bigger factor where I actually need a high enough ext. reflectance so people can't see in and I have privacy. Is there any rule of thumb for what to look for? I have a sample of DRDS-35 which has a ext reflectance of 18% on the spec sheet which I tested and does not provide enough daytime privacy my wife/boss wants. I have a Fusion 10 sample which boosts an ext reflectance of 51% which does provides lots of privacy but pretty mirror like from the outside. What's the happy ground? 2) I live within a HOA community so is there an ext. reflectance to keep below to stay below HOA complaints? Again this is more real-world experience. I read my CC&R but didn't see anything specific so reached out to our HOA rep for exact clarification. I do know my neighbors have done medium level tints w/o issue. 2) What VLT is most commonly recommended for residential daytime privacy? I understand this is highly subjective and likely a need some mocks and samples to really tell. But wondering if there's a rule of thumb. 4) Among those brands any comments? I understand that HO is superior for optics especially in the the ceramic film but as I shift more to DR for privacy does it still translate? Also understand that both Vista and Huper are both owned by Eastman Chemical but Huper Optik seems to be a higher class to Vista and the Panorama is SolarGard's equivalent. Again thanks so much, this has been a wealth of information!
  5. Quick update: So had an installer come in to put up some mocks. It was HO C30, HO C40, and CX35. Thinking of going darker to cut glare. In general the HO has more of a greenish grey tint vs the CX has a bluish-grey tint. Spec-wise they are really close so it seems to come down to personal choice. CX is a bit cheaper. Optically it seems HO is a bit sharper with more contrast, it's almost like putting on polarization sunglasses on. CX is not bad but not as sharp as HO. One issue I just noticed which I didn't see at first, is that the HO seems to have a lot of subtle bubbles. I only noticed it now in full sunlight and looking at a certain angle. It maybe just a bad install, but I see the bubbles in both the HO C30, C40 mock-ups but not in the CX35. So this leads me to conclude that because of the double-ply of the HO C30, C40 the install requires a bit more work to make sure it lays flat. In other words does it mean the HO C30, C40 require more skill to install so it looks right vs the Panorama CX? The C30, C40, CX35 mock ups were all installed by the same guy, but only the C30, C40 is showing this bubble issue. I actually weren't there to see the install, so not sure if he just slathered all them on and placed the tint up. Again, I didn't notice it at all for the last couples days, but now I can since it's bright sun shining through the tint. I'm thinking it's an installer issue, at which point I probably won't pick this particular installer. But it does make me rethink if I should go with HO if installation is more complicated and one more thing to worry about. I hate to get 8 panels installed and then later find there's bubble issues which requires them to be redone. I also don't want to be leering over the installer when it's going up to make sure there's no issues. The installer actually recommended HO, so don't think he intentionally was trying to do a bad install mock-up. It was an overcast day so probably not obvious, again I only started to notice in full sun. Although, if I run my fingers over the film I can actually feel the bumps but never saw them before in lower light conditions. Was leaning toward C30 but now that I see this issue, thinking more CX35 which doesn't seem to have that issue plus cheaper. My specific concerns: 1) Is this something common on C30, C40 mock ups since they are thicker films? Again didn't see it in any of the other film mock ups I have up. 2) On the actual install, a good installer will be paying very close attention to the application to make sure there's no air bubbles? How to insure this without bugging the hell out of the installer? 3) Does HO C30, C40 installation require a higher skill level to get right? Thanks!
  6. Thanks everyone for your input and feedback, this is such a great resource to have and become an educated buyer! :). Questions: When I look at the TSER does that take into account any heat that is generated off the glass that is both on the outside and inside? Specifically, if I have a spectral film and a ceramic film that have the same TSER. Is it possible that the ceramic because of it's high absorption makes the window somewhat of a radiator that could potentially heat the room and make it feel warmer then with a different film? Not sure how much truth there is. But I do know that if I have something in the room that's radiating heat in a corner it will over time raise the heat of the room. That being said it's all relative and even if there was a degree of difference I'm not even sure I would be able to tell unless I was actively measuring. I also keep reading and hearing that ceramic will get hot this is just by the nature of how the product works. I actually got a bunch of card samples and have been looking at HO C30, but found somewhere the SA is really high like something in the 60s (think this was someone's calculation on the web as it's not directly listed on the spec sheet). The installer says it's not an issue and scouring the web I came across the Film to Glass (F2G) chart where the lowest for the ceramic is indeed C30 for clear double-pane. So for compatibility it seems there's not an issue but do worry if I'm installing C30 in a conservatory which has windows all around am I just creating windows that are just radiating heat back into the room -- gulp! I will say among the ceramics I've seen HO is optically sharper (it's almost like seeing stuff in vivid HD), but I did actually find the CX films not a bad alternative. The spectral films also looked pretty nice but the concern about the precious metals and possible corrosion down the line was a turn off, plus it would require all edge sealing which if not done right it would make my full length windows pretty ugly. At this points it's almost just aesthetics and if I like blue tone vs greenish tone. The C40 has similar performance to the CX35, although if I want to go darker the only option is HO C30. I'm still trying to find someone to actually put up some mock-ups. Most are just estimators who just pass out the sample cards. So they tell me to just hold them up like sunglasses and imagine how it would be --- huh?. If I get an actual installer to come they require a trip charge. I'll keep looking but maybe bite the bullet to at least get some sample mock-ups on actual windows so I can see the real life performance since it is a pretty significant investment (way more then tinting a car). Oh another question, what VLT is considered medium? I keep reading that if you want to meaningfully cut glare (my conservatory is next to the TV room so do have a glare issue) they say you need to cut the visible light to medium level. I actually see window quotes coming in that just says "medium tint". Is this 30, 35, 40, 45, 55, 60 ???? Is there a standard? I did have one installer recommend to at least go down to 40, but now that I research more I think I want to go even darker thus considering HO C30 and CX35. I have 8 glass panels of 28"x80" so there's significant amount of light coming in :(. Thanks so much!
  7. Great idea! I'm getting samples to mount to do a side by side compare. I did find out from the installers that since Hilite contains silver oxide which is prone to corrosion especially near the cost, all the edges are required to be sealed which jumps the cost and labor up to $15/sqft :(. With 8 separate panels that just sounds like multiple points of failures in the future even though I know there's a lifetime warranty, but being low maintenance and worry-free is always welcomed. Comparing the CX50 (which also states it's free of dyes and metals) vs Huper Optik C50 is the 2ply for C50 worth the premium cost? I know based on the specs it's a bit better performing (TSER 50% vs 47%) with lower reflectivity (10/10 vs 13/11), but does the 2-ply also help with long-term durability? Does the same logic apply as with tissue paper where 2-ply is better then 1-ply? I don't mind the extra cost if there's value of what you're getting. Of course I'll put them side by side and compare the optics which I've heard HO is better. From what I can tell Vista has two lines that have ceramics: the Harmony Terre V51 which mixes precious metals with ceramic and the one I mentioned which is Ceramic 45 containing only ceramic. Spec wise it's the lowest performing in the batch but still at 45 TSER better than sputtered. Or still not worth considering? Trying to narrow down choices. In general do all spectral select films use precious metals that are prone to corrosion? I was also looking at Suntek ULVDS 50 but if that's also prone to corrosion then will rule that one out too. Also the installers have been emphasizing that being a Panorama dealer is a special class. Do these installers go through additional training or application process? Or just a membership to buy into? Curious how much can I use it as a proxy/indication of being a reputable and high quality installer? It does say "Elite Dealer Network" so does this imply the most of the installers are all elite installers and best of class? Thanks a bunch!
  8. Thanks so much for the info! I pulled the specs of the flat ceramics I'm considering and they seem fairly close to each other. Using single pane measurement specs: For Panorama CX50: $1000 - VLT: 51% - TSER: 47% - Reflectance Ext: 13% - Reflectance Int: 11% - Glare Reduction: 44% For Palisade PD50: $1400 - VLT: 50% - TSER: 48% - Reflectance Ext: 13% - Reflectance Int: 11% - Glare Reduction: 44% For HO C50: $1350 - VLT: 50% - TSER: 50% - Reflectance Ext: 10% - Reflectance Int: 10% - Glare Reduction: 45% For 3M CM50: $1370 - VLT: 53% - TSER: 47% - Reflectance Ext: 12% - Reflectance Int: 10% - Glare Reduction: 40% LLumar Vista Ceramic45: $1000 - VLT: 49% - TSER: 45% - Reflectance Ext: 9% - Reflectance Int: 9% - Glare Reduction: 46% Some questions: 1) So I do see that the CX on the TSER metric is lower performing but is 47% vs 50% (6% diff) that significant for such a large price difference (25%)? 2) Seems comparing the performance of CX vs Palasides and 3M Ceramic the specs are in the similar range that CX seems the better economical choice. Any reason why that's a bad choice to go with? 3) I know Hyper Optik is 2-ply ceramic which is a selling point but is that worth the 25% premium? Do 3M, Hyper Optik, and Johnson Window Films run at premium -- is quality that much better? 4) Plus at the Hyper Optik price point I might as well get Hilite 55 which will give me greater VLT: 59%, lower reflectivity and a higher TSER 56% but the trade-off for more light is less glare reduction only 34% which not sure if that's enough to cut the glare going to the flatscreen :(. Any rule of thumb on how much glare reduction is needed for TV watching? Thanks a bunch!
  9. I'm wondering if there's a rule of thumb between selecting between spectral select vs ceramic film? It's for a conservatory room that's glass on three sides at the back of the facing E-SE. From what I've researched it seems spectral select is designed to let the most visible light in while rejecting the most IR/heat out. But they have some downsides that they can corrode and requires extra labor to properly seal all the edges. The location is 10mi away from the beach so is that a real concern? Ceramic seems to be a good choice but it absorbs more than it reflects so read somewhere it's not recommended for double-pane glass. Primary purpose is to reduce heat/IR, cut some glare since the sunlight is reflecting a bit on the flatscreen in the adjacent room, maintain the view since it looks out to a garden, and have low reflectivity (at night want to be able to see out). I've been comparing the following products and more and less they are similar price points between spectral select and ceramics. The only outlier was Panorama CX which is almost 25% less then the others. But Palisades Ceramic, 3M Ceramic, Huper Optiks 2-ply, V-kool, Hilite, ULVDS were all similarly priced. So kind of confused on what to select. All things equal seems Panorama CX is the more cost effective solution. Any guidance/suggestion is greatly appreciated -- thanks! Ceramic Films: Johnson Films Palisades 3M Ceramic Panorama CX Huper Optiks 2-ply Ceramic Llumar Vista Ceramic Spectral Select Films: V-kool Panorama Hilite Suntek ULVDS Llumar VS