3M Prestige Window Films

Stretch dollars with window film

In the middle of a very well written article about keeping cool and lowering energy bills contains 4 paragraphs about window films:

The same holds true with 3M’s Prestige series of performance window films, which preserve the view from inside the home. They allow natural light into the home while blocking up to 97 percent of the sun’s heat.

Prestige comes with a lifetime warranty against bubbling, peeling and color change. It costs about $9 to $11 a square foot, depending on the scope of the job and style of window.

While it is great to see window films deservedly making it into articles such as this, I am continually disturbed to see that only the most expensive films are being written about.  The 3M marketing manager in this case has a new high-end film product they wish to publicize; however, I think most of the newspaper audience would be scared away by a product that costs $9 to $11 per square foot especially in these hard economic times.

It is just my opinion, but I believe the reader would be better served by a true range of costs for window film.  Here is a comparison between Prestige and what TC thinks is the best bang for buck window film in 2009.

3M Prestige films

  • Blocks 50-59% of total solar energy.
  • Costs $9-$11 per square foot.

Suntek  Symphony Neutral

  • Blocks 50-80% of solar energy
  • Costs $2.65 per square foot for DIY install (Additional 30% off tax credit available)
  • Costs $5-$6 per square foot for professional install

With this information, I feel consumers are better able to make a cost-effective choice regarding window film purchases.

Comments (8)
  • http://www.hanitatek.com Lloyd Brown, HanitaTek

    Nice critique. Don’t miss the claim that the 3M product blocks 97% of solar heat while letting natural light in. That might be a stretch, obviously. Half the sun’s heat is in the (invisible) infrared range, about 47% of solar heat is in the visible light range, and the remainder is UV. So, to block 97% of solar heat, you would have to block almost all the visible light too. In the immortal words of Scottie, “you cannot deny the laws of physics, Captain.”

  • Ashley Lynn

    Dont forget the prestige line has NO metal there is no blockage of any radio or cell phone signals. 3M was the first to request the patent for Window Film adhesive, making it the leader in the window film industry. The common household has 300 3M products in their house. The prestige window films are made with nanotechnology. The BTU rejection is unequal to any other film. If the Prestige film is a little out of the budget right now why not check into the new ceramic films? CM50, CM40 or CM30. Remember as said in different forums on this website, “you get what you pay for”.

  • Sam

    If you have a 2010 volvo with Bluetooth and XM radio what kind of tint is recommended?

  • David

    To be fair, 3M itself doesn’t claim Prestige actually claims blocks 97% of heat. The promotional material says 97% of infrared.

    The shading coefficient for the Prestige 60 is 0.55, which means the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is about 0.48.

    I really dislike the Total Solar Energy as it bundles UV, infrared, and visible light together. SHGC is a much more useful index. I’m also willing to deal with a slightly higher SHGC in a product if the visible transmittance levels are much higher. Prestige is good for this, though I haven’t found anything better than V-Kool so far in my research. I would love to hear other people’s thought on this.

  • David

    I just looked at Symphony’s website. Visible light transmittance is anywhere from 47 to 14%. 47% is OK, but I don’t care what other people say, once start going below 50%, you start to notice.

    On the other hand the author is right about the price. The good stuff ain’t cheap.

  • mark

    I would agree with you. I’m looking at finding a good window tint product also but there seems to be a monoply on the market. Have you tried to find 3M’s Prestige on the open market for a DIYer? I can’t find it. In fact, it is hard to find the nano-ceramics too. I’m looking for product that doesn’t look like a mirror either inside or outside, but they are hard to find.

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  • Shivani Gurung

    We install all types of 3m Tint Film, 3m Window Film Golden Co, 3m Window Tint Denver Co and 3m Window Tint Film in residential, commercial and automotive.