To tint?

To tint?

I live in South Florida. Had some hot days recently and for those of you who tinted, are you happy you did?

I have never had a car without tinted windows but the car's UV protection seems to work pretty well. Plus I do like the look of the car with clear windows.

KOL2000 | 14 June, 2013

IMHO the car is incomplete without tinting. Need it for the kids to keep them cool, need it for the look (looks badass if tinted all around), and gives lots more privacy since people are staring as if a supermodel walked in a Mcdonalds...

mpottinger | 14 June, 2013

I tinted my pearl white. I'm very happy with the look and performance of the darker windows.

shop | 14 June, 2013

Yes you need it. You can pick a lighter shade for the front windows, but definitely needed IMHO. It really makes a difference. Now, the top pano roof has enough tint to not need it there, and while I got a very clear film for the front windshield, that isn't needed either as Tesla does have a clear film protection for the front windshield as well.

skymaster | 14 June, 2013

Yes, tint all around. I disagree with some folks in that I tinted the pano with limo tint...and love it. If you do not tint the pano, it lets in a lot of heat.

PaceyWhitter | 14 June, 2013

You can get excellent UV blocking tinting that can barely be noticed. However if you are happy with it stock I wouldn't waste the money.

I have heard that getting UV tinting is mandatory on the back if you plan on putting kids in the third row jumpseats.

therealmach3 | 14 June, 2013

The side windows have such unique curved look, but the factory glass is too light IMHO and those windows look so much cooler with a little tint. More importantly, in hot climates the giant front windshield, the pano and the hatch will absorb a ton of heat. There are separate threads on the heat issues in the far back with un-tinted hatch glass. I tinted windshield, all windows, pano and hatch with PhotoSync ( The product is rather expensive, but I'm extremely happy with it.

RedShift | 14 June, 2013

I am right now at a tinting place in Santa Clara. 3M on all including front windshield.
This car has large glass area. Tinting is highly recommended.

stimeygee | 14 June, 2013

Am I crazy, or do the side windows already have a tiny degree of tint?

jchangyy | 14 June, 2013

Yes, tint. my silver looks great with 20 tint on the back (illegal to tint front windows in CA).

Lou in SoCal | 14 June, 2013

Always had all my cars tinted except for my two '70 mustangs. Night and day on how great a car looks with tint IMO aside from the other positives like keeping it cooler insider.

JoeFee | 14 June, 2013

Anyone with rear tint see reduced visibility at night?

fuellss | 14 June, 2013

Skymaster, can you post a pic of your tinted pano?

jandkw | 14 June, 2013

@Sean B, I live in North Carolina for many years but never tinted any of my cars before until the MS. I had all windows tinted CR40 and windshield in AIR 80 (along with paint armor) and is glad I had it done. It is definitely worth the money. They used my car for their showcase car on their gallery page, if interested..

FFox | 14 June, 2013

@Redshift. Where are you tinting in Santa Clara?

RedShift | 14 June, 2013

Quality auto tint.

90% windshield , 70% front sides, 50% back sides and rear window.

3M crystalline. It's a good job, but car got a bit water stained outside during the job. (Had just detailed it yesterday!)

However, after this, my car is zen. And wild.

Sean B | 14 June, 2013

Thanks for all the feedback. More people tinting than I expected. Time to stare at some of the different tint options that others have posted.

RedShift | 14 June, 2013

Sean, hope this helps:

I chose 3M crystalline specifically for its lighter color. It has better (far better) heat rejection than others at the same % level. Yes, it's twice as expensive, but worth it on this car. Why? My reason is that the car has lower visibility as it is, due to this being a steeply raked hatch. So I didn't want too dark a tint.

While visibility itself is lower, glass area is quite large! Therefore, there is a lot of solar heat gain.

DavidG | 15 June, 2013

I am thinking of tinting to create a sun visor on the front and side windows. CA recommendations?

Call me crazy, but I want the police to see inside my car.

NICE | 15 June, 2013

+1 therealmach3
I put SAT (Solar Adaptive Tiransition) tint all the way around. It's also known as PhotoSync.
It has the highest heat rejection of all window films.
It darkens in the Sun then lightens for better night visibility.

I got SAT 35 but you can get it in almost clear too.

petero | 15 June, 2013

My concern with tinting is my ability to see out, especially when backing out and in the evening/night.
How has your tinting affected your visibility, particularly in the evening and night?

RedShift | 15 June, 2013

To those concerned about visibility: I chose the 3M specifically because it is much lighter tan others in shade, but equal or better solar energy blocking ability. This car presents unique challenges: poor visibility, but large glass area thanks to steep raking of the windshields.

Thus, the choice is clear.

I shall be posting a few pix tomorrow, was busy driving the Tesla roadster I got as loaner today at nearly 10/10ths. ;-)

NICE | 15 June, 2013

I was going to get Huper Optik Ceramic but stretched a bit more for the SAT (Solar Adaptive Transition) tint.
SAT tint info
It's the most advanced window film.

Watch these videos;
SAT tint (AKA spectra photosync) vs Limo tint
>SAT tint (AKA spectra photosync) vs Ceramic tint

In the end get what suits you best and is within your budget. :)

I actually can see better with the tint as it reduces glare. The SAT tint becomes 5% lighter at night. I liken it to wearing cheap sunglasses vs expensive sunglasses. They may look the same but they don't work the same. You get what you pay for.

I was going to get the 3M Crystaline until I saw this video;

3M Crystalline vs Huper Optik Automotive Window Tint.

Brian H | 15 June, 2013

Here's a good link on the Photosync. Claims higher heat (IR) rejection than visible light, unlike all others.

Colasec | 15 June, 2013

@S-Car-Go Those demostrations are pretty impressive. What level are you getting?

I live in CA but want my front and rear side windows to match. Considering 55% or 45%. What's the likelihood of getting pulled over and what are the consequences?

NICE | 15 June, 2013

SAT tint info


EVS says;
We have been getting a lot of Teslas in at the shop! They must be doing well in sales! This one gets the best tint on the market from EVS!

Isn't she just beautiful! I love my Model S!

NICE | 15 June, 2013

For California, Premier installs the Photosync tint.
As I recall, you can't tint the front 2 windows in CA but I may be wrong.
I'd get the 45s in the back and 65s in the front if I lived in CA.

You may want to contact them.

Alex K | 15 June, 2013

@S-Car-Go | JUNE 15, 2013: SAT tint info

Hmm, this stuff looks like the Prestige Films Spectra PhotoSync™:

They are just rebranding it under their own name.

I had the Prestige Films Spectra PhotoSync™ installed a little while ago. I did the 65% all around and it's hard to tell at night that there is any tinting. In the daytime, visibility is still great, but there is dramatic heat rejection.

NICE | 16 June, 2013

@Alex K,
Nice car and tint! It blends in so well!

Yes, That's what I've been trying to say all along.
It's the same stuff just different trademark names.
SAT (Solar Adaptive Transition) tint is AKA (also known as) Spectra Photosync tint.

NICE | 16 June, 2013

Admittedly, I'm going for the Bad Boy look vs the Rich Guy look.
Please don't shoot me but IMO dark is cool and light is classic.
Get what suits you best. (I think that's becoming my tag line here, LOL)

Here's another picture that shows what it looks like from the inside vs what it looks like from the outside.

Look through the front windshield and see how clear it is on the passenger side as opposed to how dark it looks from the outside of the drivers side.

SAT (aka Photosync) 35

portia | 16 June, 2013

@S-Car-Go did you want to post a photo from the inside of the car?
I am wondering what temperature you have experienced on the inside when it is hot out?

NICE | 16 June, 2013

I'll take some pictures from inside the car if you think that would help :)

The overall temperature with the tint is about 20 degrees cooler. Sitting out in the parking lot all day; 125 degrees without tint, 105 degrees after the SAT (Photosync) tint.

According to my Tesla iPhone app, it takes about 5 minutes to cool the car down from 100 degrees to 75 degrees. It used to take 15 minutes.

Allen L. | 16 June, 2013

+1 on Photosync. I got it mainly for the heat rejection: 75% front and pano, 55% sides and back. We've had a week of 95-105 degree temps with sunny skies and the tint has performed beautifully.

Brian H | 16 June, 2013

I think he was referring to the sight line through the clear windshield and out the passenger side windows contrasted with the driver's side windows as seen from outside. The former is transparent, the latter opaque.

gocken1 | 16 June, 2013

3M Crystalline 40 vs Prestige Films Photo45
Visible light transmitted 39% 45%/35%
Total Solar Energy Rejected 59% 60%/64.5%
Infrared Rejected 97% 87.5%/97.5%
Solar heat reduction 50% ?/?
Visible light reflection 6% 8%/7.5%
UV Rejected 99.9% 99.5%
Glare Reduction 56% ?/?

It looks like the Prestige Film has slightly better numbers. Has anyone gotten quotes for both? I had the Crystalline 40 installed and it has great visibility at night. The fist time I drove at night I thought the window was down.

Alex K | 16 June, 2013

@gocken1 | JUNE 16, 2013: It looks like the Prestige Film has slightly better numbers. Has anyone gotten quotes for both? I had the Crystalline 40 installed and it has great visibility at night. The fist time I drove at night I thought the window was down.

I had Prestige PhotoSync™ 65% installed for $600 (all around no pano or Windshield). They told me the cost was about 10% higher than 3M Crystalline (due to material cost). I'm going to be doing the windshield in 75% PhotoSync™ for about $260.

NICE | 16 June, 2013

Here are more pictures taken this morning.

Solar Adaptive Transition SAT tint (a.k.a. Spectra PhotoSync) specs

SAT 35 all windows

No tint on the windshield

Tint looks almost clear from the inside

Tint inside pictures

Panoramic View - sides are tinted - front windshield is not

Tint outside pictures

RedShift | 16 June, 2013

S-Car-Go (nice 'Trading Places' allusion)

Very intrigued by the clear appearance from inside and yet so dark from outside. Your Solar Adaptive Tint looks very, very Cool!

NICE | 16 June, 2013

Thanks for the compliment. Are you still going to post pictures of your tint?
You should. It would help others get a better perspective of what's available and used by fellow Tesla owners.

RedShift | 16 June, 2013

S Car Go,

Tomorrow for sure.

Will take pix when sun is very bright to give an idea.

cablechewer | 16 June, 2013

I am wondering how this performs in colder climates. Right now my Model S is in a hot climate, but it goes back and forth to a colder climate and real winters. I assume it would be no worse than driving at night in terms of heating the car and keeping frost off the glass.

portia | 16 June, 2013

Thanks for posting the photos, nice! @S-Car-Go

NICE | 17 June, 2013

I take back the previous comment about the overall temperature reduction.
I found that its all relative to the outside temperature.
It must have been cooler the couple days after I put the tint on last week. So it was all just coincidence.

Today, according to the temp readings in the car and on the iPhone app
When the external temperature was 100 degrees, the internal temperature was 125 degrees.
While it still takes only 5 minutes to cool the car down 25 degrees (from 125 to 100)
It took another 10 minutes to cool it down another 14 degrees.
In 15 minutes it cooled down 39 degrees.

I think the real benefit of Tint beyond aesthetics is its ability to block out the heat.
It's best shown by this demonstration posted by therealmach3 earlier.

RedShift | 17 June, 2013
RedShift | 17 June, 2013

I wanted to also add: I think the heat reduction capabilities are awesome. On very hot days, it can still become quite hot inside, but overall, it's one of the must-have mods.

NICE | 17 June, 2013

Nice car and tint! It blends in well. The front looks like there's nothing on it. Do you still need a sunshade after the windshield tint?

I like the blacked out nose cone ring. Are you going to black out more?

For some reason the Tesla chrome is growing on me. It's Retro Chic. :)
Just add Shag carpet and a disco ball. LOL

NICE | 17 June, 2013
RedShift | 17 June, 2013

S Car Go, thanks!

Sunshade is there out of habit. I just bought it like 2 weeks ago, and it does not fit the other car!

Regarding the chrome oval: it's definitely a bit retro for me, and a little incongruous. The whole 'grill' is moot IMO.
Do you know that the original Lexus LS400 design had no nose grill, in order to have the best Cd at the time? The designer was aghast when the management put the 'me-too, Mercedes' grill in. The car still had the best Cd for ANY car for quite a while, even with that grill. I am sure Tesla put in the black nose cone for the same reasons as Lexus did with their LS. I still carry a soft spot for the LS. ;-)

Anyways, back to the topic. I am thinking about blacking out the rest, but that might make my wife even more suspicious about my prolonged absences driving my Tesla ;-)
Already, I am getting an earful about bragging about which car I hunted for the day.

NICE | 18 June, 2013

ROFL, you've got to post that on my other thread;

Blacking out the chrome = more suspicios wife?
Just give her the Tesla tracking app :) OH No he didn't!

Brian H | 18 June, 2013

Are you the "silent but violent" type? Killer escargot! ;)

NICE | 18 June, 2013

I'm anything but silent. Violent, if provoked ;)
Thinking of changing it to S Scare Go, nah.