Window Tints

Window Tints

I was wondering what the window tint level of the Model S is going to be out of the factory. While I understand that it has to be within legal limits, will it be maximum allowed so as to optimize inside-cabin energy conservation? I have never ordered a car from factory and I don't know if this usually is an option.

MarkV | June 6, 2012

I was told at configuration time that my car would be delivered without window tinting and that I would need to have the windows tinted myself. This is because each state has different rules, and, of course, individual preferences vary widely.

EdG | June 6, 2012

Tinting is unlawful in New York State. Dealers sell it as an add-on, but the fine print tells you they relinquish all liability to the buyer. While the law is not generally enforced, no manufacturer will sell a car with tinting here.

ViewAskew | June 6, 2012

Based on the video of the 1st car being delivered there is no side, front, or rear tinting. The pano seems to have some sort of UV protectant but at what level is uknown.

Here in MI you can tint limo in the rear window and backglass, 15% (cough, cough) on the side, and nothing up front. I've pressed my luck before and had limo all around. Looked great until the cop forced me to rip it off on the side of the road. LMAO!!

digitaltim | June 6, 2012

If I receive my Sig on the weekend, this will be one of my first trips...tinting on sides and rear keep the car cooler and require less AC.

MD requires 35% light transmittance through the glass...but I had my BMW for 11 years at 20% w/ no issues.

Crow | June 6, 2012

I asked about it I configured and got the same answer. Aftermarket only. On the plus side, they said they would sell me the 19" wheels for winter driving.

Peter Spirgel | June 6, 2012


Did they say how much a set of 19" tires would cost?

Brian H | June 7, 2012

Actually, he said "wheels". Prices wanted for
-wheels w/o tires
-wheels w tires
-tires w/o wheels


stevenmaifert | June 7, 2012

Maybe it's my monitor or the factory lighting, but I viewed the first delivery video too and the windows appeared to have a greenish tint? Left rear side window at time 1:48.

TikiMan | June 7, 2012

I will be tinting my rear and all side windows, regardless of my states laws. IMHO, it's actually safer having the front side windows tinted, as the sun can cause serious skin damage.

Usually, police will only pull you over for illegal tint because you appear either intoxicated, or suspicious, and it gives them an excuse to pull you over without probable cause.

The last time I was pulled over, the officer said to me... "The reason I pulled you over, is because you have illegal window tinting"... My response... "Oh, sorry, I wasn't aware it was illegal, because the last twenty-five cars that you didn't pull over, also had tinted windows?" Officer's reply..."So, have you had anything to drink tonight"?.... My response... "No".... Officer's response... "Can you follow my flashlight?".... (test ensues)... Officer... "Have a nice evening!"

bsimoes | June 7, 2012

My concern is that the pano roof will have too much tinting. I live in Vermont, and it feels like I can never get enough sunlight. I want sunlight streaming in without having to have the roof open. We get five to six months of winter here, and along with that, it is dark by five. I was wondering how much light comes through the roof. I have not seen the car in person, so I would be grateful to anyone who could address this. Thanks in advance.

Brian H | June 7, 2012

The pano filters are just IR and UV, I think. No darkening.

Brian H | June 7, 2012

Actually, you could probably do without the UV filtering; most of us northerners are UV/Vitamin D deficient.

EdG | June 7, 2012

The risk of getting skin cancer through UV radiation from the sun makes it safer just to take vitamin D pills. That's the cumulative opinion of a whole bunch of concerned dermatologists.

As for excuses for tinting: go ahead, but you can get UV blocking without the tint. And, as far as I know, Tesla hasn't yet specified how much UVA block is included in the side windows. (Glass by itself blocks UVB pretty well, but as you get closer to visible light, it becomes pretty transparent.)

Crow | June 7, 2012

He said they hadn't priced the wheels out yet. Details to come, it seems.

cerjor | June 7, 2012

I thought that just the window glass alone would block the UV. I know my Transition glasses will not darken inside the car because there is not enough UV of the right wavelength to cause them to darken. Tesla claims that the pano roof blocks 98% of visible light and 81% of heat (which is usually in the IP.)

bsimoes | June 8, 2012

cerjor, when you say, "Tesla claims that the pano roof blocks 98% of visible light," what does that mean? Will it be just as dark inside the car as if I had a regular roof? That would be awful! It is very hard to tell from videos, because if the roof is open, that obviously is no indicator, but if it's closed, rarely does the camera show the roof.

Mark E | June 8, 2012

"Tesla claims that the pano roof blocks 98% of visible light," what does that mean? Will it be just as dark inside the car as if I had a regular roof?"

Not even close to as dark as a regular roof. The light from outside is so much brighter than inside the car that you can easily see through it.

After sitting in the beta, the pano roof is really nice.

Teoatawki | June 8, 2012

That is what the options and pricing page says. Doesn't seem right, though. Looking at the picture on that page, you can clearly see through the glass roof. Perhaps they meant 98% of UV light.

MandL | June 21, 2012

digitaltim - I would love to see the job on your window tinting when you get it done. I'm in Fells Point, Sig #802. BTW - what color did you get? Mine will be non-performance Sigred.

BYT | June 21, 2012

I heard the law about window tint is so that in an accident the film on the tint makes the glass harder to break by the Firemen to get you out. Isn't that the case for the law?

Ohms.Law | June 21, 2012

@MandL: Fells Point? As in Baltimore? I'm there too. What is your name over on TMC? Mine is the same.

MandL | June 21, 2012

On TMC I'm unclfuzzy.

Brian H | June 21, 2012

Care to explain? Are you too lazy to shave? ;)

Me, too.

digitaltim | June 21, 2012

@MandL @Ohms.Law

We can meet up..

I ordered Sig Red, Performance...

EFusco | June 21, 2012

This thread has me thinking...
I wonder, if one does get a ticket for having windows tinted, if you could use the recent NEJM article about the truck driver with the severe UV skin damage as a defense in court to get out of the ticket. Moreso, I wonder if wider challenges to the law might be in order allowing darker tint.

Unless there is equally good science showing that say 20% transmittance tint actually signficantly reduces night time visibility enough to be a hazard with statistical evidence of increased incidence of wrecks or injury vs the science showing increase risk of medical morbidity to the driver I suspect it would stand a good chance of success.

I think we all know that the REAL reason for tint laws is b/c cops wanna be able to see inside the vehicle...I think that isn't good enough reason for the law if there is a legitimate public health concern.

On-topic content: I'll quickly be getting my rear windows tinted fairly dark and the front (not windshield) tinted a medium tint. I think it makes a significant difference in passenger comfort and the UV concerns are probably significant as well.

Ohms.Law | June 21, 2012

Sorry I’m going seriously off topic, but you aren't going to believe this. MandL and I just found out we live RIGHT NEXT DOOR to each other. We had NO idea the other was about to buy the coolest car in America. Calculate those odds!

Epley | June 21, 2012

@ MandiL & Ohms.Law

Weird. I lived in Fells Point for 3 years--during the filming of the TV show "Homicide" in the neighborhood, at the old American Can Company. Great apartment, 3 great years. Still yearn for a Kooper's burger or the seafood stew at Bertha's from time to time...

blurry_eyed | June 21, 2012

Bsimoes, I've sat in the Model S with the Pano roof in strong sunlight (at the Newport Beach event) and the Pano roof does block out quite a bit of the visible light. With it closed, you will not get very much sunlight into the vehicle on a day that has bright sunlight. On a day that is overcast and darker, I would say that the pano roof will be like looking through darkly smoked glass. It will provide a hint of light and transparency to the outside, but that's about it in those conditions.

Also for passengers riding in the rear seat, if you open up the pano roof, the double layer of glass that is over because the pano roof slides on top of the rear glass will make the rear seats seem as if there is a solid black roof back there (at least that is my recollection of how it works, I'll check out the car in Bellevue Square and reconfirm that's how the pano roof slides).

So to achieve the sunlight you are looking for, you would have to open up the roof.

Heinz | June 21, 2012

Has anyone seen the shade that is to be installed over the pano roof? What does it look like? How does it work?

Brian H | June 21, 2012

EdG | June 7, 2012

The risk of getting skin cancer through UV radiation from the sun makes it safer just to take vitamin D pills.

There's actually a fairly robust debate going on; the % people getting skin cancer, especially at higher latitudes, is far smaller than those D-deficient. Dark-skinned people about 8-10X more so. (Interestingly, in UV light, dark skin is very reflective, pale skin very absorptive. In a UV camera, the tones are thus reversed!) And D3 supplementation to an effective level is comparatively rare. Light skin in direct sun can generate '000s of UI/hr; when levels reach about 40,000 the liver starts disposing of it.

It's a hormone, not "just" a vitamin, and winter illness susceptibility is largely a deficiency problem.

IOW, dermatologists see some cancers, but almost every other kind of doctor sees the deficiency side-effects.

petero | June 21, 2012

Wow, in the past five years I have enjoyed 3 surgical procedures for skin cancer - I do take vitamins too. But then again, I am not too bright, I drive a convertible sport car and the top is always down, the 70 lotion and hat are always on ... and yes, I am ordering the pano roof. Gotta have it.

Brian H | June 21, 2012

About the colour: it looks very green on my screen, too. Whether that's due to the pano or to the side glass is hard to tell.

Brant | June 21, 2012

It is not green

EdG | June 21, 2012

@EFusco: During my last car purchase I was offered tint for my windows of varying amounts of darkness. All of them (including a film that didn't darken at all) blocked all UV.

If you want to darken the windows, do so. But you don't have to darken them at all to block all the UVA. (The UVB is blocked by glass, and I haven't yet seen specs on how much UVA is blocked by Tesla's glass.)

bsimoes | June 21, 2012

blurry_eyed, thanks; I appreciate the honest, straight-forward answer! I'm disappointed, but better now, than when they deliver the car. I like to have time to get used to an idea.

dahtye | July 13, 2012

If I decide to tint my rear windows in my S, does anyone have recommendations for a shop in the SF Peninsula area (or even SF Bay area) that does a great job at tinting (i.e. no bubbles, no hint of edges, no long term issues, etc)?

I want to experience living with the stock windows before I actually decide on whether tinting is necessary, but need to be prepared in case I decide to do this.

BYT | July 13, 2012

@dahtye, I heard with the child booster option that they tint those rear ones for you, or was that just a UV coat for the kids so they don't get skin cancer when they are back there?

brianman | July 15, 2012

"I haven't yet seen specs on how much UVA is blocked by Tesla's glass."

I think the numbers have been changing over the last year or so, but the current numbers are "98% Visible Light, 81% Heat." I don't know where UVA vs. UVB comes into play in those numbers.

Timo | July 15, 2012

UVA and UVB is almost completely blocked by ordinary car safety glass, I don't think additional blocking is needed. Even normal window glass blocks most of the UV radiation.

EdG | July 15, 2012

The visible spectrum, from lower frequency toward higher, goes from red to violet. The infrared, lower than red, is the "heat" part. Anything that blocks that but allows visible light through is blocking the lower frequencies only.

If a block stops 98% of visible light, the easiest way to do that is usually by blocking 98% of anything close, so UVA and UVB (ultra violet being just above violet in the spectrum) may very well be blocked at about the same rate.

Normal glass blocks UVB pretty well. Between UVB and visible light is UVA. When making filters, it's pretty hard to make something that allows everything on one side of a line and disallows everything on the other. The line in question is the violet/UVA border. So any glass that allows violet to pass well (e.g., to keep the color of the sky true) is probably allowing some UVA through, too.

UVB will give you a tan. UVA won't, but it could give you skin cancer.

So, if you keep your windows and the roof closed, you won't get a tan while driving. If the specs on UVA blocking for all the glass all around the car are released, then we'll know. Until then, I'm assuming the pano roof, blocking "98%" of visible light being made of glass blocking UVB will block almost all UVA. I don't know about the UVA blocking on the front, back, or side window glass.