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Does the 3M Crystalline tint provide more or less UV protection than the 3M Ceramic IR tint?


I am reading conflicting information:

3M™ Crystalline Automotive Window Films:

3M™ Automotive Window Film Ceramic IR Series:

It should be easy to see the difference with a UV meter. In terms of health impact, 99.9% protects around ten times more than 99%, since UV damage is cumulative.


Since several people have questions the usefulness of blocking UV-A, here are some motivations:


I have crossposted the question at:

  • It may be a typo, contact Crystalline, no way we could know. – Moab Feb 8 at 21:13
  • @Moab thanks, users could know with a UV meter. I'll contact contact Crystalline as well. – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 8 at 21:14
  • I don't see a big difference between 99% and 99.9% I doubt you can tell the difference after installing it. – Moab Feb 8 at 21:16
  • @Moab it should be easy to see the difference with a UV meter. In terms of health impact, 99.9% protects around ten times more than 99%, since UV damage is cumulative. – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 8 at 21:18
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    So you want one of us to have a calibrated accurate uv meter AND both the products available for test... how many beers? – Solar Mike Feb 8 at 21:45
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I tested the level of UV protection myself with a Solarmeter® Model 5.7 Sensitive UVA+B Meter. I am aware that glass protects against >99% of UV-B radiations, so the usefulness of adding tint to a window from a UV mostly comes from reducing UV-A radiations.

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Results:

  • 3M Crystalline Automotive Window Film 70% tint protects twice more compared to 3M Automotive Window Film Ceramic IR 70% tint (75 vs. 130 µW/cm² when pointing the UV meter directly toward the sun at 11 AM in California on 2020-02-13, with the film in-between). I don't know how many µW/cm² I would have obtained when pointing the UV meter directly toward the sun without any tint in-between: it is at least 2000 µW/cm² but I don't know how far from 2000 (my UV meter only goes up to 2000 as it is designed to be quite sensitive to UV radiations, more than the Solarmeter® Model 5.0 Standard UVA+B Meter).
  • 3M Crystalline Automotive Window Film 40% tint protects three times more compared to 3M Crystalline Automotive Window Film 70% tint (20 vs. 60 µW/cm² when pointing the UV meter directly toward the sun at 2 PM in California on 2020-02-13, with the tinted car window in-between). Note that with the same car window before tinting, the measurement is 950 µW/cm².

According to the 3M customer service:

  • Crystalline is nano-carbon type
  • IR and crystalline offer the same level of UV protection, which is 99.5% -> Incorrect information according to my measurements above.
  • The level of UV protection is independent from the tint level, because the UV protection comes from adhesive and not the film. -> Incorrect information according to my measurements above.
  • For both Crystalline and IR, the covered UV are from 320 to 380 nm. -> According to my measurements above, I think this is incorrect as it seems to cover between 380 nm and 400 nm to some extent as well (I would very much like to know to which extent).
  • So, when you think about tints you need to think about safety first. These are tints, so they will block some natural light. This could be dangerous at night, which is a much higher risk than the residual UV-A rays. – GdD Feb 13 at 8:45
  • @GdD good point, one can use a very light tint, e.g. one of the 3M crystalline let 90% of the visible light go through. People typically don't even notice it. – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 13 at 8:47

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