What Is Carbon Window Tint? Benefits, Cost & Limitations

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Quick Answer: What Is Carbon Window Tint

Carbon window tints are considered premium by most, offering high UV and IR protection which protects your health and the car’s interior. It has a unique matte black finish and does not cause any electrical interference. However, it is quite expensive and does not quite match the performance of ceramic window tints.

Window tints are popular modifications to cars, trucks, and all manner of automobiles. There are several types of window tint available on the market, and carbon window tint is one of the more high-end options.

Also, there are laws that vary based on window tints, so that is another reason to know what tint you are using.

If you want to know why carbon window tint is so highly regarded, this guide will take you through everything you need to know about carbon window tint.

What Is Carbon Window Tint?

Carbon window tint opts for carbon layers rather than the traditional dyes and metals used in most tint film.

There are numerous designs for carbon window tint that range in effectiveness and price. They all have a range of common characteristics. Be aware that, when choosing carbon window tint, you might have a range of different types to choose from.

In most cases, premium carbon window tints simply block more UV and IR light.

Carbon window tint is generally considered to be the second-best type of window tint for your car, with only ceramic window tints outperforming them.

Some carbon window tints are actually carbon-ceramic, which are closer to ceramic tints in both price and quality.

Benefits of Carbon Window Tint

There are some key benefits of carbon window tint when compared to other window tints.

High UV Protection

Carbon window tint offers some of the highest UV protection levels out of all the types of window tints.

UV causes skin cancer, with drivers in the US far more likely to develop such conditions on the left side of their body than on the right because of the extra exposure to UV from the driver-side window.

Blocking UV can help to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

UV can also damage car interiors, especially leather interiors that can fade quickly under direct light. Carbon window tints can help prevent this from happening.

Excellent Solar Heat Reduction

Heat build-up in your car on a hot day is caused by infrared radiation from the sun, so if you need to stay cool on a summer’s day while stuck in traffic then you will want to block as much IR light as possible.

Carbon window tints prevent most of the IR light from entering your vehicle, which goes a long way towards keeping you cool.

It can even benefit your fuel economy as you will not need to blast the AC during the summer months.

No Fading

Carbon window tints, unlike dyed window tints, do not fade over time.

If you want a tint job that looks as good years down the line as it did when you first got it, then carbon window tints are a great option for you.

Dyed window tints are particularly prone to fading, often requiring replacement after a few years due to fading or developing an unattractive purple tone.

True Matte Black

Carbon window tints are non-reflective as they do not contain any metals. They also offer a much darker shade, blocking out far more light than dyed tints, which results in a true matte black finish.

You will not find anything that compares to the true black you can get from carbon window tints, so if that is the look you are going for then carbon is the way to go.

Cheaper Than Ceramic Window Tints

Carbon window tints are often compared to ceramic as they both occupy the high-end of the tint quality spectrum.

When it comes to performance, they are broadly comparable. However, as ceramic is a much newer technology, the price difference can be significant.

Carbon window tints, even those hybridized with ceramic, are often much more affordable than ceramic window tints.

Reduced Glare

Carbon window tints are excellent at reducing glare, helping to improve your visibility while driving.
Many car accidents are caused by the sun being low in the sky and lowering visibility for drivers.

With carbon window tints, you can avoid having to squint or sit differently to compensate for sun glare on your morning and evening commutes.

No Electronic Interference

Carbon window tints will not interfere with your electronic devices like GPS, radio, and cell phones.
Metalized or metallic hybrid window tints contain metal particles, usually titanium.

Due to the conductivity and reflectivity of metals, they can cause some electronic interference that could cause problems with your devices.

If you use a GPS to get around or like to listen to the radio when you drive, you should avoid any metallic tints. As carbon window tints contain no metals, you can be sure your devices will continue to function.

Key Limitations and Cons of Carbon Window Tint

There are also some downsides and disadvantages to carbon window tint that you should know about.

Not As Effective As Ceramic

While carbon window tints are effective at blocking heat and UV radiation, they are simply outperformed by ceramic window tints in both of these areas.

If you aim to get the best performance from your tint job, then you will be disappointed with the performance of carbon tints.

That being said, the performance difference is not massive, and the gap is even smaller for premium carbon-ceramic hybrids.

More Expensive Than Dyed Or Metalized Window Tints

Dyes and metalized window tints are more common than carbon window tints because they are cheaper.

Although more affordable than ceramic, carbon tints are one of the most expensive types, especially with the premium hybrid carbon-ceramic tints that are currently on the market.

You will have to decide for yourself whether the extra costs can be justified by the increased performance. To help you get an idea of pricing, the next section contains a rough price guide for carbon window tints.

How Much Carbon Window Tint Costs

Carbon window tints, as mentioned, are at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

You can expect to pay more for carbon tints than you would for metalized, dyed, or hybrid metalized tints – though less than ceramic tints.

The table below shows the rough prices for carbon window tints for a range of vehicles.

Table 1: Carbon Window Tint Price Ranges For Various Vehicle Types

Vehicle TypePrice For Carbon Window Tint
Single Cab Truck$240
Extended Cab Truck$265
Full-size Vehicles$330
Mid-size SUV / Wagon$400
Large SUV / Wagon$450
Extra Large SUV / Van$530

These prices are a rough guide and will vary from shop to shop. If you opt for hybridized carbon window tints then you can expect to add another $20 to $30 to the total price.

You can also cut down on installation costs by performing the installation yourself.

However, be warned that it is no simple task and, if you make a mistake, you could end up paying more than you would if you had simply hired a professional.

When To Use Carbon Window Tint

Carbon window tint is for people who want a true matte black look, high UV and heat reduction, and do not want to pay the premium prices for ceramic technologies.

Before buying any tints, you should look up your local state laws. Laws differ wildly across the US, and many darker tint jobs are technically illegal.

You may be able to get a medical exemption for otherwise illegal car window tints if you suffer from a light-sensitive condition like lupus.


We hope this guide has helped you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of carbon window tint when compared with other types of tints.

You should be aware of all of your options before making a purchasing decision, so make sure you do your research before you make any commitments.

If you have any questions or comments about this guide or carbon window tints in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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Our team consists of enthusiastic and passionate people from different fields and experience. Some are geeks and spend most of their time among gadgets while others love nature and are always on the move! We spend 10s of hours researching and writing on each topic. The articles are then quality checked by our editors. View our "About us" section for more details about process and team.

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