What Is Crystalline Window Tint? Benefits, Price and Limitations

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Quick Answer: What Is Crystalline Window Tint?

Crystalline window tint is composed of up to 200 layers of nano-optical film. It allows for high UV protection and solar heat reduction even at light shades, with some options allowing for the no-tint look. It is strong and durable, but it is also expensive and brand options are limited.

Window tinting has been undergoing a period of technological innovation in recent years, with many new technologies creating new types of tints.

Crystalline window tint is one of them. But before you buy them, you need to know if these innovative window tints are worth the expense.

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

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about crystalline window tint, including the benefits, drawbacks, and pricing.

What Is Crystalline Window Tint?

Crystalline window tint film may be less than the thickness of a piece of paper, but it contains up to 200 separate layers.

These layers are nano-optic, precisely designed to block out UV and solar heat while still allowing visible light through.

Crystalline window tints are manufactured using a proprietary process, which means that you will not have a wide choice of brands from which to choose. 3M is currently the only choice for crystalline window tints for most consumers.

They come in a range of shades, from darker tints that mimic the appearance of dyed and carbon films to lighter tints that can hide the fact that you have window tints at all.

If you want to see a product demonstration, check out this video: https://youtu.be/poBLTmeyGtA

Benefits of Crystalline Window Tint

There are some key benefits to getting crystalline window tints for your car.

UV Protection

UV radiation from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. Studies have shown that drivers in the US are more likely to develop skin cancer on the left side of their body compared to the right, likely due to the driver side window being on the left.

Exposure to UV also damages your interior, including the dashboard and the upholstery, especially if you have a leather interior.

Crystalline window tints block around 99% of UV light, providing protection equivalent to an SPF of 1000.

Therefore, crystalline window tints can help to safeguard your health and your car’s interior.

Solar Heat Reduction

Crystalline window tint offers excellent solar heat reduction.

The darkest shades offer around 97% solar heat reduction, which will keep your car cool on even the hottest summer days. The lightest shades still offer around 34% solar heat reduction, which is nothing to be balked at.

Reducing heat buildup in your car does more than keep you cool, it also negates the need for the air conditioning to be running at full power which will increase your fuel economy.

Increases Visibility

Even if you opt for a darker tint, the amount of visible light that can penetrate the film remains relatively high.

It limits enough light to adequately reduce glare from the sun, but not so much that it damages your visibility while driving.

Even at night, your visibility will not suffer with crystalline window tints.

Durable (with a Lifetime Guarantee)

Crystalline window tints are highly durable. Not only are they resistant to scratches and nicks due to the protective layers, but they also resist fading over time.

Many window tints turn purple with age, which is a look that few people want.

3M crystalline window tints, which are almost all of them, are covered by a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer, which goes some way to assuring the durability of the film.

No Electronic Interference

Some window tint films contain metallic particles, usually titanium, that provide the UV and solar heat reduction while darkening the shade.

While they are effective in those domains, a significant drawback is that electronic devices can experience problems due to interference.

Crystalline window tints contain no metallic particles and therefore will not interfere with your electronics at all.


If you are unlucky enough to experience a collision in your car, one of the biggest dangers to you will be the glass shattering.

Small shards of glass can cause lacerations, and could even get into your eyes.

With up to 200 layers of film secured to the glass, when it does shatter the shards will stay largely in place.

The ones that do break away will move at a slower speed, limiting the harm they can do.

Can Be Used In Strict States

Many states across the US have laws against tinted windows. For most states, there is a shade threshold above which the tints will be illegal.

Crystalline window tints can provide all the protection of regular window tints but at a range of lighter shades that rarely fall foul of state laws.

If you live in a stringent state, crystalline window tints may well be your only good, legal option.

Key Limitations and Cons of Crystalline Window Tint

There are also some limitations to crystalline window tint.


Crystalline window tints are more expensive than other more economical window tints.

The benefits of premium technology are numerous and important, but you will have to pay for them.

If you are on more of a budget, or you do not plan on keeping the vehicle for long enough to see the full benefit, then you might be better served by a different type of window tint.

Limited Brand Selection

As mentioned, the crystalline design is a proprietary process, and you are therefore limited in terms of choice.

Lack of competition usually leads to higher prices and smaller selections.

While you can get crystalline window tints in a range of shades, being beholden to a single company means that if they change their shades slightly it might be difficult to match the shade later on.

How Much Crystalline Window Tint Costs

Crystalline window tints can be quite expensive. Check the table below to see a rough price guide.

Table 1: Rough Prices for Crystalline Window Tints

Vehicle TypeRough Price For Crystalline Window Tint
2-door car/truck$500
4-door car/truck$560
Large SUV$680

You can save some money by performing the crystalline window tint installation yourself.

Be aware that if you make a mistake then you could end up spending more than you would if you had opted for a professional installation in the first place.

When To Use Crystalline Window Tint

Crystalline window tint is for you if you want the performance of high-end ceramic films with the option to have a no-tint look for your car.

They can also be useful for people who live in states with stringent window tinting laws.

Some people can get medical exemptions due to light-sensitive conditions such as lupus, but if this is not available to you then your only option might be crystalline.


We hope this guide has helped you to understand what crystalline window tint is and how it can benefit you.

There are many options for window tint jobs for your car, so it is a great idea to educate yourself on all of your options before you commit to anything.

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

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