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March 2018

Commercial Window Film – What It Is and What It Isn’t

By | Commercial Property Owner, News | No Comments

We admit it: the world of commercial window film can be extremely confusing. If you’ve been searching through the Internet trying to come up with a definition for the term commercial window film, you’re probably pretty overwhelmed with the options available.

If you’re ready for some clear and simple explanations, NGS Films and Graphics has got you covered. Here’s your guide to what commercial window film is (and isn’t).

Commercial Window Film 101

In general, commercial window film refers to any type of film that you stick on the windows at your business. In comparison, residential window film refers to the film that you stick on the windows at your home. (We told you we’d make this easy!)

Residential film has a much more limited variety and is typically less technically advanced, which is why some people choose to install commercial window film in their homes.

There are three main types of commercial window film:

1. Security Film

Security window film protects your establishment from break-ins and burglaries by providing a strengthening barrier between would-be thieves and your merchandise.

Security film options include:

  • Off-the-Shelf Film

This is the window film that is readily in stock and available for immediate installation from most resellers. Note that off-the-shelf films vary in quality; some are better than others.

  • Proven Solutions

Proven, proprietary solutions have been specifically created by a security film expert to provide guaranteed, government-rated protection. TRI-SHIELD is one such solution, because it offers a triple-layered defense system that meets ASTM F1233 Level 1.0 anti-intrusion tests to resist attacks from low-powered weapons such as rocks, bricks, and hammers.

Security film is NOT a “bulletproof” solution. Security window film is attached to your existing windows, whereas Invisicade is the next step up: an invisible mounting system for clear, impact-resistant polycarbonate windows. Once mounted, polycarbonate windows provide passive protection from bombs, chemical explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other dangers.

2. Graphics and Signage

Window film graphics and signage provide a critical branding and marketing opportunity for your business. Since each option provides its own advantages, it is important to know the difference between the two.

  • Graphics

Window film graphics conveniently display your brand to the public as they pass by, which helps make your location more memorable. Typically, graphics rely on custom designs and colors that are printed to fit your windows.

  • Signage

Window film also works as signage. Just like your other outdoor signs, window film signage is designed to maximize public attention and identification, which can help increase traffic to your location. Window film signage, however, is different than traditional signage – but NGS has got you covered there too, if you need it!

Film graphics and signage are NOT interior graphics. Interior graphics are images applied to any indoor surface, including your walls, ceilings, floors, and fixtures. Window film graphics and signage are designed to target the people outside your building, whereas interior graphics are designed for the folks who’ve already made it inside.

3. Energy-Efficient Film

Energy-efficient window film provides a wide range of energy-saving options that can help your building retain or block heat to reduce heating and cooling costs. It can also help you cut down on your lighting costs.

There are three main categories of window film:

  • Thermal Film / Low E

Thermal window film, also known as “Low E” film, focuses on heat retention. It’s designed to reduce your heating costs by providing a layer of insulation to all your windows, so you can keep the comfortable warm air in and harsh winter cold out.

  • Solar Film

Solar window film is designed to help you block the unwanted effects of the sun. This includes minimizing heat gain and glare, as well as protecting your merchandise or interior decorations from fading, cracking, and peeling. Solar film can block heat-causing infrared rays by up to 97% and UV rays by 99%.

  • Daylight Redirection Film

Daylight redirection film takes advantage of micro-prisms that are manufactured directly into the film to redirect the sunlight that comes through your windows. By redirecting the light toward your ceiling and further into your space, you can reduce your lighting costs and maximize your energy efficiency.

Solar film is NOT always tinted or mirrored. In fact, solar film comes in a variety of options, including crystal clear. When choosing your solar film, it’s a good idea to sample the many options you have available, so you can make sure you maintain your building’s aesthetic.

There’s a Lot More Than Meets the Eye with Commercial Window Film

As you can see, you have a lot of options when it comes to commercial window film, but we haven’t even made it past the tip of the iceberg on what there is to know. (After all, there’s also all those different brands we need to talk about…)

Honestly, the best way to understand the many, many options available to you is to contact a consultant who can guide you through your choices to help you arrive at the perfect solution.

As the #1 Commercial Window Film Company in the U.S., NGS Films and Graphics has the in-depth knowledge you need to choose your perfect solution from today’s best-of-breed, market-leading film vendors. If you’re looking for the best window film for your project, NGS has got you covered.

 

Contact NGS at (866) 925-2083 to discover more about commercial window film or to schedule your consultation.

Five skyscrapers with window film

Resurface or Remodel? Understanding the Pros and Cons

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Everyone knows the phrase: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to your business, that vital first impression often comes from the building and space you’re working with.

Take a second right now to envision what people see when they first walk in. Have you had upgrades, fixes, or remodeling projects you’ve put off because of cost or time constraints? How old and outdated are your interiors and exteriors? Have you considered resurfacing instead of remodeling?

Why Many Companies Choose Resurfacing

If you haven’t looked into resurfacing as an option, you might be surprised at some of the advantages this process can offer a business like yours. Here are some of the ways you might benefit from a simple resurfacing job instead of a full remodel.

  • Less Cost

One problem that everyone has with full renovation is the price tag. Remodeling even one room or area can be far costlier than you would expect. Conversely, resurfacing with architectural film gives you that brand-new appearance that comes from remodeling without all those expensive bills.

  • Less Disruption

Remodeling results in a business disruption. It’s unavoidable. Either you have to close your store for a few days or you have to stay open while workmen saw and hammer away in the background, but no matter what: when your business is disrupted, it costs you money. Architectural film like 3M DI-NOC or Belbien require minor preparation, no demolition, and minimal equipment, allowing for a quick installation process that doesn’t interrupt your daily business.

  • Less Waste

When you remodel your building, you must throw out all the old parts and replace them entirely. This creates a large amount of unnecessary waste and isn’t a very eco-friendly solution. Most surfaces are just outdated and need a makeover; they are not so structurally unsound as to need a full replacement. When you resurface with architectural film it eliminates this pointless and costly waste.

  • Less Time

Time is the ever-present obstacle in any business. One of the reasons that businesses don’t remodel is because of the downtime they’d have to face because every hour that your business is closed results in a reduction of your profits. The loss of revenues added to the high price of remodeling can make it seem like you’re paying for your upgrades twice. Architectural film gives you the great new look you desire in a fraction of the time. In fact, most architectural film resurfacing projects can be completed in just a few hours or overnight.

  • All the Appeal

A common misunderstanding people have when considering resurfacing instead of remodeling is that they worry their decorative options will be limited. With the wide array of styles, colors, and patterns available in both Belbien and 3M DI-NOC, companies that choose resurfacing have a virtually unlimited range of possibility to choose from. Films can even realistically simulate metal, stone, or wood finishes.

And the benefits aren’t limited to architectural film solutions; full-size wall murals with full-size digital images can also reinvent your space for a fraction of the cost and time of a remodel. Not only do “super graphics” provide better branding opportunities for your company, they also add a fresh, new feeling to any of your interior spaces.

Making the Choice Between Resurfacing and Remodeling

If time and cost aren’t your top concerns, you may still be having trouble deciding whether to choose a remodel or resurfacing project. To help, here’s a simple guide:

  • Choose remodeling if the areas you’re concerned with are in such bad shape that they need complete replacement.
  • Choose resurfacing if the areas that you’re concerned with are simply worn-out or outdated.

It is also wise to consider that resurfacing tends to only last about a decade, whereas remodeling can last much, much longer. If your company wishes to make near-permanent changes, remodeling may be the best solution. Of course, if you suspect you may want to update your look again in a few years, resurfacing will provide you with the flexibility to do that.

The Most Important Choice for Your Project

No matter which path you choose, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right service company to perform the work.

Finding the right company to professionally install the architectural film that will upgrade the appearance of your business is every bit as important as finding the right remodeling crew. (After all, you wouldn’t let anyone with a sledgehammer and some power tools remodel, would you?)

As one of the leading film and graphics companies in the U.S., NGS Films and Graphics can provide you with a wide range of best-of-breed products and services that will make your project a success. At NGS, we’ve got you covered.

 

Contact NGS at (866) 925-2083 to discover all the options available to help your business get the new look and upgrade it needs.