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.
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.
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.