3M Prestige Window Film

Why Exterior Film?

One of the questions we get the most as a window film company is “does it go on the outside or inside”? Our answer is “both”! Generally window film is applied to the interior portion of your glass. This is great for durability, and access, and while interior window films perform great, sometimes they’re just not enough, and that’s where exterior film comes into play.

Exterior window film can be a great option for a couple of reasons. The number one is performance! Exterior film reduces the heat in its tracks. The heat is absorbed prior to even hitting your glass. Since the heat is absorbed on the first surface, this significantly reduces if not eliminates any potential glass breakage, while absorbing a drastic amount of heat. Another great use for exterior film is access. Skylights, and other hard to reach windows might not be accessible from the interior.

At Solar Vision Inc., our favorite product is 3M Exterior Prestige Window Film. 3M Exterior Window Films offer great performance, and come with up to a 15 year warranty. 3M Exterior Prestige Window Film is designed to last, and will keep your home or building cool, and comfortable for years to come.

Click here for 3M Exterior Prestige Technical Details!

3M Prestige Exterior 40 (PR40X) applied to first floor windows at this apartment complex to reduce heat in gym area.

3M Prestige Exterior 40 (PR40X) applied to first floor windows at this apartment complex to reduce heat in gym area.

3M PR40X can enhance the look of your home or building.

3M PR40X can enhance the look of your home or building.


Definitely! The winter can be some of the most intense sunshine of the entire year. Especially for those south facing windows. Some homes with large picture windows can even become uncomfortably hot in the winter. Along with heat, the winter glare can be incredibly intense. Plus, UV rays don’t care about the temperature outside. They’ll cause just as bad, if not worse damage and fading to your homes furnishings and window coverings in the winter, as they do in the summer.

Depending on your situation you have many window film choices. If heat and glare are your main issue, then a traditional window film will work great. However if you’re also looking to retain the heat in your home while blocking the heat during those intense part of the days an insulating film might be what you need. An insulating window film like 3M Thinsulate will make your home more efficient 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Solar Control Window Film is a necessary upgrade for any home, any time of the year, and there is no better time than the winter time to make your home more comfortable year round.

3M Night Vision 25 applied to the windows at this home in Avon, CO. Great views of the slopes, less the glare, and UV Rays! A must

3M Night Vision 25 applied to the windows at this home in Avon, CO. Great views of the slopes, less the glare, and UV Rays! A must

3M Prestige Window Film application in Vail, CO.

3M Prestige Window Film application in Vail, CO.

3M Prestige 70

3M Prestige 70 window film is the perfect solution for heat and UV reduction. You can hardly tell it’s even there, but you can feel it! If you’re looking to protect your home, or building without changing the appearance, 3M Prestige 70 might be just what you are looking for.

  • 3M Prestige 70

  • 69% Visible Light Transmission

  • 50% Solar Energy Rejected

  • 99% UV rejection

The window on the right has 3M Prestige 70 applied to it, the window on the left doesn’t.

The window on the right has 3M Prestige 70 applied to it, the window on the left doesn’t.

Window Film and Water

Most windows films are applied using a solution of soap and water. The adhesives of window film are on the film. To activate the adhesives they need to be completely soaked with water, making water one of the most important aspects of a good window film installation, well that, and a great Installer.

Because water is so important, Solar Vision Inc. has decided to partner with Culligan Water to ensure we are only using the best water on the market for our window film installations. Our in-shop water filtration system uses reverse osmosis, and softening to ensure the cleanest install possible. 

Water can be different all over town depending on the city you live in. Some cities have very hard water which can leave a haze on your glass, and make the install very difficult, by using purified Culligan water straight from our shop, our installs are consistent, no matter what part of Colorado you are from. 

A good film install starts with a great Installer, the best window film on the market, and Culligan Water. 

A good film install starts with a great Installer, the best window film on the market, and Culligan Water. 

This little co-branded contraption is a pressurized water tank used for installing window film. 

This little co-branded contraption is a pressurized water tank used for installing window film. 

Home Window Tinting

It's that time of year again, it's starting to warm up, and the sun is staying out longer. There are many reasons to have film added to your homes windows, but the number one concern we hear from our customers is heat. In spite of our best efforts…air conditioning, blinds, curtains, it still might not be enough! This is where home window tinting can help.

Home window tinting can lower your overall utility cost by blocking up to 50% of the heat entering through your homes windows, and since the film is absorbing that heat you can leave the blinds open longer. Think about it, why have windows in the first place if the blinds are closed, and the curtains are drawn all day, we might as well build windowless homes. That'd be super-efficient, but not very attractive. Adding a 3M solar control window film to your homes windows will allow you to open the curtains and enjoy your natural light and views again.

Other benefits of home window tinting are less fading, and less glare. We spend so much time choosing furniture, flooring, and window coverings, it would be a shame to allow all of those costly items to deteriorate quickly. Adding a 3M solar control window film to your homes windows will drastically slow down the fading and damage caused by UV Rays. Think of what the sun’s rays can do to your skin? They cause the same damage to your home and furnishings, only much quicker.

Home window tinting can also drastically reduce the glare in your home. If you have glare issues and trouble seeing your computer screen, or worse yet your television, our 3M solar control window films can help with that too.

There are many reason to add 3M window film to your home. It's a no brainer, call Solar Vision Inc. 303-862-6376 today for a free estimate, and learn how you can cool off your home, protect your furniture, and reduce glare.


3M Prestige 50 window film application in Morrison, CO.

3M Prestige 50 window film application in Morrison, CO.

Light Pollution in the Mountains


Window Film can reduce light pollution in the Mountains.  Excessive light in rural and mountain areas have far ranging affects on flora and fauna as well as animals, reptiles, insects and birds.  According to Winslow Briggs's book, Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting, exposure to artificial light can prevent trees from adjusting to seasonal changes.  This affects the wildlife that use the trees as their natural habitat.  Light confuses birds in their migratory habits.  Frogs stop calling their mates.  Some animals will stay hidden longer and that reduces the time they have to hunt for food.  There are many studies that prove the affects of light pollution. (www.nationalgeographic.com) Though light pollution in the mountains may affect the environment, it is also the easiest one to solve.  All that needs to be done is be aware of it and do things to turn off and/or turn down the light that is being put out by our living spaces.

More and more people are moving to the mountains, because they love being in nature and because of the spectacular views.  One might think, one home on the side of the mountain won't  harm anything.  Flood lights or lights left on all night may be on to show the beauty of the home or because one feels safer if they can see outside, but these lights may disturb wildlife.  Homes are also being built with lots of glass, because of the views and trends in architecture. This extra light also affects the natural environment.

Some solutions are:

  • Don't have on more light at night than you need.
  • Window film on the windows can reduce the light from the windows by 45%-50%
  • Put other coverings on windows as well, i.e. shades, drapes, etc.
  • Use low wattage lighting outside
  • Have motion sensor lighting outside
  • Have shades that slope down on outside lighting

Solar Vision's experts will help you choose the film that will emit the least amount of light and still meet your needs for enhanced beauty, energy savings, safety, and protection from UV rays.

Window Film Reduces Light Pollution

Window film can reduce light pollution.  Depending on the type of film, Visual Light Transmittance can be reduced by 45%-50%. According to Global Trends and Implications for Downtown Denver, a paper prepared by Progressive Urban Management Associates in 2006, 3 billion people lived in cities and by 2050 6 billion people will be living in cities.  The implications for energy consumption, transportation, food, and environmental protection caused by this rapid urban expansion makes the need for sustainability  critical.

The management of artificial light is one of the many areas urban planners must prepare for.

Light pollution causes:

  • Sky glow which is the light surrounding the urban skies is caused by over illumination of commercial spaces and poorly planned street and building lights. The stars are difficult to see in urban areas.
  • Light trespass is the light from a building shining into another building.  It may be difficult to sleep in an apartment building next to a building that has a lot of light during the night.
  • Endangerment to wildlife who are confused by the light.  Nocturnal animals do not hunt or mate as they are meant to.  More animals are in danger of becoming extinct.
  • Human health is being affected.  Vision, headaches, hypertension, and an increased chance of developing cancer are some of the health issues.  Sleep is disrupted by the light and melatonin is decreased. (physics.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-environment.html)

There are things that city planners and all of us can do to decrease light pollution.  One of them is to apply window tint to windows that meets 45% inside to outside visible light transmittance and/or use window treatments.  On a beach in Florida, new construction is required to put in windows that meet the 45% requirement because sea turtles are confused by the light and go inland instead of going out to sea.  People that already have homes are helping to save the turtles by retrofitting their windows with window film to meet the requirement. (Thisbigcity.net)

Window film meets LEED Certification requirements in this area and is worth 1 point toward building certification.

Credit 7:  Light Pollution Reduction (1 point)

Intent: Eliminate light trespass from the building and site, improve night sky access and reduce development impact on nocturnal environment.

Denver is a city that is at the forefront of working to make sustainable urban environments.  Denver is also experiencing rapid urban growth.  The challenges in keeping up with all the facets of urban growth is being met by our city leaders and urban planners with great care.


3M Film Uses in Hotels

3M film uses in hotels are many.  Window film can provide energy savings, comfort, and added safety and security.  Architectural films can provide beauty and give the hotel a unique look.  The creative environment is limited only by one's imagination. Safety and Security is enhanced by using a safety and security film to prevent break-ins.  In vulnerable areas, the film will prevent intruders from breaking a glass to get in the building.  Often hotels are in places without a lot of people around, so this would give extra security to a building.  Another way 3M window film can add to security is that if there would be an event such as strong winds, hail, etc. which could break the glass, the glass would hold together and not allow shards of glass to fly and cause injury.  If a hotel is in an area where there is graffiti, anti-graffiti film can be applied to the glass protecting it from paint, acid, scratching.  The film acts as a sacrificial layer which takes the graffiti and can be removed. (solutions.3m.com)

Solar Control can be achieved through 3M Window film.  Glare can be greatly reduced.  Heating and air conditioning costs can be reduced with the application of one of 3M's variety of solar control films.  UV rays are reduced by most films by 99 % eliminating the harmful effects of the UV rays on carpeting, drapes, art, furniture and other furnishings.

Decorative Films can be used in the building to make updated creative environments.  Graphics on film can put any picture on a wall at any size.  Fasara films can be used to add privacy and beauty.  The films can be die-cut or custom printed. Di-Noc can be used to remake surfaces such as pine into teak or paint into marble. There are hundreds of surfaces to choose from.

Solar Vision's Mission Statement is to inspire a passion for and generate living and working environments that are comfortable, safe, energy efficient and innovative.  Let Solar Vision's staff inspire you.

Window Film Uses in Churches


Window film uses in churches add to their beauty, safety, and energy efficiency. There are few things more beautiful than a stained glass window.  The window creates a worshipful environment and help to set the tone in the church building.  Stained glass is very expensive and not all churches have the resources to have them.  Window film can be used in place of stained glass to give the church the atmosphere it wants.  Traditional art can be used or modern art can be used.  Any picture or any graphics can be imprinted on the film and put on the glass at a fraction of the cost of stained glass. The picture can be on one side or both sides.  A picture can be made so that one can see through the glass on one side and have the picture on the other.  Logos and murals can be put up on any flat surface of the church.  Some churches are mixing new art with the more traditional art.  New technology is used to create whatever look the artist imagines.

Bible versus can be used to remind people of messages the church wants to emphasize.

Privacy can be added where it is needed in the church using Fasara frosted film.  So many looks can be achieved through the use of Fasara films. Computer aided design techniques are used to plot and cut the film.(solutions.3m.com)

Solar control window film will cut down on energy costs and if there would be film breakage  because of something like a weather event, the film would hold the glass shards together and prevent injuries.  The film cuts down on glare and protects furnishings from harmful UV rays.

Unfortunately, sometimes churches are targeted by vandals.  Anti-graffiti film can be placed on signage or windows to prevent vandals from ruining the sign or glass.  Safety and security film can be put on glass to prevent break-ins.  Because some of the time no one is in the church, the church may be a target for robberies or vandals.  The films give an extra layer of protection.

The window film is used in retrofitting situations as well as new construction.  It is easy to clean.

Our Solar Vision mission is to inspire a passion for and generate living and working environments that are comfortable, safe, energy efficient and innovative.  If you have any design needs, comfort, and/or security needs in your church, please call Solar Vision.  Our staff will work with you to meet your needs.



3M Prestige 60

3M Prestige 60 was applied to this home.  The film was applied to the bottom window and the top window had not been applied yet.  This is a picture that represents well how the view of a window is maintained.  3M Prestige 60 is the ultimate in window film technology.  It consists of over 200 layers and is as thin as paper.  The technology used is called nanotechnology.  The folds cannot even be seen using a microscope.  These folds bend and catch light to create a film that produces the effects out clients want. (solutions.3m.com) 3M Prestige 60:

  • Reduces the amount of energy used to cool a home
  • Eliminates over 99% of UV rays which damages furnishings and is a cause for skin cancer
  • Is less reflective than class, so it enhances views
  • Is nonmetallic and does not interfere with cell phone or wifi signals
  • Increases personal safety by  holding together shards of glass in the event of something that would cause the glass to shatter

3M Prestige 60 is covered by the 3M Lifetime Warranty.

Exterior Prestige Window Film

Exterior Prestige Window Film is made using nanotechnology.  The film consists of over 200 thin layers and is the thickness of a piece of paper.  This technology allows the film to provide superior heat control and glare reduction while preserving exterior and interior window views.  The film contains no metals so it does not interfere with wireless signals.  It is used in areas that are difficult to film from the inside.  If there is furniture that is difficult to move or permanent fixtures that make it impossible or near impossible to put on a film from the inside, then Exterior Prestige Window Film is the solution. Exterior Prestige Window Film might also be used if there is a high likelihood of breakage of a particular type of glass. With the exterior film, the sun does not heat the glass. (solutions.3m.com) Exterior Prestige Window Film:

  • has a strong scratch resistant coating
  • not self-cleaning, but repels water
  • has virtually no chance of glass breakage
  • can be used on dual or triple pane glass
  • has high heat rejection with high visible light transmission
  • comes in Prestige 40, 70, and 90
  • reduces air conditioning costs

Colorado and Company


Shelley did a fantastic job talking about Solar Vision and 3M Window Film on Colorado and Company. Heath and Ben did the installation on the video and Lucinda did the sales. A special thanks to Lisa and Steve Strother who let us film in their home and to Lisa who was interviewed.Shelley demonstrated with a heat source in a box and glass with 3M Prestige window film applied, other window film, and glass with no film. She showed how well the 3M Prestige window film performs.

3M Residential Warranty


3M has a residential limited lifetime quality promise.  The warranty applies to the purchaser as long as he/she lives and owns the home.  It can not be transferred to the next owner. The warranty for the 3M Sun Control Window Film promises to:

  • Keep its solar reflective properties without cracking, crazing, or peeling
  • Keep its adhesion properties without blistering, bubbling, or delaminating from the glass
  • Keep its appearance without discoloration

If the product is found to be defective under the warranty, 3M will:

  • Replace the quantity of film that is defective
  • Provide removal and reapplication with the labor being free of charge

The 3M residential warranty is also for glass failure due to thermal shock fracture or seal failure for up to $500 per window.  The glass failure would need to be a result of the application of 3M Sun Control Film as long as the film is applied to the recommended types of glass and the glass failure is reported to the Seller within the specified time from the start of the installation.  See specific warranty for these time frames.

Glass failure covered by this warranty must be reviewed by the Seller prior to repair, and only covers film and glass replacement.

A claim is made to the dealer from whom the film was purchased or to 3M.

The warranty is void if the product has been given improper care such as the use of abrasives to clean the window.  The care recommendations are sent to the purchaser and is also at the bottom of the warranty information.  The care instructions are also in a previous Solar Vision blog and/or is easily found on the Internet.  (solutions.3m.com)

In comparing other window film warranties to the 3M residential warranties, most are similar to each other.  As far as I could find, none surpass the 3M warranty.  3M has a reputation of standing behind their products.  You can trust the 3M brand.


Clean Filmed Windows

Clean filmed windows is an easy process.  You basically clean it as you would any window after 30 days. What to expect:

  • Window film takes a period of up to 30 days to dry and cure.
  • There may be a haze which will cause a visual distortion.
  • There may be small water beads or bubbles.
  • This is normal.  The haze or bubbles will disappear in a few days as the window film dries and cures.  The water used in installation needs to evaporate through the film during the curing process.
  • Cold weather may lengthen the time while warm weather will shorten the time.
  • Security films are thicker and take longer to dry.

Note:  The film may cure less than 30 days.  To be on the safe side to clean filmed windows, wait the 30 days.

What to use to clean your filmed windows:

  • A soft cloth or clean synthetic sponge is recommended to clean filmed windows.
  • To dry them use a soft cloth, paper towel or soft squeegee.
  • Most glass cleaners work well.
  • A good cleaning solution is 1/2 ounce of dish soap or baby shampoo in about a quart of water.  This is about one or two drops in a spray bottle.  You do not need much soap.

What to avoid:

  • The film has a scratch resistant coating not a scratch proof coating, so never use any abrasive material on the window.
  • Coarse paper towels may leave fine scratches on the film
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or abrasive sponges.
  • Do not use cleaning materials that are contaminated with dirt.  This might happen if you clean outside the windows and then use the same sponge to clean the inside filmed window.
  • Do not use industrial strength cleaners.
  • Do not use cleaning tools that may scratch the film, such as hard squeegees.
  • Products containing ammonia can be used but not in large quantities or often.

If you ever have any question about caring for your window film, please ask your installers or give Solar Vision a call.  We will happily give you the information you need.

3M Exterior Prestige Window Film


3M Exterior Prestige window film was applied to these windows. The film applied to these windows was Exterior Prestige 40.  Exterior window film is put on glass when the windows inside are not as accessible as the outside.  A wall, bookcases, heavy or immovable furniture or any number of things may may make it difficult to put the film in the inside.  Skylights that are really high may be easier to have film applied to the outside via the roof.  Exterior window film may also reduce the risk of thermal stress on windows with multiple glass panels.  3M Exterior Prestige window film may be applied to both new buildings and retrofit projects. Advantages of 3M Exterior Prestige Window Film include:

  • The film is non-reflective-less reflective than glass
  • It has heat rejection with excellent visibility
  • It comes in Prestige 40, Prestige 70, and Prestige 90.  The 90 lets in 99% of the normal light
  • The film blocks 99.9% of UV rays and prevents fading and deterioration cause by UV rays.
  • It reduces glare
  • People in the inside are not exposed to the UV rays which can cause skin cancer
  • It provides heat control so the inside is more comfortable and less air conditioning is used.
  • The film does not interfere with cellular or wireless signals.
  • The thickness of the film is less than a piece of paper
  • After 30 days it can be cleaned, as any other window.

The film is less reflective than glass. Because of the lower reflection, retail displays are more visible and there is less distraction.  In the day or at night, potential customers see a beautiful window and whatever is displayed or lit up in the window. This can draw more people to a business and increase sales.

This window film is used in commercial as well as in residential buildings.  It is back by the 3M lifetime warranty.