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What is tolerated in the NT
WFAANZ recently embarked on a fact-finding mission at the request of our NT members, to determine the regulated VLT tolerances.

NT is a trailblazer when it comes to VLT laws. The V51 bulletin states that like the rest of the country front wind ups are set at 35%, but windows rear of the B pillar are permitted 15%.

The question we put to the NT Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics was this: if after market window film on a front window was tested to be 31% VLT, for example, would the vehicle be defected or is a tolerance allowed, and if so what is it?

The answer from a Transport Inspector within the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics was clear. “We only allow a 5% deviation in the figures for a variation in tint meters. So if tint is measured 29% it will fail, and rear is 9% it will fail.”

A 5% variation means that any reading between 30 – 35% on front wind ups, and between 10 – 15% on rearward windows, is permissible. Read more here in the Department Of Transport’s Northern Territory Inspection Manual For Light Vehicles, 2 September 2004. (link to the document)

Refer to the Auto Laws page of the WFAANZ website for all State and Territory auto tint laws.



Our $1.7 billion industry
In 2024, the worth of the international solar control window film market will be close to $1.7 billion, according to the latest Global Market Insights Inc. report. In 2015, it was worth $640 million. The reasons for the exponential growth are global warming and the appeal of safety film to mitigate against damage in the event of a natural disaster or bomb blast.

Increased demand for auto film is also said to be contributing factor towards this surge. These applications are predicted to record a growth rate of 11% from 2016 to 2024.

Request a sample of the research report


Window film’s answer to architectural daylighting
‘Daylighting’ window film is one of the many new applications for window film, giving architects and renovators another option to harness natural lighting in a room.

Redirecting incoming sunlight onto the ceiling, the product flips the traditional applications of film, so instead of blocking the incoming sunlight from entering the room it harnesses it to provide natural lighting. The film is said to reduce the need for artificial lighting and thereby help cut electricity bills.


EMotional windows
Recent reports released by Henrik Fisker about its new electric vehicle, the EMotion, slated for release later this year, allude to the car’s electrochromic roof and rear windows. These will use electricity to change the opacity of the glass. The claim is the sunroof and windows will be able to transform from fully transparent to nearly opaque at the push of a button.

The front wind ups will not use this technology due to window tint laws in certain regions.

This is the same kind of glass used in Boeing 787 Dreamliner window, and Mercedes-Benz use it too.


Dual action windows
One of the latest scientific movements in the ever-changing field of glass technology is windows that double as solar panels. The idea is to create transparent glass panels that capture and channel solar energy. To date, the problem has been that transparency compromises the solar cells efficiency in absorbing the sunlight, because typical solar cells are made of a material that’s hard to make transparent.

A new form of solar cell called perovskites, a hybrid organic-inorganic photovoltaic material, may be the answer. They’re easy and cheap to produce and their efficiency levels have risen to a degree to rival traditional solar cells.

Using these cells a research team of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Sungkyunkwan University, has developed a semi-transparent solar cell that is highly efficient and functions as a thermal mirror.

Read more here.

Hefty fines in the West Indies
Drivers found to have illegal tint (less than 35%) will have to attend court and face fines up to EC$5,000 on the two-island country of St. Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. This equates to close to AUS$2,500, much more than our $100 to $300 fines. The reason for the crack-down – Police maintain that vehicles with dark windows are used when committing crimes. Read more


Star treatment
In 2016 Sydney’s premier casino The Star underwent a renovation, including the addition of the North West gaming area. An architectural highlight was an overarching glass skylight roof. However, management soon realised once gaming machines were installed that heat and glare penetrating the glass made the room uncomfortable for guests and staff.

WFAANZ member Premier Tint was asked to fix the situation with window film.

The challenge was the size of the roof and constraints of the project. Due to an internal metal structure supporting the glass roof panels and weight restrictions on the interior floor, the only option was external film.

Abseiling installers covered almost 500m2 of 168 glass panels over two weeks, using an external film with a heat rejection of 83% and glare reduction of 84%.



Preserving history
With strict boundaries on what alterations can be made to a historic property, owners are faced with the challenge of resolving energy efficiency issues without compromising the building’s integrity. This is most keenly felt when it comes to windows, which sometimes can’t be removed and replaced.

Window film has long offered a solution in these situations, as it can significantly improve efficiency without changing the vintage style of the building.

As film can be applied to any glass surface regardless of its shape, size, orientation, location or age, and it comes in a variety of shades, it allows the façade of the building to remain unchanged. This is appealing to owners of historic properties seeking to preserve its vintage look.

UV rejection is another compelling factor when valuable furnishings and antiques need protection.

Andrew Snowdon from About Windows was approached by the property manager of Calthorpe’s House, Red Hill, Canberra, for this very reason.

The home was built in 1927 for the Calthorpe family, and currently opens its doors to visitors wanting to experience its original architecture, furnishings and gardens. Guided tours take guests through each room, which are dressed as though it’s still 1927, with original clothes in the closets, toiletries in the bathroom and toys in the bedroom.

About Windows was employed to remove the clear window film from the windows and replace with a lightly metallised tinted film as a way of protecting a wider spectrum of damaging wavelengths than the original clear film could provide. The main aim was to protect the valuable artefacts inside from fading and sun damage.

“Untreated windows can block as little as 25% of UV rays,” Andrew said. “The window film we installed at Calthorpe’s House blocks 99% of UV rays, so the precious furnishings and objects inside are saved from sun exposure. The marginal reduction in temperature near windows in summer is another way to prolong the life of the original sheer curtains, drapes and so on without it being obvious a change in light transmission had been made.”

The four pillars of success, Kevin Humphreys, Ultra Tint Window Tinting
Long-standing WFAANZ member and WERS For Film accredited installer Kevin Humphreys shares his personal take on what makes a successful tint business, gleaned from years working in different fields in the Australian tinting industry.

My perspective on life changed dramatically after my first son was born in 2005. At the time, I was General Manager for a tint company that no longer exists, with ten years’ tinting experience under my belt. Even though I was paid very well and had a company car, I wasn’t happy. Two weeks after his birth I decided I didn’t want him to grow up seeing his Dad in a job he didn’t enjoy, so I quit.

My family told me I was crazy. Said I had more responsibility than ever right now and couldn’t afford to throw away a job like that. But being a father was all the motivation I needed to make sure I didn’t fail.

Within four months, I had negotiated a deal to take over a tint business. In the first year, as a one-man-show, I doubled the business’ turnover.

These days I have a full time office manager and three full time tinters. They do an amazing job in meeting our customers' needs, and I attribute much of our current success to their efforts. I spend most of my days on the road doing flat glass quotes and generating good first impressions with potential clients.

So what does it take to go from being dissatisfied in a job to owning your own business?

Before I go any further, it's worth mentioning that my number one rule in business is integrity. Forget about contracts and what's legal and what's not. Your word should be what you hold yourself to at all times. Because if your word is no good, then there's not much else that people can trust about you either. Customers will pick up on this very quickly. Basing your reputation on integrity is one of the smartest things you can do.

The four basic pillars to build your foundations on are:
• Good products
• Good service
• Good presentation
• Good people

Everybody has their favourite manufacturer so I won't make this brand specific. But if you're basing your purchasing decisions on the cheapest roll price, you're not doing yourself any favours. Being the cheapest guy in town might win you a few jobs, when but when engaging in a race to the bottom, there will always be someone willing to go out of business faster than you. Use a quality product. It might cost you a few extra dollars, but your reputation will thank you for it.

People are more likely to remember and talk about the service they receive than the product you gave them. Giving good customer service costs you nothing and is a key element to generating word-of-mouth referrals. If your service and your products are top notch, pricing becomes less relevant.

Take the time to step outside your own business and look at it from the viewpoint of your potential customer. Do you look professional? If you didn’t know your company, would you be happy to leave your car with them based on first impressions? Whether we like it or not, people make judgements based on first impressions all the time. Give yourself the best possible chance by taking a critical look at your overall presentation.

Staff, team members, organic assets, or however you choose to refer to them, employees have the power to make or break your business. This alone can be one of the biggest risks in the whole process. Find people who compliment your strengths, not replace them. If your goal is to grow, you’re going to need to be working right alongside them every day to effectively boost your productivity, and get yourself and the business to the next level.

Surround yourself with like-minded industry peers who can help you with challenges and advice along the way. Not everyone is a competitor who wants to climb over you. I receive a couple of phone calls a week from tinters all around the country wanting to discuss ideas, or solve problems and was honoured to be invited to give a presentation on these topics to a group of about 30 of them a few weeks ago. An industry that’s based on synergy will always be more successful than one focused on compromise.

What part are you currently playing?


Unclear transparency
Are you able to tell me if clear vehicle windscreen tinting is legal in Australia, and if it reduces VLT at all? I’ve seen some conflicting information regarding this so wanted to clarify.
Window film on the main portion of the windscreen (other than a visor strip) is specifically banned in most States and Territories, so a ‘no film/coating’ law exists. Victoria, South Australia and Queensland are less specific in their exact wording, but of course they do also require that the windscreen must not obstruct driver vision at all.                   

As an example, in WA the regulation for all vehicles the law is as follows: “A windscreen must not have film applied to it. However, a tinted band across the top of the windscreen is permitted providing it is above the portion of the windscreen swept by the wipers and it does not intrude into the primary vision area of the windscreen. The band area must not be more than 10% of the windscreen area unless the Vehicle Safety and Standards Section have provided written permission.” Vehicle Safety and Standards Information Bulletin IB-119D, May 2015

WFAANZ is aware high VLT (clear) ‘windscreen’ films are available and these may be beneficial options for non-road vehicles like forestry and mining machinery, but these films are specifically banned in most of Australia for public road vehicles.

Even in States where the wording is less specific, there is still a requirement to maintain unobstructed vision through the windscreen. For these reasons WFAANZ does not recommend any film on the main portion of a windscreen. It is entirely possible that film installed on a windscreen could bubble, distort in clarity, discolour, scratch from wipers, etc. While such vision obscurities are undesirable on any window, the fact that driving decisions through the front windscreen are being made at speeds in excess of 110 km/h makes the danger of film damage or optical failure all the more pronounced, posing a high risk to road safety.                                     


Squeegee for me?
Can my customers use a squeegee on glass with film applied?
A rubber (not plastic) squeegee is OK for cleaning. Refer to the new WFAANZ fact sheet on cleaning for more info.

Tolerance in VIC
I understand the VLT limit in Victoria is 35% with film applied, but my question is - what's the tolerance? I've heard conflicting answers of 3-5%.
The tolerance in Victoria set by Vic Roads is 5%, so a VLT reading of less than 30% can result in the vehicle being defected.



Stressed about breakage
I wanted to know more about thermal stress as I’m looking at getting the double glazed windows in my bedroom tinted to reduce heat gain.
Here you will find two technical bulletins produced by WFAANZ regarding thermal stress, which covers double glazing. (link to fact sheets) WFAANZ advises you contact a WFAANZ tinter member, which can be found in our
member directory . Once you and your tinter have chosen the film, contact the film manufacturer as they should be able to conduct a stress test before the film is applied. These tests will provide an idea of the risk level of applying a particular film to your particular double glazed windows.


In touch with tinters
Say you have a large project coming up that’ll require extra staff. How do you source trustworthy, experienced tinters to hire on a contract basis? WFAANZ has the answer.

In the coming months WFAANZ will launch a contractor employment directory on our website, for the exclusive use of our members. It will contain the relevant info of tinters willing to work on a contract basis.

It’ll also list their experience, what type of film they can install, qualifications, training, licences, where they’re willing to travel, etc.

This will be free for our members to use.

If you’re interested in contract work and would like a listing on this directory please email immediately.


Window film’s winter story
Window film used to be all about solar control, so Winter was traditionally considered the slow season and marketing activities were planned for Spring and Summer. With the advent of Low E film, an increase in unseasonal weather, and rising popularity of other types of film like safety, security and anti-grafitti, there’s no reason why a tinter’s marketing plan shouldn’t stretch across the year.

There is still a lot of consumer confusion surrounding Low E. Mainly, how it can reject heat on hot days and still keep a room warmer on cold days.

WFAANZ suggests as soon as you do a job involving Low E, take some great pics, get permission from the home or business owner and contact your local paper about the “winter warming” story. WFAANZ will even prepare a media release for our members, to increase your chance of the paper writing an article about the job. Members can contact me for more information or advice.

Download our Low E fact sheet here.


WFAANZ hits Sydney Build 2017
WFAANZ presented on window film at the Sydney Build 2017 event, March 30 and 31 at the Hordern Pavilion, Sydney. The event attracted 8191 attendees, comprising architects, builders, project managers, estimators, developers, engineers, etc.                   

WFAANZ represented the window film industry with a presentation titled “A clear view on window film”, which detailed its types, benefits, specifications and the WERS For Film program. Thanks to executive committee member Jack Krispin for presenting on behalf of the association. By his account, it was a “…successful event, and people showed a lot interest by taking photos of the presentation and asking questions.”

Click here for a copy of the post show report.


Low hanging fruit
OK, this idea may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many businesses I talk to that aren't doing it already. It’s so simple. Whenever you get a new lead – be it a phone call, email, text or post - always ask where they heard about your business. Easy as that. I would even suggest keeping a tally of responses.

In the least, you get valuable intel about what marketing is working. If you take it a step further, you can action the responses. For example, if you learn one customer is spreading great word of mouth about your service, why not surprise them with a ‘30% off your next tint’ thank you gesture? Or, if you discover the majority of your leads are generated through a local directory, you know to channel your efforts and funds there.

The facts on cleaning
WFAANZ has a new addition in our fact sheet series – this one provides cleaning advice to customers. Our members can use as a leave-behind to customers so they know the ins and outs of film maintenance. Members can also upload to their website. Let me know if you’d like me to customize with your logo.

This and all our marketing tools can be found in the Materials page of the Members Only area of the WFAANZ website.
Marketing team gets cute new member
WFAANZ President and marketing manager Ally Cronan gave birth to a happy baby girl last December named Lilliana. Ally is now back on deck promoting WFAANZ. Any questions, queries or ideas please let her know on or 02 9401 0222.

Plug into your listing
It’s been a year since we updated the WFAANZ online directory of tinters, so now’s a great time to revisit your listing to ensure all details are correct. Remember that if you joined WFAANZ over five years ago you’re now eligible for a WFAANZ loyalty logo. If you have changes for your listing please email me.

New secretariat contact
I must share the sad news that the wonderful Jo Valvekens has resigned from the AWA for personal reasons and will not be the WFAANZ secretariat representative anymore.                    

During her time with us Jo lent the role passion, creativity and supreme competency that made her a joy to work with. She will be hard to replace. To that end, at time of press, the AWA had employed a recruitment agency to handle the reappointment. I’ll update you when the new contact has been selected. In the meantime, please direct all secretariat-related emails to Dorothy Anania,

Keen to join the tint team?

Installers wanting to join WFAANZ can contact us here for more info about what's involved. This has been another bumper year for the association in terms of what we've delivered to members - third party incentives,regular industry updates, business tools and support facilities.


There is a new member benefit document for anyone wanting to learn why WFAANZ was formed, what we do, fee allocations and what's involved with membership. Download here.


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