15 Tint Vs 20 Tint: Which is Better?

Adding privacy and blocking the sun’s UV light are some of the benefits of tinting your car’s windows. It can be difficult to pick the correct tint.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve researched how to tell the differences between 15 and 20 percent tint.

Main Differences:

  • The 15% tint only allows 15% of the light in. 20% tint gives 20% light through.
  • A 15% tint makes driving at night difficult.
  • 15% tint gives more privacy than 20%.
  • The tint on front and driver-side windows are typically 20% tints.

There is only a five percent difference between these tints. Your ability to drive your car can be impacted by these differences.

Continue reading to learn more about these differences and more.

20 Tint


Amount of Light Allowed

The amount of light it allows into the vehicle is one of the biggest differences between 15% and 20% tint.

The measurement of how dark a window tint is is known as the visible light transmission. There is a percentage that shows the amount of light that enters the car.

A car with less than 15% VLT will reflect less than 85% of the sun’s light. Only 15% of the population passes through. 80% of the light is reflected, and 20% goes through a 20% VLT.

Night Driving

Driving at night can be dangerous. In 2020, the NHTSA reported that half of the driving deaths occurred in the evening.

Visibility is reduced to between 250 and 500 feet at night. You won’t experience any visibility issues if you tint your windows between 50% and 85%.

The tint on your car affects your driving abilities during the evening.

It is difficult to see through the tinted windows. You won’t be able to see very far as it gets darker during the night. You might need to open the window to see.

A 15% tint is difficult to see at night. This tint level can make windows look black in the evening.

Don’t drive at night if you have a lot of driving to do. You have to open your windows to see.


The levels of this tint give a decent amount of privacy. To see inside your vehicle, you will have to stand close to the windows.

Things will probably be dark with a 15% tint. It could be easier to identify items with a tint of 20%.

It will be difficult to see inside a 15% tint. Driving in dark or gloomy weather will be very difficult.

During the day and night, the 20% tint provides less privacy. It is easier to see through this tint at night than the 15% tint.


Dark tints are illegal in most states since visibility is important. The front side windows of New Mexico have a 20% VLT shade.

The tint is legal for the back passenger and rear windows in 17 states. In most states, a 15% tint isn’t legal.

The tint on the front side windows is not allowed by the state. You can tint your back side windows and rear windows in eleven states.

Four additional states allow rear or back side windows to be tinted. You can tint your back side and rear windows in Montana.

You can tint your rear window to 12% in Louisiana, but your backside windows have to be 25%. The legality of both tints varies depending on where you live.

Depending on the window you’re applying it to, you could need a different tint level. Check your local laws to make sure you don’t have future issues.

Which is Better?

The difference between a 15 percent and a 20 percent tint is not significant. Both of them offer a high amount of privacy and block out a lot of light.

There is a question of whether or not there is a better one. This will be based on the way you want it to be. 

There are a couple of things that make a 20% tint a better choice than a 15% tint. The first thing that comes to mind is user experience. 

It’s more convenient to find places where 20% tint is legal. It is a challenge to find places that accept a 15% tint for rear windows.

The second is related to function. A 15% tint is impractical unless you only drive in sunny conditions. A 20% tint isn’t as difficult to drive at night as a darker tint.

Roll the windows down to see better, but it isn’t always needed. The good qualities of a 20% tint are the same as the 15% tint.

It protects you from high levels of UV rays, helps keep you cool, raises the value of your car, and gives privacy.

The shade doesn’t have the biggest negative facing the tint. There must be visibility. Being able to see at night is a fundamental characteristic.

Different Tint Shade Levels

There are different levels of tint for your car. You can pick any shade from 5% to 90%. The tint will be darker the lower the number is.

Most vehicles don’t have a dark tint when first purchased. The amounts can be different. The tint on front windows is between 70 and 80 percent.

When choosing a tint, some levels are more common than others. The percentages of 5, 20, 35, and 50 are offered by many companies. Some of the standard levels are 15, 18, and 35.

Out of the most common tint levels we haven’t talked about, 50% is an average choice. Half of the UV rays will be blocked out by this tint.

A moderate amount of privacy is what it provides. It is possible to see in and out of the car with little difficulty.

The best light blocking, privacy, and functionality can be found in the 35% tint. At this level, you’re blocking a lot of light from entering your car.

You’re still at a tint level that’s legal and you’re getting a lot more privacy.

This tint is usually only seen on limos, hence the name. Some states allow you to tint your back passenger and rear windows with a 5% tint.

Is It Possible To Tint Your Car?

You might wonder if this is a project you can do on your own because of the high cost of a professional tint. It is, indeed!

It’s important to remember that this may affect the quality of the tint job. It’s an exact project, and it’s straightforward.

You should make sure you measure the film correctly. If you cut it, it will fit the window and be easier to fit.

The application is one of the biggest challenges. If you’re inexperienced, you can leave bubbles or wrinkles on your film. Sometimes these mistakes can get fixed.

It’s best to start over and try again at other times. If you tint your windows, make sure you pick a high-quality film. You’re going to need tools as well.

You should have at least a razor and a squeegee on hand. There is a heating gun that can be useful, but it is not necessary.

15 Tint


80 percent of the UV rays will be reflected by 15 and 20 percent tint.

It is possible that these tints are not legal where you live. Before selecting a window shade amount, be aware of local laws.

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