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I’m gonna share about our home’s latest installations  – 3M Prestige Window Film, 3M Safety & Security Film & 3M Fasara Decorative Glass Film. I’m quite excited about them honestly! And, if you are concerned about the sun damaging your furniture in your home, sunlight warming up  your apartment/house, and you want to protect your loved ones from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (uv) rays and shattering glass using window films, then this post is for you. If you are a new home owner or going to get your new home soon and thinking about getting window films, this would be quite useful for you too!

The weather is so awfully hot lately, my skin burns whenever I’m outdoors and I swear I’m shades darker than I was a month ago. I am sure you feel the same too! Oh the perils of the sun! We all know it is damaging because of ultraviolet rays it emits but we can’t quite avoid it totally, can we? I have been keeping the family indoors quite a bit these days to avoid the hot sun because it is getting unbearable stepping outdoors.

But do you know? The ultraviolet rays can get to you and cause damage even if you are indoors! 

Sun rays shining on my furniture.

Sun rays shining on my furniture.

Case in point. Ever seen colours fading off furniture when they are exposed to the sun? Am sure most of us have experienced it in a household before. How can it be, you ask?

Simply explained, the sun rays! The sun emits 3 types of UV radiation from the sun – UVA, UVB & UVC. What you really need to know about them is…

  • UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the skin, is major contributor to skin ageing/wrinkles, and contributes to skin cancer development. It can pass through ordinary glass.
  • UVB radiation is what causes sunburn, contributes to skin cancer development (along with UVA) but most of it is absorbed by the epidermis of our skin (outer skin layer) when exposed. This can be blocked by glass windows when one is indoors.
  • UVC radiation does not reach us as it is absorbed by the ozone layer, which means, it doesn’t concern us at this point in time as long as the ozone layer is present.

(Read: Ultraviolet Radiation: The sun’s death ray & Ultraviolet Radiation Indoors: What you don’t know can hurt you)

So, UVA is really our main cause of concern for sun damage in our homes, the place where we seek the most comfort and security. What?!  I hear you say. Then how?! 

The answer is good quality window films. To protect my family & myself from sun damage, we had solar window film installed. It has been on my mind for the longest time, and I am so glad I finally had it installed.

Well, the truth is, I did have my reservations about installing the solar films. I grew up with frosted window film at my mum’s place but I didn’t like it one bit. It was meant to provide privacy but I thought it blocked out everything for me. I really love looking out from my windows growing up so when I got my own place, I really, really love our windows and the amount of natural daylight it lets in. I love the bright, airy feeling. It makes me happy and it saves me money from having to switch on lights during day time.

I super love the lighting when I take pictures in the house as well. The natural daylight lets me produce amazingly nice, natural looking picture effortlessly! I was so afraid that installing window films would make the house look dark. Here’s some pictures that I took at my bay window.

On the other hand, there was some real causes of concern – harmful uv rays being the key reason, the glare of the sun can be quite uncomfortable (especially on our TV screens) and the house getting really warm in the evenings that we constantly have to switch on the air-conditioning to cool it down (which meant expensive electrical bills). I was also worried that the laminates at my bay window (see above pic) would fade over time because the sun was shining on it directly every evening. They would be really costly to replace because it is quite a huge piece of installation.

I weighed the consequences and it is a no brainer that better health, lesser heat/glare, nicer home/furniture is more important. Plus, the sun control window films comes in many different types and shades of tint and I can choose one to suit my needs and have the best of both worlds. 3M offers many types of Sun Control Window films, each catering to different needs. The 3 main options are:

Dyed/tinted window films (slightly reflective): Used to block off some heat but mainly to block off glare especially from the morning sun.
Metalized window films (reflective/mirror effect): Good for heat rejection, mainly used for privacy purposes (prevent people from peeping in).
Multi-layered window films (clear film): Also known as 3M Prestige Window Film, it is equipped with 3M’s multi-layer optical film technology (the only type available in the market) and is most superior at blocking out heat from all angles throughout the day.

The Prestiges series does seemed to suit what I need. I requested for some 3M film samples to stick on my windows to help me decide! These samples are a brilliant idea because I can see for myself how it would be like on my window. I don’t need to commit based on my imagination and guesswork, and I think it is important because you are going to live with it for many years!

Samples of film stuck on my window for comparison.

Samples of film stuck on my window for comparison.

3M Sample films stuck on my window.

3M Sample films stuck on my window.

If you must know, I installed the PR60 (2nd lightest shade), which allows slightly more visible light to shine through than the PR50 shown above. The samples also comes with specifications, telling you how much visible light transmitted, what is the uv, infrared and solar energy rejected. Very useful information for comparison sake. Otherwise, you can make use of this 3M Window Film Simulator to see how the various films’ effect on the household.

The Prestige Window Film boasts the following:

  • Multi-layer optical film technology (the film is made up of hundreds of layers to deliver highest performance)
  • Block up to 99.9% of harmful UV rays
  • Reject up to 97% of the sun’s infrared heat
  • Non-corrosive films & long lasting
  • Minimizes reflectivity (barely can tell there is anything installed!)
  • Energy savings by reducing cooling costs by up to 30%
  • Reduces glare and improves television/computer screen viewing (something that we do daily!)

It also comes with 15 years warranty (!!) for fixed and sliding window panels, and the warranty is registered direct with 3M Singapore. It’s quite worth the investment, isn’t it?

There are so many brands of solar films in the market and it can get mind boggling. Which brand of solar films to buy? My research tells me that 3M might be your best bet! This may be a sponsored post, but I do my research prior to accepting each sponsorship because I believe in blogging and sharing about things that I also believe in myself.

So, here’s why 3M is my choice (you can read & decide for yourself):

  • It’s an international brand know for many of its products and product quality (e.g. Scotch Brite, Scotch Tape, Post-It, etc). I love 3m products! (I know, just a little bias!)
  • In 1966, 3M received the first patent for window films. No one has more experience than them since they are the first! They also in the automotive solar film and commercial window films business. Surely that’s a lot of  technology knowledge!
  • 3M is the only window film manufacturer  to make its own adhesives and is a world leader in adhesive technologies. No need to worry about film peeling or not sticking!
  • 3M manufactures their own film. Most other solar film brands take from OEM manufacturers, and bring in their film from multiple sources which may resulting in differing tint and quality between batches.
  • 3M product specifications are backed by international testing methodology (ASTM Standards). Anything with certification is more trusted since there are standards guidelines, and the brand cannot over claim.
  • The Skin Cancer Foundation even recommends 3M Window Film products as effective UV protectants (see proof, last paragraph).

My 3M Prestige Window Films are installed by the 3M authorized dealer, Jestac who has 23 years of experience and counting. They do residential window films installation, solar films installation for commercial buildings, and also provide a series of 3M building and interior solutions. The installers were very punctual (I didn’t expect them to be) and I had them waiting at my door steps for 10 mins while I was out grabbing lunch. They were very patient about it, and once in the house, just set about doing their work. They finished the installation in under 3 hours, which includes making sure my furniture are protected, cleaning all the windows (living and 3 bed rooms) and doors as well as my shower screens before installation. I also had a water filter system installed during the same time. Pretty fast!

I also noticed that they clean each window at least twice to make sure the window is entirely clean before installation. I don’t even need to clean the windows myself prior and I get clean windows back. They also brought along their own chairs to stand on, as well as trash bags and throw as they work with minimal mess. They also took care to explain that no touching/cleaning of windows for 2 weeks to allow the stickers to dry up proper.

Bay window all well covered up with cloths that they brought along.

Bay window all well covered up with cloths that they brought along.

Playroom furnishings all covered in 2 layers before starting the installation.

Playroom furnishings all covered in 2 layers before starting the installation.

Cleaning the windows and ensuring it's dust-free & good for installation!

Cleaning the windows and ensuring it’s dust-free & good for installation!

Trash bags. They throw as they work, making minimal mess.

Trash bags. They throw as they work, making minimal mess.

When they were done, I couldn’t even tell the difference before and after so it is like an invisible shield that I have protecting the household. So cool! Now, I know my boys are safe from the uv rays in the house.

The boys playing in the living room with sun rays.

The boys playing in the living room while being protected from the sun.

Harmful rays no more! (they so love their legos)

Harmful rays no more! (they so love their legos)

I have quite a bit of glass doors around the house as well as in the toilets because I like that it makes the space look bigger and spacious. I didn’t think it would be be an issue initially. When we first renovated the house, we did away with the usual full length tempered glass shower screen and replaced it with a half wall, half glass panel. Partly to minimise the cleaning (imagine all the water stains), and partly to make the toilet look more spacious. But there has been so many newspaper articles reporting that the glass could break and cause injuries or even death (read herehere and here). I decided that I wouldn’t take the chance with my kids even if my glass is a rather small one. I decided to install 3M Safety & Security Film for all the glass in the house, just to play it safe! Especially since the boys like to play around with their toys in the shower and knocking them all over.

If you have tempered glass installed in your place, you must know this. Tempered glass may be stronger than normal glass but it contains a by-product (nickel sulphide impurities) from the manufacturing process which could cause a spontaneous breakage in glass. The impurities are invisible and cannot be detected even by the glass manufacturers! Which means, it is literally a gamble and you don’t know when it is gonna break on you. Installing the safety film will guarantee a WIN even if it breaks. It will hold up the glass shards in one piece and keep it from flying or cutting you up, and even hold everything in place till you get a replacement.

Installers installing the safety film on the kitchen door.

Installers installing the safety film on the kitchen door.

My huge kitchen glass door, the one that my kids keep playing and banging into.

My huge kitchen glass door, the one that my kids keep playing and knocking into (decals are my own)

I like that it doesn’t change the outlook of the house at all. It’s there but I can’t see it at all. But, I now have the added security that the film will protect my kids from flying shards of glass. I feel more at ease and won’t be on tenterhooks each time the kids accidentally bang their toys into the glass.

Lastly, I also installed 3M Fasara Glass Decorative Film for my master bedroom toilet. My bathroom toilet is a piece of clear glass because I’m an exhibitionist! I’m joking. My master bedroom toilet is at a strange angle where my wardrobe is, so I have an outer door that close up the entire area to the real tiny walk-in wardrobe & toilet. The glass door is meant to keep water/mist/evaporation out from my wardrobe area since I have the wardrobe door for privacy purposes. I have wanted to install some decal on this door for 1 reason. I keep banging my head into it when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee. I normally don’t switch on the lights (can be glaring for those who are still sleeping in the room), and I can’t really see the clear glass in the dark. I usually leave it open at night before I go to bed, but the husband sometimes closes it when he uses the toilet and I would walk into it in my dreamy state.

This is how my master bathroom toilet door looks like, before and after!

Master bedroom toilet door (Before)

Master bedroom toilet door (Before)

The master bedroom toilet door (After)

The master bedroom toilet door (After)

We opted for Linen design, which I really love. It’s not totally opaque, but it does give a wee bit more privacy as compared to a clear glass. Best of all, I can see it in the night and not bump into it anymore! This is a great option if you can’t decide if you want to have frosted glass or not. There are more than 50 designs available and they range from plain frosted looking material to many others, and you can change them out accordingly to your needs. I am likely to be changing this into totally opaque, frosted film when the boys grow older and I need my privacy as a mum. Meanwhile, I’m sticking to decorative ones for as long as I can. If you get sick of the design, or change the theme of your house, this can be easily removed or changed out too.

The good news is, the 3M Fasara Decorative Film also gives the safety film feature. In the event of the glass shattering, this film will also hold it up so it’s really a 2 in 1 product. How great is that?

Our 3M Fasara Glass Decorative film in Linen.

Our 3M Fasara Glass Decorative film in Linen.

I love the design we have got because it looks a little 3D instead of looking flat. Am sure you will be able to find something you like!

So, where to buy the film? You can contact Jestac Pte Ltd, who is the authorised dealer of the 3M window films and many other products.

How much does it cost to install the 3M window films?
3M Sun Control Window Films range from $7psf to $16psf, depending on which type you choose.

There are much cheaper window films options out in the market, but I can’t emphasise how quality is very important. Especially if you have to deal with west sun. I have heard of stories of households installing the cheaper option, only to rip out everything and paying for a better quality version some months later. That’s money wasted and time wasted!

Now is the best part!

** 3M Solar Film GSS PROMOTION **

Jestac (3M Window Film authorized distributor) is now having a 25% OFF all 3M Sun Control Window Film. BUT, the first 20 sign ups through this blog gets an ADDITIONAL $50 cash voucher. The only condition is that it needs to be used with a minimum purchase of 100sqft of 3M Solar Film, 3M Safety Film or 3M Fasara Film, which is easily met. I have 125sqft installed at my place and I don’t even have full length windows.

Quick, fill up this FORM now and quote “Cherieladie”!

P.s. If you have yet to collect your house keys but will soon be, fill up the form too to lock in the offer! Installation can be done months later, but the offer isn’t going to stay! Promotion ends 26 July 2015.

Still deciding? Go check out another review of 3M Prestige Window Films by a fellow mum, Summer (ahappymum.com). She had hers done a year ago and most definitely can give you a valid second opinion. Whatever it is, just try not to miss out the great offer! It’s a lot of savings no matter what.

I’ll also be sharing about a 3M water filter that I have installed in the house in the upcoming weeks. Do remember to check back if you are keen on water filters that gives you clean filtered drinking water as well!

Edit: The 3M Water Filter post is up! Read it here! 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by 3M Singapore & Jestac Pte Ltd. All thoughts and opinions are of my own.