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Trying to block out light with vinyl

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by ddubia, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. ddubia

    ddubia Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    Our local Middle School has sixteen, 41-7/8" W x 25-1/2" H windows high along the East side of their gym. Throughout the morning hours the sun comes in those windows nearly blinding anyone in the gym who is facing East.

    They want us to block out the light coming in and while we're at it put a single letter on some of them so that it spells out some school pride slogan across the windows.

    I first thought to use something we use a lot of which is 3M IJ35C-10 which is a 3mil comply film with gray adhesive. I figured the gray adhesive, which blocks out whatever it is placed over, would also block out the light coming in those windows. I could print the letters they want on them, apply to the windows and done.

    However, I'm now second guessing the gray adhesive's ability to block out all the light. I'm concerned that the adhesive may show blotchy with such a strong light coming in.

    I'd also thought about using a standard digital vinyl like Grimco's BL203 thinking that it would not block the light but at least diffuse it so that the windows would "light up" in the strong sun. That would eliminate the glare and look good as well. But again, I'm concerned about the adhesive showing up blotchy.

    Are my concerns valid? I've never really had an issue of light showing blotchy through calendered vinyl before but thought it may be different with digital vinyl. Why I don't know.

    I'd thought about just using Oracal 651 from a 30" roll. I'd apply that then apply vinyl letters. But I'm concerned the letters would look dark and crappy stacked on the vinyl like that.

    It's tough to test this out without a similar window to try it on and odd as it seems, we don't have one.

    Right now today I've got more concerns than know-how.

    Has anyone done a similar job or have a different idea how to do this?
  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    is window tinting + graphics applied over the top an option?
    white/grey/black adhesive all shows up black through a limosuine window tint. no blotchiness to worry about
  3. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

    Feb 27, 2007
    Grimco has a new vinyl with black adhesive, I'm sure that would work.
  4. sfr table hockey

    sfr table hockey Very Active Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Would they ever let you design a stained glass look and print on a backlit trans vinyl and have the letter designed in the windows you want. It may look quite good with the light behind it and still let some light into the building but not glare. Also if the building is used at night it would still show well from the inside.

    A couple threads talked a bit about this on vinyl, a month back or so.
  5. GVP

    GVP Active Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Swift Current, SK
    Beware of thermal shock when covering windows.
  6. btropical.com

    btropical.com Active Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    thermal shock crack or seal failure maybe , how about coroplast inserts with some MMM double sided tape
  7. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

    Feb 14, 2007
    would glass etch material work good enough. you can get the solvent printable, bubble free glass etch. print a background color for your tint (if the etch it self doesn't filter enough sun) and then also print your slogan.
    then mount bubble free
  8. sfr table hockey

    sfr table hockey Very Active Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Good point.... Do you know if it makes any difference if the vinyl is on the outside with trapping heat or any better on the inside of the window?

    I had read about a lot of dark images on a full print on a window has more risk of breaking the window.
  9. 300mphGraphics

    300mphGraphics Active Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    We've used Arlon 4560 on windows. Even with the nearly black adhesive, it still let some light through. Works very well, not blotchy at all, but you can see the image in reverse on the inside. I'm sure the 3m would be similar. It won't block out all the light, but kills the glare very well and lets them have their slogan. I'd take a scrap of your 3m and do a test on their windows with their staff available to see what it would look like.
  10. andy

    andy Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004

    Apply solar control film to the inside of the glass... stick standard cut vinyl lettering on the outside. If they don't want to change the letters cut em in reverse stick em on the inside and then float the tint film over.

    We recently did all the windows and skylights in our factory using a standard Hexis solar control film for buildings... it's an absolute piece of pudding to apply and comes on a nice wide roll... easily big enough to cover your windows.

    We went for a natty Grey mirror finish which blocks out 70% of the heat and just 30% of the light.
  11. ddubia

    ddubia Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    Thanks guys.

    A ton of great ideas and a new caution I hadn't thought about. Thermal shock.

    This is supposed to be put on from the inside with the School Pride slogan to be read from inside the gym.

    I'm going to look into these suggestions. Thanks a million.
  12. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    MacTac Digitrans is a low tac vinyl with a black adhesive. It might work well.

    Flexcon Busmark vinyl is opaque with a clear adhesive and is probably a better choice since it will not absorb as much heat.
  13. bayshorecreations

    bayshorecreations Very Active Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    I have your standard oracal calendared black on the outside of my shop windows for about 2 years now. Gets direct sunlight for about 6+ hours a day, still looks same as it did the day I slapped it on.
  14. ddubia

    ddubia Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    I found out late yesterday evening that the windows are all 1" thermopane with low E glass. From a Google search I found: "Specially designed coatings, are applied to one or more surfaces of insulated glass. These coatings reflect radiant infrared energy, thus tending to keep radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated, while letting visible light pass. This results in more efficient windows because radiant heat originating from indoors in winter is reflected back inside, while infrared heat radiation from the sun during summer is reflected away, keeping it cooler inside."

    Knowing that, the boss wants to continue with our original plan.

    This board never ceases to amaze me. I ask a question and within an hour there are so many good ideas and considerations most of which I'd never thought of before.

    Thanks to everyone who offered comments and suggestions. There are a couple suggestions given here that I'd rather go with but the boss wants to use what we already have in stock.
  15. painterjrm

    painterjrm New Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    edinboro, pa
    how about window perf? Go with the 65/35 or 70/30.
  16. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    How about window shades ??

    Vinyl is so permanent. What if they want some light in after the morning sun passes ??
  17. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    All Over
    Use window perf
  18. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

    May 27, 2005
    To the folks advocating window perf, how long do you tell the client it will last? My experiences with the durability of this material has not been very good.
  19. Spud Murphy

    Spud Murphy Member

    Jun 12, 2011
    I really think the corplast (or even .040 aluminum panels) is the best idea. Vinyl on glass is a mess in the long run.

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