My job then was to grow the small 3M market share in the USA and our major competitor with the largest market share was and is Vista Window Film and LLumar.
In early 2007 I left 3M and launched Advanced Film Solutions and later Window Film USA.
In the case of both companies our product portfolio was specifically designed to win against 3M window film, their dealers and home depot agents.
Eastman’s Performance Films division manufactures Vista Window Film’s line of solar and security window films. Global manufacturer 3M – a company that also offers products ranging from adhesives to office products to medical gear – manufactures its own line of tinting films.
Both companies’ products serve similar purposes, and can improve the eco-friendliness of home and office environments. Their key product offerings differ.
Vista Commercial and Residential Tinting Film
Vista Window Films offers seven different types of window tinting film. Its low e film allows single-pane windows to mimic the energy retention properties of dual-pane windows, while Low-E films increase energy conservation in cold climates.
Vista’s Neutrals come in various tint levels. The Spectrally Selective line features invisible film that filters desirable daylight from undesirable heat and UV rays. Dual-Reflectives reduce glare and reject UV rays. Ceramic tints offer low reflectivity, and Safety and Security options offer clear and tinted film that helps hold shattered glass together.
It is true that both window film manufacturers compete in similar markets here in the USA and globally, but the definition of a manufacturer is blurred when discussing 3M.
3M markets many window films that are actually made by several outside 3M suppliers.
This is not limited to an obscure product that might complement their lines but rather a major portion of their product mix.
While 3M does warranty these films made outside their plants, a re-boxed film sold under their 3M brand this does not add any efficacy to these films.
Vista dealers also market and install the popular LLumar Brand
The Vista Brand is a step above the LLumar Films in specific areas but meet or beat 3M’s limited portfolio in every category.
This is also applicable to combination safety and solar films where Vista has two 8 ML light transmissions and LLumar offers several clear versions and 4 additional light transmissions in an 8 ML configuration using DuPont Mylar.
The Eastman product portfolio additionally offers the outstanding Huper Optik Series as well as the V-Kool Brands.
These Huper Optik films out perform the 3M multi-layered optical film sold under the Prestige trade name.
As you might expect Advanced Film Solutions positions these IR-non reflective films to win against prestige in any competitive battle.
3M divides its commercial and residential window films into three product lines, a smaller selection than that of Vista. The company’s Sun Control films reduce cooling costs by up to 30 percent, and offer fade and glare reduction. Its tinted Safety and Security films add protection against severe weather and help prevent criminal entry through windowpanes. These come in clear safety film or tinted film with a sun-control option. 3M’s Fasara films offer decorative tints that mimic the style of etched glass.
It is true that 3M has a much smaller product and solutions portfolio than Vista and in particular the combined Vista-LLumar portfolio.
A simply query on the NFRC website will astonish most consumers.
Quite frankly it’s not even close.
3M has 27 quantified films while Eastman (Vista-LLumar-Southwall ) has 58 documented films. Vista also markets several versions of a counter intel film used for high security applications for anti-eavesdropping purposes.
While Vista does not offer automotive window tinting film, 3M – the creator of window tint – offers seven varieties. The Crystalline series features a light tint that allows in 40 to 90 percent of available sunlight. Ceramic tints are also light, but offer additional heat rejection. Color Stable tints feature advanced chemical stability, preventing discoloration as they age. 3M’s FX Premium, FX HP and FX ST lines offer dark stylized tints made with a combination of metal and dyed film . The company’s darkest auto tinting film, Black Chrome, offers UV protection equal to that of a SPF 1000 sunscreen.
They additionally market their Huper Optik automotive Films as well as the V-Kool I-Que Brands.
The 3M FX series mentioned in this article are actually repackaged mid range car tints made by another manufacturer in limited light transmissions.
The Crystalline Film mentioned in this article are outmatched by the FormulaOne Pinnacle Films, LLumar’s CTX Films and Huper Optik Ceramic and Spectrally Selective Films.
The Eastman portfolio is available in many more visible light transmissions including a 5%, 15%, 20% and 30% and of course in 35, 40, 50, 70 and 80% VLT.
Eastman also markets UV-Shield clear Films designed for maximum UV rejection and Air Blue 80 a virtually clear film for heat and UV rejection.
Vista Window Film offers professional residential and commercial through a nationwide network of trained and certified Vista window film dealers. 3M does not offer comparable services. Customers can request installation estimates from Vista-affiliated installers at Vista Window Film’s official website.
Admittedly the E-Home article offers a very limited perspective in their comparison and they glossed over the huge advantage Vista EnerLogic Films offer over 3M’s outdated and limited Low E Films.
The EnerLogic Films have nearly three times the winter insulating benefits compared to 3M LE35.
EnerLogic Films have a lifetime warranty compared to 3M’s five year warranty.
EnerLogic is also available in a clear 70% version that is perfect for homeowners who don’t want to alter the aesthetic appearance of their windows!
This winter heat energy savings category is a clear example of the Eastman Performance Films superiority over the limited 3M portfolio.
I’d also highlight the advantage with their optical clarity of the Eastman Films compared to the 3M manufactured films.
The Clear Distortion Free adhesives employed in Vista and LLumar Films has an appreciable clarity advantage (less haze) than the 3M PSA adhesives.
Consumers are encouraged to their homework and research the on glass performance and documented NFRC characteristics of these films before making a buying decision.
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