February 2021

Made in the Shade: Think you have a cool car? Let Top Tint show you how much cooler it can be.

Author: Barry Kaufman


The best thing about living in the coastal South is the sunshine, but also the worst thing about living in the coastal South is the sunshine. The brutal, unrelenting sunshine, blinding us on our daily commutes. Turning our pristine upholstery into a cracked, faded embarrassment, creating unseemly sweat stains in all the places the air conditioning doesn’t reach. It’s bad enough we’re subject to its merciless rays while we’re outside; shouldn’t we be safe in our own cars?

Thanks to Top Tint of Bluffton, we can. Kevin Kicklighter and Andy O’Reilly have made it their mission to make your car cooler in every sense of the word. (It will look cooler, of course. Every car looks cooler with tinted windows). “But it’s more than just the aesthetics of it,” Kicklighter said. “The films we use offer up to 99 percent UV protection and 90 percent heat reduction.”

O’Reilly is the company’s lead installer, although Kicklighter refers to him as “the doctor.” He’s been working in window tinting over the last eight years, and he’s seen it all. “I’ve done dump trucks, RVs, a 48-foot yacht … everything that has glass, I’ll tint it,” he said. “We’ve had everything in here from a $250,000 Aston Martin to a 1996 Honda Civic hatchback.”

The good doctor’s years of experience led him to demand only the best products for Top Tint’s services, including XPEL window tint. “I’ve always known them for their quality of product, and their customer service is great,” he said. “I’ve used a few other big names, but I’ve seen those fail. When we started opening the business, I said, ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to use the good stuff.’”

Their window tints are available in three different varieties, giving customers options when it comes to their price point and their protection. Even the base CS series offers 99 percent UV ray protection, with the HP series offering higher heat protection and the top-of-the-line XR series using nano-ceramic particles for incredible protection from the sun.

“The XR line has so much protection, it’s even helping to battle skin cancer,” O’Reilly said. He mentions the “trucker arm” that a lot of heavy drivers will experience—a distinctly redder shade on the left arm where it’s closer to the window. “That right there, in the long run, getting exposed to that can cause cancer.”

And even if you’re not in your vehicle enough to worry about that, your car is subject to constant bombardment. UV rays are a nightmare for your car’s interior, slowly fading its color and eroding your resale value every second your car is parked outside. That is, if it’s not protected.

To stick it to the sun and protect your investment, your commute and possibly your health, visit toptintbluffton.com.

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