The blacked out headlights have been gaining popularity recently. They not only give your vehicle an attractive look but also provide a functional purpose. Blackout headlights are nothing special but just black headlights. It is a simple customization made to the entire lens tinting it black.
Headlights must be on while driving at night and sometimes during the day. Car headlights aren’t just accessories; they help illuminate the road ahead.
The whole housing of the light are also made black so that everything matches one another. Blacked-out headlights are a cheap and easy upgrade to your car that still counts as a “mod.”
I’m sure you think that only expensive cars have blacked-out headlights. But that is simply not true – you can have them, too, regardless of your vehicle’s year and model.
Generally, young car owners often paint over their headlights to improve and upgrade the look of their cars.
A bold contrasting color that matches the color of their vehicles is the best bet. Cars with blacked-out headlights are sure to stand out among the rest. Blacking out the lights on your car can give you a great look while also providing some safety benefits, like protecting the headlight cover from different scratches and damage.
There is a way to properly tint headlights without affecting light output. For example, you could open the headlights and paint the housing instead of tinting the lens. You should involve your insurance company before making any changes to your car to check if you are covered.
Are Blacked Out Headlights Legal?
When driving in a foreign country, ensure that you read the headlight laws. For example, blacked-out headlights are not legal, and tinting headlights and taillights (whether with spray or film) are actually illegal in the US.
The Difference Between Headlight Tint And Color
Tint: This is the colored film applied to your headlight lens
Color: This is the color of the light emitted by your headlights
Tinting your headlights won’t necessarily alter the color of the emitted light. This will depend on the darkness of your tint and how much it affects the VLT rating (visible light transmission). Many states require you to turn on your headlights during the day if visibility drops below 500 ft or 1,000 ft. This is obviously meant to help you see better and avoid a collision.
Even though colored headlights are completely illegal in the US, you can get away with lightly tinted headlights in some states.
Do Black Headlights Reduce Visibility?
The bottom line is yes; all headlight tints are going to lower the light output. And the darker the material you apply, the lower the output. There is no way around that. How much of a reduction will depend on the level and type of tint used and other factors.
These include weather conditions like sky clarity (weakly reflective), heavy rainfall with droplets that become larger than ordinary raindrops due to their size hitting your windshield at high speeds, causing them to bounce back up again towards you, creating dazzle.
Also, light interference from passing traffic may affect visibility and dark glasses may be needed during certain times so keep those shades handy!
Just like dark sunglasses stop sunlight rays and make it less bright for your eyes, smoked tint/blacked-out headlights stop some part of light emitted by the light bulb.
Anything that completely blocks out your lights is a major safety hazard, not to mention illegal. No matter how cool your blacked-out headlights look, they won’t look good if you crash your car.
How Much Does It Cost To Blackout Lights?
Generally, it will cost between $95 – $175 per headlight lens, depending on the car and the shape of the lenses. Sometimes the coverage takes longer than estimated, and the cost will increase.
You can also receive a perfect fit tail light tint job for between $65 and $150 per lens. Once again, this is based on the vehicle and the shape and size of the tail lights.
How to Blackout Headlights?
You’ll need a blackout kit to blackout your headlights.
- Spanner or Wrench
- Masking Tape
- Heat Gun
- Spray Gun
First, open up the headlight to work on it. If you don’t know how open it, here’s a step-by-step guideline:
- Take Out The Bumper
Use a wrench to loosen or unbolt the bolts that hold the bumper in place, and then pull it off and take it apart.
- Remove The Headlights
You will need a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the headlight to the car.
A connector connects the bumper wires to the vehicle’s electrical system so you can remove them quickly. Once you unplug this connector, take out the light.
- Take Off The Housing of Headlights
This is the most challenging part- removing its housing, a transparent case enclosing the light lenses.
Use a heat gun to melt glue that attaches the housing to the headlight and loosens its grip. Give it some time, the bond will weaken, and the housing will come off easily.
- Remove The Lenses and Bulbs
Remove the light lenses from the headlights to prevent color stains and marks which can dim the headlight bulbs.
- Cleaning and Sanding
After disassembling the headlight, look out for any dirt or corrosion on the parts. Then, with the help of sandpapers, remove the decay or dirt. This is important because the paint layer will not last long on the corroded object.
Also, sandpapers scrape away the previously painted layer from the object and make the surface a little rough. This now helps the new paint to stick properly.
- Roll Out The Masking Tape and Create Pattern
A masking tape does not have a lot of adhesives, and you can remove it conveniently after application. Apply the masking tape to the areas not meant to be coated with paint.
Do not remove the painter’s tape until the paint has dried completely. It can take up to 12 hours.
- Apply The Spray Paint
Fill the spray gun tank with paint and spread it uniformly on the headlight. Before painting, put on a safety dress like gloves, face masks, etc., to prevent inhalation of dangerous chemicals.
- Allow The Paint To Dry
Applying just two layers of paint is recommended because coating more paint layers can blur the light, preventing it from penetrating these dense layers.
Let the first layer of paint dry completely before coating the second one. Then, you can dry the painted objects by placing them in the sunlight. A heat gun or hair dryer can also be used to achieve this task.
Once the paint is totally dry, remove the masking tape carefully. Then, grab your screwdriver or socket wrench and put everything back together.
Attach all the components properly and test the headlights to ensure they work correctly.
Related: Can I Wash My Car With Just Water?
Blacked-out headlights will give your vehicle that lethal and mysterious look. But it can get you on the wrong side of the law. You can still achieve that cool look by tinting your lights minimally. After all, your safety should always come first.