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Tinting headlights is something that every car guy thinks about at some point or another! Whether that be to make them look cool by making them darker or to make them more body-colored to match your custom paint. Regardless of the reason, you probably are wondering if it is possible, how do you do it, and of course, if you should!
So can you, and should you tint your headlights? Tinting headlights is just as easy as getting your vehicle wrapped because it is the same process. Instead of wrapping vinyl around body panels, they wrap your headlights in varying degrees of translucent plastic to give it the effect you want. However, I do not in any way recommend tinting your headlights for safety reasons.
Should you tint headlights?
Tinting your headlights is something that can easily be done for a relatively low price. However before we dig too far into that, I want to talk about why even though you can, you should not tint your headlights, just to look cool.
1. Visibility at night
No matter how bright your headlights are, how effective they are, and expensive they are, if you are tinting your headlights, they will no longer be as effective. The risk vs rewards is just not there when you are driving at night, and not able to see nearly as well in comparison to if you didn’t have the tint.
Having cool-looking headlights is not worth driving off the road in a snowstorm, missing that corner and running off the road, hitting a deer (or worse a pedestrian), and more.
2. Visibility to other drivers on the road
Other drivers on the road rely on your headlights, foglights, and daytime running lights to not only know that you are on the road but also where on the road you are. Taking any form of that visibility away from them is not a responsible thing to do when you are putting other people’s lives at risk of danger.
When is it okay to tint your headlights?
I believe that the only time it is okay to tint your headlights (and why I will discuss how to tint your headlights) is for off-road use! This would be for things like cars that only go to track days, or are show cars that are not used on the road, etc.
Sometimes cars are not used as a normal a-to-b type of vehicle, and those are the occasions where I think it is okay to make this modification. Especially since tinting headlights will not be harmful for track use, as long as you do it to a certain extent.
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How do you tint headlights?
Now that we know when it is and is not okay to tint headlights, let’s get into how you can tint your headlights. Because this falls under the “modification” category, it is best to go to a professional to have this done.
There are many different levels of tinting that can be done, but at a minimum, you want to tint your headlights just enough so that the light output is reduced, but not so much that it makes your visibility at night worse.
That said, if you have ever wrapped a car or body panel, you will be right at home with tinting your headlights! All you will be doing is removing the headlight assembly, wetting the area, stretching the translucent film over the headlight assembly, and then using a squeegee to remove bubbles and wrinkles until it is completely installed.
Once complete, you cut away any extra film, reinstall the headlights to the vehicle and you are done! If you are confident in your abilities, this is a cool kit (remember, off-road use only).
Is tinting your headlights legal?
Unfortunately in the scope of this article, we are unable to discuss fully if it is legal to tint your headlights! Every state has varying degrees of laws surrounding how bright headlights should be and is what determines the legality of tinting your headlights.
Make sure to check your local laws to see!
When you tint your headlights, your visibility is vital, and your coloring scheme should not hamper driving on the road under varying conditions. Can you tint your headlights? As we stated above, yes if your state allows it. The question is should you for safety’s sake?
The answer is no. tinting your headlights will provide you with a cool look for your car, but it’s not worth the safety risks to tint them. You can tint headlights for off-road vehicles. Headlights should be tinted enough so that the light output is reduced, but not so much that it makes your visibility at night worse.