Headlight Covers were first developed as a form of light discipline during WWII for the concealment from the observation of the enemy in the air and on the ground of revealing luminous signs of troops, military facilities, industrial regions, and populated areas and the simulation of such signs at dummy facilities. The first Headlight Covers wer often made from metal and bolted onto the body of the vehicle in order to limit the flow of light from the headlamps. Most designs were basic and resembled downard facing grates and were used in Europe by Axis forces and in coastal cities in teh US during brownouts.
The first Headlight Covers were primitive and inefficient by today's standards. It wasn't until the development of plastics in the years following World War II that true tinted Headlight Covers could be manufactured. Auto Vent Shade (now owned by Lund International) was one of the pioneers in bringing tinted headlight kits to the market and popularizing them for non-military use. AVS was the first company to see the aesthetic benefits of tinted headlights and were soon followed by a number of imitators.
In addition to the use of clip-on covers, enthusiasts also began to experiemnet with spray-on tint as a cheaper alternative. Unfortunately, smoking or blacking out one's headlights with paint is both a difficult and permanent process. Most DIY aficionados would not feel comfortable painting a pair of very expensive OEM headlights simply due to the possibility of ruining them.
A more recent development in headlight tinting is the advent of Headlight Covers as pre-cut film kits made by companies such as Xpel, Lamin-X and Rvinyl.com. Althouh the designs of each differ based on the experience and preferenes of the installer/designers used, all pre-cut Headlight Covers made by the aforemnetioned companies are cut from tinted vinyl film which is meant to be applied using the techniques pioeneered by PPF installers and designers. The thicknesses of the films used as well as the colors and shades vary widely (e.g., from 3mil to 15mil in thickness) and are dependent upon the manufacturer.
Another modern technique used to create Headlight Covers and tints is the process of plasti-dipping. Plasti-dip is a flexible, rubberized and protective foam coating which was first created in 1972. Originally inteneded as a surface protectant and to add a grippable surface to items in the house it soon began to used as a way to give vehicles the popular matte or satin look. The Plasti-Dip Smoke spray is most commonly used to tint headlights and may be semi-permanent according to user reports about eventual peeling of the product.
What are Headlight Covers?
Headlight Covers are intended to either reduce the light output of a vehcile's headlamps or simply change their appearance in the case of headlight tint. Covers were originally devised for wartime use in coastal cities in the US and were made from steel, tin and alumiunm with downward facing grates to limit light during blackouts and browouts. In addition, to these types of covers thermoplastic, urethane films generally applied to the painted surfaces of a new or used car in order to protect the paint from stone chips, bug hits, minor abrasions and UV damage. It does not affect appearance or aerodynamics, being virtually invisible from just a few feet away and with minimal maintenance the film will last many years, keeping your paint protected while looking great. The film is also used on airplanes, RVs, cell phones, electronics, screens, motorcycles and in a growing number of applications.
Can Headlight Covers be removed?
The answer varies depending upon the type of headlight cover used. AVS or GTS-style headlight covers are made from plastic or polycarbonates and either snap on or use velcro attachments. These can be removed without causing damage.
Vinyl headlight tint covers made from self-adhesive tints can be removed with care using heat and soapy water. Unlike any other Headlight Covers on the market at present, Rtint Midnight Static Cling Headlight Covers can be removed and reapplied as many times as desired.
Do Headlight Covers reduce the amount of light transmitted?
Headlight Covers are spcifically designed to limit or reduce the amoutn of light transmitted by a headlight but the VLT percentages vary between manufacturers and styles of headlight covers (film vs. clip-ons vs. spray tint).
What is the difference between an uncut Headlight Covers Film and a pre-cut kit?
Uncut film is available in a variety of widths and lengths and, depending on the manufacturer, can range from 4 mil in thickness to up to 15 mil. Professional or DIY installers can use uncut film to wrap and protect headlights for which pre-cut kits are not available.
Can the Headlight Covers film be installed on plastic or composite headlamps?
Yes. Headlight COvers made from vinyl film can be applied to plastic or polycarbonates. In fact, headlight lenses are the most common plastic component for which tinted headlight covers are used.
Can Headlight Covers kits or film be removed and reapplied?
At the time of writing, Rtint Midnight Static Cling Headlight Covers can be removed and reapplied as many times as desired.