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  1. #1
    Senior Member MrOneEyedBoh's Avatar
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    How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    Something came across my mind last night while I was looking for something to protect my new headlights on my truck. They're pretty expensive so I ran down the options... I dont think wax does much on them, sure it may help but also the solvents may or may not react with the plastic. Then I went to PPF but I was worried the film might keep too much heat in or possibly remove the coating when and if I remove the PPF. Then I was looking at ceramic coatings. They hopefully do in fact block UV rays, and they put a thin film on the light that in hopes would protect them form possibly getting "sand blasted" or lack of a better word when driving down the road. Also, it could help with ice/snow build up on them as well...

    What had be thinking more into it was I wonder if the ceramic coatings could harm the lenses over time. Maybe cause the factory clear to fail or flake? Make over using the ceramic could cause a flaking issue? I dont want to polish the old ceramic coating off so I would just continue to layer it as time went by...

    I ended up with the tried and true Dlux as that seems to be the longest running one, with the largest following. Plus from what Ive seen , I have not saw any issues, at least until now...

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    If you want to protect them from pitting/road rash then PPF is your best route.

    A coating is not impact resistant. It will help with UV and last longer than a wax or sealant. I havenít noticed any Iíll effects from just applying a coating to lights more than once in their lifetime.

    I will give you my thoughts on PPF. First of all it is not that hard to install on your own. I bought the pre cut film from x-pel. So take a look on their site and see if they offer a kit.

    I have used it on my personal cars lights on two different occasions during my custom light changes. In both cases I have not noticed any issues. The film and lights have stayed clear with no yellowing. Not to mention no pitting from rock chips.

    I also PPFed my dads lights on his 2015 Impala. Again no issues on his lights or the film over the last 3 years since he purchased it in 2016. The last time I checked a brand new headlight was somewhere in the $150-$200 range from GM. So the $60 x-pel kit has already paid for itself.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    Something came across my mind last night
    while I was looking for something to protect
    my new headlights on my truck. They're pretty
    expensive so I ran down the options...

    wax

    PPF

    ceramic coatings.

    What had be thinking more into it was
    I wonder if the ceramic coatings could
    harm the lenses over time.

    Thoughts?
    Thinking about the harm that an LSP
    might do to polycarbonate lenses is the
    least of my concerns.

    To the contrary:
    •Wearing the proper personal protective
    equipment (PPE)—my concern about my
    health, safety, and welfare—takes precedent.

    -I believe this is especially true whenever
    applying LSPs that tout being/having “nano”:
    LSPs such as Coatings that lay claims to such.

    {Note:
    Studies on how “nano” could/couldn’t negatively
    effect the health and well-being of humans over
    the long-term are not yet concluded.}


    •Bottom line:
    -For the greatest amount of protection for
    your vehicle’s lenses, I’ll suggest you do
    as I have: I’ve PPF’d my vehicles’ lenses.
    -A relatively inexpensive proposition.


    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

  5. #4
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    3m Scotchguard Pro can be had for less than $5/sq. ft. That's only $20 for most vehicles. It looks like the future to me.

  6. #5
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    I have used Optimum Lens Coat and hear nothing from my co-workers so nothing having to be redone! Now trying McKee's coating but only have tried it once and need to do it again (owner took it out into the rain storm before fully cured).
    Ceramic coatings will not impact the lens and they even make some specific to PPF.

    I do run PPF film on both cars, installed it myself. First kit from Weathertech for Lexus and then again for F150. They do protect the lens from the flying rock chips and easy to clean off bugs too! My PPF installation skills need lots of work but the PPF film still protects.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    I apply a coating to my headlights and taillights when coating the rest of the car. I have no expectations of impact protection, but am hoping them protect the lenses from the effects of weather. So far, I've not seen any issues and it does help keep them keep clean in bad weather.
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

  8. #7
    Senior Member MrOneEyedBoh's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    I didn't expect the coating to protect like that, but I was thinking to provide a layer of protection from small small abrasive dust. If it supposedly provides protection on paint from scratches, wouldn't it work on headlights?

    I want to PPF the lights but I'm afraid of it possibly messing with the stock coating on the lights. That is if and when I have to remove it... Just paranoid..

  9. #8
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    I have never used PPF (I have some I recently purchased. I will be trying it soon.). But in all the research I've done, I haven't read of any damage from 3M products to clearcoat (PPF or vinyl wrap). If I had to guess, I would think clearcoat is more susceptible to damage than the coating they put on headlights. But, I have nothing to back that up with.

    I'm actually more worried about how safe Rapid Tac is to headlight coatings - but, not much.

  10. #9
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOneEyedBoh View Post
    I didn't expect the coating to protect like that, but I was thinking to provide a layer of protection from small small abrasive dust. If it supposedly provides protection on paint from scratches, wouldn't it work on headlights?

    I want to PPF the lights but I'm afraid of it possibly messing with the stock coating on the lights. That is if and when I have to remove it... Just paranoid..
    Well coatings donít prevent scratches but it will protect your lights from UV for a short time before it needs to be reapplied.

    By an extra set of PPF and when itís time to change it then slap in the new set.

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  12. #10
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: How safe long term are ceramic coatings on headlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post
    Well coatings don’t prevent scratches but it will protect your lights from UV for a short time before it needs to be reapplied.
    My thoughts too. I know some coatings say they protect from small scratches, but I wouldn't count on it. The advantage to coating a headlight is the UV protection, ease of cleaning, and similar self cleaning ability like what you find on the paint over a much longer period of time compared to a sealant.

    Probably the most ideal solution would be PPF topped with a coating.
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

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