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  1. #1
    Junior Member UnderTheReaches's Avatar
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    Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Hello, had a few questions regarding ppf for headlights. I was looking to get xpel precut for my mk6 golf. Living in Florida I'm looking for solid scratch and uv protection. I'm open to considering alternatives to ppf. So long as it keeps my headlight housings from yellowing or scratching.

    When buying phone screen protectors its common to opt for tempered glass over "plastic/vinyl style" protectors because they have greater clarity and feel. Does all ppf have a orange peel effect of dampening reflection clarity? Additionally i'm a bit worried about the newton's rings effect on headlights. I've seen some examples of wrapped headlights demonstrating a similar rainbow pattern across the headlight to what you seen on phone screen protectors.

    PPF Orange Peel? - https://i.imgur.com/Etz4R91.png
    Screen Protector Newtons Rings - https://i.imgur.com/b9EQ3CC.jpg
    PPF Newton's Rings? - https://i.imgur.com/f5pKap9.png

    I could be wrong with these worries. Any info would be very appreciated. However if ppf does reduce clarity, should I look at a ceramic coating instead? I just want to ensure a coating would adequate uv and scratch protection.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.-b9eq3cc-jpg  

  2. #2
    Senior Member oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    I can chime in, I've had PPF on my headlights since I replaced them end of 2015 (had a close encounter of the Bambi kind...). At $1K each, I definitely wanted to protect them.

    I'm really happy with the PPF. This far in (about 100,000 miles), they've weathered really well. No yellowing or excessive road wear. I've never noticed any issues with odd lighting patterns.

    The part that I'm kicking myself for is that I don't know what brand film they used - I just brought them new-in-box to a window tint place and said "Here, please film these."

    I 100% get your concern about the orange peel look - I've had new cars come through here (auto repair) where I've thought - "Man! Paint quality on the new cars has gone to pot!", only to realize it had a full front end wrap that really didn't do the look any favors. I would ask whoever you're getting the film from their experience with orange peel level/satisfaction guarantee in case you apply it and it's just not what you want.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Ceramic coating will offer no scratch protection. Ideally you get PPF and then ceramic coating over that.

    I agree with PPF adding orange peel. It's not as bad as just a vinyl wrap but it's there. Might not be super noticeable on a headlight but it's normally visible on the paint. It's up to the owner to accept while getting good protection.
    Bruno Soares


  4. #4
    Junior Member UnderTheReaches's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by BSoares View Post
    Ceramic coating will offer no scratch protection. Ideally you get PPF and then ceramic coating over that.

    I agree with PPF adding orange peel. It's not as bad as just a vinyl wrap but it's there. Might not be super noticeable on a headlight but it's normally visible on the paint. It's up to the owner to accept while getting good protection.
    So do ceramic coats just add gloss and hydrophobic behavior? I thought they served as at-least a small barrier for scratches.

    Does putting a ceramic coating over ppf do anything for gloss? Or is it just for hydrophobic behavior?

    I read that xpel is known for having more orange peel than other competing brands with STEK being known to have the least orange peel. I looked at a video of a car covered with stek and honestly it still had a good bit of orange peel.

    I'm getting closer to feeling like the enthusiast option is to just polish the headlights and apply a really high quality clear coat that you can use as a sacrificial scratch layer for routine polishing. Definitely a lot more work. I would prefer something less intensive considering they are just headlights.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Yeah, ceramic coating does basically nothing for scratches, it’s just too thin. It helps keep it clean and much easier to wash, that’s the benefit of the coating. You may get a tiny bit of protection against marring but if whatever you’re doing would marr the paint, it will likely marr with the coating on it as well.

    Marketing done by many companies lead people to think ceramic coatings are super hard and protect your car. They even say 9H or harder. It’s all BS.
    Bruno Soares


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  7. #6
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    STEK does appear to have less orange peel than Xpel or Suntek but like you, I also see it there.

    Applying clear coat to the headlights will also introduce orange peel unless you lay enough coats to wet sand and buff it after it cures. That probably won’t help against rock chips like PPF would.
    Bruno Soares


  8. #7
    Junior Member UnderTheReaches's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by BSoares View Post
    Yeah, ceramic coating does basically nothing for scratches, it’s just too thin. It helps keep it clean and much easier to wash, that’s the benefit of the coating. You may get a tiny bit of protection against marring but if whatever you’re doing would marr the paint, it will likely marr with the coating on it as well.

    Marketing done by many companies lead people to think ceramic coatings are super hard and protect your car. They even say 9H or harder. It’s all BS.
    Ceramic Coatings do also add gloss though correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by BSoares View Post
    Applying clear coat to the headlights will also introduce orange peel unless you lay enough coats to wet sand and buff it after it cures. That probably won’t help against rock chips like PPF would.
    True. Damn do I wish a better ppf existed. One completely without orange peel. Hell something crazy like tempered glass headlight covers could work if they existed.

  9. #8
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    It adds some gloss but most of the gloss comes the paint correction done before the coating. The coating darkens the paint and makes it more glassy, different than a wax that gives it depth and looks wet.
    Bruno Soares


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  11. #9
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderTheReaches View Post
    Ceramic Coatings do also add gloss though correct?



    True. Damn do I wish a better ppf existed. One completely without orange peel. Hell something crazy like tempered glass headlight covers could work if they existed.
    I will chime in on this as I run PPF on both of my car headlights. I really think your source on PPF is misleading you on the orange peel. Over clear headlights you will not even notice if it exist. Otherwise you are being way too picky (IMHO) and have learned to ignore all the rock chips and micro scratches you have all over your front end and the plastic headlights. My old Camry never had any protection but when it came to the wreck and replace those lights it was very apparent how much grit is thrown up on them during daily driving. I purchased both of my PPF from Weather Tech for about $55 per set.

    After seeing the cost of cheap and OEM lights on that old Camry, I was not going to pay through the nose for the Lexus lights. PPF is to protect and that is it. Mine will look a bit funny due to my bad installation but I am getting better

    PROTECT that front end, period. I get so much trash on the roads (Interstate) that PPF is on both vehicles front sections and even the hood of the Lexus. That did not stop the tire debris from trashing the PPF one day but I do have to repaint it either!.

    Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.-h9cc4rqgticnnr9xfanc9a-jpg

    Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.-xe0x1d7-reyq8mbq9qjgcw-jpg

    Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.-q0pkddajsqk5gjlpxhcrjq-jpg

  12. #10
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: Few questions regarding ppf for headlights.

    •Since I use XPel’s pre-cut headlamp PPF...

    -I can attest that, in and of itself, it’s so
    smooth and clear that the only way you’ll
    see any orange peel is if it happens to already
    be present in these components (thinking of
    their thin film-layer of UV-resistant coating).


    IMO:
    Go with the XPel headlamp Kit:
    Best in the business!


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

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