Auto Tint and Accessories Blog
Rvinyl Custom Headlight Tints
Anyone who is familiar with us knows that we are one of the few companies in the aftermarket accessory world that routinely designs custom kits for our customers. We are perhaps best known for our custom dash kits but we also do a large number of custom headlight and tail light tint kits.
For some time we have had the idea that we should showcase our recent designs but weren’t sure how to do so without giving away trade secrets but we think we’v finally found a way: once a month we will showcase a few designs from our designer’s perspective to give you a better idea of some of the things to watch out for during installation.
Custom Headlight Tint for the 1998 -2000 Lincoln Navigator
Although some of us would rather not believe it, 1998 was awhile ago…some may even say it’s in the ancient past. As a result it’s not often that we accept custom jobs for models years older than a decade ago. Still, there are some vehicles that we do think are worth the time, expense and energy to make a custom design for and the Navigator was one of them precisely because it was so iconic in its day.
As you can sort of see from the headlamp shown above, the contours of the navigator’s headlight are certainly not easy to make a film kit for. Each end of the light has a “bubble” which protrudes and makes using a flat, unslit sheet of film impossible. If you take a look at the diagram of the actual kit that I included above (yeah it’s somewhat stylized but it does the trick) you will see I pre-slit the kit to allow for a smooth fit. But, you may ask, how does this work when the kit is applied? Won’t there be areas of the headlamp showing?
Actually, the reverse is the case. The pre-cut kit is design to heat stretch and the areas that are pre-slit will slide over one another. You can then either leave them be or, for a truly smooth look, you can score and trim away the excess. The next time I ddo such a design I will go ahead and photograph the kit when it has been completed to show how it is done.
The Next Generation of Primary Lighting
If you’re late to the game you may not have realized that head and taillight tinting and modification are where it’s at right now. Just a quick look at the designs on display at this year’s NY Auto Show should be enough to convince you that auto makers and everyone else with an interest in restyling and tuning that traditional headlamps and tail lamps are a thing of the past. It appears that primary lighting has taken a turn towards more complicated designs which allow for multiple surfaces and result in truly interesting and visually appealing designs.
Tinting Techniques Need to Evolve
As a result of the increasing complexity of head and tail lamp design, smoking out or tinting one’s primary lighting is not nearly as simple as peeling the blackout tint from the liner and slapping iit on. Flat surfaces are a rarity in the world of automotive lighting (with the notable exception of Land Rover‘s cliff-like headlights) and unless you depend on a company that has been designing and selling pre-cut tint kits for years (like Rvinyl), you could end up with quite the mess on your hands. And, if you think VHT is the way to go, you may want to pause and consider because if you mess up you could be in the hole for a cool grand.
Ghost Flame Graphics – An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Rvinyl was proud to be the first to market with our ghost flame series of graphics. These graphics are cut fro our smoked head and taillight films and are made to give your car a truly unique look. They have the benefit of conforming easily over even the most complicating, polyhedral head or taillights and are available in a huge variety of colors and shades. We also offer skull ghost graphics as well as a host of others that you can see on our Facebook page and on the main site.
Upon waking through the doors at the Jacob Javits Center on the far West Side of Manhattan the first thing that greeted our eyes (aside from our private tour guide) was the Defiance Dodge Charger which we posted on a few months back. Sadly, this was one case where photos beat out reality because the patina and rust on the Charger combine with the spanking new headlight and weird,LED lazy susan atop the hood combined to make it look silly. Still, first impressions can’t always be trusted and we went on to be pleasantly surprised by a number of design elements which seemed to recur throughout many of the vehicles on exhibit by different makers.
LEDs and Polyhedrons Galore
If I were to choose a theme for the 2013 NY Auto Show it would be LEDs. It didn’t matter if you were looking at a fog light, a headlight or a taillight all of the cars from Kia to Benz were sporting LEDs. The Audi Crosslane concept seems to have spawned a variety of copy cats or is simply representative of the new thinking in primary lighting design and function.
Aside from the multiple LED arrays which replace high and low beam set ups, many automakers at the show are now deignng headlights with internal frosted white plastic trim. It was hard to tell if this trim itself will also luminesce but it looks cool and gives the lights are more complex feel without adding to the complexity of surface (that’s good news for headlight tinters who are partial to smoked films). Look out for similar designs in the Kia Optima and BMW sedans and coupes.
The 2013 Genesis Concept – The Definitive Show Car for the 2013 Show
The 2013 Genesis Concept represents all of the design elements and values which appeared in part in most of the other vehicles on display. From its precipitous and cliff-like front end, its over-sized and highly-textured grille to its multi-faceted LED headlights and crazy tail lights this car clearly stole the show. Although I personally found it to be too much for my tast (I prefer an old school roadster any day over the complicated lines and dodecahedral composite headlamps of today’s cars) it is certainly something to behold. Strong lines abound and it just seems to exude a sese of power. Now, if only we got to see how it drove…
In any event, this years NY Auto Show was well worth the price for the enthusiast and its good to get a jump on the aesthetic and stylistic trends which are sure to gather speed in the coming year. Thanks for reading and take care!
- 2013 New York Auto Show: Dodge unveils restyled Durango SUV (ninthfact.wordpress.com)
- Audi Headlights Seeing Around Corners Banned by US Rule – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Audi Targets a Headlight Rule From the 1960s (businessweek.com)
- 2014 Scion tC at the NY Auto Show (ninthfact.wordpress.com)
- NY Auto Show preview: 2014 Dodge Durango should be loaded with new technology features (digitaltrends.com)
More Damn Air Dams
One of the few accessories that Putco makes which isn’t chrome or ABS chrome, this hood deck vent cover is made to fit the 2011-2013 GMC Sierra HD like a glove. As with other Putco products, installation is a cinch and requires no cutting or drilling. What’s more, Putco guarantees this product for its lifetime so you can ret easy knowing your investment is protected.
Onto the Pics! The GMC Sierra HD Air Dam Cover
So, without further ado, we present to you extreme close-ups of this cool and inexpensive truck accessory.
- Report: Who sold the most heavy-duty pickups in 2012? PickupTrucks.com investigates (autoblog.com)
- More About 2007 Gmc Sierra (maedupshop.wordpress.com)