How to Smoke Headlights

Smoking headlights is a popular trend among car enthusiasts, and it has become a popular way to customize the appearance of their vehicles. It involves applying a tint film or coating on the front headlight lenses to give them a smoked or darkened look. This not only changes the overall aesthetic of the vehicle but also provides better visibility during nighttime driving.

How to Smoke Headlights

The main  advantage of smoking headlights is the ability to give your car a unique and personalized look. With different options for tint film or coating, you can achieve various levels of darkness or color to suit your preferences. It also offers added protection to your headlight lenses, shielding them from harsh UV rays and preventing discoloration or damage. Read this blog post to learn how to smoke headlights.

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Smoke Headlights

Step 1: Inspect  Your Headlights

Before you begin smoking your headlights, it’s important to inspect them for any scratches or cracks. If there are any damages, it’s best to repair or replace the headlights before proceeding with the smoking process.

Step 2: Clean Your Headlights

Using a mild soap and water, thoroughly clean your headlights to remove any dirt, debris, or grime that could interfere with the smoking process. Make sure to dry them completely before moving on to the next step. To prevent accidentally smoking other parts of your car, use painter’s tape or masking tape to cover any areas around your headlights that you don’t want to be smoked.

Step 3: Prepare Your Smoking Solution

In a spray bottle, mix together equal parts of water and VHT Niteshades or other tinting solution. You can also use a headlight tint film if you prefer a non-permanent option. Using even strokes, spray the smoking solution onto your headlights. Make sure to evenly coat the entire surface of both headlights to ensure an even finish.

Step 4: Let it Dry

Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat. This usually takes around 10-15 minutes, but refer to the instructions on your specific tinting product for exact drying times. If you want a darker or more intense smoke effect, you can apply additional coats of the smoking solution. Just make sure to let each coat dry completely before moving on to the next.

Step 5: Remove Tape and Clean Up

Once you have achieved your desired level of smoke, carefully remove the tape from surrounding areas. Then, use a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove any overspray or excess tinting solution from your car’s paint.

Use a Clean Cloth and Rubbing

After completing the smoking process, it’s important to let your headlights fully cure before driving your car. This usually takes around 24 hours, but again refer to the instructions on your specific product for exact curing times.

Step 6: Maintain Your Smoked Headlights

To keep your smoked headlights looking their best, regularly clean them with a mild soap and water solution. You can also use a specialized headlight cleaner to ensure the tint remains vibrant and clear. Remember, it’s important to always follow your local laws and regulations when altering your car’s headlights.

Tips for How to Smoke Headlights

  1. Safety glasses or goggles can protect your eyes from debris and fumes while smoking headlights. It is essential to keep your eyes safe from any potential harm.
  2. Smoking headlights produces toxic fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. Make sure you are working in a well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors.
  3. Always wear gloves to protect your hands from any chemicals used in the smoking process. It is essential to keep your skin safe and avoid direct contact with any potentially harmful substances.
  4. Use a respirator mask or a dust mask to prevent inhaling toxic fumes while smoking headlights. This will also help protect your respiratory system.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case of any accidents. Although unlikely, it is better to be prepared and have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  6. It is important to work on a stable surface to avoid any accidents or spills. Make sure your workspace is clean and organized before beginning the process.
  7. Always follow the instructions provided with the smoking kit or materials that you are using. This will ensure a safe and successful smoking process.

Therefore, it is crucial to have proper knowledge and experience before attempting this process. It is always recommended to seek professional help or guidance if you are unsure about smoking headlights.

Are There Any Risks Involved in Smoking Headlights?

Spray to the Headlight Lens

Smoking headlights, also known as tinting or blacking out headlights, is a popular trend among car enthusiasts. It involves applying a dark film or spray to the headlight lens to give it a smoked look. While this modification may enhance the aesthetics of your car and make it stand out from others on the road, there are certain risks involved that you should be aware of.

One of the biggest risks associated with smoking headlights is reduced visibility. The dark film or spray can significantly decrease the amount of light emitted from your headlights, making it difficult for you to see at night or in low light conditions.

This not only puts you at risk, but also other drivers on the road. It is important to note that smoking headlights may also make your car illegal to drive on public roads, as it can be considered a form of vehicle modification that is not allowed. Another risk is damage to your car’s headlights.

Applying the film or spray incorrectly can lead to bubbling, peeling, and discoloration of the headlight lens. This not only affects the appearance of your car but also reduces the effectiveness of your headlights.

Are There Different Methods for Smoking Headlights?

There are various methods to achieve the smoked headlight look. Some methods involve using special films or overlays, while others use spray or tint solutions. In this section, we will explore some of the different methods and give you a brief overview of how each one works.

1. Film Overlays

One popular method for smoking headlights is by using a film overlay. These films are typically made from vinyl or plastic and can be applied directly over your headlights. They come in a variety of colors and tints, making it easy to achieve the desired level of darkness for your headlights. The process involves carefully cleaning and prepping the headlight surface, then applying the film with a squeegee. The result is a seamless and long-lasting smoked look.

Prepping the Headlight Surface

2. Spray Solutions

Another method for smoking headlights is by using a spray solution. These solutions are typically made from tinted paints or dyes and can be sprayed directly onto the headlight surface.

The process involves carefully masking off the surrounding areas of the headlight and applying multiple coats of the spray solution to achieve the desired darkness. This method may require more skill and precision, but it allows for more customization and variation in darkness levels.

3. Tint Solutions

Similar to spray solutions, tint solutions are also applied directly onto the headlight surface. However, they come in the form of a liquid or gel that is brushed on with a applicator or paint brush. Tint solutions can be layered to achieve different levels of darkness and can easily be removed if desired. This method may be the most time-consuming, but it gives you full control over the final look of your smoked headlights.

4. Other Factors to Consider

Before deciding on a method for smoking your headlights, there are a few important factors to consider. First, make sure to check your local laws and regulations regarding tinted headlights. Some states have restrictions on how dark headlights can be, so it’s important to stay within legal limits.

Additionally, consider the durability and longevity of each method. Film overlays tend to be more durable and long-lasting compared to spray or tint solutions. Lastly, think about your skill level and confidence in achieving the desired result with each method.

How Much Does It Typically Cost to Smoke Headlights Professionally Versus DIY?

The cost of smoking headlights can vary depending on the method and materials used. Getting it done professionally at a car customization shop can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per headlight, depending on the complexity of the process and the expertise of the technician.

DIY methods, on the other hand, can range from $20 to $100 for materials such as film overlays, spray solutions, or tint solutions. Keep in mind that the cost of any potential mistakes or damage to your headlights should also be factored into the DIY option. Ultimately, it is a personal decision based on budget and skill level. 

Cost of Any Potential Mistakes or Damage

However, if you are unsure about the process or do not have experience with car modifications, it may be worth investing in professional help for safety and optimal results.

How Do You Properly Clean and Prep Your Headlights Before Smoking Them?

In order to achieve the desired effect when smoking headlights, it is important to properly clean and prep them beforehand. This will ensure that the tint adheres evenly and results in a professional-looking finish.

To begin, gather all necessary materials such as sandpaper (in various grits), soap or degreaser, lint-free cloth, painter’s tape, and of course, the tint spray. It is important to use sandpaper with different grits as this will help smooth out any imperfections and allow for better adhesion of the tint.

First, start by cleaning the headlights with soap or degreaser to remove any dirt, grime, or residue that may be present on the surface. This will ensure that the tint adheres properly and will not be affected by any remaining debris. Next, use the sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the headlights.

Start with a low grit (such as 400) and then gradually move up to higher grits (such as 600 and 800). This will create a smooth surface for the tint to adhere to and will also remove any old or peeling layers of clear coat.

 Cleaning the Headlights With Soap

Once the headlights have been sanded, wipe them down with a lint-free cloth to remove any excess dust or debris. Then, use painter’s tape to mask off any areas that you do not want tinted, such as turn signals or reflectors.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke Headlights?

The amount of time it takes to smoke headlights can vary depending on the tint spray used and the desired level of darkness. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete the process. However, it is important to note that proper drying time between coats is crucial in achieving a professional-looking finish. Be sure to follow the recommended drying times on the tint spray bottle to ensure the best results.

How Often Will You Need to Reapply the Smoked Film to Maintain Its Appearance?

The longevity of the smoked film on headlights can vary depending on factors such as weather conditions and driving habits. However, on average, the tint should last for several months before needing to be reapplied. It is important to regularly check the condition of the tint and touch up any areas that may have faded or peeled off.

Additionally, it is recommended to reapply a new layer of tint every 1-2 years to maintain the desired level of darkness and overall appearance. Keep in mind that constantly exposing the headlights to harsh conditions, such as extreme heat or constant sunlight, may require more frequent reapplication.

 Reapply a New Layer of Tint


In conclusion,  smoking headlights is a simple and effective way to give your car a unique and customized look. It requires minimal materials and can be done in just a few hours. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can easily achieve the desired smoked effect on your headlights.

However, it’s important to note that while smoking headlights may enhance the appearance of your car, it may also compromise the brightness and effectiveness of your headlights. It’s recommended to use lighter shades and follow all safety precautions to ensure maximum visibility while driving. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to smoke headlights. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically. 

You Can Check It Out to Remove Tint from Headlights

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Jennifer Branett

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