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Tinting Law??? (Headlights And Rear Lights)

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I know some of you work for the police, so wondering if you can offer some guidance -
What's the law on tinting headlights and rear lights?

I was thinking either blacking them out a bit (but enough that the light still passes and is visible)
or colour coding them red to fit in with the car.

Thanks in advance.

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Also curious in this, thinking about blacking out/darkening all of mine.

I was told you can do what you want to them but the guy who told me that was basically a randomer..

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Till Clive pops up, I'll try n answer this

On the headlights its a complete no no cause it isn't worth risking getting pulled by the black rats. As if they don't like it and you can't remove it at the roadside (if it's sprayed on for example) then your car will me taken off the road till it's ok'd by vosa

If you want black headlights, you'll want new head light units that have black inners instead, or other coloured inners for that matter.

You could always give opening your current light units a go by sticking em in the oven on a low temperature for a few minutes to break down the adhesive, prize em open n spray the inners before resealing em. Sounds mad but a fair few members have done this themselves. just be careful not to bake em too much or they'll just melt. This could obviously be quite risky though n you may suffer from condensation inside the light units if not re-sealed well enough after. A silica bag could solve this though.

Another option is fly eye film or spi vision, its a perforated vinyl that you stick to the exterior of the light units. From a distance the head lights will look tinted and will allow light to shine through. but up close it just looks like you've wrapped a pair of tights round em. It is also available in different colours if you was to want red so this may be an option for you.

But the problems with fly eye is that its nowhere near as easy to apply as they make out, it can crease like mad n if you heat it up too much it will melt. it is horrible sticky stuff to work with. Also, it does cut out a fair bit of light output, a lot more than they say it does.

I used to have fly eye fitted to my headlights n tail lights, I use osram cool blue intense bulbs, which normally are very bright n light up unlit country roads beautifully, but with fly eye fitted the light beam from the osrams was quite dull, almost as bad as standard yellow bulbs.

For this reason, solid tint films are a definite no no as you'll almost definitely get pulled n be told to remove it, even if sellers on eBay do claim its road legal cause it'll cut out even more light than fly eye. The fly eye though you can get away with on the headlights.

With the tail lights you can get away with a bit more, but if getting the lights tinted i'd recommend getting them done professionally cause if you spray em yourself you may end up going to dark.

Or you could use fly eye also, but I recently removed the fly eye from my tail lights cause it doesn't weather as well as they make out, and there was a few patches where it had broke off so it didn't look very good n i ended up removing it completely. This brings me onto it being horrible sticky stuff to remove, as it isn't reusable as they claim, so instead of pealing it back off in one neat sheet, it'll tear off in many tiny bits.

One very good thing I can say about it though, is my motor sailed through it's MOT beautifully with not one advisory. Even though the bloke who did my MOT said how much he didn't like it, he couldn't not pass it as enough light shined through.

So because of this, fly eye may be a decent cheap option for you at least temporary anyway n if you take your time you can get a good result with it.

I have now since purchased some projector headlights with black inners, they look so much better and are very bright. I've also got my eyes on some LED aftermarket black tail light units.

I've still got fly eye fitted to my reverse lights n at some point i'll fly eye my front fog lights as i never use em anyway n they'll make the front end look more stealthy looking black.

This is what my motor looked like with the factory chrome units fitted


This is them with fly eye fitted



This is the light emitted with fly eye fitted


Reversed lights fly eyed


Light emitted with fly eye fitted


These are my new black projector headlights



This is the light emitted from the new lights


You can see the difference in brightness between the 2 lots of light beams

Oh and the new units also have built in DRL's in the form of halo's :P


Really long post for you but hopefully you'll find it informative

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Exactly as Charlie says-

Just to add, if you want tinted rear lights you are best buying ones that are professionally done and E marked as UK street legal.

Definitely don't tint front lights, as Charlie says buy a set of black backed lights for the stealthy effect.

You really don't want a rectification notice from traffic police, loads of hassle and paperwork.

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Apart from the legal side of things you may want to consider the affect on insurance. You don't want to find that your insurance wont pay out should you be involved in an accident because they weren't made aware of the modification.

My insurance company wanted an additional £70 a year for tinting my rear windows. You may find some company's wouldn't touch it if you tint the lights.

Also some insurance companies will not insure people under 25 with any modification at all.

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As Clive says, your best to have the rear lights professionally done. I'm not sure what ford you own but just for example have a look at these for the sort of thing you'd be lookin at for a mk2 focus hatch


As the listing says they are still E marked

Also as Bruce says, there's always insurance to consider, as with any modification.

If you was to have the exterior of the head lights tinted and you were to crash, they would almost definitely refuse to pay out n claim you couldn't see where you were going due to reduced light output. At least with black inners they can't claim this I don't think, as the outers are still completely clear and the light output is not reduced.

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Thanks people!
The black backed lights are actually what I was thinking of at first, but thought the inners had to be reflective
not to sound dumb, but what's DRL's? Day time running lamps?

Really like the look of yours, was thinking of going up to xenon lights, or LED's (if they are available for cars, but couldn't see anything)

I'm driving the mk7.5 fiesta.
Charlie, any idea where to get lights like yours is it just angel lights? or if they'll even fit the mk7.5 yet?

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Not necessarily mate, only a small radius around the bulb needs to be reflective.

The focus zetec for example comes with factory black head light units as standard. See this link for example


You can see how around where the bulb goes is chrome but the rest is black.

Same for my headlights, if you go on the site I purchased em from


And zoom in you'll see how the are around where the bulb goes is chrome and the rest is black

And yes mate by DRL I mean day light running lamp

And your right by saying angel eyes, call em whatever you want really, angel eyes, halo eyes. This refers to the 'halo' of light around the bulbs. But yeah they are projectors also.

I must say usually I am dead against halo's as a lot of them just look cheap n chavvy, but I really like mine as they look as close to OEM as you can get em n look close to the ST xenon head lights, with the added feature of the halo's to look pretty

I believe for your motor you'd be looking at something like this?


These are just standard black fezz light head light units though, they don't have drl's. I'll have a mooch through eBay though n see if i can see anything better

Then theres these black tail lights


Both of these say they are for the mk7 though, I'm not really up on my fiestas so i dunno if the facelift mk7 fiestas have different shaped light units like the facelift mk2 focus does to the pre facelift focus?

But these are just an example at what your looking at anyway

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Why have you gone for those headlights? They're the same ones that come on the below Zetec models >.<

I just want the black backing and those are the only ones I see for my car atm =[

Not bought them yet, so will still look but those are my fall back ones if I can't find better ones soon :P

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300 notes..
eek, the other ones are only 150 :P
Will probably think about it, need to wait until I'm renewing my insurance - this year it's too expensive to declare them, but I quoted next year, everything going to plan, it drops dramatically and I can get my insurance + mods for £1200 (less than I pay just now, WITHOUT mods!)

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