How To Choose The Best Headlight Protection Film?

The surface of your vehicle headlights is not something you should neglect taking care of. Since they get scratches, fading, damages with ease, it is essential to provide enough protection.

Applying a protective film can save you from the hassle of cleaning them occasionally.

Among many similar products on the market, it is a bit of a hassle to locate an ideal film with the proper size and quality.

That is why I have listed ten of the best headlight protection films I tried out here. Aside from durability, they are easy to install, from trustworthy brands, and can protect your vehicle paints as well.

1. XPEL R4003-P Clear Paint Protection Film Roll

XPEL R4003-P Clear Paint Protection Film Roll

Keeps your paint protected against light scratches and swirl marks

Pros

  • Vehicle headlights or any smooth surface stay new with this film.
  • You can easily clean the surfaces by buffing them with a soft rag.
  • The clear film is almost invisible once you install it.

Cons

  • Removing the protection film may result in damaging the paint.
  • Some people didn’t receive the squeegee even though it was advertised with the product.

First, on my list, I got the XPEL R3400-P, an outstanding clear paint protection film for your headlights. While the 6×84 inches size is available at a higher price, you can also check out the 6×60 inches one. 

This headlight thin protection film is only 8-mils thick. As a result, when I equipped it with my vehicle's headlights, I barely noticed them!

When it comes to shielding your headlights, it does that with ease. I tried putting light scratches and swirl marks on the film, but it could withstand them all without even leaving a sign.

Are you a fan of gloss finish on your headlight? It is saddening that oxidization keeps ruining that form. But fortunately, this pair of paint protection films ensures smoothness on the surfaces for a long time.

On top of all that, the film makes it easier to clean your headlights. All you got to do is wipe on the surface with a soft towel. Apparently, headlights aren’t the only application for it. Any smooth surfaces will stay intact under the protective cover of this item.

Aside from vehicle headlights, another great way you can use them is on your bikes. You won’t have to worry about losing that hardly put coating and polishes from your vehicle surfaces. 

XPEL strongly recommends not to use it on Porsche headlights.

2. VViViD Extra-Wide Headlight Taillight Vinyl Tint Wrap

VViViD Extra-Wide Headlight Taillight Vinyl Tint Wrap

High quality vinyl is scratch, grime, water and dirt resistant.

Pros

  • It is pretty easy to install, and you won’t need any pre-skill.
  • It is possible to remove all the air bubbles from underneath during installation.
  • Removing the film won’t leave any glue lines or fingerprints.
  • You can install them on dry stat without needing to wet the headlights.

Cons

  • It will be a real hassle to peel the film off after using it for around a year.

Sometimes, a clear or invisible protective film isn’t what we want.

VViViD released a series of headlight tint wraps that include different colors. All of them provide your vehicle with such wondrous looks that attract the eyes of anyone. Some of them are Chameleon Transparent, Red, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Gold Yellow, Smoke Black, and other combined colors.

This protective film features a big roll with 16 inches by 48 inches size. Not to mention, the installation is possible on distorted and difficult surfaces. As a result, you should try it out, no matter the size of your headlights. It is a universal fit as you can also cut the film based on your need.

One of the biggest issues with headlight protective films is that they are usually not as weatherproof as I want. However, VViViD Extra-Wide has resistance to water, dirt, mud, grime, and scratches.

I didn't have worry too much about the installation process. As this is similar to a giant-sized protective smartphone protective screen.

Since there is an air-release pattern on the back of it, it was a breeze to remove any bubbles or wrinkles from underneath. You can put them on both your headlights and taillights.

These professional-grade tint films received manufacturing from one of the notable brands with over 30 years of experience. Another great thing about the item is that it won’t block or reduce the lumen or color from your headlights.

3. ClearMask 3M 8 Mil Headlight Protection Film Kit

ClearMask 3M 8 Mil Headlight Protection Film Kit

Full 20% GREATER Thickness over industry standard Films

Pros

  • You can quickly cut it to your desired size for installation, thanks to the self-liner.
  • It has a thickness of only 8-mils that stays totally transparent on the headlight’s surfaces.
  • It can repel UV-rays for a long time.

Cons

  • It is not suitable for headlights with contorted shapes or angles. The thickness makes it hard to bend and fit perfectly on such surfaces.

ClearMask is a popular brand for headlight protection films or such products. Among their various products, I will recommend the Headlight Protection Film Kit. The package includes a Self Patterning Liner that makes it easier to install.

While the film is around 20% thicker than your average items, it still remains hidden from the public eyes once put on your headlights.

It is the clearest film that ClearMask offers. The manufacturers added elongation with around 550% flexibility to make it easier to install.

The films are 15 inches by 30 inches in size. That makes it possible to stick them on any headlight size without any issue. But you can try it on other smooth surfaces too.

The film has a tri-laminate body to prevent yellowing or getting grime build-ups.

4. VViViD 3M Clear Paint Protection Film

VViViD Paint Protection Film

Increases lifespan of factory paint to keeping its value longer

Pros

  • The film is so clear that it will almost remain unseen once installed.
  • The topcoat protects it from damages while giving it a shiny look.
  • The vinyl body makes it pretty long-lasting.

Cons

  • The products can often come with smaller sizes than what you have chosen.
  • It leaves a glue residue once you remove it.

The previous VViViD protective film was for people who love to see vivid colors on their headlights. But VViViD also produces clear films. 

This item is 6 by 48 inches in size that will cover large headlights, and there will still be a lot left. Also, I should mention that the protective wrap is also meant to be keeping the paints on your headlights intact.

It is a 3M product that you will be getting at a really affordable cost. When I installed it on my headlight surfaces, the cover was barely noticeable.

Using it, I wasn't worried about the durability of these films as they can survive scratches, UV-rays, and all the different messes from the street. VViViD used polyurethane to achieve that feature.

This protective film can permanently stop the paint chips and other damage from the road debris.

I was wrong thinking the installation would be a hassle. You can simply apply it the same way as putting a smartphone protective sticker. But if you still face issues, you can find detailed instructions online.

The protective film has an adhesive backing, meaning that it will be sticking on the surfaces for a long time. Apparently, it is only 8-mils thick. There is a topcoat finish on the clear film.

5. 3M Clear Bra Paint Protection

3M Clear Bra Paint Protection Bulk Film Roll

Product applied to reduce paint chips

Pros

  • It comes in a perfect size for installation.
  • It reduces the chances of paint chips.
  • While you cannot see the film on your headlight, you can see the newer look.
  • It comes at a really low price.

Cons

  • It is not very good for surfaces with curves or complex contorts.

Everybody looks for paint protection films coming from 3M. The reason behind that is their insanely good quality.

At a low price, you will get 6 inches by 36 inches film roll with a scotch guard feature that repels all sorts of messes from the surface of the headlights.

As a clear film, you can’t see it after equipping it. But you can see the headlights looking newer, like how it was at first.

It can reduce paint chips and street damage. Many people find it hard to install such films. For that reason, there is a well-detailed installation process that you can find online.

This 8-mils (0.008”) thick protective film has an adhesive backing that makes it easier to get rid of any air bubble during installation.

It has a vinyl-made body, the best material for such films. It is an allrounder of protective wraps.

6. ARMOR UP Paint Protection Film

ARMOR UP Paint Protection Film

Thick Polyurethane Film(Not Vinyl), Good for Bumper Headlight wrap, Bike Frame and More

Pros

  • It doesn’t leave any residue after you peel it off the surfaces. If it does within 5-years of buying, you can get a replacement.
  • It has a hydrophobic topcoat, along with a self-healing ability to keep it in top shape.
  • It doesn’t get a yellowish hue or such after prolonged use.
  • The protective film keeps the paint intact from any scratch or scuffs.

Cons

  • Some people didn’t get the squeegee. If the same happens to you, try contacting ARMOR UP for one.

Another great product that you can take home for your vehicle headlights is the Armor Up Paint Protection Film. This item was perfect for me because I wanted to have a huge film that can cover not only a pair of headlights but other surfaces too.

It can stop scraps, scratches, swirl marks, or debris from ruining the look of headlights. While I used the 6 by 120 inches, you can also go for the 12 inches by 72 inches one.

It has a polyurethane surface that can self-heal after getting damaged. I put it to the test by trying to scratch its surface. And the self-heal system does work.

This material is popular among many other automotive companies to craft any peak-grade topcoat. Another great thing is that it doesn’t leave any adhesive residues after removing from the headlights.

You can install it on the headlights, taillights, bumper, windshields, side mirrors, hoods, etc., of your jeeps, cars, or trucks.

It has non-yellowing properties to keep the new look for its entire lifespan. ARMOR UP recommends installing it on only OEM factory paint. My car had a paint rework but it still looked good!

7. XFasten Vinyl Clear Paint Protection Film

XFasten Vinyl Clear Paint Protection Film

Clear Bra Film and Bike Frame Protection Tape Protector Guard Against Road Damage

Pros

  • The protective film is resistant to chipping, scratches, UV, and other messes.
  • It is easy to install, thanks to the silicone adhesive.
  • You can even use it as a sneaker sole protective guard or door handle cover using the leftover film.

Cons

  • There is no instruction for installation or cutting process. Although, it installs the same way as other similar films.

If a large protection film is what you are going for, XFasten Vinyl Film is the suitable item for you.

This amazing product offers 6 inches by 60 inches, and it is totally transparent. It doesn’t leave any glue leftover even after peeling off after prolonged use.

Its silicone adhesive removes the chances of getting air bubbles during installation. So, it took me about three minutes to get them on.

You can secure the paint or tint on your headlight, bike, or any other similar smooth surface using it. Many damaging factors like UV light, chips, debris, or water cannot penetrate or ruin the film.

It has a longevity of 4 years and 150K mileage. Its elastic property removes scratches and abrasions. I highly recommend this non-yellowish protective film to retain the shine on your vehicle headlights.

8. VViViD Clear Paint Protection Scratch Resistant Vinyl Wrap Film

VViViD Clear Paint Protection Scratch Resistant Vinyl Wrap Film

Featuring air-release acrylic-based adhesive which can easily be repositioned, installed and removed. No harmful chemicals needed!

Pros

  • You can easily install or remove them. The acrylic-based glue with air-release capability will let you reposition it without damaging any paint.
  • It has a long lifespan of 4 to 7 years. If used on indoor surfaces, it can last up to 10 years!
  • You get a detailed installation guide in the package.

Cons

  • The adhesive is not as strong as the previous products.

VViViD created many protective films targeted towards usage on automotive parts. This one contains a large and wide size of 12 by 60 inches. However, know that there are other variations of it that start from 4by54 inches to even 300by54 inches.

Sizes like this will allow you to equip them both with your headlights and other surfaces of your car. As a paint protector, it does its job effectively.

There won’t be any water, bug damage, debris, or scratches. It is totally clear and has a long lifespan of 4 to 7 years, depending on the usage. Its package comes with an installation manual for easier operation.

9. Spurtar Clear Paint Protection Bulk Film

Spurtar Clear Paint Protection Bulk Film

Can protect your favorite vehicles, such as cars, bicycles or motorcycles against expensive paint damage

Pros

  • This transparent bulk film is installable on smooth surfaces like vehicle headlights, airplanes, bikes, boats without worrying about harsh weather.
  • Its polyurethane body is more stable than PVC films.
  • It heals by itself if you apply heat.

Cons

  • You don’t get any installation instructions.

Next on this list, I have the Spurtar Clear Bulk Film. It is an item that specializes in protecting the paint or tint on your headlight or any other painted surface of your car.

It is available with 6by84, 6by60, 6by25, and 6by12 inches. This PPF film has a nigh transparent body, making it difficult to see after installation.

It has a 0.008 inches thickness with a vinyl body and a topcoat finishing. As a result, not only does it have a shiny look, but it also has a strong guard.

Its self-healing property allows it to remove scratches by itself after coming in contact with heat.

The film is really easy to install or cut. Additionally, you get a squeegee detailer in the package.

You can now forget worrying about sand, snow, corrosion, UV, rocks, rain, or debris. After installing it on your headlight, use the leftover on your vehicle windows, fender, hood, or motorcycle.

10. VViViD Clear Protective Satin Finish Vinyl Wrap

VViViD Clear Protective Satin Finish Vinyl Wrap

Safety from harmful UV rays and sun glare and virtually clear.

Pros

  • It repels water and debris.
  • This film is specially crafted to tackle harmful UV rays.
  • You can install it on headlights, taillights, windshields, or other similar places and protect the paints.
  • Its removal leaves no residues behind.

Cons

  • I highly recommend not to use it on a curvy surface like hoods or bumpers.
  • It is not as durable as the 3M products.

Finally, I have another VViViD protective film that I had to check. Aside from having almost the same protectiveness as the previous VViViD items, it has a satin finish. This 8by54 inches film has other variations with different sizes.

Available at a low cost, it is a budget option. Headlights start fading from the harmful UV rays from sunlight. The VViViD Clear Satin Finish Wrap has a 99% resistance to that.

Aside from vehicle headlights, you can easily install it on glass tables, windows, and other flat glass or plastic surfaces.

You can replace it without any need for chemicals. The film can last between 4 to 7 years on your vehicle surfaces and 10-years on any interior usage.

Buying Guide

Anything you buy, there will be some factors that you need to look for carefully. Headlight protective films are no exception. If you want to provide the ultimate safety to your headlights and retain their paint intact, you got to target the best-grade options.

But you must also look at the compatibility factor. So, let’s look at five points that can ensure a good purchase of a protective film.

Size

Protective films come in various sizes. It is because manufacturers don’t only make them for headlights but for other reasons too.

If your goal is only the headlamps, go for one with at least 6 by 54 inches to cover the taillights too. But you can always go for a bigger one if you want to install it on other parts of the vehicle.

Durability

How much debris your new protective film can take is a vital matter. It must be able to tackle harsh weather, debris and dust off the road, UV-ray, and scratches.

Look for the ones with self-healing properties as they automatically remove any scratch or swirl mark as you heat them. The best one of them should last for around 7-years. Go for the ones with vinyl or polyurethane bodies.

Adhesive Backing and Air-Release

If a headlight protective film contains adhesive backings, it is easier to install. However, you must make sure that it doesn’t leave a glue residue when removed.

The best way to ensure that is by reading customer reviews. Meanwhile, the air-release feature will help you remove any bubbles or wrinkles from underneath when installing the new film.

3M Products

You may already know about this, but when a product says 3M on its description, that doesn’t automatically guarantee anything. In fact, it is pretty easy to trick people like that.

The best thing is to look it up whether that brand is under 3M or not. Any legit 3M protective film is highly reliable and will definitely have its promised qualities.

Installation

It is usual that when installing a new protective wrap, people face different problems. It can be that cutting the film will make the edge of the backing paper fray. As a result, the fudgy paper may contaminate the film. Such issues can literally ruin the item.

Check whether others faced any problems with the installations. If so, ask the buyers for a detailed guide during the purchase. Some of them will come with instructions in the package anyway.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Put on Headlights to Protect Them?

The best thing to put on a headlight for protection is a protective film. You can also try applying polish to ensure a long-lasting headlight life. But before doing all that, you must ensure that the headlights are clean. Never put the films on a dirty headlight.

How Long Does 3M Headlight Film Last?

3M headlights can last between 5 to 10-years, depending on how smooth the installation process was. You can try professional installation or DIY, but know that the equipping process heavily determines how long it will stick to the surfaces. Ceramic coating films usually last longer than PPF ones.

Which Is Better Ceramic Coating or PPF?

In terms of protectiveness, PPF films offer better performance. They repel debris, rock, chips, dust, etc., more than the ceramic coating. Meanwhile, ceramic coatings provide long-lasting service. While PPF face blisters and yellowing, ceramic coatings won’t get any of that.

Final Note

If you have any experience browsing for a top-quality protective film, you should know that there are countless low-graded products. Many will flaunt their items as the best only to trick inexperienced customers.

That is why I suggest you follow this guide. Do read the reviews by previous buyers and try to understand what issues they faced.

It may help you tackle the same problem with that protective film in the future. So, which one did you pick and why?

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