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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I'm toying with the idea of tinting my tail lights. I have the benz-ripoff LED tail lights which look greak, although they look a little big for the car. My goal is to "slim" them down vertically. I did a quick mock up of my ideas (well, mostly other people's ideas really). #3 looks particularly bad. I hope you get the idea.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Mercedes-benz w212


#1 are the lights as they are now. #2 is my favorite so far. #3 seemed better in my head... #4 ...why cover up the lights? Not my favorite.

This will be my first time trying any vinyl/nightshades, so I'm going for simplicity so I have less chance to mess this up ;) What are the pro's/con's for vinyl and nightshades?
 

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Little Purple Title
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While I agree with your thought of "why cover up the lights", options 2 and 3 look really weird to me. Even if you have perfect body color match paint, it would look so out of place.

I do like option 4. My stock tails were blacked out and I loved the look. Just a little too dark for the lights to be as effective as they should be.

I have the Technostalgia tails now, which look the same as what you have, and I think they look fine.

If you were to go with any of these options. I'd say 1 or 4 - but you don't need to go that dark - maybe 50% of what you have pictured just to take the harsh red down a notch, and tape off the clear so it's 100% clear otherwise the chrome bar above the license plate will look way out of place (trust me).
 

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Little Purple Title
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An idea of what option 4 will look like. These are my old tinted stock tails.

If you want to go option 4 I'd say 1 coat of VHT (or 2 very light coats to be sure of coverage and even-ness), and tape off the clear area on your current tails - that clear line accents the chrome bar and looks really nice.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. The plan with #3 was to do a "border" around the light, similar to the refreshed chevy traverse tail lights. My grandfather has one so I've seen them often and the look grew on me. Too bad my mock up killed it :p #2 I like just because I makes a nice line across the car, getting rid of the droopy area. Too bad the angle of the light and the bumper don't line up flush, makes it look strange. #4 I like the look of, I would do it to my stock lights. Not these ones though.

My only gripe with the styling was the "soft" rear end look. Thought this since I first saw the car. Not putting the car down, everything else about it is fantastic! To me, these LED lights tidy up the back quite nicely :) I've had them for 3 years now though, getting the itch to do something to them!
 
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Little Purple Title
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The LEDs tails are nice. If you wanted to black them out you could, the LED light output would be much greater than bulbs in the stock tails like I had. Just leave the clear strip, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
An idea of what option 4 will look like. These are my old tinted stock tails.

If you want to go option 4 I'd say 1 coat of VHT (or 2 very light coats to be sure of coverage and even-ness), and tape off the clear area on your current tails - that clear line accents the chrome bar and looks really nice.
Something like this?
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Full-size car Sedan

That's really sharp, hadn't thought of that.:eusa_clap:
 
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Little Purple Title
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Something like this?
View attachment 99498
That's really sharp, hadn't thought of that.:eusa_clap:
Exactly. Looks a little weird at this angle but could just be because of the mock-up as well. I don't know what you think of the pic I posted, but with black tails the center chrome bar looks really out of place - I think leaving the clear/white on tails will help accent it.

PlastiDip makes a translucent spray, I'd recommend that, then you can peal it off if you don't like it. It's a little more difficult to tape of PlastiDip, though. But still for a rough draft it will at least let you see it then peel it off.

What color is your car? Looks like the Tungsten Metallic like mine. FYI the "[FONT=Helvetica, Arial, lucida grande, tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif]anthracite gray" PlastiDip is an almost perfect match to the TungMet. (It's not a translucent option, but if you wanted anything solid, it looks really good).[/FONT]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Exactly. Looks a little weird at this angle but could just be because of the mock-up as well. I don't know what you think of the pic I posted, but with black tails the center chrome bar looks really out of place - I think leaving the clear/white on tails will help accent it.

PlastiDip makes a translucent spray, I'd recommend that, then you can peal it off if you don't like it. It's a little more difficult to tape of PlastiDip, though. But still for a rough draft it will at least let you see it then peel it off.

What color is your car? Looks like the Tungsten Metallic like mine. FYI the "anthracite gray" PlastiDip is an almost perfect match to the TungMet. (It's not a translucent option, but if you wanted anything solid, it looks really good).
It's definitely the mockup, I'm using MSPaint haha. It's actually black granite, I had it VERY clean that day! Good call on the plastidip. I'm pretty set on doing something with these tail lights. I like your idea, I was thinking of doing the chrome bar body colour until you brought that up.
 

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Little Purple Title
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It's definitely the mockup, I'm using MSPaint haha. It's actually black granite, I had it VERY clean that day! Good call on the plastidip. I'm pretty set on doing something with these tail lights. I like your idea, I was thinking of doing the chrome bar body colour until you brought that up.
The chrome bar has a curve towards the top - I taped off the just the top above that curve and dipped the bottom to leave a very narrow chrome line. I liked the way that looked. You could experiment with that too. I kinda messed up the tape on my dip job so needed to peel the dip off right away, but it still gave me an idea of what it would look like and I liked it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The chrome bar has a curve towards the top - I taped off the just the top above that curve and dipped the bottom to leave a very narrow chrome line. I liked the way that looked. You could experiment with that too. I kinda messed up the tape on my dip job so needed to peel the dip off right away, but it still gave me an idea of what it would look like and I liked it.
I had thought of doing the same thing in the past! I'd like to tint the chrome even... That would be different.
 

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Find a good vinyl shop in your area and get them smoked. This way you can pre-determine the darkness, and if you don't like it or get a ticket it peels right off no worries.

Also, you could always go this route, did it for a customer a couple weeks ago:


On a side note, a quick google search led me to this:
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Find a good vinyl shop in your area and get them smoked. This way you can pre-determine the darkness, and if you don't like it or get a ticket it peels right off no worries.

Also, you could always go this route, did it for a customer a couple weeks ago:


On a side note, a quick google search led me to this
Thanks for the second option! I like the idea of vinyl film, how well does it hold up to the sun's heat and UV light?

This appeals to me due to lack of "guy time", I have 2 kids both under 3 that keep me busy!
 

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Thanks for the second option! I like the idea of vinyl film, how well does it hold up to the sun's heat and UV light?

This appeals to me due to lack of "guy time", I have 2 kids both under 3 that keep me busy!
Holds up great as long as they use good vinyl. I've had mine on for 4 months no problem, and the same smoke has been on my buddy's STI for a year or so and still looks new, no fading whatsoever.
 
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Little Purple Title
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Thanks for the second option! I like the idea of vinyl film, how well does it hold up to the sun's heat and UV light?

This appeals to me due to lack of "guy time", I have 2 kids both under 3 that keep me busy!
Depends on the vinyl and weather conditions. I've seen vinyl graphics start to stretch and fade and crack within a couple months, and others last well over 3-4 years.
 
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