Blacking out a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by djphill, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    I was wondering if anybody knew anything about blacking out a prius' head and tail lights. Would i go to a tinting store to do it, or buy something online so i could do it at home. Help greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    Your Search will be rewarded.
     
  3. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    what should i search to get good stuff, because i can't seem to find anything.
     
  4. racerbob

    racerbob Member

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    You can buy a spray can of tint made for that purpose. Before you ruin expensive headlights and taillights, you might find that it is illegal due to the decrease in light output, especially the taillights. Also you insurance company can use that as an excuse to not cover a claim if someone rear ends you because they didn't see your brake lights in time.
     
  5. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    'tinted tails'
     
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Most quality window tinting shops can do this for you.

    Just keep in mind it is highly illegal and could make you liable for any damages resulting from an accident where brake lights or headlights were an issue. :)
     
  7. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    I don't want to do anything illegal or be liable for any crashes. So there is no safe legal way to do it?:mad:
     
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Unfortunately I don't think there is. You could purchase some cheapo window tint from an auto parts store and try it out for a couple days just to see what it would look like and it would be easy to peel off if an officer stopped you in the few days you tried it but that would not have any bearing on the collision potential.

    The advice regarding legal liability due to a collision is based on guesses but given the fact you live in California I would not doubt that someone would use that as an excuse to sue you even if they hit you. :(
     
  9. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    you can get films to cover the lights, but they are universally marketed for "show car" or "off road" use only.

    we considered blacking out the taillights, but decided not to spend the money on it.
     
  10. chrisspaulding

    chrisspaulding sexy, high tech, fun

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    .
    Check your state vehicle code for lights. Tinted lights are not necessarily illegal. It's just a matter of fufilling the state code.
    For example, here in KY the requirement is tail lights(when lighted) must be visible from 500 feet. When not 'lighted', they can be as dark as a limo!
    Some states go a step further and require the reflective red of a tail light, in the case of the Prius, that strip on the bottom, must be visible at all times from a specific distance.

    This guy JOHN professionally tints lights.
    He uses a spay method and finishes with a clear coat(same as your car's clear coat). The job is high quality and durable!
    You can mail him your lights for a quick turn around.

    In my case, I'm sending him mine with the request to keep the red reflective strip unpainted
    -just in case I travel into a state where that section is required visible.


    Here's a link of Treehggr's black out black Prii on PC - done by John. Gorgeous!!!
    .
     
  11. djphill

    djphill Master of The World

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    I've been looking at many tinting windows and taillights posts, and i've yet to come up with an answer. I wanted to LIGHTLY tint my taillights but i don't want to do it illegally or have any major risks. I also want to tint my windows practically as much as i can legally in the front and pretty decently in the back. I live in california any help is greatly appreciated.:target:
     
  12. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    i have been reading about california and i have heard conflicting infomation about
    the tint laws here.

    as long as you have dual side mirrors you can have any darkness of tint used in the rear of the car

    the front side windows gets tricky
    California Window Tint Law - TintCenter.com says 70 % visible light
    the california highway patrol says no tint whatsoever on the front and sides but uv colorless tint is ok
    CHP-Frequently Asked Questions of the Highway Patrol

    the vehicle code says clear, colorless, and transparent material may be installed can be used on the front and side windows and it must let in 88% of light
    (26708 section d)

    and 26708 section d subsection 4 says you need a note from the installer that the front side windows comply with the law

    and a final word of advice:
    when you go to the tint shop carefully check the window seal and plastic trim around the window for any damage
    the tint shop might of done, you have to be very careful when applying tint or you may melt the plastic trim
    or cut the window seal

    also some tint shops might be lazy about darkening the window below the spoiler, at least my shop was

    they said it was already tinted and i should talk to the manager
     
  13. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Active Member

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    CA has some of the strictest tinting laws in the country. F8L is one of the most knowledgeable about this on this board, so I would take what he says to heart. My recollection from when I learned to drive in CA was that any tinting of lights is technically illegal (and be careful with your window tint; you can't go too dark there, either). However, I'm sure F8L will correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  14. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    In the olden days, they came that way from the factory. So obviously they ARE available.

    Behold ! :)
     
  15. KMK454

    KMK454 Future hybrid owner?

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    http://www.jonstintedtails.com/index.htm

    That guy is one of the best at what he does. Pretty sure he uses a light mix of black paint and clear coat and applies as much as you want based on how black you want the lights to be.

    I wouldn't do this in CA, though, since CA is a horrible place for car regulations. They're typically illegal in most places but in TX I was able to slip some blackouts through inspection. I can't imagine a blacked out Prius getting too much trouble from the cops, though.
     
  16. carz89

    carz89 I study nuclear science...

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    Besides the likelihood that darkening your lights is illegal, especially in CA, I can't understand why anyone would want to darken their headlights and tail lights? :eek: If I was going to modify my lights for any reason, I would want them brighter or have them distribute light better. At night, I want to see and be seen better. In darkness, the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT "safety feature" of a vehicle are the lights. (most important are attentive & safe drivers).

    I can't imagine the Prius would look any better with blackout lights, except for maybe a black or metallic grey Prius. To me, it would look more sinister, if that's the image you want to portray. The Prius is already a rather good-looking vehicle. IMHO the Prius lights, as they come from the factory, are some of the best-looking lights on a production vehicle. But as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  17. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    hmmmmmmmmmm........maybe i "outgrew" the thoughts of blackening out everything, but i will post a photo or two on how my car looks.

    i dont even think of blackening my brake lights because i want people to see that i'm braking clearly, but that's ME, you can do whatever you want! (no sarcasm)

    i try to roll my windows down, but the tint is split, the rear is darker than the front..............that's my irrelevant way to avoid a ticket..............knock on wood.......................

    cheers
     

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  18. chrisspaulding

    chrisspaulding sexy, high tech, fun

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    Silly

    Tail light tinting uses a special dark paint with a 'transparent' property. This allows the red color to pass through the tint (as if there were none) when the tail light is lighted, while appearing dark when not. Same for head lights.

    You thought they just sprayed black paint over them? LOL duh!


    To the OP, again, after you feel comfortable interpreting your state code for lights, I recommend John from my earlier post link. His business is very good at the job.


     
  19. berinker

    berinker New Member

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    Why in the WORLD would you want to do that?????
    You can tint all the rear windows as dark as you want
    (like for camping) and the front sides a little bit - none
    on the windshield. But be sure to also tint the rear hatch
    lower window as well or the sun will shine on the shelf in
    front of it and reflect of the inside of the upper window
    and all you can see out the back is a bright bar.
    Good luck,
    Bud (in California)
     
  20. chrisspaulding

    chrisspaulding sexy, high tech, fun

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    This helps black out the head/tail lights (OP's only requested input) how?
     
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