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My daughters '02 Jaguar X-Type ("Mom's Hand me down") has severe yellowing of the headlights, and since they are impossible to find, and when we do they are $500 each, we regularly buff them. MY '02 Ford Explorer Sportrac lights eventually yellowed, but I found cheap replacements for about $80.

My Wife's 2015 Prius has huge headlights that look like they point directly to the sun, whereas my 2019 Insight has little slits for headlights.

OK, so we generally keep our cars for a long time (I have a 1922 Ford and a 1981 Delorean :smile: - so yeah, we keep them around for a while).

I've been thinking of getting this "Headlamp UV Protectant Film" as a cheap insurance to protect the plastic from yellowing. I have ZERO knowledge or experience with it.

https://www.xpel.com/shop/headlight-protection-film

Thoughts? Experience? Waste of time or ??

Thanks,

Doogie
 

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2019 Honda Insight EX (White Orchid Pearl)
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Mention of the XPEL headlight protection film came up briefly in prior thread on "High Replacement Cost of LED Lamp Assemblies" - where @cganesh asked for input on coating to protect lenses from rock damage, (and the XPEL clear bra was briefly discussed in a thread on "Fit and Finish") but forum experience with it was limited.

Yellowing of the plastic (polycarbonate) lens covers over time is due to the protective coating breaking down due to the sun's direct UV rays and/or indirect exposure from general outside parking/use and ambient UV exposure. I think heat also contributes to break down of the coating, so run-hot headlight bulbs can also speed up the yellowing process. The concept of UV films or coatings is to prevent or slow the degradation process that will inevitably follow.

Like you, I keep my cars for a LONG time and considered the XPEL headlight film for the Insight... but I'm choosing not to do anything (other than including spray wax to the headlights when I wash/wax my car).

My thoughts on doing nothing:
  • The Insight headlight area is narrow and protected from direct sun/UV exposure by the front turn signals and 'wing' - so overhead UV exposure (and potential rock damage) is less than on other cars.
  • The Insight's LED headlights run cool and minimize any heat-related breakdown of the coating.
  • My car is garaged 90+% of the time when not being driven.
  • If/when the LED headlights fail, the current process is for the whole headlight assembly to be replaced rather than single bulb(s). Unlike my prior Hondas, this means that the full headlight assembly (including the plastic front exposed to sun/UV) may need to be replaced anyhow in the future.
  • In addition to the LED headlights themselves, the headlight assembly includes the front turn signal light and daytime running lights - so if/when either of those fail, I'd also be replacing the full headlight assembly.
Single-LED bulb replacement (vs full assembly replacement) may become an option in the future AND the LED headlights are expected to have 20k-50k hours of operating life - so the argument on assembly replacement may not last forever. But until then, for the way Honda has designed it, I think of the headlights as a "replacement part" rather than a lifetime part, so I'm not over-investing time, money, or effort into protecting them.

Overall, you may choose to approach it differently based on your experiences with other cars... but just wanted to share my 2 (or 3) cents as food for thought. :)
 
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