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tried and true headlight and tailight films?


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Hi guys about 10 years ago i was using oracal 8300 to do tailights and headlights.  however it has its limitations and its a WET install film.  this last year i dipped into using the luxe and vivvid Dry install films. Both look good and installed with ease however i've had issues with longevity.  I had oracal on my car for over 6 years and it looked good till the day i steamed it off to reveal a brand new looking head light and tailight.  with the luxe and vivvid (made the mistake of using on a customer cars) i'm getting bubbles months later with the luxe and crazy lifting on the edges with the vivvid.  I think maybe the air release techmology just isn't there yet?  

 

i'm looking to add more options for headlights and tailights other than the middle and dark gray that oracal offers.  do you guys have any recommendations? thank you. 

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We've used Oracal 8300, Luxe, Vivvid, and Lamin-X. Oracal 8300 installation is the easiest but IMO looks the worst out of all the options. It just looks cheap installed, doesn't really add to the appearance of the vehicle. Maybe it is not glossy enough or too thin not allowing the color to stand out. We have never installed it and was like damn, that looks good. Luxe and Vivvid used to be the same film...Luxe now has a new version that is unique to them while Vivvid is still the same old film. We mainly use Luxe now since the newer quality is better than Vivvid but we still have some Vivvid in certain colors that are not available anymore with Luxe. IMO, Luxe is going to be the best overall film since it adds a luxury look to the vehicle but still thin enough to shape to most lights. Lamin-X is the best quality hands down. However, it is extremely thick (over twice the thickness of Luxe) so you are limited to easier lights. This is a problem since newer vehicles tend to have more difficult lights, so Lamin-X would be useless for many applications. The only thing I didn't like about Lamin-X was their headlight shades look a little purplish when the headlights were turned on.

 

As far as the issues you are having, I am not sure what is causing that. We have been using Luxe for over 2 years and Vivvid for over 1 year with none of those issues. If you haven't tried the newest version of Luxe, I would highly recommend it.

 

I added photos of each film below for anyone wondering what each film looks like installed.

Edited by DynamicATL
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i like the way the luxe looks.  I did a set of truck and cadillac cts headlights (the ones with sharp edges) both looked good I went over the whole whole light with heat after to look out for bubbles that might come up. none did, but after 3 months both came back they had a bunch of tiny air blisters.  my only thought is maybe i didn't get all the air out with my squeegeee patterns.  luxe is great but I cant be redoing lights all the time lol. looking into trying out the dragon laminates glossy light and dark black though. 

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6 hours ago, civicrice said:

i like the way the luxe looks.  I did a set of truck and cadillac cts headlights (the ones with sharp edges) both looked good I went over the whole whole light with heat after to look out for bubbles that might come up. none did, but after 3 months both came back they had a bunch of tiny air blisters.  my only thought is maybe i didn't get all the air out with my squeegeee patterns.  luxe is great but I cant be redoing lights all the time lol. looking into trying out the dragon laminates glossy light and dark black though. 

 

The Neo Chrome stuff is the same cheap crap on eBay called Chameleon. We installed a bunch of it along with the other patterns and they tend to delaminate in under a year...it is garbage. I am not sure about their regular colors but would assume it comes from the same manufacturer in China.

 

20151208_123247.jpg

20160227_095146.jpg

12671740_1491615847569064_9030635272819525895_o.jpg

20151028_101641.jpg

12828457_1479027148827934_3377850956116617907_o.jpg

Edited by DynamicATL
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thanks for the pics! I ended up ordering 2 rolls of luxe. my distributor suggested I post heat the whole light at 180 to 200 degrees. That's a step i did not take with my previous installs. I think heating the whole light should bring out any air pockets from un-squeegeed areas.  

 

what is your go to squeegee and buffer when working with luxe? 

2 hours ago, DynamicATL said:

 

The Neo Chrome stuff is the same cheap crap on eBay called Chameleon. We installed a bunch of it along with the other patterns and they tend to delaminate in under a year...it is garbage. I am not sure about their regular colors but would assume it comes from the same manufacturer in China.

 

20151208_123247.jpg

20160227_095146.jpg

12671740_1491615847569064_9030635272819525895_o.jpg

20151028_101641.jpg

12828457_1479027148827934_3377850956116617907_o.jpg

 

2 hours ago, DynamicATL said:

 

The Neo Chrome stuff is the same cheap crap on eBay called Chameleon. We installed a bunch of it along with the other patterns and they tend to delaminate in under a year...it is garbage. I am not sure about their regular colors but would assume it comes from the same manufacturer in China.

 

20151208_123247.jpg

20160227_095146.jpg

12671740_1491615847569064_9030635272819525895_o.jpg

20151028_101641.jpg

12828457_1479027148827934_3377850956116617907_o.jpg

 

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Anytime you put stress on vinyl it needs to be post heated. Especially air release and especially around the edges. It's actually a good idea to hit all installs with heat, It will show you where and imperfections and air is left behind.

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