What are the Best Headlight Restoration kits & do headlight Restoration kits work?

There are many headlight restoration kits on the market, which one should you choose?

Lets start with what headlights are made from and the science behind the material they are made from.

Headlights are made from Polycarbonate, an extremely durable plastic for deflecting stones and debris etc. Unfortunately, bare polycarbonate is a porous material and very quickly discolours in UV rays to a yellow/brown eventually discolouring through the thickness of the polycarbonate lens.

For this reason, all vehicle headlight manufacturers apply a UV Protective Clear Hard Coat to the outer lens to seal and protect the polycarbonate.

After years of your vehicle being exposed to ultraviolet rays, the factory protective hard coat degrades and begins to look discoloured. This hard coat is an important part of protecting your headlights. It should be removed and replaced with another quality hard coat equivalent to the factory protective hard coat.

Headlight restoration kits either come with just polish or a piece of sandpaper to remove the degraded factory hard coat.  Polish to polish the bare polycarbonate lens and some come with UV protective wipe or spray bottle which is inadequate for protecting and sealing the polycarbonate.

The UV protectant supplied in kits is not equivalent to the all-important original factory protective coating. To protect and seal the headlight back to factory condition. Headlights require a cured UV protective hard coat professionally sprayed on as Headlight Restore does which lasts as long as new replacement headlights.

How Headlight Restoration Kits will eventually damage your headlights

own Headlight Restoration Kits or inferior Headlight Restoration performed by car detailers or mechanics who only buff and polish headlights are inevitably going to damage your headlights.

Have you ever noticed headlights with dots through the little cracks  This is called Photo-Oxidation or Thermal Degradation. Polycarbonate molecules absorb UV radiation causing crazing. If you are interested in knowing more about the science and the importance of protective clear coats on polycarbonate, follow this link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate

The polycarbonate lens will micro-crack as it is degrading, and the lens will discolour to a yellow colour. Crazing is more prominent when the headlights are turned on. These micro-cracks in the polycarbonate lens are caused by headlights not having an adequate protective coating applied to the bare polycarbonate lens.

Polycarbonate, without a protective clear hard coat, becomes porous eventually allowing water to transfer through the lens into the internals of the headlight.

Have you ever noticed or may have experienced on your vehicle, water on the inside of the lens after it rains? 

This happens mostly on vehicles ten years or older as the factory UV protective hard coat has been removed at some point and the polycarbonate lens has become porous over the years. It’s not always the headlight seals leaking after wet weather!

Unfortunately, there are no adequate UV protective clear coats in ‘off-the-shelf’ headlight restoration kits which protect and seal the lens like the factory hard coat.

A quick tip: Automotive retailers will happily refund customers headlight restoration kits even after an attempt at restoring your headlights. They are fully aware that they are a ‘one size fits all’ and every headlight varies in the restoration required to get the headlights perfect again.

At best and if you are lucky, a headlight restoration kit may get you through a vehicle safety check (pink slip or Roadworthy). With the time you spend on doing the restoration and the cost of the kit, it makes more sense to get a headlight restoration professional who sprays the lens and offers a 3-year warranty.

Headlight Restoration

Headlight Restoration Kits with Buffing Attachments

If you are looking at purchasing a Headlight Restoration Kit with a buff attachment, please be aware that it is easy to heat the lens from the friction generated from the polishing pad attachment and cause cracks to develop.

This is a common problem we come across often to repair and is easily caused by mechanics and detailers who buff and polish the lens. If you ever walk around a second-hand car dealer, you will notice the cracks on the headlights which have been polished with a buffing attachment for the roadworthy and appearance for the sale. 


Be aware of mechanics and car detailers buffing your headlights clear and applying an inadequate protective coating – Replacement Headlights are expensive to replace

In fact, no one should ‘buff’ and polish headlights. Any company offering to buff headlights clear is not restoring headlights back to lasting factory condition. It’s also a giveaway that only a wiped on coating like ceramic has been used.  A majority of detailers pass ceramic off as UV protection which does not protect the polycarbonate substrate from thermal degradation.

The correct method for headlight restoration is to spray a Polycarbonate UV Protective Clear Hard Coat which has plastic adhesion properties and UV inhibitors to prevent discolouration to the protective hard coat as done from the factory. It is best to ask this question before accepting headlight restoration as a service. If they do buff the lens, stay away for the above reasons and contact a headlight restoration company that specialises in UV protective clear coats for headlights.

There is an old saying ‘poor man pays twice. This quote is extremely relevant for headlight restoration. If not done properly as mentioned, you will be redoing your headlights every year. 

Headlight Restore can restore your headlights the correct way back to factory condition with the highest quality protective coating for headlights that will look brand new and last as long as new replacement headlights with our 3-year warranty.

Headlight Restore only uses the longest-lasting UV Protective Clear Hard Coat which is sprayed on and then cured. This is the correct method and the only method that should be applied based on the molecular structure of polycarbonate. You can get the facts on the Wikipedia link above about polycarbonate substrate and the necessity for a quality protective coating. You can also check Wikipedia about plastic headlight restoration on this link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_headlight_restoration

Headlight Restoration crazing repair

Headlight Restoration done right the first time will potentially save you buying new headlights down the track

As headlights are becoming more expensive to replace because of sensors and moving parts in the headlight. It makes sense to have them restored the right way with an OEM protective coating that lasts as long as new replacement headlights.

Our clear coat is chemical resistant, non-yellowing, and scratch resistant. It will last as long as new replacement headlights and comes with a 3-year warranty.

So in short, what is the best headlight restoration kit? Headlight restoration kits are a gimmick and companies buffing headlights are a quick fix and inevitably will damage your headlights.

Headlight wipes are toxic, only last a month or so in UV rays and look inadequate compared to the finish Headlight Restore will achieve. One last thing to end all debate; why would headlight manufacturers apply a UV protective hard coat to the lens if it wasn’t needed? They wouldn’t, they would save their time, effort, and money if it wasn’t necessary. Even spectacle lenses are made from polycarbonate. they also require a UV protective coat to prevent discolouring in UV conditions.

I hope this blog has cleared up any misinformation on headlight restoration kits and inadequate headlight restoration from mechanics and detailers. Not to forget all the misinformation on YouTube.

Call  Headlight Restore today to have your headlights restored the correct method, back to factory condition which lasts as long as new replacement headlights.

Also, if you have any questions, please comment below. I’m happy to answer any questions.

VW Golf headlight cracks and crazing Headlight Repairs