How to Tint Your LED Tail Lights How to Tint Your LED Tail Lights

What You'll Need
Tinted window paint
Painters blue tape
Fine grit sandpaper
Rubbing alcohol
Paint thinner
Clean cloths
Window cleaner
Tack cloth

LED tail lights are much brighter than stick tail lights and some people choose to tint their LED tail lights as part of a customization program on their vehicles. It’s not a difficult process, although be aware that anything that hinders other drivers from knowing your intentions on the roads is potentially extremely dangerous, especially at night.

Step 1 - Legality

Tinted LED tail lights are not legal in all states (that said, they might be legal in some counties within that state). Before embarking on tinting LED tail lights you should research and discover whether they’re legal where you live and where you’re likely to travel.

Step 2 - Tail Light Covers

You’ll be tinting the tail light covers, so you’ll need to have full access to these. They should readily unscrew from the back of the vehicle. Remove any chrome trim or cover it fully with painter’s blue tape to mask it (this particular type of tape will remove easily later and leave no marks on the chrome). Keep all the screw safe.

Move the tail light cover for the LED tail lights away from the car. Put them on old newspaper or on the ground. If working inside make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Use a good glass cleaner and a dry, clean cloth to clean the tail light covers. There will be an accumulation of dirt, grease and grime on the covers and these need to all be removed before you do the tinting. Finish by cleaning the covers with rubbing alcohol for a final clean. Allow to dry fully.

Step 3 - Sanding

In order for the tint material to adhere to the LED tail light covers, the material needs to be lightly roughened. Do this with fine grit sandpaper. Don’t rub hard—you want to roughen it, not score it deeply. Once you’ve done this, wipe with a tack cloth to remove any dust or small fragments.

Step 4 - Tinting

The trick with tinting is to just put a very thin layer of tint on the LED tail light covers. Judging the correct amount can be very difficult. Almost certainly you’ll put too much on at first. If this happens, remove the tint with the paint thinner.

Hold the spray can about 8 inches to 12 inches from the tail light cover. Spray lightly but enough to give an even coverage to the entire area. Have the cover resting on old newspaper or a large piece of cardboard to catch the overspray (there will be plenty of this).

When satisfied with the tinting level, ensuring it’s light enough to be almost transparent, allow to dry. Once fully dry, remove the tape from the chrome and put the LED tail light covers back on the vehicle. Have a friend operate the turn signals and brake lights and put the car into reverse to judge whether the lights can be adequately seen.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!