6 Tips to Applying Vinyl to Your Headlights Know what to expect before tackling this project. By Donna Rodriguez - August 31, 2016 1. Know the LawThere are many colors to use when vinyl wrapping your headlights (or taillights), and often people like to just black them out. For that reason, it is important to know what is allowed in the state you reside in. In California, for example, the taillights must be red and visible, so tinting or smocking them might get you pulled over and handed a ticket. It is recommended that you read up and research your state's laws before buying the kit, and if you do end up deciding to add vinyl to your headlights or taillights, check out these helpful tips. 2. Follow InstructionsRead the instructions carefully before beginning. Of course, adding vinyl wrap is different than wrapping the whole vehicle (time-wise that is), but it is still important to understand the procedure. This way you know what to expect and how to deal with the materials and application accordingly. 3. Clean the HeadlightsBefore applying the vinyl wrap, it is important that those headlights (or taillights) are as clean as can be. Think of vinyl wrap like applying a new protective cover on your phone. You don't want those little specs of dust or dirt to appear trapped under the wrap. Spray isopropyl alcohol (or whatever the instructions recommends) to the headlights and then use the microfiber cloth to wipe clean. Don't forget those edges. 4. Know the Materials NeededGet your materials ready to be used. Whether the instructions on the kit say so or not, you will need a squeegee, X-ACTO knife (or similar), a microfiber cloth, a mixture of soapy water and rubbing alcohol. Again, read the instructions in case there is something missing on this list. 5. Apply and CutIf you were applying vinyl to the whole car, it would be best to measure twice and cut once. But the headlights and taillights are smaller portions, so just make sure you have enough to cover the whole headlight and a little extra (approximately 24 inches of vinyl). You will be cutting the excess after you apply. Remember that on some types of vinyl you will need to wet it first and the squeegee will be used to remove the trapped water (or air bubbles). After that, just trim the excess vinyl, leaving at least a 1/4-inch to be tucked in later. (Note: The image above is not a Honda but the idea still applies.) 6. Heat is the KeyHow to use the heat gun or blow dryer will depend on the vinyl you get and the how much heat it can produce, so read the instructions of your particular kit. Some will use the heat while applying the vinyl with a squeegee, essentially stretching the vinyl. Others, on the other hand, will need the heat to mold the excess 1/4-inch vinyl into the edges of the headlight like the image shown. Be careful if you are using a heat gun because you don't want to overdo the area you are working on and damage your paint or melt the glue under any emblems. (Again, image is not a Honda but the procedure is still the same.) For more information on maintenance and repairs, please check out our do-it-yourself technical articles at http://honda-tech.com/how-tos/.