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Painting an HID Bulb to Reduce Glare

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  • Painting an HID Bulb to Reduce Glare

    I am very tempted to painted an HID bulb to reduce glare in the meantime before my retrofits. Anyone tried this method? Does painting an HID bulb cause more heat to be trapped, therefore shortening bulb life and oxidizing my headlamps? Any input would greatly be appreciated, thanks!

  • #2
    If the reasoning behind this is that you have a PnP kit and it creates glare, the only correct solution is to remove said kit and install halogen bulbs until you get your retrofit completed.

    Painting lightbulbs has n ever been a good idea, and I honestly can't see anything good come out of this. The bulb is under high pressure, and even fingerprints can cause it to explode, so I dread to think what covering the surface with paint (whichever type) will do for the temperature and pressure inside the bulb. Best case, we're looking at an exploded bulb. Worst case, exploded bulb, a fire and death.

    In short: Don't.


    OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

    Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

    My retrofits

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    • #3
      This had been attempted multiple times on here and every time there's still glare. Doesn't work
      AAAAAAAAAAA

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      • #4
        Listen to Duffman Oh Yeah!index.jpg

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        • #5
          i wouldn't paint the bulb. go back to halogen for the time being till your retro is done. however for reasons you must use your pnp, if you are desperate and need a temporary solution, you are better off masking the areas of the reflector that contributes to glare with black gaffe tape. again, this should only be a temp fix as it may leave residue on the reflector if used for a long period of time. however, if you plan to paint your housing, no worries there.
          Last edited by pwr2wh8; May 21st, 2014, 09:32 AM.
          My Retrofits:
          Classic Mini HID Retrofit #2 (January 2012 ROTM)
          Classic Mini LED Retrofit
          Lance Venice HID Retrofit
          Honda Grom HID Retrofit (May 2014 ROTM)

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          • #6
            ^
            +1 on the option and its inherent drawbacks mentioned.

            The challenge is that the HID bulb's arc generates a different light source shape than the halogen filament.

            @OP: If we simplify the HID arc as 2 point sources (it isn't , but it's better to think of it as 2 spots at the extreme ends than a single source in the middle of the arc), where one point generates a beam that is a bit lower than the halogen counterpart, the other point generates a beam that is a bit higher than the halogen counterpart.

            The one that is lower won't contribute to glare unless the road is wet, but it won't cover a good distance. The one that is higher generates glare. You may end up having to cover most of the reflector facet in order to remove the offending glare. The rest of the facets will not likely generate sufficient low beam like pattern.
            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

            3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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            • #7
              But one question is that will painting an HID cause more heat to be trapped, causing oxidation of the headlamp?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Thepurplekowman View Post
                But one question is that will painting an HID cause more heat to be trapped, causing oxidation of the headlamp?
                Post #2:

                Originally posted by csjoh View Post
                Painting lightbulbs has n ever been a good idea, and I honestly can't see anything good come out of this. The bulb is under high pressure, and even fingerprints can cause it to explode, so I dread to think what covering the surface with paint (whichever type) will do for the temperature and pressure inside the bulb.
                The material in the paint will likely encourage uneven heat distribution around the glass capsule of the bulb. Afaik, headlight lens oxidation is more of a function of UV exposure. A proper automotive HID bulb should filter a good amount of the UV, but the same can't be said for aftermarket bulbs in general. Painting or covering the reflectors could reduce the UV sent to the headlight lens, but I suspect the energy is converted into IR heat. The paint or cover or the reflector material itself could then fail due to heat.
                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thepurplekowman View Post
                  But one question is that will painting an HID cause more heat to be trapped, causing oxidation of the headlamp?

                  The paint, depending on type, may outgas causing hazing of the reflector. This is simply not a good idea. And, yes, depending on paint type you could cause the bulb to explode inside the headlight causing a great deal of damage.

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                  • #10
                    The paint I was intending to use was high temperature ceramic paint found in most auto stores.

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                    • #11
                      Definitely not feasible, you can find previous discussions about this.

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