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Thread: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    I am starting a business doing Headlight Restoration and I have narrowed my search for a quality UV headlight sealant to Solaray 21013 spray. This coat requires a UV light to cure. At 32 dollars for 7 ounces, the stuff is NOT cheap. However, they want to charge $220.00 for the "special UV curing light" from Solaray.

    Seeing as how I have been on CPF for 5 years, I know better than to spend $220.00 on a "special UV curing light". However, I don't know where to find the right supplies for a light of this application for cheap, or what supplies I need to buy.

    Anybody happen to know where I can find these supplies? Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Did I post this in the wrong forum or does really nobody know? I feel like somebody on here would know...this is CPF.
    are you listening?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    I found this quote on a site selling the SEM product:
    allow 2nd coat to flash 5 minutes before exposing to UV light. cure at a distance of 1-2" for 2 minutes.

    And another:

    Salesman Note: Solaray Headlight Lens Clear Coat is designed to be used with a U.V. Cure lamp. Although, I have used this product to restore a headlight lens and allowed the lens to stay out on a bright sunny day and it cures out just fine. However, Use of this method is the sole discretion of the purchaser and is in no way warrantied by the manufacturer or seller.


    Seems to me you could build your own curing 'table' using whatever UV bulbs you can get at Home Depot, or your local hardware store. You might need to experiment a bit with getting the right amount of UVA, UVB or UVC light, or at least copious amounts of each.

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    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    For my application a table won't be useful because I am doing work with the headlights still on the car. I'll just keep fishing around until I find the right setup. I don't even really know anything about the properties of UV lights or how much light is required to cure.
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    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Some other posts about other UV cure adhesives have indicated that they may be picky about the wavelength. Since LED's tend to have narrow spectrum widths, a UV LED may not work when another one will.

    I wonder if you can find out the correct wavelength for the solaray stuff.
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    $220 isn't bad for something that is guaranteed to work.

    I've seen some single high power UV LED's go for well over $100.

    Most of the time you can get away cheap, but you take a risk with UV.
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    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Thanks for the information guys! Perhaps I should just fork out the money when I'm ready. In the mean time I will simply advise people to wax their headlights when they detail their cars or every 6 months (whichever comes first).
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  8. #8
    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    OK, I misunderstood. You're not gluing the light back together, you're coating the entire surface of the lens. That's probably going to be hard to do with an LED.
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo Cree View Post
    OK, I misunderstood. You're not gluing the light back together, you're coating the entire surface of the lens. That's probably going to be hard to do with an LED.
    Exactly. Headlight restoration involves wet-sanding with two to four different grits of sandpaper, compounding and polishing with a rotary polisher, and finishing with a form of sealant.

    At this stage of the game, I will be using Finish Kare 1000P which is known for out-lasting even carnauba wax which is supposed to be the longest lasting form of wax. I am going to advise my customers that proper maintenance is necessary to ensure their headlights stay shiny--IE waxing the headlights when your car is detailed or every 4 to 6 months.

    Headlights are coated with a baked on UV protection from the factory and when you see headlights peeling and degrading it is typically this UV protection that is beginning to disappear. The solaray spray and UV curing lamp provide a layer very similar to the UV protection you see from the factory, as does the Finish Kare, but the spray on protection should last longer. Unfortunately, at $30.00 per 7 oz. spray can, it is VERY expensive. I don't know how many applications 7 oz. will give you, but I only charge $80.00 for a full restoration.

    That said, I am looking for alternatives to the Solaray spray. I have found this:

    http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...lant-idea.html

    It is quite popular on Google as it is the first website that comes up when you enter "headlight sealant". I have considered this method, but would like more proof that it does not "amber" or "yellow" over time like Spar-urethane is known to do.
    are you listening?

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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    You've had some replies, but you posted this in a section that is basically a parent sub-forum containing at present just the Dive Lighting section.

    I can move the thread somewhere more appropriate if you indicate the main thrust of the topic - is it the LED type/wavelength that is the most important factor?
    Resistance is futile...

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    What happens if you don't cure the spray? Does it dry out without UV? If it's dry but uncured, what happens if it gets wet?

    Unless rain damages it, or bugs stick in it or some such, wouldn't it eventually cure from sunlight exposure? Or is there some sort of "threshold" UV intensity that is required to cure? i.e. Does a low intensity UV eventually cure the material over a few days?
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

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    Flashaholic* Superdave's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    find out what wavelength it likes and go from there.


    you should be able to build a custom rig with a good florescent bulb inside for this. I doubt the standard black light bulbs will work, you may have to look into germicidal lamps like the ones used in Eprom erasers.
    If it ain't bright, It ain't right!

  13. #13

    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    One thing about sunlight is that it should contain the full UV spectrum, but the intensity may vary. I happened across the spar varnish link previously and it does appear that the stuff has been working for nine months now, with anecdotal evidence of around two years or more, but the idea of having to sand it off means that it does have a finite number of possible applications before the headlight assembly is trashed.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    If you're still looking for some inexpensive UV light for curing the sealant, here's a link to Ultraviolet LED strip lighting, which you can get by the foot for $14.99. Hope this helps!

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    what wavelength? I've had some very good results in curing norland with a blb. -- the wavelengths should be similar?

  16. #16

    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Sunlight is a great UV source and is pretty cheap if it is possible to let the stuff cure outdoors during the day

  17. #17
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Maybe you can seek it from china,i am not really sure what kinds of UV headlamp you want?
    We had make the headlamp before.it is make up of normal LED.
    If you want to get the correct UV headlamp,you must let them know where you use it for , and the wavelengh.How long the light distance you want ,and so on.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Wow I haven't checked this thread for some time..I didn't realize so many people responded. Thanks for the responses. I'm still open to the idea of using a UV sealant spray of some kind, but I have opted to use Klasse All In One Acrylic glaze followed by Klasse Sealant Glaze after I finish headlights. The AIO is supposedly good for a year, while the sealant glaze is supposedly good for 4 to 6 months. I assume the combined protection should be good for about a year, so I always recommend that my customers wax their headlights every 4 to 6 months for extra protection. It's all explained on my website which can be found at www.shinyheadlights.com

    The spray that I was, and I guess AM still sort of interested in is the Solaray UV spray. I'm not sure what the output of the provided light is, so if I am going to use the solaray UV spray, which I have not decided on yet, I will probably charge extra for it, and I will find the right light source. The LED strips shown before are quite interesting, but I'm not sure they would provide enough raw power. I'll look into it further and see what I can find.
    are you listening?

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    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    I wonder what something like a Stanley HID spotlight would do?
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* bshanahan14rulz's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Here's hoping the Stanley DOESN'T cure UV-sensitive materials

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo Cree View Post
    I wonder what something like a Stanley HID spotlight would do?
    Supposedly, the bulb and glass are both UV filters...but then again, my eyes sometimes itch after using the thing around shiny things.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic Apollo Cree's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by AnAppleSnail View Post
    Supposedly, the bulb and glass are both UV filters...but then again, my eyes sometimes itch after using the thing around shiny things.
    Well, someone tried shining a different HID light at their face for a while and got sunburned. It might be interesting to experiment with HID (of any flavor) vs. UV sensitive materials. Remember, UV filters are not necessarily 100% effective. I'll have to see if I can find some old photogray lenses and see what a Stanley HID does to them.
    If once you start down the light path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    I think Nailbender was selling some P60 UV Drop-ins. If I recall, one of the LEDs he has/had was used for curing dental products. Just a thought...

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    How about a germicidal lamp, like one of those uncoated 18" fluorescent tubes? I think they put out a ton of UV-C.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo Cree View Post
    Well, someone tried shining a different HID light at their face for a while and got sunburned.
    Did they win a darwin award?
    are you listening?

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by oronocova View Post
    I think Nailbender was selling some P60 UV Drop-ins. If I recall, one of the LEDs he has/had was used for curing dental products. Just a thought...
    Cool! What would be the best P60 host? (FYI, I know there is a TON of threads answering this question).
    are you listening?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    How about a germicidal lamp, like one of those uncoated 18" fluorescent tubes? I think they put out a ton of UV-C.
    I wonder wher I could pick up a setup like this..maybe home depot?
    are you listening?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    On the other hand-- how much will you charge to do a pair of headlamps?

    How prepared are you to deal with complaints if, three months from now, every person you've done that work for finds their headlights deteriorating again?

    If you use that specific purpose device, you'll know that you've done it "exactly right".

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Ilikeshinythings's Avatar
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    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    Well I currently charge 80 to do the headlamps. After I have compounded and polished them I use an All In One automobile acrylic which is supposedly good for 8-12 months of protection from UV and the elements, and then I use a Sealant glaze over that which is good for another 4 months of UV protection. I also offer my customers a 3 OZ. bottle (good for 3 years or more) of said acrylic for self application every 6 months for $5.00. It's easy to put on and you just wait 15 minutes then buff it out.
    are you listening?

  30. #30

    Default Re: UV Curing light for Headlight Restoration

    If you want really long lasting protection you can apply Collinite car wax, far and away the best wax protection, longer lasting than any synthetic sealant on the market, pretty much agreed upon by professional detailers for ultimate durability.

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