Headlight Protective Film Installation

Updated Dec 11, 2014

027XPEL InstallBWS14XPEL Headlight Protective Film Installation

by Bruce W. Smith

Anyone working in the road building, aggregates, logging, or other trades where driving on gravel roads is the norm has seen their share of broken/damaged headlights and fog lights. 

Replacing headlights on today’s pickups can cost hundreds of dollars for the headlight assembly itself, not to mention the time it takes to R&R the damaged part. 

Factory fog lights are even more susceptible to road debris damage as they are right in the line of fire from vehicles ahead and from rocks and stones thrown forward by the truck’s own front tires.

An easy way to provide years of protection to headlights and fog lights is to apply a protective shield over the lights themselves. 

I came across one product that works well in those instances: XPEL Headlight Protective Film. Its tough stuff.

XPEL’s creators say the film will withstand a barrage of one-inch rocks at speeds up to 120mph with no damage to the lens they protect. EXPEL claims it will not yellow over time. The company is so confident in their product that it’s covered by a 7-year warranty.

The clear film is about four times thicker than the vinyl products used for vehicle body wraps, and In fact it’s more like a thin shield than a “film.”


XPEL film is pre-cut to fit specific vehicle applications.XPEL film is pre-cut to fit specific vehicle applications.

As the images in the gallery below show, it’s easy to install, too. 

The only area that takes a little extra care – and the gentle use of a heat gun – is the double curve area of the headlight as it makes the transition to the parking lamp on the  GMC we were working on. 

I found the kit for a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 online for about $50. That price should be similar for most full-size, late model pickups.