Plastic Vs Glass Vehicle Headlights: Which Is Better?

The automobile world had seen the history of headlamps, now often called headlights evolved from carriage lamps to acetylene lamps, and from fog lamps on to the point of electric ones. The trend has never for once ceased and had given birth to both plastic and glass headlights which are the subject of our topic. Although glass headlights have become less popular, due to the inception of the plastic ones in the nineties, it’s nonetheless, unacceptable to wipe them clean off the face of history.

Here, we will be bringing both into focus, detailing more on their pros and cons while also drawing a comparison between both types of headlights. Also, in the course of this content, we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions about the subject and will be shedding more light on dark areas surrounding both types of headlights.  

Glass Headlights

Common in the era before the nineties, glass headlights are made from concave mirrors which converged the diverging light emitted from the bulb placed behind them and can reflect it in a string of parallel beams of light. Glass headlights are quite expensive to make and are harder than their plastic counterpart.

glass-vehicle-headlights

Plastic Headlights

Ever since their introduction in the automobile industry, plastic headlights made from polycarbonate plastic had come in various shapes and designs, that not only give Autos such features; as an attractive outlook but a far better aerodynamics advantage. To produce the plastic headlights are way less expensive than having them in glass form.

Glass Headlights’ Advantage Over Plastic Headlights

When damaged the glass headlights are less expensive to replace as they are fundamentally small seal beams. Replacing the plastic headlights of some high-end cars when oxidized can cost a fortune. And unlike the plastic ones, the glass headlights are never plagued by oxidization, which makes the lens on headlights look foggy, cloudy, or sometimes yellowish. Another advantage, the glass headlights had over the plastic ones is that they don’t scratch easily due to their hardness and are not affected by the UV light of the sun.

Plastic Headlights’ Advantage Over The Glass Headlights

The plastic headlights have a lot of advantages over their predecessor in that, they cost less in production. And are more durable and with high tensile strength. While in recent times, the broken shards from glass headlights had caused a lot of damage, which has led to road-accident-related issues. The case is rather otherwise with the plastic headlights, which in the event of an accident don’t break easily, due to their polycarbonate structure. Also, the plasticity of plastic headlights makes it easy for them to be formed into complex shapes through the injection-moulding process, which accounts for their aerodynamics designs seen in modern cars. The plastic headlights can be easily worked into other components of the headlights, or the combined lamp assembly with an adhesive or by plastic welding.

Why are there no more glass headlights?

There are quite a lot of reasons why we don’t have headlights in glass form again. And the very first reason for that would be because of the cost in their production. There’s also the issue of aerodynamics, as glass can’t be cut or moulded to the designs we see in plastic headlights. Also, as glass is harder than plastic, they tend to be prone to breaking, leaving headlights lens exposed to UV light which impaired their performance.

Why does the plastic headlights lens oxidize?

As with our tires which are prone to wear and tear due to usage, so is it with plastic headlights in common, which due to overexposure to external factors, elements, mostly the UV light of the sun, become oxidized and foggy with time. Thus, losing its specularity and optical advantage. To know the ‘how’ to this we must understand that plastic headlights lens is made from a porous material, are coated with a UV protectant layer and had to be sealed in the lamp assemble for them to be able to see crystal clear. And when assailed for long by debris, pebbles, and abrasion of roadside sand and mud, the headlamp cracks over time, exposing the lens to external elements. When such cracked headlights are now exposed to the UV light of the sun, this brings about, the wearing off of the lenses’ topcoat layer along with condensation, which both causes discolouration of the lens and its fogginess. This problem however may be managed if minor. But if otherwise, then the need for plastic headlights restoration arises.

Is it possible to change a glass headlight for a plastic headlight?

The answer to that is a simple no. And this is due to the reason that modern plastic headlights are complex and have sealed housing that is coupled with other assemblies. Whereas, their glass counterpart is hard and is unable to afford the dynamism seen with the plastic headlights, which makes achieving such a feat implausible.

Plastic Headlights

 Conclusion

 After analyzing and studying the pros and cons of both types of headlights, we’re able to conclude that plastic headlights are far better than glass ones in numerous ways. And that even with their weaknesses, which of course can be managed through the method discussed in the content, the plastic headlights adopted in modern cars are head and shoulders above their predecessors.

The automobile world had seen the history of headlamps, now often called headlights evolved from carriage lamps to acetylene lamps, and from fog lamps on to the point of electric ones. The trend has never for once ceased and had given birth to both plastic and glass headlights which are the subject of our topic. Although glass headlights have become less popular, due to the inception of the plastic ones in the nineties, it’s nonetheless, unacceptable to wipe them clean off the face of history.

Here, we will be bringing both into focus, detailing more on their pros and cons while also drawing a comparison between both types of headlights. Also, in the course of this content, we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions about the subject and will be shedding more light on dark areas surrounding both types of headlights.  

Glass Headlights

Common in the era before the nineties, glass headlights are made from concave mirrors which converged the diverging light emitted from the bulb placed behind them and can reflect it in a string of parallel beams of light. Glass headlights are quite expensive to make and are harder than their plastic counterpart.

glass-vehicle-headlights

Plastic Headlights

Ever since their introduction in the automobile industry, plastic headlights made from polycarbonate plastic had come in various shapes and designs, that not only give Autos such features; as an attractive outlook but a far better aerodynamics advantage. To produce the plastic headlights are way less expensive than having them in glass form.

Glass Headlights’ Advantage Over Plastic Headlights

When damaged the glass headlights are less expensive to replace as they are fundamentally small seal beams. Replacing the plastic headlights of some high-end cars when oxidized can cost a fortune. And unlike the plastic ones, the glass headlights are never plagued by oxidization, which makes the lens on headlights look foggy, cloudy, or sometimes yellowish. Another advantage, the glass headlights had over the plastic ones is that they don’t scratch easily due to their hardness and are not affected by the UV light of the sun.

Plastic Headlights’ Advantage Over The Glass Headlights

The plastic headlights have a lot of advantages over their predecessor in that, they cost less in production. And are more durable and with high tensile strength. While in recent times, the broken shards from glass headlights had caused a lot of damage, which has led to road-accident-related issues. The case is rather otherwise with the plastic headlights, which in the event of an accident don’t break easily, due to their polycarbonate structure. Also, the plasticity of plastic headlights makes it easy for them to be formed into complex shapes through the injection-moulding process, which accounts for their aerodynamics designs seen in modern cars. The plastic headlights can be easily worked into other components of the headlights, or the combined lamp assembly with an adhesive or by plastic welding.

Why are there no more glass headlights?

There are quite a lot of reasons why we don’t have headlights in glass form again. And the very first reason for that would be because of the cost in their production. There’s also the issue of aerodynamics, as glass can’t be cut or moulded to the designs we see in plastic headlights. Also, as glass is harder than plastic, they tend to be prone to breaking, leaving headlights lens exposed to UV light which impaired their performance.

Why does the plastic headlights lens oxidize?

As with our tires which are prone to wear and tear due to usage, so is it with plastic headlights in common, which due to overexposure to external factors, elements, mostly the UV light of the sun, become oxidized and foggy with time. Thus, losing its specularity and optical advantage. To know the ‘how’ to this we must understand that plastic headlights lens is made from a porous material, are coated with a UV protectant layer and had to be sealed in the lamp assemble for them to be able to see crystal clear. And when assailed for long by debris, pebbles, and abrasion of roadside sand and mud, the headlamp cracks over time, exposing the lens to external elements. When such cracked headlights are now exposed to the UV light of the sun, this brings about, the wearing off of the lenses’ topcoat layer along with condensation, which both causes discolouration of the lens and its fogginess. This problem however may be managed if minor. But if otherwise, then the need for plastic headlights restoration arises.

Is it possible to change a glass headlight for a plastic headlight?

The answer to that is a simple no. And this is due to the reason that modern plastic headlights are complex and have sealed housing that is coupled with other assemblies. Whereas, their glass counterpart is hard and is unable to afford the dynamism seen with the plastic headlights, which makes achieving such a feat implausible.

Plastic Headlights

 Conclusion

 After analyzing and studying the pros and cons of both types of headlights, we’re able to conclude that plastic headlights are far better than glass ones in numerous ways. And that even with their weaknesses, which of course can be managed through the method discussed in the content, the plastic headlights adopted in modern cars are head and shoulders above their predecessors.

The automobile world had seen the history of headlamps, now often called headlights evolved from carriage lamps to acetylene lamps, and from fog lamps on to the point of electric ones. The trend has never for once ceased and had given birth to both plastic and glass headlights which are the subject of our topic. Although glass headlights have become less popular, due to the inception of the plastic ones in the nineties, it’s nonetheless, unacceptable to wipe them clean off the face of history.

Here, we will be bringing both into focus, detailing more on their pros and cons while also drawing a comparison between both types of headlights. Also, in the course of this content, we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions about the subject and will be shedding more light on dark areas surrounding both types of headlights.  

Glass Headlights

Common in the era before the nineties, glass headlights are made from concave mirrors which converged the diverging light emitted from the bulb placed behind them and can reflect it in a string of parallel beams of light. Glass headlights are quite expensive to make and are harder than their plastic counterpart.

glass-vehicle-headlights

Plastic Headlights

Ever since their introduction in the automobile industry, plastic headlights made from polycarbonate plastic had come in various shapes and designs, that not only give Autos such features; as an attractive outlook but a far better aerodynamics advantage. To produce the plastic headlights are way less expensive than having them in glass form.

Glass Headlights’ Advantage Over Plastic Headlights

When damaged the glass headlights are less expensive to replace as they are fundamentally small seal beams. Replacing the plastic headlights of some high-end cars when oxidized can cost a fortune. And unlike the plastic ones, the glass headlights are never plagued by oxidization, which makes the lens on headlights look foggy, cloudy, or sometimes yellowish. Another advantage, the glass headlights had over the plastic ones is that they don’t scratch easily due to their hardness and are not affected by the UV light of the sun.

Plastic Headlights’ Advantage Over The Glass Headlights

The plastic headlights have a lot of advantages over their predecessor in that, they cost less in production. And are more durable and with high tensile strength. While in recent times, the broken shards from glass headlights had caused a lot of damage, which has led to road-accident-related issues. The case is rather otherwise with the plastic headlights, which in the event of an accident don’t break easily, due to their polycarbonate structure. Also, the plasticity of plastic headlights makes it easy for them to be formed into complex shapes through the injection-moulding process, which accounts for their aerodynamics designs seen in modern cars. The plastic headlights can be easily worked into other components of the headlights, or the combined lamp assembly with an adhesive or by plastic welding.

Why are there no more glass headlights?

There are quite a lot of reasons why we don’t have headlights in glass form again. And the very first reason for that would be because of the cost in their production. There’s also the issue of aerodynamics, as glass can’t be cut or moulded to the designs we see in plastic headlights. Also, as glass is harder than plastic, they tend to be prone to breaking, leaving headlights lens exposed to UV light which impaired their performance.

Why does the plastic headlights lens oxidize?

As with our tires which are prone to wear and tear due to usage, so is it with plastic headlights in common, which due to overexposure to external factors, elements, mostly the UV light of the sun, become oxidized and foggy with time. Thus, losing its specularity and optical advantage. To know the ‘how’ to this we must understand that plastic headlights lens is made from a porous material, are coated with a UV protectant layer and had to be sealed in the lamp assemble for them to be able to see crystal clear. And when assailed for long by debris, pebbles, and abrasion of roadside sand and mud, the headlamp cracks over time, exposing the lens to external elements. When such cracked headlights are now exposed to the UV light of the sun, this brings about, the wearing off of the lenses’ topcoat layer along with condensation, which both causes discolouration of the lens and its fogginess. This problem however may be managed if minor. But if otherwise, then the need for plastic headlights restoration arises.

Is it possible to change a glass headlight for a plastic headlight?

The answer to that is a simple no. And this is due to the reason that modern plastic headlights are complex and have sealed housing that is coupled with other assemblies. Whereas, their glass counterpart is hard and is unable to afford the dynamism seen with the plastic headlights, which makes achieving such a feat implausible.

Plastic Headlights

 Conclusion

 After analyzing and studying the pros and cons of both types of headlights, we’re able to conclude that plastic headlights are far better than glass ones in numerous ways. And that even with their weaknesses, which of course can be managed through the method discussed in the content, the plastic headlights adopted in modern cars are head and shoulders above their predecessors.

Disclaimer

Hi, just letting you know that all products recommended here have been used by me, or are properly researched to ensure they are the best you are getting without bias.

I am also an affiliate for certain Amazon products and this means that some links here are affiliate links. If you purchase an item through any of them, I MAY earn a commission at no extra cost on you.

3 thoughts on “Plastic Vs Glass Vehicle Headlights: Which Is Better?”

  1. Why do China Headlights oxidize faster than Taiwan Headlights?

    OR

    Let me put it this way: Why do some headlights oxide faster than others?

    Reply

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