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Lamin-x

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Ash B, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys & girls


    Just a quick questions regarding lamin-x for members who have had it on there head lights for quite some time please. Just wondering how its putting up with the weather? If it has any stone chips? Or if it has started to peal at all? And if it still looks good as it did after the first few weeks?

    Thanks
    Ashley
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
    #1
  2. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice one Ash, i was wondering the same. I fancy some light tint for mine. Is it a US only thing or UK too?

    Questions questions
    #2
  3. phil76
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    phil76 Member

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    Me want some too!! its available in the uk also but if you get it from the U.S it comes pre-cut to the cars lights
    #3
  4. smudge_don
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    smudge_don Active Member

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    As Phil said, it's a US company, but you can go to Lamin-X UK, but they only supply it in sheets which you need to cut yourself...what's the point?

    Just get it from the American site, and they come pre-cut to shape for the lights

    I've been wanting to get mine for ages, just never got round to it, but from what i've read on the forum, it always stays pretty in tact, no matter the weather

    Plus, if it did get damaged, it's not exactly a lot to replace is it...
    #4
  5. phil76
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    phil76 Member

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    Smudge how does the price compare to the sheet to the pre-cut i thought the sheet stuff worked out cheaper and surely cant be hard to fit
    #5
  6. smudge_don
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    smudge_don Active Member

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    I have no idea mate, i just couldn't be arsed with the hassle of shaping it myself, and blaitantly it not looking perfect
    #6
  7. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    I bought the pre-cut stuff and I think it was about £35 all in. The bill came to $54.72 so just use today's rates. Make sure you use the '10off' discount code too.

    The UK stuff works out a little cheaper but not cheap enough to warrant cutting it to shape yourself!

    I've only had mine on a month but the weather hasn't affected it whatsoever.
    #7
  8. S3RYE
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    S3RYE Interior Next!!

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    any pics staz?
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  9. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you mean close up ones to check the quality or just general pics to show the front?

    Here's one of the latter from Ashley's thread:

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. S3RYE
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    S3RYE Interior Next!!

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    that was just what i was talking about.. :icon_thumright:

    i think it will look the part on mine black with optics, but im yet to see a facelift one with it.. i wonder how it affects DRL's??
    #10
  11. Crunch
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    Crunch Member

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    I've had mine on nearly 2 months. Looks fine, no weathering, fading or peeling.
    #11
  12. smudge_don
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    smudge_don Active Member

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    As i said, from what i've heard/read, it's a very robust material :)
    #12
  13. ryanstewart9
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    ryanstewart9 Member

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    I got the guy who fitted my tinted windows to fit mine and he said he has never come across vinyl as thick as the Lamin-x.

    In his opinion is is very good quality stuff and he feels it would withstand quite a bit of force.

    Oh and I got mine from the US site too. He had to trim them slightly but nothing to drastic (you can always trim a little off, you cant add what isn't there).
    #13
  14. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd love to see it on an 8P3 with black optics! If I was buying another S3 I would go for that as this it simply stunning:
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the advice guys, i didnt want to waste money if it was just gonna peal off.


    No problem Mark. Will you be attending the meet on sunday?:happy:
    #15
  16. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    Go on do it :) I know it doesnt affect any of the light from 8p1 and 8p2. So think it wouldnt affect the DRL. May be worth getting in touch with them
    #16
  17. A3TDI2.0
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    A3TDI2.0 Member

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    Thats one of the meanest looking cars I've seen!

    What colour have you guys used, Tint or Gunsmoke? and UV Protectants?
    #17
  18. Slimbaldy
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    Slimbaldy Hammer it!

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    I like! think i'll treat the old girl.
    #18
  19. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    Everyone so far (AFAIK) has used tint. There's no need to go any darker as you can see above!
    #19
  20. Mick a3
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    Mick a3 Mellow Yellow

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    Been contemplating this stuff for a while, Just a few questions:

    Doe's it effect the headlights in anyway? Meaning..... let less light through etc?

    Is it legal? Anyone had any trouble from the cops or Mot's or that?

    And how long did it take to arrive from America?


    I'd go for precut, As i'm pish at the most simple of tasks!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
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  21. Crunch
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    Crunch Member

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    I found the headlights no darker what so ever, infact they looked a little more 'whiter' maybe thats just me though.

    My MOT's due in a couple of weeks so i'll see when it goes in.

    Took about a week to get here.
    #21
  22. Mick a3
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    Mick a3 Mellow Yellow

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    Thanks mate, If all the lights still shining through 100% then theocratically it should pass?

    If not there's always the option of ripping it off then getting it re-done after mot. Cant see why it wouldnt pass apart from these new tint laws that are popping up all over the shot.
    #22
  23. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    I think that black car above may actually be 'gunsmoke' which is slightly darker than 'tint'. -I could certainly be wrong though. -Either way, I'm still astonished at how this stuff makes the car look 'moody & broody'. -Just right in my view!

    I used 'tint' on mine. It's more like a super-thick, gummy, flexible armour than "typical" vinyl... trust me. -If anything like small stone/gravel chips can damage this stuff, they would have destroyed the headlight without it!

    I have a few small bubbles which I was dumb enough to leave in one of my lights, but it's only been a short while, and they seem to be fading/clearing themselves. Lamin-X claim that the material is slightly porous and that small bubbles can clear by migrating through the material... we shall see

    I'd say that for light coming out of the headlamp, it passes about 95%. It LOOKS darker from the outside, because ambient light gets attenuated TWICE; once on the way in and once on the way out. -IN addition, it's fairly 'glossy' stuff, and so the surface reflections contrast the darkened light... This picture shows what I'm talking about:

    [​IMG]

    If you look PAST the reflections onm the surface, you can see how it's not really that dark... but the bright, super-glossy reflections contrast that and make it SEEM dark by sheer contrast.

    It really is lovely stuff!

    I'm heading over there next week with the family... -I can't wait to clap eyes on some of the cars we don't get over here!

    Keith
    #23
  24. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    It's tint not gunsmoke. He says so in the thread.

    I was left with quite a few little bubbles in mine. So much so that my dad's next door neighbour saw and tried to help me put getting rid of them until I told him not to bother. They have literally ALL gone. It's pretty astonishing actually!
    #24
  25. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Ah. Good stuff; -hard to tell sometimes.

    -but that actually raises another aspect which kind of surprised me about the product... Depending on the light, the light angle and the viewing angle, ths 'tint' varies between looking dark and moody at some times and lightly-smoked and moody at other times. -Sometimes you can walk round the car and see it look DRAMATICALLY different from a couple of different angles... I have to say I'm astonished with the 'dynamic' aspect of its changing appearance, if you know what I mean...

    That's VERY encouraging indeed to hear. -I was contemplating getting a tiny sewing needle and 'helping' to bleed the bubbles, but I'll give it a while if you say so. One headlight looks factory-perfect, the other has more bubbles than a Busby Berkley dream sequence!

    One thing about light cut-down... I did mine at twilight, and parked in front of my garage door which is a VERY pale cream colour, (and great for aligning headlight patterns on!) and when I'd done the first one, I switched on the lights to compare the done half from the not-done half. I have Halogens in mine, and both sides have the PIAA bulbs in, which are already SLIGHTLY 'colder-blue' than usual yellow-ish halogen.

    That's where I get my 5% light attenuation estimate from. After doing both sides I re-did the comparison and both sides were the same again. -I would have taken pictures, but light was fading and I was hurrying to do the second one (which was the one I put bubbles in, up due to rushing and poor light, as it happens!) so I didn't stop to take photos.

    I'd estimate that the reduction in light output is about as negligible as the APPARENT brightness 'gain' from going to PIAA bulbs (which aren't the cheapest, but aren't 'chav').

    So I'm probably back to more-or-less stock light output, but with a MUCH improved 'broody' look in daylight.

    It's a rockin' product. -I also got mine from a place which was having a sale, so it was $40 for mine... probably about £30 for both headlights AND both fogs.

    Bargain.

    Pics as soon as I can get the bloody thing washed... I'm too embarrassed of the water=spots on the paintwork at the moment.

    Keith
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  26. tku
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    tku Member

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    So am i right in thinking all of you guys that have it on your cars have fitted them yourselves? If yes how easy is the process because i want to do them but was thinking about getting the window tint guys that i use to fit them for me.
    #26
  27. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    Hi


    I think most of the guys did it them selfs. But im geting the guy who did my tints to do them. Here a link http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showthread.php?t=57931
    #27
  28. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    I did it myself. Never done a window tint or anything before (I always left it to professionals), but I watched the instruction video on Youtube, and went with trying it myself.

    It was easy.

    Just clean your hands, clean the headlights & surrounding areas, and take your time, It's quite forgiving to work with, so long as you don't get any grit or grease behind the film.

    I don't recall ever hearing of anyone who tried to do it themself and failed, and that was what made me try it myself... I'm glad I did!

    Keith
    #28
  29. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    The great thing about the stuff is you can just take your time. If it goes wrong you just heat it up a bit, peel it off, give it a little spray if it needs it and then try again. It took me a good while to do because of the lining up. On-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on...................aha perfik!
    #29
  30. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    I just gave the car a superficial wash, and took a few pictures at several different angles, in an attempt to show how the apparent darkness seems to vary.

    I just discovered that there's no driver for my camera OR card reader in Microsoft Vista, so I'll either have to buy a new card reader, or do it from work on Monday.

    Staz, do you notice the same 'change' in apparent darkness as the lighting and viewing angle changes with yours, also? -I think it's uber-cool!

    Keith
    #30
  31. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    I cant see any reason why a 10% tint should not give you a 10% reduction in light.........but maybe thats just the way my brain works:huh:
    #31
  32. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    Well here's some pics I took:

    Direct sunlight, 90° to the left, from straight-on:
    [​IMG]
    looks nice and dark.

    Five seconds later, from a different angle:
    [​IMG]
    Looks much lighter.

    From 45° in-between, ten seconds later:
    [​IMG]

    45° viewing angle from the other side:
    [​IMG]
    Looks rather darker.

    Car facing into the sunlight, head-on:
    [​IMG]
    Looks pretty light.

    Car facing AWAY from the light, in very slight shade:
    [​IMG]
    Looks much darker.

    I can't say that I remember what the tint depth of 'tint' is, but 'gunsmoke' is MUCH darker.

    Rather like tinted windows, it LOOKS dark from the ouside, but when you're actually looking through window tint from the inside looking out, it doesn't appear to cut down the light anywhere NEAR as much...

    For reference, here's the car colour viewed from a different angle:
    [​IMG]

    The car is Lava Grey Pearl, windows are tinted 35% at the front and 15% round the back. Open-skye is tinted 50%. Ugly-a$$ USA-spec Front corner markers are tinted smoke grey, as are the side-repeat for the turn signal indicators.

    Keith
    #32
  33. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    Yep different angles give different tint effects dependant on the light angle. Sometimes it doesn't look like they're tinted at all.

    Same goes with my new tinted number plates :eyebrows:
    #33
  34. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    I just looked it up so I could give an accurate answer:

    'Tint' is 5% darkening, allowing 95% of light to pass.
    'Gunsmoke' is 10% darkening, allowing 90% of light to pass.

    Source:
    http://www.lamin-x.com/

    Keith
    #34
  35. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    Well done Keith

    so given that my new Phillips extreme bulbs are 80% brighter ( cant say i notice any difference) then 5% or 10% shouldn't really make a lot of odds .
    #35
  36. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    That '80% brighter' is claptrap. My PIAA's are supposed tp be 100% brighter... offering 110W output from 55W power consumption... it's all ********.

    If you read the fine print, they point out that light bulb outputs fade by some amount as the bulb ages, and that whatever percentage they quote is the percentage IMPROVEMENT which you're likely to observe if you're replacing an OLD light bulb.

    So if you replace with the same OEM bulbs (whatever they were) when the bulbs are old and about to die anyway, and the old bulbs lost 25% of their output, the same OEM bulbs as you originally had in there anyway could -by the same reckoning- legitimately claim a 33% improvement! (since you were down to 75% light output, and the additional 25% represents one-third of 75%... hence a one-third increase, to boost you back up to the original 100%...)

    Daniel Stern Lighting has some VERY sensibly-written notes on the subject. I'd estimate that my PIAAs APPEAR to be about 5% brighter than original stock. If the Lamin-X is 5% darkening, then that makes me about the same as before I started fiddling around... but looking a WHOLE lot cooler during the daytime.

    -And with the protection against headlight 'fogging' (which is WICKED here in Florida, where the sun BAKES your plastic lenses until they're a milky-yellow-white mess) as well as the further slight 'ruggedizing' which will help with stone-chips and the like... I'll take it!

    I'm considering getting some CLEAR Lamin-X for the wife's Mercedes. -Those headlights are STUPIDLY expensive, and I've seen them start to fog-up on older cars. What it costs for the Lamin-X is a TINY fraction of what I'll save in not replacing them when you can hardly see at night!

    Keith
    #36
  37. paddy
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    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

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    Excellent post Keith.

    I do like the look of the Lamin-x but its a silly price IMHO :ohmy:
    #37
  38. VWAddict
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    VWAddict Member

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    For anyone who wants some CORRECT information regarding aftermarket incandescent bulbs; here's a couple of pages:

    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/superwhite/superwhite.html
    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/blue/good/good.html

    Essentially, a VERY SLIGHT re-balancing of a white bulb to bestow it with a SLIGHTLY higher colour-temperature-equivalence doesn't 'steal' too much light. -If the manufacturer then uses materials and practices which yield a slightly higher light output (for example filament materials which can withstand a -more enervating- high filament temperature, along with whatever inert gas-fill and pressure increases may be required... which may in turn require a more expensive 'crystal' glass envelope) but these of course usually result in the manufacture price being much higher as a result.

    But they can then produce a bulb (albeit at a rather greater cost) which offers -slightly- higher light output for the same current consumption. -By an amount which equals (or perhaps even slightly exceeds) a 'normal' filament bulb light output. -But if you're going with MAD blue filament bulbs, they're going to be darker no matter WHAT the quoted colour-temperature-equivalence figure.

    I'm happy with PIAA Superwhites. If they're any brighter at all, it's by the smallest of increments, and it'll be the bulb materials and construction whcih help with any brightness, because the slight 'blue-tint' actually makes things worse, not better.

    £3 bulbs with "hyper-wite" blue tint on the other hand, are invariably going to be ****.

    Keith
    #38
  39. tku
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    tku Member

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    So has anybody done it on a 8p yet? And are they illegal or what?! :)
    #39
  40. Ash B
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    Ash B Well-Known Member

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    That is an 8p:uhm: No there legal
    #40

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