The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit.

How far can a little elbow grease take you? Well, if you’re looking to revive a cloudy headlight lens, fans of the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit would say pretty far.

Our product review team tested the lens restorer kit to gauge its overall effectiveness, ease of use, and value for the money. We already featured Sylvania and named it our top pick in our roundup of the best headlight restoration kits. Now discover how the restoration process works with the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit and whether we believe this option is still the way to go.

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit: Overview And Features

Pros Simple, easy-to-follow directions All-inclusive kit, no separate purchases necessary Easily tackles sun-damaged headlights UV blocker compound included Lifetime warranty
Cons Only enough materials for one car Longevity issues mentioned by customers

The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit bills itself as the one solution for cloudy headlights, and many customer reviews corroborate its effectiveness. The manufacturer is so confident in its product that each kit comes with a lifetime guarantee that if it’s applied correctly, your headlights will stay crystal clear for good. For about $20, this kit offers a lot of value for your buck.

What’s In The Box?

Sylvania supplies customers with almost everything they need to start restoring headlights by hand. Here’s an overview of what comes in the box:

  • Surface activator
  • Clarifying compound
  • UV block clear coat
  • Several grades of sandpaper (400, 1,000, and 2,000 grit)
  • Applicator and polish towels
  • One vinyl glove

Along with the materials in the box, you’ll need a couple additional items before you can start clearing your headlights up. One is soapy water. Another is microfiber cloths. Together, they will clean the areas you plan on sanding. It’s also a good idea to block off the area around the headlights with masking tape to avoid damaging other parts of the vehicle.

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit Testing Process

Our product review team considered three factors while reviewing the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit: results, clarity of instructions, and price.

  • Results: The primary purpose of a headlight restoration kit is to remove oxidation and improve clarity, but longevity is also a factor.
  • Clarity of instructions: Most kits have repetitive steps, so readable and easy-to-follow instructions are important for consumers.
  • Price: Headlight restoration kits are cheap when it comes to automotive care, with most costing around $20.

We tested the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit on a vehicle that still had the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) headlights, which were heavily oxidized. Also, we limited our testing to a single run-through of the manufacturer’s instructions rather than trying to improve the headlight clarity through multiple attempts.

An image of a car headlight before using the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit.

What We Like About The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit

During testing, we found the initial restoration to be excellent. It didn’t produce the original clarity offered by brand-new headlights, but for a single pass and less than an hour of work, it outperformed several other kits we tested.

The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit being used to clean a vehicle headlight.

The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit carries the advantage of a by-hand application. This gives vehicle owners access to hard-to-reach areas so each part of the headlight is sanded evenly.

Instructions for how to use the Sylvania Headlight Restorer Kit are well-written and easy to understand. It uses a three-step process, and each component is marked. After applying a surface activator, you wet sand the headlight lens to remove oxidation and restore clarity.

After buffing out any scratches, you apply UV blocker coating, and Sylvania recommends four to six hours of curing time where you don’t drive the car or expose it to water. This coat offers long-lasting protection, so the company also guarantees polished-looking headlights for the lifetime of the vehicle.

An image of a car headlight after using the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit.

What We Don’t Like About The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit

Sylvania lost points due to the limited quantity of essential items in the restoration kit. The manufacturer only provides enough materials for one set of headlights, and that can be hard to justify for the price tag. Other competitors we tested at the same price point included enough materials for several cars.

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit Reviews

The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is one of the more popular car-renewal options on Amazon and has amassed over 20,000 ratings. Customer reviews give it an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Eighty-eight percent of reviewers believed it deserved 4 stars or higher, and 74 percent gave it a full 5 stars.

Positive Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit Reviews

The feature of the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit that customers highlight most often is the quality of its results. Plenty of online reviews also note the simplicity of the restoration process along with saying the headlight lens looks close to brand new.

Here are a couple customer reviews worth reading:

“It flows on in a nice coating that does not streak and magically converts the hazy sanded surface into a clear bright lens. Make sure you observe the final step of waiting four to six hours for the surface to harden before driving. I couldn’t [be] more pleased with the results.”

– Edward via Amazon

“Once this stuff is on, your headlights look like new. Really, like new.”

– Jeff via Amazon

Negative Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit Reviews

Some of the customer complaints we saw mentioned issues with Sylvania honoring the product’s lifetime warranty. Other reviews raised concerns about the longevity of the restored headlights’ appearance.

Here are two customer reviews that stood out to us:

“The product worked well. The lights started to fade after a year. Contacted the seller, and they refused to help. If you can’t honor a ‘lifetime’ warranty, why put that in your main item description?”

– Teetar via Amazon

“This worked but only for a short time. Now it is [worse] than it was before.”

– Julie via Amazon

What Do Professionals Say?

We interviewed Kyle Marker, a parts manager at Leigh Lincoln in Raleigh, North Carolina, to get his take on car detailing. He said one of the most important steps in restoring headlight bulbs is making sure sealants and other additives are applied as a last step. 

“You have to seal it afterward,” he said. “Most people, they’ll refinish their headlights and then they’ll ignore the clearcoat part of the solution. And then they wonder why it’s hazy in six months.” 

In terms of using a drill versus buffing by hand, Marker said that heavy-duty equipment typically lends better results. 

“If {headlight restoration kits] include sanding or polishing discs…it will work, but not for a super-discolored headlight,” he said. “You’re going to want a guy with a DA—a dual-action polisher—to really get after it.”

Our Take On The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit: 4.5 Stars

The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is a powerful tool, but it is a bit more expensive than similar products. However, if the product fails to meet your expectations, you can contact Sylvania about the kit’s lifetime warranty.

Replacing an entire headlight lens typically runs between $60 and $200, according to parts retailer, so a $20 Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit is a cheaper option. Below, you’ll find our rating out of five stars for different aspects of the Sylvania Headlight Restorer Kit.

Clarity of Instructions5

If you want to restore severely sun-damaged headlights in little time, Sylvania can be a great choice. The Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit works quickly, is easy to use, and has the backing of a reputable car care brand. Drivers looking to tackle a few vehicles at a time, however, may want to consider another product since Sylvania only supplies enough materials for two headlight assemblies.

Other Headlight Restoration Options

If cleaning your headlights by hand seems unappealing or you want a more heavy-duty approach, you may want to check out the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System or Mothers NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit. Both kits utilize drills, which can help speed up the DIY project.

The Chemical Guys Headlight Restorer offers an even simpler way to refresh your headlights. The headlight coating is a one-step process that customers repeat until they’ve reached the desired level of clarity, so there’s less room for user error.

Sylvania Headlight Kit: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.