What Are Tail Light Lenses Made Of & Why!

what are tail light lenses made of

To stop collisions or accidents while having a long drive at night, the red or white taillights do a great job. Ever wonder goes behind the construction of these amazing parts? Apparently, a lot of people do search for “what are tail light lenses made of” and can’t find the right answer.

As there are no solid details about that, most suffer from a lack of explanation and get into confusion. It’s quite important that one should know the material in order to change it when the lenses get damaged.

Just like that, due to the LED tailgate light bar problems, sometimes it doesn’t react or show the light when used. To treat that, this needs replacement or fixing of each part of it.

No matter what is your reason to know that, give us a moment and don’t go anywhere until you read this guide fully. In this article, we’ll try to clarify all the materials that are used so that you can comfortably change the taillight lenses after having enough information on hand. Let’s Get Into The Topic.

Know What Are Tail Light Lenses Made Of & Reasons Behind

Most branded cars have taillight lenses that are made out of PMMA, PC, or ABS polymer materials. But, picking the best one might need checking each of their specs.

MaterialTensile PressureMax TempLight Transmittance
Poly Methyl MethAcrylate2,800 – 12,183 PSI183°- 217° F80% ~ 93%
Polycarbonate7,977 – 10,878 PSI297 °F80% ~ 89%
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene6,237 PSI221 °F88%

Nearly all companies tend to offer taillight lens that is factory standard to ensure good illumination in the back-view. And, they don’t use plain plastic material as it won’t ensure good light transparency compared to prismatic lenses.

That’s why a lot of brands tend to pick tail light lens material carefully as they only got 3 choices. And, these are:

  1. Poly Methyl MethAcrylate
  2. Polycarbonate
  3. ABS Polymer

Let’s have a brief look into each material to know which one would be perfect for your truck taillight lens.

Poly Methyl MethAcrylate

Known as PMMA, this element is rigid, highly transparent, and offers great optical efficiency. It is a synthetic resin that comes from Methyl Methacrylate. This type of material is commonly used on shatterproof windows, taillight lenses, and other safety tools.

One of the reasons why all love this in the taillight lenses is because it has a 1.49% refractive index to ensure great performance to deliver light.

According to Omnexus,

Polymethyl methacrylate is highly biocompatible, 100% recyclable and non-biodegradable material. PMMA is considered as a group 7 plastic.

Also, it is compatible with welding, molding, cutting, and drilling in case users need repairs during their usage. Aside from that, this material stands on the next level for its perfect temperature resistance.


Widely used in the truck taillight lenses, the PC aka polycarbonate is a plastic element that holds only a 50% weight ratio. In truck lighting functions, this material is used on headlights, fog lamps lens, and taillight lenses.

Containing powerful impact, transparency, and nice insulation properties (mechanical and electrical) along with creep resistance, it works great on automobile work. Unlike other materials, it has a good melting resistance.

Plus, it is perfect for welding, drilling, or other common uses. However, this type of material might need solvents such as Methylene Chloride. But, in some areas, it is banned and considered cast ionogenic.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

It is a hard plastic that confirms good bearing and stability to protect the bulbs inside the taillight. Being a part of the polymer, this material ensures nice temperature resistance, light transmission, and of course clarity qualities.

Although it has a weak point which is the exposed edges, still ABS stands in a good spot for car taillight lenses. And, this type of material needs PVC solvent along with glue to weld or bond broken pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to make clear tail light lenses?

The procedure is simple as you’ll just need rubbing alcohol or any liquid solution along with a clean cloth that is taillight lens’s material friendly. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle and shoot a couple of times in the cloth in order to wipe out the surface. And, you are done.

What is a tail light lens?

For those of you who don’t have any ideas of a taillight lens, it’s a small cover wrapping the bulb that is positioned in the rear of the truck. It not only protects the bulbs from moisture but also stops other damages. 

How much does it cost to replace a tail light lens?

Usually, the tail light lens replacement fee will need around $100 to $750 on average. As you have to think of the labor, material, tax, and other costs too, the cost of it might raise a bit more.
And also, you have to consider the truck model and location to count the total expense.  However, it won’t cross more than $1,000.

Final Thoughts

Still, confused and asking what are tail light lenses made of? We really hope that you get the answer. The tail or headlights will require powerful optical clarity to transfer the light in the lenses so that drivers see the backside in the dark zone easily.

And for that reason, it’s important for you to learn about the material of the lenses of the taillights to avoid getting low-beam at risky places. The 3 materials such as PMMA, PC, and ABS polymer are highly transmissive and ensure the best light clearance.

We hope you find this article good and informative that fulfill your research. Now, It’s Time To Go. Have A Nice Day Ahead!

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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