Do smoked headlights reduce visibility?

Yes. How much of a reduction is going to depend on the level of tint.

We have routinely receive a number of questions about night visibility after application of the Headlight Armor smoked headlight films. Do smoked headlights reduce visibility? How do smoked headlight affect visibility? How do headlights look with headlight tint at night? And so on.

For everyday use our recommendation is the Light Smoke. Tones down the chrome on a headlight with a lot of bright-work, and on a dark / black housing headlights will look even darker. This option while not ‘blacked out’ will achieve the smoked look, while preserving the most output of the smoked options by a wide margin.

Chrome Headlight with Headlight Armor Light Smoke Headlight Protection Film.
Headlight Armor Light Smoke Headlight Film

We put together a night testing photo series. Full photos on the site here:

We included a head on view and a view of the road / beam pattern. All photos were done with the same vehicle, parked in the same spot on the same night. Included are photos of the Clear, HID Blue, GT Yellow, Light Smoke, and Smoke.

For some daytime photos we have a smoked headlight gallery on the site here:

The bottom line is yes all headlight tint is going to lower the output. The darker the material you apply the lower the output. There is no way around that. If you see some other 'tint' somewhere that looks really dark - on a known chrome housing headlight - know that no matter the claimed transmission a significant output reduction should be expected.