Spraying the “Snake Oil” on the new Mustang’s headlights. Details after the jump.
I prefer to have some kind of defense against LIDAR, but don’t like the idea of an active laser jammer (plus, they are slowly being outlawed in an increasing number of states). So, in addition to buying my car in a color that doesn’t reflect laser frequency light very well, I also spray my headlights with a coating that tends to absorbs laser. I know that there are many who doubt the effectiveness of such a product, but I have seen enough evidence about coatings that are engineered to absorb specific frequencies of light that I believe the science is sound. Your mileage may vary.
Regardless, today I was able to wash the car, then carefully clean the headlights. I taped off the bodywork around the headlights and then taped newspaper around that to keep the spray off the painted parts:
Although the product may be brushed on, I think it looks much, much better sprayed... so I broke out the airbrush:
The sprayed headlights don’t look much different than they originally did, and the coating isn’t noticeable unless a person is specifically looking for it up close. To my point, the picture at the top of the page was taken after I was done applying the coating, but before I removed the newspaper and tape.
The theory isn’t to make the car completely invisible to laser, but rather to reduce the reflection so that it has to be much closer than usual to get a reading. Since a primary advantage of LIDAR is that it can target a specific car that is a long distance away from the unit, the detector should give some warning when you are being targeted, and you will have a few seconds to scrub off some speed before the unit acquires a strong enough reflection to determine your velocity. The unit is typically targeted on the most reflective parts of the car; the license plate and headlights. A perpendicular surface (such as a license plate) or concave reflector (such as a headlight) is needed to bounce the light back to the unit, and the rest of the car tends to deflect the laser in a different direction. The gray color helps to reduce the reflections from the body even further.
Now, to do something about the chrome pony on the grill...