Tinted Tail Lights By Darcness

Now the deal on the OEM smoked tail lights is great.  However, if you want something a little darker, you’re going to have to go somewhere else.  There is a guy on the MKV forums that goes by “Darcness” who can tint tail lights to your preferred shade and even do the amber turn signal modification while he’s at it.  The amber turn signal DIY is actually his own doing as well.  He does excellent work, as attested to by several forum members, and this huge thread.

Not my car, but featuring his work

I do not have his tail lights nor have I ordered from him, but I like what he does.  He does quality work.  He has many satisfied customers and is a forum sponsor.  In general, a good guy.  Check out that thread if you’re interested in purchasing a set of custom tail lights from him.  Basically, you pay for your tails plus a deposit.  You receive your tails, install them and then send back your old set and your deposit is refunded.

If you need some tail light work, send him a private message on GolfMKV.com under user name “Darcness”.  He can elaborate more on pricing.


Disclaimer: Please understand that if a situation or something arises, I am in no way tied to “Darcness”.  I cannot help you in transactions with him.  This post is just to let others know of a forum recommended source for tinted tail lights.


OEM Smoked / Tinted Tail Lights

OEM Smoked Tail Lights p/n 1K0052200N

If you want to add little more aggressiveness to the rear end of your GTI or Rabbit, the OEM smoked tail lights are on sale from several vendors right now.  The OEM part number is 1K0052200N.  ECStuning.com has them for 79.00 dollars and DBCPerformance.com has them for 69.00 dollars.  DBC has them listed as currently out of stock, so you might want to contact them and see if they will be getting more units in.  These lights used to sell for around 290 dollars so if you’ve been eyeing them, now is the time to buy.

The lights aren't on in this shot but the led sidemarker is in the bottom right of this picture

The lights are direct plug and play replacements and DOT approved.  It isn’t advertised but these lights have an led sidemarker on the sides.  These sidemarkers activate when you turn on your lights and blink as an extra turn signal.  That’s a nice little touch.  The US-spec MKV has terrible turn signal visibility so every little bit helps.  Too bad I can’t transfer my amber modified trays into it yet.  I technically can, but I lose the led sidemarker light.  I have to figure out how to wire the led in with the modified amber tray.

Once I get full shots, I’ll post them up.

6/20/2011 update:  Unfortunately these are no longer available from ECS or DBC.  They sold out really quickly.  Maybe a few of the smaller vendors will still have them or the local dealers, good luck!

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY Mod

Red turn signals have always bothered me.  They’re much harder to notice than amber turn signals and difficult to differentiate from the brake lights in certain cars.  The MKV cars have amber turn signals in Europe but for some reason, the US-spec cars get the horrible red flasher.  Fortunately not all is lost.  A forum member by the name of Darcness came up with a cheap, very easy DIY to incorporate amber turn signals into the US-spec tail lights.  It just requires you to purchase two bulb sockets.  The mod requires some soldering but it is not difficult.  It also requires the use of VAG-COM to change some settings around.

I love this mod, I finished it up a few days ago and the amber turn signals do a much better job of signaling my intent to other drivers.  They are a little dimmer in the daytime but still very noticeable.  At night, they are absolutely fantastic.  I’ll get a picture up ASAP.  I will say that you should use 921NA bulbs in the mod.  It will give you the brightest light in this application.  A 194/168/916 bulb will fit and work but is dimmer than the 921.  The thread on the forum will state that there might be heat issues but with the intermittent nature of a turn signal, that won’t be a problem.  It may not even be a problem with continuous usage.

You’ll need a few things for the DIY:

Soldering iron



Wire strippers

(x2) 921 NA (Amber) wedge bulbs

(x2) bulb holders  (Order these exact ones www.discoverbulbs.com/connectors.htm.  Click the link and scroll to the 194/921 wedge pigtail connectors; they are part number 60-XX @ 2.99 each)

EDIT: This site no longer exists. Try looking for 194 bulb sockets or pigtail connectors on ebay. A Google search will also bring up a good amount of sources.

Vag com or someone who has it

And finally the link to his DIY below

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY

Can’t thank Darcness enough for his DIY!  If you find his DIY useful, send your thanks his way on that post!

Here’s a video of them in action:

European Spec Projector Fog Lights

Euro Fogs


Switching to the Euro spec projector fog lights was one of my first modifications.  The US spec MKV GTI comes with reflector fog lights.  They throw out a scattered beam pattern compared to the European units.  The Euro versions have a sharp cutoff line and a higher quality lens assembly.  They did require me to fit H11 plugs because the car originally came with 9006 spec bulbs.  I originally bought the pair for 300 from oemplus.com.  They are now available through various outlets for about 200 or less with the proper 9006 to H11 adapter plugs.  ECStuning has them for a decent price with the correct adapters.

Quick Review

The projector fogs feel much more substantial than the reflector units. The lens / cover is all glass. This makes it a little more susceptible to impact damage. I’d recommend purchasing some kind of protection film, maybe Lamin-x or the equivalent. The beam pattern has a sharp cutoff and the light is focused well. The height is fully adjustable. The projector lens looks better than the reflector unit but that shouldn’t be the sole reason you purchase these. Now that the prices are lower and the proper adapters are included, these are a nice upgrade to the fog light system.

There are cheaper alternatives to the OEM version floating around eBay and various other vendors now. The DEPO lights are of excellent quality and I can actually recommend them. The Ziza brand lights are reputed to be poorly built and have no cutoff. Avoid them.