Installing a starlight headliner in your vehicle can be a tricky, complex and tedious process. With the potential to damage your original headliner, and replacements being quite expensive, it’s normal to hire a professional installation to create a spectacular star headliner display in your behalf.
How much should this professional service cost? As a general rule, expect a starlight headliner to start at around $900 for a lower quantity of starlights, and expect about $2000 and upwards for the installation for a higher quantity of starlights. This article will cover the different factors that go into the installation cost. Factors such as star quantity, the quality of installation and even the type of vehicle.
Star quantity is the main determinant of the cost of your starlight headliner installation. Each Fiber optic light is carefully inserted into the top of the vehicle’s headliner, pressed up or stabbed through the headliner fabric, and then secured in place with a liquid adhesive. This is a very slow process that may take several hours to complete, and needs to be done carefully for each of the potential several hundred lights that will make the amazing star display. Expect a small starlight quantity like 300 to cost approx. $900 to install, and a high quantity of stars (1000) to cost upwards of $2500.
Other factors can influence the price of this installation as well, let’s take a look.
Quality of Installation
Starlight Headliners can be installed in a few different ways. Some methods will take more time, but will provide a much better star display. Many of the installations you may see online involve piercing the headliner’s fabric with the fabric optic lights, and then cutting the lights to sit flush with the headliner. This is the quickest and most simple way to install, and will still make for a great star display, however, because the fiber optic lights may tear the fabric when they are pierced through the headliner, this may cause damage, potentially ruining a clean interior look, and hurting the re-sale value of your vehicle. When installed this way, the light holes and even the lights themselves will be visible during the daytime, when the system is switched off. This can ruin the sleek look of your headliner, we highly recommend a different form of install.
At Starlight Custom, our process of installation does not involve piercing the lights through the headliner fabric. This provides several advantages. There won’t be any damage to the headliner as no lights are stabbed through the fabric. When switched off, lights or holes won’t be visible from the inside of the vehicle during the daytime. Lights also won’t be able to be felt through the headliner fabric. When you choose to sell your car, you can easily prepare your car by removing your light source, or just unplugging it, and the headliner look will go back to it’s original appearance.
When looking for a starlight headliner installer, be sure to ask exactly how they install the starlights. The more sophisticated install can cost more, however can potentially save thousands of dollars when reselling your car. Expect installations like these to cost approximately $200-$500 higher than the faster fabric piercing process.
Of course, larger vehicles can cost more for installation, since more stars are required to fill the space of the headliner. For example, Installation on a SUV with 800 stars, will cost more than a small two door coupe with a 300 starlight fill. However, a little known fact, is that some sedans, trucks and some larger 2+2 coupes may be more expensive to perform installations on.
Before installing the starlights in the headliner, it needs to first be removed from the vehicle. The headliner is typically extracted through the trunk, rear hatch, or through the passenger door if the opening is wide enough. In cars where this isn’t possible, more time, extra steps and additional equipment are needed to complete the process.
If this is the case, there are two options to perform the installation. The first option involves removing the seats, and laying the headliner on the floor of the vehicle to perform the installation. If this is not possible, the windshield may need to be taken out to extract the headliner from the car.
In the case that the headliner has to be removed through the windshield, expect an additional cost of approx. $200-$300.
If you’d like to find the appropriate starlight kit for your vehicle’s size, you can get started here. It’s a simple workflow that allows you to find the right starlight kit for your car based on size and star preference.
If you have any questions regarding starlight headliner or installation, please reach out to us below, or through our contact page.