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Do yellow bulbs improve visibility?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' at netrider.net.au started by dan, Jun 16, 2005.

  1.  Top
  2. Wasn't the theory that the eye sees yellow light clearer than white?

    Trouble is, you end up with a less intense light and can't see where you are going.

    Same thing with the old sodium street lamps, you could see the lamp clear enough, just not much on the ground.

    Wasn't there an experiment with UV, or other some such blue light a while back? The theory being that you could see much more around you without creating any glare. Problem with this was the direct opposite of yellow light, in that the car became less visible.

    Or did I dream it...
  3. I believe one of the major factors in the choice of yellow headlights in France was that they penetrate fog a lot better than the white light. It meant that cars coming in the opposite direction were more visible. It also meant that there was a lot less reflection of light from the fog back to the vehicle. Much of Northern France is very flat countryside and very prone to fog.
  4. personally i find the Blue type loight is some newer cars a LOT easier to see and brighter than trditional yellow ones...can always seem them well before the car is near you.

    But as they are not in all cars i'd say they are also more expensive to produce
  5. I hate those lights. I believe the main advantage of the yellow lights is that they reduce glare in the eyes of other motorists. Amber is a glare free colour as it blocks out blue which is in fact the cause of glare. The headlights with a blue tinge are more visible because they actually work to prevent you from seeing anything else that may be on the road. The effect's not too bad in the city, but on a country road with kangaroos instead of streetlights it's a whole new ballgame.

    Might I add on a side topic, that I wholeheartedly encourage the abuse of wankers who put those bloddy blue neon type lights on the front of their cars, and those who drive with fog lights on in clear conditions. :x
  6. I was under the impression that the yellow lights were to do with the country or origin of the car. Older cars apparently dip their lights down and slightly away from the oncoming traffic. However, if you drive that car in a country that drives on the opposite side of the road, that will shine the lights into the oncoming traffic. Also, European standards differ and the range that a dipped headlight 'kicks-up' into the other lane alters from country to country. Using yellow plastic filters disperses that light. You also see some short black strips stuck to headlights that prevents this from happening. Read about it here at the UK MOT site:


    An extract:
    Right hand dip headlamps can be temporarily altered for use in the UK by fitting masks or converter kits which remove the beam 'kick-up' to the right.
  7. True about the headlight dipping, but nothing to do with the yellow filters. You used to need to fit the yellow filters in order to comply with local country laws, it didn't have anything to do with the direction of the dip.

    I don't think any countries require yellow lights anymore (thank God).
  8. For some reason, my baby ninja has yellow lights for headlights (one of my bike's many quirks :? )...must have been in some cold climate, foggy country in its past life. I can definately say it is a big pain in the ass...its definately not as bright as normal headlights and can make it a bit hard to see at night.

    The only advantage - apparently - is that when I'm tail ending, my yellow lights are easy to spot amongst all the other traffic and it makes it easier for ride leaders to know that the group's still together.
  9. I'm with Nodz on this one. It's for the purposes of fog penetration and visibility in fog. Years ago (yeh, OK, I know) all fog lamps were yellow, the theory being that the yellow light penetrated better and made the car more visible.