Jump to content

Headlights, fog lights, intensity, glare, color, what's best, when to use?

Recommended Posts

I've been curious as to what my "fog" lights, on my MKX are really good for. Is white the best color, amber, blue? When is the best time to use them, day driving, night, rail, snow, fog ...?


Are those kinky blue headlights really better?


I found a website that answers all these questions and more with good logic and backed with evidence as to what is good, bad and ugly. Here's a sampling:


Various companies and individuals are selling halogen headlamp bulbs with blue or purplish-blue glass. There are lots of spurious claims made for these bulbs. They're falsely advertised as "Xenon bulbs" or "HID bulbs", the blue glass is claimed to "force the bulb to perform at a higher level", and there are seemingly endless amounts of pseudoscience aimed at enticing buyers who want better performance from their headlamps. In fact, these bulbs reduce headlamp performance while increasing dangerous glare.


White light is made up of every color of light mixed together. But the colors are not all present in equal amounts. The output spectrum of filament bulbs, including halogen headlamp bulbs, includes a great deal of red, orange, yellow and green light, but very little blue or violet light. Blue bulbs have colored glass (or a filter coating applied to clear glass) that allows only the blue light through the filter — this is why the bulbs appear blue. Because very little blue light is produced by a halogen bulb in the first place, it is only this very small amount — a tiny fraction of the total amount of light produced by a halogen bulb filament — that ever reaches the road.


Compared to uncolored bulbs, Blue headlight bulbs are able to produce more glare with less light because of the difference between the "signal image", which is what an observer sees when looking at an illuminated headlamp, and the "beam pattern", which is the light viewed from behind the headlamp facing forward, as by the driver of a vehicle. ..........and much, much more. And he also discusses what makes a "good" blue headlight.


How about converting your halogen's to HID? Read on...

So you've read about HID headlamps and have it in mind to convert your car. A few mouse clicks on the web, and you've found a couple of outfits offering to sell you a "conversion" that will fit any car with a given type of halogen bulb, for between $150 and $600. STOP, put away that credit card. Trying to "convert" halogen headlamps to HID is an unsafe thing to do. There are NO legitimate or safe HID bulb retrofits for halogen headlamps. Here's why.


He also has an excellent discussion on "fog" lights, when to use fog lights, when not to, where they should be aimed, what color works best, whether white is better or blue or amber, how to make it work to your advantage, etc. How the eye sees green/yellow better that other colors, how to color a bulb or lens to achieve a specific degree of yellow, (what paint to use), etc.


There's history, tests and logic and myths debunked on everything automotive lighting.

I hope you enjoy reading about the ins and outs of automotive lighting, as much as I did.



Edited by enigma-2
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been noticing a lot of "ricer" blue bulbs on cars coming at me at night. These things are horrible for oncoming traffic and also don't really increase useable light for the driver. If the light housing wasn't designed for LED or HID I wouldn't convert them. The focal point of the 07flector will change if the hotspot (filament) of the bulb changes. My 07 headlights seem to be really well suited for nighttime driving. Changing to blue coated bulbs is a waste and regular halogen seems to be the way to go. Oh yeah. The ricer bulbs can be real junk and will probably burn out in a few months.

This is in my not so humble opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...