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Tinted headlight bulbs
I have "blue ion" 85W headlights which I bought from Autodesign Haus
in Boston. The lower half of the light bulb is coated with a
transparent blue material. The headlights have a slight blue tint to
them, possibly purple.
At first I only put in one, so that I could see the difference between
my stock 55W and the 85W blue ion. I've noticed that they don't
appear to be bright at all from the drivers seat. I don't know if
this is because my eyes are more sensitive to that off-white normal
light or because the blue coloring just absorbs a lot of light.
Light colored objects in the road are far more visible with the blue
bulbs--white stop lines really stand-out. However, this may just be a
matter of contrast, I've also noticed that I have trouble seeing dark
objects--such as the log I almost hit last week. I think I would have
seen that log a lot sooner with normal lights, or if the log had been
turned so I could see the light colored core.
I installed the ion bulbs because I removed my fog lights and needed
more light. The 85W is good, but the blue seems to negate the added
power. In the fog I noticed that my lights refracted less than the
people passing me with normal lights--though this may be because my
lights were just more dim. I have driven in a friends 911 with those
HID lights and can say the ion bulbs are no where near as bright,
white, or evenly dispersed as the HID lights.
When they burn out I think I will get a normal set of 85W bulbs and
maybe put on some dichroic fog lights (I've seen these really shine
through the fog and snow).
Any comments on how the wavelength affects the lights. White light
has all the colors of the visible spectrum. I understand that the
problem with fog and snow is that some of the light refracts of the
snow before reaching a solid object, is this the long wavelength
light? Why are fog lights usually yellow, that is a fairly long
wavelength of the visible spectrum (only reddish is longer).
Does the blue light, being shorter in wavelength (shortest of visible
light), penetrate snow/fog better. I recall hearing that UV light is
used somewhere in Europe (Scandinavia?) to allow better visibility in
snow/fog. Since UV is shorter than visible, I assume that blue light
is the next best, since it is the shortest visible light. That is why
I don't understand the whole yellow light thing?
Ian (Boston, MA)