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fog lights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by pudge151, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Apr 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM
    #1
    pudge151

    pudge151 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i am getting an H10 3000k HID kit for my fogs lights. is the yellow color really better than white in fog, rain, snow...

    back in the day fog lights were yellow but now i see mostly white. whats everyones take on this?
     
  2. Apr 19, 2011 at 4:49 PM
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    Juggernaut

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    I think its the same, unless you are getting yellow light by tinting the lens, then it is worse because the tint blocks some of the light.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2011 at 5:38 PM
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    LaoSiFu

    LaoSiFu Tacoma Driver

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    I still believe yellow cuts through the fog easier than white. BTW I thought our fogs were H11?

    ~Robert
     
  4. Apr 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    Technically speaking it does not "cut through fog" better, as is usually pointed to Rayleigh scattering. In this application, it makes no real difference.

    However, yellow is easier for the human eye to process, and the slightly reduced output creates slightly less glare coming back from fog/snow/etc. So, yellow does help performance.

    HID foglights will unfortunately blind other motorists, so you should weigh that. Maybe get some PIAA fog lights instead?
     
  5. Apr 20, 2011 at 9:18 PM
    #5
    pudge151

    pudge151 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    would they really be that blinding?

    i have thought about staying away from HID for the fogs because i was thinking with scattering and all that it could be worse than halogens in the fog

    i dont think PIAA makes an h10 bulb for our fogs, as least i havent seen one
     
  6. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    #6
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the factory bulb. They have a black "glare shield" that prevents glare from the source of the light. Other cars have the glare shield built into the light housing, like our headlights do (it's the little chrome thing in the middle).

    No matter where you point the fogs, there is NO glare protection from HID, and they will blind other motorists. Not so bad in the city, but you come up on someone in the country (without ambient lighting), and you will very likely temporarily blind them.

    Not only that, but the reflectors are built specifically to reflect a halogen light source. HID's light source is a different shape, therefore when you install HID into a halogen reflector, you get a lot of light scatter. No matter how much you "aim them down", you will still get errant light that can glare.

    The Tacoma's headlights are more resistant to the errant light, but does not eliminate the issue.

    Besides, how does aiming all that new light down on the ground help? You're just illuminating your foreground, while it's completely possible you are losing distance lighting--which could mean you can't see stuff in the road at highway speeds before it's too late!

    There are ways to get better light on the road without harming other drivers' vision, but it costs more than a set of $20 Chinese electronics.

    However, I will say for cheap OFF ROAD lighting, a HID kit may not be a bad choice.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:34 AM
    #7
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    My HID's have a shield on them. I bought a set for the motorcycle...

    OP, I think the other guy was referring to PIAA's complete fog light replacement. They make a kit for the Tacoma that uses 540 lamps.
     
  8. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM
    #8
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, it might just be because people are too busy covering their eyes. I've been blinded on several occasions by HID kits--even in Tacomas--and I've not flashed back. What's the point?

    There was someone sitting at a light in a VW (Golf, I think) with HIDs on during the day, and when he drove past me it actually blinded me.

    Honestly, I'm not sure why I bother with this stuff, because people are going to do what they want regardless of what it may do to others.

    Here's a good read, if you want to get more technical comparing HID kits in halogen housings:
    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html

    I'll admit, I tried an HID kit in my Tacoma. I took it for a short test drive, and pulled them out. The lights hit someone's rear view mirror (inside the car), bounced back, and got me pretty good. They were obviously annoyed by it, and I was behind them.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:46 AM
    #9
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I bought an HID kit from one of the group buys here and stuck them in a motorcycle headlight. The HID kit had a very large metal shroud at the bottom to prevent light from reflecting upwards into oncoming traffic. Looking at the beam pattern against a wall, I don't see how these would be a problem, even in a stock headlight housing. Do all HID's not come with this shroud?
     
  10. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    #10
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    As Halogen reflectors, the Tacoma headlights are actually not too bad. Better than most of the cars I've driven. The Osram 70w/65w bulbs I have in my truck are FAR better than stock. In fact, they made the Lightforce 240's I had on my truck almost useless for *most* situations--other than all-out straightaways in the empty desert near Moab.

    The foglights are just bad because of the lack of glare protection. I think you could actually use like a 9005 or 9006 bulb in there--which does have glare protection--and increase your light without blinding people. I'm not sure how the housings hold up.

    Really though, you have to be careful with foreground lighting, if you drive the highways a lot. People (and I do this too), tend to focus their eyes where the light is. I used to drive with my foglights on (stock ones), because I liked the side light. But, I found myself focusing on the light, right in front of the truck.

    At 60MPH, that's no good at all! So, now I rarely use them.

    They would be great for actual fog, where it was super pea soup. At that point, even the higher output of HID fogs won't likely bother other drivers as much, because the light can't get through. They also would be great for inexpensive off road lights. But, using them on the highway might be worse for your safety than without. You need to see things well before they are 20-30ft in front of your car.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    #11
    Norcan

    Norcan What we don't have we make.

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  12. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:50 AM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    The ones for the H4 headlights in our truck do come with them (usually), but not the fog lights.

    The shields do help, but they still don't eliminate the problem I'm talking about. Read the link I posted, it will tell you what the true problem is.

    The light pattern changes significantly with HID, and you may not even readily be able to tell what you're now unable to see. Lighting is a VERY technically complex system, much more goes into it then I think we realize.

    Even if you aren't offending other motorists, you might be short-changing yourself with HID kits. Now, you also might not--it really depends on each case individually.

    But, as I said, for super short range off-road-only driving-through-the-trees-by-yourself, HID can be a great way to get cheap light. Just don't depend on the cheap electronics! :D
     
  13. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:55 AM
    #13
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Gotcha, my bike takes the same kit as the Tacoma headlights. I swapped to HID because of the lower draw, hoping the HID light would do a better job lighting up the road. The stock bulbs are horrible in the bike! I put it about 5' in front of an overhead door and the pattern seems to be a bit wider and have a nice, sharp cut-off (I'm guessing due to the shroud) and I didn't notice any stray light in places it shouldn't be. I'll have a read through the article also.
     
  14. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    HID retrofits are awesome. I'm actually working on replacing my fogs with projectors for driving lights. I REALLY wanted HID, but it's going to cost around $600, and I'm not sure I can swing it right now (custom job, with Hella lighting modules). I have some bi-halogen projectors I will probably use instead.

    For bulbs, I would recommend these:
    http://store.candlepower.com/64205.html

    If you're worried about going over stock wattage (I've had no issues so far), you can also try these, which are still better than stock (they are a little cheaper, too):
    http://store.candlepower.com/90h4hbxtpo.html
     
  15. Apr 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    If your stock motorcycle housings are giant round reflectors, you might consider contacting Daniel Stern about a replacement for the housing. Hella and Cibie make replacement headlight housings that take H4 bulbs that--from what I hear--are very good. It might take some time to get them, however, as they generally come from Europe.

    Though, I warn you--replacement Cibie housings may not be cheap. I also don't know if they're made for motorcycles, but a lot of people have put them in their cars with good results (reportedly, I've not seen them myself).
     
  16. Apr 21, 2011 at 11:02 AM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    Those bulbs will work well for anyone with a 2nd gen Tacoma. I run the Osrams myself. Great improvement!
     
  17. Apr 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM
    #17
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    I put them in at the end of last season and haven't taken it out of storage yet but I remember being pretty anal about the cut-off and not wanting people to be flashing their brights at me on a motorcycle. The reflectors are fairly small since it's a sport bike and with the shroud, seems to have a clean cut off looking more like the 'Pass' picture in your article. It didn't have that hue overhead of the beam like the failed test. That article has some good information in it!
     
  18. Apr 21, 2011 at 11:09 AM
    #18
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    That's good then, and some vehicles do have a good cutoff. That's good to mostly eliminate glare to others. There can be errant light though that still gets through, and can be annoying. Some vehicles handle HID kits a lot better than others. Volkswagen, apparently, does not.

    In the city, it's really less of a problem with the glare and so forth. There is so much ambient lighting, that bad lighting is often hard to see (or at least not offensive).

    If you drive much in places with NO light whatsoever, it can really cause a problem there. Last winter we drove from Salt Lake City to Moab, UT. It was late when we hit the last stretch to Moab. I passed maybe a half a dozen cars in over 100 miles. No towns, no street lights, nothing (except maybe a UFO--or falling stars?). In those situations, bad lighting really shows up.

    For the most part, you're probably OK. However, do remember if you're over-lighting the foreground, it *looks* like you have more light, but it can really hinder your long-range vision--important at highway speeds.
     
  19. Apr 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM
    #19
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    One last thing to consider. At 65MPH, you are traveling at about 95 feet per second. If you're blinded for 3 seconds by another motorist as they pass, that's nearly a football field you're traveling that you cannot see. A lot can happen, and no matter how much cars have improved safety, at that speed not much will save you.

    Granted, this is a lot of preaching. I take some of this pretty seriously because we spend a LOT of time on the highway. I've taken my truck on a few 5000+ mile road trips, a lot of them on 2-lane highways. That's the most dangerous part. Daily city driving and divided highways aren't nearly so bad.

    There's a lot of other things to driving that are worse than bad headlights, some of which I've been guilty of in the past. Distracted driving of any form--drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation, cell phones, even food--can really ruin someone's day.
     
  20. Apr 21, 2011 at 12:45 PM
    #20
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    A standard 35w HID bulb, like the a typical Philips or GE D2S puts out about 3200 lumens, which is the measurement of light.

    The Osram 70w/65w I mentioned puts out 1350 on low beam, and 2000 on high beam.

    So, HID puts out significantly more light per watt than halogen, and why it is preferred on most high-end lighting systems (for cars). Watts has nothing to do with output, generally.

    It's not really about the light output, though. It's the *shape* of the light source. Think of it when you re-direct the sun with a mirror, and shine a light spot on something. Moving the mirror just a millimeter changes where the sun "spot" lands significantly.

    Changing the shape of the light source is kind of like moving the mirror--or in this case, moving the light source while the mirror stays put. It changes where the light goes, and that's the primary problem with installing HID kits.

    HID kits though will vary wildly from OEM specs, so it's no telling how much light you're getting. 55w does apparently put out substantially more light than 35w.

    4200k is about optimal color for HID. The big number (4200, 8000, 10000, etc) is about temperature color. Daylight is about 4100k. With 10000k, you're well into the blue spectrum. The light output from HID actually goes down the further away from "optimal" you get. 3000k puts out less light than 4100k, but it's in the yellow spectrum so you don't lose as much.

    10000k HID is likely not a substantial improvement over halogen, as far as light output, and I'd personally argue that it is less useful. 8000k is about as far as you can go without severely reducing light output--though there is some. So, with 10000k, if you're not getting flashed, it's because your lights are too dim to cause issues (other than the annoying blue color).

    Something else to consider (and this even goes for those that change instrument colors). Blue is THE hardest color for the human brain to process. In fact, in some instances, it makes things flat unreadable. The processing color spectrum goes something like red-orange-yellow-green-blue.

    Red had almost no detrimental effects to our night vision, as it is the easiest for us to pick up. That's why the instruments in our trucks are the dull red-orange. This is why we often have yellow fog lights, and why the French could use selective-yellow headlights.

    So, with blue headlights, not only are you getting reduced output from the HID, you're also limiting what you can process on what you see on the road.

    Blue filtering on headlights, such as Sylvania Silver Stars, also filters out a huge portion of the visible spectrum, unlike yellow. The only way you can get the color is to filter out colors, and by filtering out colors, you are reducing the amount of light that is emitted from the bulb. There are technical numbers, but basically yellow lights/bulbs lose far more output than blue bulbs. Standard, plain clear bulbs lose no light output to filtering. The Silver Stars do put out measurably more light at the filament, but the blue filtering removes most of that extra output. So, what you have is a fancy expensive bulb that puts out about the same--or less--as a plain factory bulb.
     
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