In the mid-1930s, there was a French demand for yellow headlights, allegedly at the urging of the French army to better distinguish French cars. Now that we know the science of why yellow light is better than blue or white light in night driving conditions, let`s learn the history of yellow-tinted headlights called «French» lights. In 1936, the French government passed a law requiring all vehicles produced from 1937 onwards to have yellow headlights. However, some cars in European countries have yellow headlights or fog lights, as follows: «Selective yellow» differs from the yellow, orange or orange light in the indicators. In the color spectrum, yellow light has a longer wavelength than blue to purple colors. The shorter the wavelength, the harder it is for the human eye to see. If you look at the wavelength graph below, you can see that the yellow to red colors are great for seeing at night. In bad weather, bright blue or white light on rain, fog or snow can cause a dazzling effect, reducing visibility. Yellow light doesn`t reflect off the water as easily as blue, allowing the driver to see the road more clearly. The easiest way to convert your existing transparent headlights to yellow is to apply a yellow vinyl sheet on them.
Although visibility is improved in weather conditions, drivers will notice a loss of brightness of about 12%. One advantage of this change is that the process is completely reversible if you don`t like the look. Some lamps simply have a yellow filter, while others have used a yellow reflector to get the yellow light. A: The Federal Department of Transportation, which sets all automotive regulations, requires that all new cars sold in the United States have white headlights. This does not prevent you from changing them yourself. However, state motor vehicle regulations almost always prohibit the use of colorful headlights on the road. Only the French insisted on demanding yellow headlights, at least until they joined the European Union and adapted their rules of the road to the rest of Europe. No one knows the true genesis of the idea, but in late 1936, the France enacted a law requiring street lights — which included headlights and fog lights — to emit «selective yellow» light. These lights are called «selective yellow» lights, which were mandatory in cars in France for many years. Q: I bought yellow headlights for my vehicle. I think they help me see better at night, especially when it`s raining. I live in Washington State, the land of rain and fog.
However, a friend of mine who has the same yellow lights was arrested by the local authorities and warned to remove the yellow lights. If we can have yellow fog lights, why can`t we have yellow lights? The purpose of yellow-tinted headlights is to improve visibility at night by removing blue to purple colors from the wavelength spectrum. Others say that yellow light penetrates better into the fog, which leads to such a requirement. According to the land transport authority, «fog lamps are only allowed to project white or yellow light». Watch an Old Top Gear video from 1990 that explains in more detail the French flagships. «They shall not be installed more than 400 mm from the sides of the vehicle and at least 600 mm from each other. They must also be under the headlights and at least 250 mm above the road surface,» the specification says. To be sure, contact your mechanic or fitter to make sure the yellow lights you install for this classic European look are legal and safe.
Whatever their beginnings, during their six decades of use, yellow headlights have been appreciated by drivers as less garish than white headlights in the fog. Although the main focus is safety, some say it was also a way for the French government to easily distinguish a French car from a foreign car when driving at night. This was important during World War II in the 1940s. Until 1993, the European Union required the France to meet its safety standards, eliminating yellow-tinted headlights in exchange for respecting the use of white headlights. If a French car was first registered before 1993, you can still have yellow headlights. In particular, the special yellow tone was chosen to protect the eyes of drivers. Article written by: Greggor Moar — February 05, 2020 Just ask Mike about it. Send your questions to Auto Clinic, Popular Mechanics, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019-5899 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Although it is impossible to respond individually to letters, faxes, telephone calls or emails, the column deals with matters of general interest.
They did not improve the driver`s vision per se, but were both lighter to the eye and more visible in dense fog. BMW Individual M850i Night Sky Edition is out of this world It is a paler and less dazzling color that is achieved by removing the blue component from the white light. If you want to know why BMW uses an orange night light, you can read our blog post on this topic HERE. However, if you install replacement spots, be warned that they are not allowed. Your car`s fog lights are usually white or cream. The France maintained this requirement for nearly 60 years, ending it in 1993, ushering in the era of white lighthouses. To find out how BMW laser headlight technology works, click HERE. There are many explanations for the use of this type of lights, but the most credible is that they should make cars more visible in fog.