When driving, visibility is one of the aspects you have to keep up for your safety and other road users. However, there are some natural conditions that you may encounter on the road that can affect your sense of sight, for example, fog. Fog causes cloudiness on the road ahead and makes it hard to navigate. To deal with the issue, fog lights have your back to keep your visibility intact in the poor conditions. Talking about headlights, there is the yellow vs. white fog lights debate that you should know as an experienced mechanic.
Yellow or white refers to the color of the beam that comes from the fog lamp. There is the looming argument on which of the two is the best. With our experience in auto-mechanics and general repairs, we will guide you on the concept of the fog lights and touch on the yellow and white lights to give you a better understanding.
What Are Fog Lights and Their Purpose?
Fog lights are among the many car light types that boost visibility when driving. There is a debate about their importance among auto enthusiasts, as their use is rare. However, despite their rarity in use, they are essential in situations where there is poor visibility due to certain environmental factors. These factors may be fog, mist, dust, and sandstorms, where getting your way through may be a problem due to the thick cloud they create. What about the headlights? You may ask. The headlights can function in such situations, though there is the issue of the lights refracting and hitting back to the car.
Here is where the fog lights come to play as they have a bar-shaped beam, and their position allows them to target the ground at a sharp angle. This operation manner prevents the light from reflecting off the mist and upholds visibility in such difficult conditions. The fog lamps are usually low set, below the headlights, to achieve their purpose of lighting up in foggy or dusty conditions. In some vehicles, they play a role in upholding their looks and bringing the shape of the frontal bumper.
The sharpness of the fog lights also helps notify other road users of your presence on the road. In such cloudy conditions, visibility is low, especially if it is at night. The headlights may not be strong enough to alert oncoming road users that you are on the road, and it might cause an accident. One thing to understand about this type of light is that they have lower reach compared to headlights, but they provide decent light to illuminate the road ahead.
On the light types, as a mechanic, you understand it is all about temperatures, with the unit of measurement being degrees kelvin. The lower the value, the warmer the color, with yellow being somewhere around 2000-3000 kelvins, while the intense colors, white in this case, ranks at around 6000 kelvins. Let us have an in-depth look at these types of fog lights.
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Yellow Fog Lights
As its name hints, the yellow fog light takes on a yellow or amber coloration when lit. You can notice the lamp’s color, where some models have white light, but the lens has a yellow tint. This type of fog lights is one of the most common, with many preferring it as the human eye is more tolerant to yellow lights. The human eye process light colors differently, and it seems more accommodating to the yellow lights.
The primary purpose of using yellow in fog lights and other frontal car lights generally is to improve visibility, first of all, due to its brightness and also because it’s friendly to the eye. They are sometimes referred to as amber fog lights as the color is closer to amber, primarily when looking at the lamp and lens. This fog light comes in handy in snowy situations, allowing for optimum visualization, even in snowstorms and rain.
There are two ways to get yellow fog lights on a vehicle. The standard method is using a cover, which is very flexible and works according to your preference. You simply attach an amber-colored cover on white fog light, and the lights will take on this color when lit. If you do not want the yellow light, you simply remove the cover. The other way is by getting yellow LED bulbs, which are getting popular in the autotuning and maintenance scene.
One of the yellow light pros is that they have a longer wavelength, which does away with refraction, reducing glare and light bouncing back to you. There are several brands of yellow fog lights in the market, such as Samlight Fog Lights, which is of high quality and has a durable body. You can use it for off-road engagements, on your motorcycle, boat, and other areas, which shows you how versatile it is.
From the same manufacturer, there is Samlight LED Light Bar, which is also excellent for lighting up dark and cloudy areas. They have a sturdy build that makes them durable, and they come with mounting brackets for convenience during installation.
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The White Light
On the other side of the argument, we have white fog lights, which is also standard in car tuning. As earlier hinted, the light has a temperature of around 6000 kelvins. A definitive characteristic of the white light that you will notice is that it has a white appearance, sometimes almost having a bluish hue. The white light is ideal for everyday lighting purposes, where you can use it as an additional white source when driving. However, like a fog light, it is not as effective as the yellow light as it has a shorter wavelength. A short-wavelength will cause refraction, and the light might bounce back.
The good thing with this light is that it is bright and will indicate your presence to other road users in foggy conditions. The white fog lights are also excellent aesthetic boosters, which you can light up during the day to make a statement.
Among the notable white light brands in the market are the Nilight LED Pods, which you can use in multiple settings like your off-road car, boat, and many more. It uses high-quality LED chips, which produce a concentrated beam for long distances. If you have white lights and you prefer amber, you can get a cover with the desired color, which you fix and remove as you like.
What Is the Difference Between Yellow and White Lights?
If you want to understand these two fog light varieties, you need to understand their differences. The significant variation is the different colors, with them having colors as indicated in their names. The color difference comes due to their different temperatures. To understand how the two contrast, you can check the light temperature chart, which goes from 1000 kelvins on the lower side to 10000 kelvins on the highest value. The yellow light is around 2000 or 3000 kelvins, while the white light is on the 5000 to 6000 value and mostly use HID or LED bulbs; hence its intensity.
Their brightness of the two lights is another distinction point, where the white light is brighter than the other. The shine makes it less friendly to the human eye, which will perfectly accommodate yellow illumination. When it comes to using on the road, the yellow light is preferable as it has a longer wavelength, meaning it will brighten the path ahead for longer distances. It does not refract, which ensures no glare hits you.
Yellow Vs. White Fog Lights Pros and Cons
When choosing the suitable fog light between yellow and white, you have to pay attention to their pros and cons, which helps you land on the most preferable. Let us look at their respective advantages and disadvantages to give you a broader picture of what you get when you use them.
Yellow Fog Light Pros and Cons
The yellow fog light has many advantages, the most prominent one being its friendliness to the human eye. When on the road, you need to have your eyes on the road, and the lights should uphold your sight. Our eyes will perfectly accommodate the yellow light, whether focused on the road or oncoming road users. It promotes safety, as we can see correctly in this light without straining. They are also suitable for depth perception, which comes in handy if you drive in a foreign environment.
Another pro of the yellow fog light is that they cut well through various environmental conditions that can affect vision. Some of the states are fog, rains, snow, and dust. The refraction-less quality boosts it in this area, especially when you consider that fog lights are low-set. In the case of using a cover to get the light, you benefit from the versatility of this light as you may switch to white light when you want. The yellow lights also add an edge of beauty to the car.
The main downside of this fog lamp type is that it may not be bright enough in certain situations. This issue becomes evident when using a yellow fog light tint, as it significantly reduces the light intensity.
White Fog Light Pros and Cons
The white fog lights are some of the best car additions for cosmetic purposes. While the yellow lights are also capable of improving the car’s aesthetics, the white variety brings some simplicity, which many car owners appreciate. Additionally, it is versatile, where you can use it as a standard car light, and it is also very bright, bringing ample illumination to dark places.
The con of the white fog light is that it is too bright; hence, not suitable for human vision. The brightness can cause you to strain when driving, a dangerous occurrence. There is also the risk of refraction due to its short wavelength, increasing the chances of glares. Despite its sharpness, it illuminates for short distances.
Yellow vs. white fog lights Reddit discussions can provide you more info on the two’s practicability, though most reviews paint the yellow fog light favorably.
Important Tips for Using Fog Lights
The fog lamps are vital accessories of your car as they help you make your way in environmental situations where visibility is low. There are things you need to know when it comes to the use of these accessories for a better service. The most critical tip to know is that you should use them whenever the conditions call for it, such as storms, heavy rain, snow, and fog. Are white or yellow fog light illegal? This is an excellent question to bear in mind, depending on your locality or where you intend to visit. Different territories may have certain laws regarding the use of these car lamps.
For instance, in Florida, the traffic laws prohibit their use when other vehicles on the road, unless it is foggy. In other states such as Oregon, laws prohibit using these lights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or 350 feet when trailing another car.
You should also pay attention to their maintenance, where you check them or let a professional do it for you regularly. Also, act fast if it starts acting up. Never leave the lights on, this is a basic rule when dealing with lights, or the car battery will discharge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Point Of Yellow Fog Lights?
The yellow fog lights are one of the varieties of fog lights that you may come across and are one of the best when dealing with fog. It is a short wavelength light that will enable you to see through the cloud of mist or dust without the risk of eye strain as the eye can handle it.
What Is The Point Of White Fog Lights?
White fog lights help in visualization in poor weather conditions. They are very bright, therefore, not a choice for many as it may reflect the driver. The luminous nature of this light is not ideal to the eye and may cause eye strain.
What Light Color Works Best In Fog?
The yellow or amber color is the best for fog. First, it is friendly to the eye, and its long wavelength does not allow for refraction and will illuminate the road ahead for a long distance. Its low-glow nature will alert other motorists of your presence, though it won’t be too much to affect their vision.
Are Amber Fog Lights Better Than White?
Amber lights have a temperature of about 2500 to 4000 kelvins, a decent value for the human eyesight. They are better than white fog lamps as they have a low refraction rate, and they have a more extended reach. An excellent example of this accessory is the Hella amber driving lamp, which is a very robust courtesy of its ABS body build and bonded glass lenses, guaranteeing comfort, and less eye fatigue.
Do Yellow Lights Help In Fog?
Yellow lights are some of the best when it comes to fog. The eye receives it well, ensuring the driver does not strain when driving. Also, it does not reflect back, which can cause glare, a hazardous occurrence when driving.
Do Fog Lights Make A Difference?
Many car owners may fail to acknowledge the significance of the fog lamp in their vehicles. It does make a difference when you encounter fog, dust, or any environmental disturbance that can get into the way of visibility. In such situations, the headlight is not practical due to its placement.
Should Fog Lights Be Brighter Than Headlights?
No, fog lights should not be brighter than headlights, unless they are for cosmetic purposes. Its role is to scatter light, not to focus. That is why the headlight should be more radiant as it focuses on the road ahead.
The car lighting system is essential when driving as it helps boost visibility, and in the long run, it upholds road safety. Among the various types of car lights available in modern vehicles are the fog lights, which are the small lamps beneath the headlights. As their name hints, they play a role in foggy conditions, allowing the driver to see through the cloud.
This article looks at some of the common fog lights, yellow and white. The yellow or amber fog lights are the best to have as they are nice to the eyes and won’t reflect back to you from the fog cloud. Use the information provided to come up with your argument on the yellow vs. white fog lights debate.