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Author Topic: Which cuts through fog better? yellow or white fog lamps. Back to Topics
All-Star Author

Joined:Aug 2003
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 12:34:26 AM

Which cuts through fog better? yellow or white fog lamps. Mine are presently white
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
Veteran Author British Columbia

Joined:Sep 2012
Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 3:34:53 AM

yellow and it depends on where you put them
Champion Author Akron

Joined:Jun 2003
Message Posted: Apr 5, 2013 2:11:13 AM

No fog lamps
Champion Author Detroit

Joined:May 2012
Message Posted: Apr 4, 2013 4:06:54 PM

Champion Author Maryland

Joined:Jun 2004
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 6:47:50 PM

Champion Author Ohio

Joined:Aug 2009
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 5:18:34 PM

Bright or brighter clear white or amber fog lamps, neither can make up for unreasonable traveling distances between vehicles for conditions of fog, snow, ice, or dry pavement V/S wet.

Where large heavy weight vehicles are mixed in traffic with smaller ones, whatever the conditions sight/braking/extra weight/speed/attitudes all conflict. Fog and white-outs are blinders to ones senses, mainly a good driver's reaction ability. Even heavy dense Smoke because of an emergency nearby maybe?

Champion Author Nashville

Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 9:32:13 AM

White works fine for me.
Dale Jr.
Champion Author Illinois

Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 9:21:09 AM

Don't know.
Champion Author Providence

Joined:Oct 2006
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 8:40:56 AM

Although living 1/2 mile from the ocean, we never have fog here. Fog is a rarity. Ironic, that big crash yesterday in Virginia/North Carolina with the 95 cars colliding and 3 dead....that was due to heavy fog.
Sophomore Author New York

Joined:Dec 2012
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 3:57:19 AM

Champion Author Salt Lake City

Joined:Nov 2011
Message Posted: Apr 1, 2013 2:41:06 AM

Champion Author Louisville

Joined:Mar 2011
Message Posted: Feb 10, 2013 2:03:10 AM

I do not know I have had both white and yellow.
Champion Author Akron

Joined:Jun 2003
Message Posted: Feb 10, 2013 1:16:59 AM

no fog lamps
Champion Author Ohio

Joined:Aug 2009
Message Posted: Feb 9, 2013 5:32:54 PM

jimmy544; I'm having a little trouble with your last sentence,I presume you mean it in reverse,thinking so. Anyway your id picture,is that a 1932 roadster by Ford,just wondering?

Sorry I reread the sentence three more times,it soaked in the point you were making. A tricky thought on my part.... HAGDay....
Champion Author Cleveland

Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Feb 9, 2013 4:18:50 PM

Champion Author Ohio

Joined:Aug 2009
Message Posted: Feb 9, 2013 10:52:38 AM

The older amber sealed beam type lamps used low wattage,were a wide narrow vertical focused beam to light the sides of the road edge,objects,etc. They often got mounted too high to be effective shineing ahead,vehicles then sat higher also with more ground clearance.

I've been told,no facts, but fog doesn't stay completely down to the last few inches to contact the road surface,the amber color lens doesn't cause reverse reflection as much as a white glare to ones eyes. Human eyes tend to protect by limiting bright light at the aprature like a camera would also for good visuals.

If mounted correctly meaning low ,aimed correct then penatrating under the fog at a farther range might light objects or aleart other drivers at a much greater distance.

In the past with the old fog types in use, headlamps off,ambers on mounted real low,only park-lamps on also,have been able to see farther,not much but glare was reduced,

Driving in intence fog tires the eyes quickly causes reaction time to suffer .MYOP... Todays Vehicles sit low,lamps are more intence,but amber ?where did it go...? ? Ask the weatherman about the fog/ground clearance info! I Heard..doesn't make it so, ask at least 20 OP's Uh Huh..LOL !
Champion Author Calgary

Joined:Jul 2003
Message Posted: Feb 9, 2013 9:46:59 AM

Champion Author Maryland

Joined:Jun 2004
Message Posted: Feb 9, 2013 9:29:35 AM

Champion Author Birmingham

Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 4:43:31 PM

Neither really "cuts through" the fog, however, the use of yellow lights does not reflect back off the fog as badly as white does, and sometimes, depending upon the thickness of the fog, the white lights get lost, whereas the yellow would stand out more the closer someone gets to you.
Champion Author Cleveland

Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 3:02:42 PM

Veteran Author Indianapolis

Joined:Oct 2004
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 1:07:54 PM

yellow cuts better
Champion Author Boston

Joined:Feb 2011
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 1:02:10 PM

Never had yellow ones but one car has fogs that do work a little better than regular low beams. But you should drive slower in fog. It gives you a better chance to avoid an accident. Stopping distance increases rapidly with increasing speed.
Champion Author Lincoln

Joined:May 2009
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 11:10:08 AM

If they're not mounted as low on the car as possible, nothing will be effective.
Champion Author Ohio

Joined:Aug 2009
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 10:12:54 AM

No tech. expertice here but if one notices,during Dawn/Dusk,most colors like deep reds,blues,greens,browns,black,even other blends soon look almost shades of black as daylight fades away. White,yellow,silver,still reflect more image to human eyes from small sources of any light.

Some newer amber/yellow surround shields combined with a dull black color inter median boarder help colored traffic lamps to be more noticable(traffic control) new designs.

The experience I've had is white emmited light focused toward white/light gray vivid particles,dust/fog particles,then produced reflected intence glare,causing the human eye to shutter back the esential viewing of the positive image/images.High beam headlamps White against white elements causes the drivers eyes to tire quickly reducing vision capabilitys,often masking the obvious objects. Amber seems to be absorbed,also less reflective,but still gaining illumination by small percentages....MYOP !

Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 9:54:30 AM

Hello Gas_Master_G. This question has come up on Gas Buddy on an infrequent basis for the past two plus years as have others regarding what do you you call them, fog lights or driving lights or running lights. Both their color and effectiveness have become discussions among Gas Buddies. Here is a portion of an article:

"Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and are generally aimed and mounted low .[11][12] They may produce white or selective yellow light, and are intended for use at low speed to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface and verges in conditions of poor visibility due to rain, fog, dust or snow. They are sometimes used in place of dipped-beam headlamps, reducing the glareback from fog or falling snow, although the legality varies by jurisdiction of using front fog lamps without low beam headlamps.

The respective purposes of front fog lamps and driving lamps are often confused, due in part to the misconception that fog lamps are necessarily selective yellow, while any auxiliary lamp that makes white light is a driving lamp. Automakers and aftermarket parts and accessories suppliers frequently refer interchangeably to "fog lamps" and "driving lamps" (or "fog/driving lamps"). In most countries, weather conditions rarely necessitate the use of fog lamps, and there is no legal requirement for them, so their primary purpose is frequently cosmetic. They are often available as optional extras or only on higher trim levels of many cars. A study has shown that in North America more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather.[14]"

This article coincides with previous posts of other Gas Buddies. As I grew up they were always considered amber, but today you see mostly white (e.g. running or driving lights). I special ordered these for my 2012 Chevrolet Sonic as they aid night driving on my back country roads. Take care :-). MGY

[Edited by: Titanic1985 at 1/22/2013 9:54:59 AM EST]
Champion Author South Dakota

Joined:Mar 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 9:04:49 AM

Mine are white. I have no problems with them.
Champion Author Boston

Joined:Jul 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 8:24:04 AM

I have white on both cars. I do like the yellow best.
Champion Author Toronto

Joined:Jul 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 6:22:06 AM

On the other hand, under some conditions, it appears that yellow might have an advantage: paper 1 and paper 2.

To complete the circle, one only has to notice that aircraft use clear (i.e. white) landing lights to find the runway under night and fog conditions.

[Edited by: Pugpal at 1/22/2013 6:26:36 AM EST]
Champion Author Toronto

Joined:Jul 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 6:06:04 AM

I would like to thank Mike Painter for the following post, taken from another forum ten years ago:

The subject of foglights and lights used in fog comes up often. I could not see any reason why a particular color would be any better in such a situation so looked around a bit.

It turns out there is no reason. (If you don't read the whole thing, this has been known for over 65 years.)

Note that the following information does not deal with the position of the light. In fog or any turbulance (such as diving) holding it as far away as possible will give you the best illumination. This is because you are not faced with the light reflecting from the particles.

Begin article.

There is no good reason why fog lights are yellow. Here is an
excellent explanation provided by Professor Craig Bohren of Penn State
University:"First I'll give you the wrong explanation, which you can find here and
there. It goes something like this. As everyone knows, scattering (by
anything!) is always greater at the shortwavelength end of the visible
spectrum than at the longwavelength end. Lord Rayleigh showed this, didn't
he? Thus to obtain the greatest penentration of light through fog, you
should use the longest wavelength possible. Red is obviously unsuitable
because it is used for stop lights. So you compromise and use yellow
instead.This explanation is flawed for more than one reason. Fog droplets are, on
average, smaller than cloud droplets, but they still are huge compared with
the wavelengths of visible light. Thus scattering of such light by fog is
essentially wavelength independent. Unfortunately, many people learn
(without caveats) Rayleigh's scattering law and then assume that it applies
to everything. They did not learn that this law is limited to scatterers
small compared with the wavelength and at wavelengths far from strong

The second flaw is that in order to get yellow light in the first place you
need a filter. Note that yellow fog lights were in use when the only
available headlights were incandescent lamps. If you place a filter over a
white headlight, you get less transmitted light, and there goes your
increased penetration down the drain.

There are two possible explanations for yellow fog lights. One is that the
first designers of such lights were mislead because they did not understand
the limitations of Rayleigh's scattering law and did not know the size
distribution of fog droplets. The other explanation is that someone deemed
it desirable to make fog lights yellow as a way of signalling to other
drivers that visibility is poor and thus caution is in order.

Designers of headlights have known for a long time that there is no magic
color that gives great penetration. I have an article from the Journal of
Scientific Instruments published in October 1938 (Vol. XV, pp. 317-322).
The article is by J. H. Nelson and is entitled "Optics of headlights". The
penultimate section in this paper is on "fog lamps". Nelson notes that
"there is almost complete agreement among designers of fog lamps, and this
agreement is in most cases extended to the colour of the light to be used.
Although there are still many lamps on the road using yellow light, it
seems to be becoming recognized that there is no filter, which, when placed
in front of a lamp, will improve the penetration power of that lamp."

This was written 61 years ago. Its author uses a few words ("seem",
"becoming recognized") indicating that perhaps at one time lamp designers
thought that yellow lights had greater penetrating power. And it may be
that because of this the first fog lamps were yellow. Once the practice of
making such lamps yellow began it just continued because of custom."Dr. Lawrence D. Woolf
General Atomics
Champion Author Massachusetts

Joined:Apr 2008
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 5:29:57 AM

Champion Author Huntsville

Joined:Jun 2003
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 5:22:17 AM

Champion Author Lexington

Joined:Aug 2008
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 5:14:10 AM

Fog is like smoke, really nothing cuts through either, being a retired firefighter, I know.
Champion Author Montreal

Joined:Apr 2010
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 12:54:49 AM

I prefer yellow.
Champion Author British Columbia

Joined:Sep 2005
Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 12:39:02 AM

The height and angle matter more than the colour.
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