Are Yellow LED Bulbs Better for Bad Weather than White bulbs?
As Springtime comes, that means heavy rains ensue. For those of you who live in the northern half of the United States, the blizzard conditions have yet to end. The question remains, are yellow headlights better for visibility in poor weather conditions, or are white lights best?
In the past we have discussed the technicalities of color temperature in your vehicle lighting on our blog, you can read about that here. We go pretty in-depth in that post, but we’ll keep it brief this time and get right into finding out which is the best fog light color.
DISCLAIMER: In the United States, lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment are regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Even though these types of LED lights can be used in place of an original halogen light bulb, it is not legal to use on vehicles registered for on-street use. This type of modification can only be done when used in a fog lamp application, dedicated off-road application, or in jurisdiction outside the USA where this is allowed. For more information on how to determine if this type of product is safe to use, and legal to use on public roadways in the USA, Click Here for a more detailed breakdown of compliance.
The three big things you should consider when choosing a fog light bulb are brightness, color temperature, and bulb type (i.e halogen or LED). If you already know what you are looking for, we have gathered a list of some of the best fog light bulbs on the market that you can read about here.
Brightness and Color Temperature
If brightness is primarily what you are concerned about, we recommend going with a white or cool white fog light (around 5000K color temperature). In this case, yellow fog lights are more so a statement of personal preference and style than about performance.
Compared to the old school halogen headlights, the LED bulbs will not cut through the fog and similar conditions as well as those older headlights. This is due to the type of wavelength they operate on. To keep it brief, old halogen headlights, or those orange-glowing tunnel lights you see on the highway, are considered single-wavelength or narrow-spectrum lights. They give off one specific spectrum of the wavelength. Think of it as an orange light only puts out orange wavelengths.
LED lights, give off several different colors on the spectrum, making LED lights a multi-spectrum light. There is a mixture of reds, greens, and blues in its projection. As a result, the light refracts off the particles in the air, illuminating everything you see and limiting your vision.
To summarize, the old-school halogen lights will be better at cutting through the fog and other situations where the atmosphere is hazy due to the type of light that is emitted from a halogen bulb. One of the best brands out there for that application would be OSRAM and their Cool Blue Boost Series in halogen.
If you are really wanting to make the switch to LED bulbs, keep reading for a test of how the color difference works between the white and yellow light.
GTR Lighting Ultra 2 White vs Yellow
For a benchmark, we measure the Lux of your traditional halogen fog light bulb with a Lux meter. It came in at a modest 110 max. Lux. There is no need to worry about the Lux number as much as you should pay attention to the percent increase between the lights.
The first aftermarket option we tested is the GTR Lighting Ultra 2 (yellow). This one came in at 240 max. Lux, a 118 percent increase over the stock bulb. You can also see a wider and more consistently bright beam pattern.
Next, we have the same GTR Lighting Ultra 2, but this time in white. We measured this one in at 320 max. Lux, a 190 percent increase over the stock bulb. Right away you can see this one is clearly brighter than its yellow counterpart.
You can tell by looking at the halogen bulb and the LED bulb that the beam pattern changes between the two. If you are looking for a taller beam pattern and will not be encountering much in the way of poor weather conditions, the LED bulb will be your go-to. From there you just need to decide if you like the look of yellow lights, or if you want the brightest possible output.
If you would like something a little closer to stock in terms of beam pattern, we recommend the S-V.4. bulbs or the famed Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0. Both are brighter than stock and will give you a similar beam pattern. Albeit more consistent than the halogen bulbs.
|S-V.4 Yellow||Morimoto 2Stroke 3.0|
Regardless of what you go with, choosing any quality LED bulb will get you solid performance when it comes to light output. So, most of it comes down to your personal preference. If you are looking for more options, watch our video here where we discuss several different LED fog light bulbs.
If none of these excellent LED bulbs scratched your itch, be sure to check out the wide range of LED bulbs we have for sale on our website, HeadlightRevolution.com.
Check out our video below covering all the bulbs we discussed and how they compare to one another. While you are there, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel for the latest lighting upgrades for your vehicle.
Have any questions about any products we mentioned? Contact us today, and our customer support team will be happy to help.