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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What about FAKE HID BLUE bulbs?

They are ILLEGAL under the light-color requirements for Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada and in every state of the USA.

Recent tests by the US Department of Transportation's Office of Crash Avoidance Standards found that a standard-wattage 9004-type blue headlamp bulb reduced the road lighting ability of a standard headlamp by 67%, and increased glare for oncoming and preceeding trafic by 33%

Blue is the shortest wavelength/highest frequency color of visible light, and, as such, scatters the most readily. This is why the sky is blue rather than any other color from the sun's white output spectrum.

Blue light scatters very readily in water droplets (rain, fog, snow), causing increased backglare for the driver of a car equipped with blue headlamp bulbs

Blue light creates increased glare for oncoming traffic. That's because blue light does not trigger a strong pupil-closing response in human eyes. due to the comparatively weak pupil response to blue light, the human eye is very glare-sensitive to a blue signal image. This is especially a problem with blue-tinted halogen headlamp bulbs that are also over stock wattage.


No. This marking is fraudulent for two reasons:
There is no such thing as "DOT approved". DOT does not "approve" products as the European regulatory body does.

Semantic questions aside, the relevant regulations (US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 108 and 108.1, and ECE Regulations 5, 6, 8, 20 and 37, all call for "white" light, defined as discussed above, so the statement of DOT compliance itself is false.

What are "city lights" ?
E-code lamps sometimes include a City light.(These are called "side lights" by speakers of British English. This can be a bit confusing, because they face *front*, not to the side.) What is a city light? It's a 5-watt lamp that sticks through the lamp's reflector into the lamp itself. European vehicles are equipped with city lights rather than US-style amber parking lamps. City lights are legal for use as parking lamps in the US and in Canada; amber parking lamps are NOT mandatory.

This makes for parking lamps that WORK, and if a headlamp ever malfunctions, oncoming traffic still sees you as a double-track vehicle. In addition, it makes your front turn signals much clearer because they now go "BRIGHT-off-BRIGHT-off" instead of "bright-dim-bright-dim" when the lights are on. Yep, another aspect of lighting that the Europeans got right and we didn't. City lights are especially useful if you have fog lamps. On foggy days, you can put on the city lights which will show other drivers exactly where your car is, and switch on the fog lamps so you can see.

PIAA's wattage equivalence claims ("55w = 85w", etc.) are very misleading.
They cannot be verified with proper laboratory equipment, and they CERTAINLY aren't true when compared with real overwattage bulbs on the road. Here's the full scoop:
PIAA "Superwhite" bulbs produce exactly the same amount of light as any other bulb in a given bulb format (9004, 9005, 9006, H4, etc.), plus-or-minus 15 percent (which is the US FMVSS 108 Part 564 tolerance for variations in luminous intensity from headlamp bulbs).

The "55W = 85W" type claims are a sham. Here's how these kinds of pretend wattage numbers are cooked-up: The filaments in PIAA "Superwhite" bulbs are wound on a larger mandrel than regular filaments, so there are fewer filament coils, of a larger diameter. When these bulbs' luminous intensity is measured using the appropriate device (called an integrating sphere), they come up within the FMVSS 108 Part 564 tolerance range for whatever bulb type is being tested--no more. (If they didn't, they would not be permitted to be marked DOT, and they are, so they do.)

When a bulb with such a modified filament stack is placed in a headlamp, the different dimensions of the filament alter the beam pattern. In most US-specification headlamps, what this does is reduce the size of the central "hot spot" of the beam and put more light in it, while taking away light above, below, to the left and to the right of the hot spot. Then the PIAA marketeer comes up with his light meter, sticks it in the hot spot of the beam, and says "Nifty! The hot spot is almost as bright as it would be with an 85W bulb!" and rushes off to order-up a new batch of boxes festooned with "55W = 85W" banners. Then Mr. Consumer comes along, plunks-down some $70 (!!) for a pair of these bulbs, puts them in, and though his headlamps look "whiter", he has just screwed himself. How?

Well, the reason why many people find many US-specification headlamps in need of upgrading is because many US-spec headlamps have insufficient foreground light, which creates a "black hole" on the road in front of the car. There's often insufficient lateral light (left and right) to see critters or people before they run into the road. The "hot spot" creates a narrow tunnel of light that disappears "out there somewhere". By making the hot spot smaller, this narrow tunnel of light gets smaller. By taking away (already scarce) light from the foreground and sides, the situation is made worse.

CLAIM: PIAA "Superwhite" bulbs produce light that is whiter and brighter than regular bulbs.
It is a mistaken notion that "whiter" and "yellower" qualities in the white light of a headlamp have any direct link to the amount or usability of the light. PIAA capitalizes on that mistaken notion to sell their bulbs. The "higher light color temperature" trumpeted by PIAA is created by a purplish-tinted glass bulb globe. It's not a dichroic coating like the "diamond blue" junk, but it is a tint, and as such physically must subtract from the available light. Remember, color temperature is independent of the amount of light, and there is absolutely *zero* evidence that light of a higher color temperature is better than light of a lower color temperature for driver performance at night. A 4-watt flashlight bulb dipped in the purple coating applied to Piaa "Superwhite" bulbs would look "whiter", but produce less light. And so it is with these headlamp bulbs.

The laws of physics are the laws of physics. They don't bend even for PIAA's advertising department. There is no way to get "85 watts of light for 55 watts of electricity", unless the light meter you use happens to go spastic when hit with blue-tinted light. There is no seeing advantage to these "Superwhite" ("ultrawhite", "hyperwhite", etc.) bulbs, and quite often a disadvantage. They aren't as bad as the "ion blue" junk used by poseur kids who want to pretend they have HID headlamps, but they're not magical.

My information came from: http://lighting.mbz.org/

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i owuld believe that the cops can bust your balls about the blue-tinted bulbs seeing how the Dot rule book states the the only colors in the front that are allowed are amber and white....


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