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Thread: Hella 500 "Amber"?

  1. #1

    Default Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Hi all,

    I've come to CPF several times for information about automotive lighting, but I've never had occasion to post before. Now, I've got a question that was not amenable to the search function. Hella is selling it's 500-series lamps with an "amber" lens (their description, not mine). Does anyone know if this lens is selective yellow, or something else? I've seen a set of lamps that I think was the "Hella 500 Amber" in real life, and it was a lemon-yellow color, not amber.

    Here's a link to the product page: http://www.myhellalights.com/index.p...00-amber-lamp/

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    These in fact produce selective yellow light. It's a leftover from the pre-1993 days when France required all lights that would be white anywhere else (except license plate lights and reversing lamps) to provide selective yellow light. There's usually not a good reason to run yellow rather than white "driving" (auxiliary high beam) lamps, but perhaps you have a special use case.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    ...perhaps you have a special use case.
    Thanks for the information. You are correct about my use case, or at least I suspect you may be correct. It's a combination of environmental and physical factors that has me thinking about these lights. I have a pair of recent-generation LED Truck-Lites in my Jeep that I just love 90% of the time. Partly because I turn them on 100% of the time, even during the day, and in my experience other drivers are more aware of me particularly at dawn and dusk when the sun is in their eyes. The high-temperature white low beams are quite visible to other drivers. However, I frequently drive in rural areas in conditions that are misty or just "muggy", and then I am not so happy. From talking about it with other folks I think my eyes may be a little more sensitive to blue light than is normal (on top of astigmatism, for which I wear glasses when I drive), and the very white light from the LED lamps may not be the best thing for high beams in some conditions. I wonder if yellow driving lamps may help me see better in those cases.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    For mitigation of blue light, it really doesn't matter where it occurs-- whether your lights are selective yellow, or whether you wear selective yellow eyewear. However, it is difficult to get your eyeglasses tinted correctly; it is important to select a competent shop to apply or have applied a tint like the BPI "Winter Sun 450" tint.

    This has a very specific light transmission curve-- the "blue blocking" sunglasses are definitely right out, and the lenses that look pretty much clear to the naked eye might provide UV and near-UV protection, they don't block enough blue light to be truly helpful against high CCT lights like HID and most LED headlamps.

    The bonus of filtering the light before it reaches your eyes is that not only do your own headlamps not bother you so much, it also helps keep others' headlamps from bothering you so much. Again, the light transmission of these lenses is such that it won't restrict the useful light you need from you.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 04-26-2018 at 09:46 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Yeah, that does sound like a special use case. They don't cost a lot (I'm finding $52 here (right part number, wrong picture...pretty common foul-up), so might well be worth trying. You will probably find that the mixed light on the road from your LED headlamps and these aux high beams will resut in a white light that is considerably less blue, though you'll probably still have areas where the coverage doesn't overlap that will appear bluer or yellower depending on which way the coverage overlap goes (or doesn't go).

    Alaric's got another good idea, too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Thanks to both of you for your input. The coatings are an interesting idea, I'll look into the idea of a selective yellow coating for my glasses. I'll have to be very careful about getting a shop that will understand they are NOT doing a pair of sunglasses...

    Virgil, I want to make sure I understand your comment. I think what you are saying is that what matters for perceived glare is the relative magnitude of the various frequencies of light as a percentage of the total light intersecting the retina, not the absolute magnitude of each frequency? Therefore, adding yellow-weighted light to the mix is just as good (for the purposes of reducing glare) as reducing the blue frequencies by the same ratio would be. Is that correct?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    More or less. It's more complex than that, but for practical purposes we don't need a PhD-level dissertation. Give it a try and see if it does what you want.

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Quote Originally Posted by neillr View Post
    Thanks to both of you for your input. The coatings are an interesting idea, I'll look into the idea of a selective yellow coating for my glasses. I'll have to be very careful about getting a shop that will understand they are NOT doing a pair of sunglasses...
    Definitely! Properly done, they should end up looking pretty much like the yellow camera lens filter known as the K2. If they can provide the filtration curve of the finished product, it should look like this.
    It should permit 450nm and longer, and sharply drop off 450nm and shorter wavelengths. Most of the "blue blocking" tints approach a sunglass effect and start dropping the greens too sharply; these lenses will look a little more like a dark amber or brown.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-26-2018 at 03:14 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hella 500 "Amber"?

    Thanks for the chart, Alaric.

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