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Thread: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    While this title is "Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps", it's more about auxiliary high beams than auxiliary low beams. Auxiliary high beams are used away from other traffic so nobody should be affected by that lighting color choice-- auxiliary low beams can be used in traffic and sticking to white due to that may be better advised.

    I mounted an auxiliary high beam in selective yellow on my friend's '99 RX300:



    The hardest part was finding a good spot to the left side that would not block view of the left turn signal and that would not interfere with raising the hood-- the grille is part of the hood and so having the lamp too far back would mean being unable to raise the hood!


    I did it in much the same way as I'd done for my '95 Previa's auxiliary low beams:




    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 09:35 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by eart View Post
    What light did you actually use "in the bucket"?
    That's a Bosch auxiliary high beam in selective yellow. Other than the selective yellow part, they comply with SAE J581 and are marked SAE Y (the Y meaning "auxiliary high beam", not "yellow").

    It's a rather large lamp (Hella's version is the aptly-named Jumbo 220), with a 7" interior width (at the widest point) and fairly deep-- large enough that the usual proscriptions against using an overwattage bulb don't automatically apply, so long as those overwattage bulbs are from a legitimate maker (such as Philips, Narva, or Flösser), and you limit yourself to 100W.

    Not only is the lamp large enough to get a good focus on the oversize filament (so long as the filament placement isn't sloppy, or grossly overwattage (see above), it is solid glass with just a few metal bits for the bulb mounting/electrical connections, so there is good heat resistance and no lens degradation concerns.

    The wiring to it is very short (about 8" of wire from the positive battery post to the relay feed, 18" from the relay output to the lamp, and maybe about 17" of ground wire going back to the negative battery terminal) but also 12 gauge). I could have mounted both high beams instead and gone with the normal 55W H3, but there's only so much grill area I wanted to block, and those take a lot of space, and now there's a spare (which I might take for my LS430, once I get over my concern about drilling holes in its bumper). My buddy loves his RX, but it's ultimately an SUV, not an ultraluxury sedan like the LS430. ("His" next project (he does the paying for but I do the working on it, so they're kindof my projects (especially because I suggest them to him first anyway)) is a rear fog lamp and an auxiliary reversing lamp.) (Eventually I'll put some writeups about them here.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-20-2018 at 04:03 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Hey Alaric, How do you find that Bosch yellow drivers lamp in actual driving conditions? When driving with (presumably) your normal high beams on also how well does the yellow blend into the white - or vice versa?

    Reason I ask is because I also managed to find a set of Cibie 175 driving lamps in selective yellow for a good price and am thinking of mounting them solely for winter driving - seeing a little better through the haze and light drizzle we get for winter driving conditions over here.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 08:54 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    Hey Alaric, How do you find that Bosch yellow drivers lamp in actual driving conditions?
    It works very well, and into the middle distance and greater the color seems to fade and it's not as obviously yellow. After carefully aiming the lamp I borrowed the RX a few nights and drove in all kinds of road conditions (not quite so many *weather* conditions, but I took it out on curvy roads, hilly roads, curvy and hilly roads, dirt roads, and such) and found that it all kindof blurs into white light except for closer trees/objects in the periphery and the ground spill. It reminded me of my Arc AAA in green that at great distances it was just "light". Night driving vision being mesopic, it's not quite full color and not quite B&W.

    My friend's had it back for some time and loves everything about it but reminds me I need to switch out to a "soft latch circuit" so that they will go off when dipping the main high beams and require manual reactivation. It's on the 'honor system' right now, and he's very aware of that, but a mistake could happen.

    When driving with (presumably) your normal high beams on also how well does the yellow blend into the white - or vice versa?
    The light tends more and more towards yellow when close to things, or when bouncing back from retroreflective signage, but I would shut the lamp off in those cases. When I come to a stop sign, whether or not there is any other traffic at all I go to low beams as well (it helps in detecting other vehicles for one, and when at a stop sign you're usually not really looking hundreds of feet down the road).

    Reason I ask is because I also managed to find a set of Cibie 175 driving lamps in selective yellow for a good price and am thinking of mounting them solely for winter driving - seeing a little better through the haze and light drizzle we get for winter driving conditions over here.
    You'll still get backscatter, of course, but it's a lot less obnoxious, and definitely will make driving around snowbanks more tolerable than with white light. There's no reason you couldn't use them as auxiliary high beams in all high beam conditions. Just be very aware of other traffic, and wire them up with the soft latch circuit mentioned above.

    Make sure the lenses are marked "HR", not "B" or "F3" since the latter two are fog lamps. Or, that they're marked SAE Y instead of F or F3. (SAE Z will be auxiliary low beams.) The reason I mention this that many marketers and car part sellers conflate "fog lamps" with "driving lamps", and Cibié 175 lamps come in a multitude of beam patterns and lens colors. (It's possible yours were made before "F3" existed, and they may or not have any SAE markings at all.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Thanks for the quick reply. I checked the lenses and they are marked Hr and SAE so they are definitely distance lights, just in selective yellow. You can still buy the same light in clear on Amazon.

    I'm in Europe and the French seem to be unloading all their selective yellow lights that they had for decades for very reasonable prices. I bought them as the seller had pictured fog light lenses in the advertisement. I received driving lenses and rather than send them back (postage cost as much as the lamps) I kept them expressly to try as winter driving lights.

    They are heavy lights however - think old style steel - and I'll have to beef up my mounting bar which currently supports a pair of lightweight Bosch 160's and wasn't sure if the effort would be worth it.

    All my auxiliary lights since the early 70's have been installed with relays and only come on with the high beams and all go off once low beam is activated.

    The lamps take a H2 bulb and I'm still not decided whether to use stock 55w or go for the 100w. They will take a 100w no problem but I've heard the lifespan is extremely short. However even a 50 hour lifespan is a few years for normal driving conditions on European roads so maybe the 100's.

    Thanks for your observations!
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 08:57 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply. I checked the lenses and they are marked Hr and SAE so they are definitely distance lights
    SAE alone doesn't tell you anything about what beam pattern it is. SAE *with a letter* or letter/number combo does. Like SAE Z would be auxiliary low; SAE Y is auxiliary high. SAE F or F3 is a fog lamp made to one of those two specifications. (SAE F2 will never be on a legitimate front lamp, it's for a rear fog lamp.)

    I bought them as the seller had pictured fog light lenses in the advertisement. I received driving lenses and rather than send them back (postage cost as much as the lamps) I kept them expressly to try as winter driving lights.
    If the seller listed them as fog lamps, they just conflated lens color with lamp purpose.

    They are heavy lights however - think old style steel - and I'll have to beef up my mounting bar which currently supports a pair of lightweight Bosch 160's and wasn't sure if the effort would be worth it.
    That Bosch auxiliary lamp I have is also quite heavy. The whole lens & reflector assembly on those Cibié lamps is also glass, with just a small amount of metal for the bulb seat/electrical function. Then it goes into a metal bucket which adds some weight on its own.

    All my auxiliary lights since the early 70's have been installed with relays and only come on with the high beams and all go off once low beam is activated.
    Are they only *permitted* to come on when the high beams are on, or do they *automatically* come on when the high beams are on? That's an important distinction.

    The lamps take a H2 bulb and I'm still not decided whether to use stock 55w or go for the 100w. They will take a 100w no problem but I've heard the lifespan is extremely short. However even a 50 hour lifespan is a few years for normal driving conditions on European roads so maybe the 100's.
    If I could find a Philips-made 100W H2, I might recommend it, but all I can find are Hella, and trying to figure out where those came from is like trying to find out who made the school cafeteria's "Fancy Ketchup" packets. But the 55W H2 already puts out about 1800lm; the 45 extra watts only brings you to about 2150lm, and all that additional heat.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 08:57 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?447958-Selective-Yellow-vs-White-f

    They are SAE with an 02 or 03 after. They're in my workshop and it's too late to go checking them now, but believe me when I say I know the difference between a fog and a driving beam.

    The lamps are permitted to go on in that there is a switch below the dash that when off, only the vehicles regular high beams come on. When the switch is on the 'on' position, the driving lights come on with the high beams. Both positions work with dimming the high beam (and aux beams) to a low beam with the stalk.

    As far as the heat goes, these lamps and the wiring - 12 gauge with relay - are more than up to 100w bulbs. With the thick metal casing and all glass elements and 10 gauge wire with a suitable relay, they would probably handle 130, 160 watts with ease - until they start blackening the inside reflector due to excessive heat - if you could find them in H2. However I'n not looking for anything so outrageous, just looking for light to bring out more contrast in my winter night driving, which with your constructive observations I will definitely try.

    Edit: I just checked and Osram and Narva H2 are still available (Slovakia).
    https://www.svetziaroviek.sk/svetzia...iarovky-H2-12V
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 09:06 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee
    They are SAE with an 02 or 03 after.
    The O would mean a "spot" lamp, since Y is a high beam. Unless it's actually 0, and that seems to not mean anything. Being made for sale in France, the SAE marking is superfluous. Since they're marked HR it's clear they're auxiliary high beams anyway.

    They're in my workshop and it's too late to go checking them now, but believe me when I say I know the difference between a fog and a driving beam.
    It's not always obvious from just looking at a lens, but there can be some telltales. I assume you've actually powered them on, then-- clearly there's no mistaking the difference that way.

    The lamps are permitted to go on in that there is a switch below the dash that when off, only the vehicles regular high beams come on. When the switch is on the 'on' position, the driving lights come on with the high beams. Both positions work with dimming the high beam (and aux beams) to a low beam with the stalk.
    That's certainly *much* better than how that RX300 is wired up right now-- but my preference and suggestion is to never let the main high beam switch ever activate the auxiliary high beams-- I'd require the main high beams to be already on before I could use a momentary switch to turn the aux highs on, and then require reactivating them after dipping my high beams. It just helps keep from dosing another driver with way too much light accidentally.

    As far as the heat goes, these lamps and the wiring - 12 gauge with relay - are more than up to 100w bulbs. With the thick metal casing and all glass elements and 10 gauge wire with a suitable relay, they would probably handle 130, 160 watts with ease - until they start blackening the inside reflector due to excessive heat - if you could find them in H2.
    A 130 or 160W H2 would be pretty poorly focused, even in a lamp as large as the 175. (On the plus side, it'd probably also vaporize insects before they hit the lens, reducing time spent cleaning them )

    However I'n not looking for anything so outrageous, just looking for light to bring out more contrast in my winter night driving, which with your constructive observations I will definitely try.
    I'm convinced selective yellow is the way to go for auxiliary high beams in any conditions that permit high beams in general. You're just cutting out the blue that interferes with seeing, and you're already running normal white high beams so color rendition will be just fine-- the extra light you have will be useful without being so glaring. (White light tending towards blue is more glaring for any given intensity than white light that tends toward yellow; selective yellow has none of the counterproductive blue. It may slightly interfere very slightly with color identification, but only among blues and certain greys since you're still getting the red and green primary colors, and overall your color rendition at road speeds will be just fine.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 08:58 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    The lamps take a H2 bulb and I'm still not decided whether to use stock 55w or go for the 100w
    The best answer with H2 is pretty much always 55w. The 55w H2 produces almost as much light (but with better beam focus because of the smaller filament) as the 100w versions of other bulb types like H1 and H3, number one. Number two, the 100w version of the H2 has a ridiculously short lifespan and creates an enormous amount of heat, which, number three, toasts the bulb holder to death. There were good reason why the H2 was de-listed from UN Regulation 37 and cannot be used for new lamps any more.

    they would probably handle 130, 160 watts with ease
    But then, regardless of bulb type (H1, H2, H3, H4, whatever) you're way-way-way past the point of diminished returns. Giant wattage = giant filament coil = severely degraded beam focus. Lots of foreground light which destroys your distance seeing. Lifespan measured in barely double-digit figures. Heat to destroy the reflector (and the lens via thermal cracking as soon as water splashes on it). Basically the only upside is to be able to brag about the size of your bulbs.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 09:17 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I'm convinced selective yellow is the way to go for auxiliary high beams in any conditions that permit high beams in general.
    This is an experiment that I'd like to try out with these lamps, but I still think I would lean towards a whiter light in general conditions. The selective yellow intrigues me in that for snow, rain, drizzle, haze or any reduced vision conditions the yellow should give a greater contrast for road conditions than a normal clear light. That's why I want to try the 175's for a winter light.

    We change our clothes according to the seasons, why not our lighting?

    Change over from clear to yellow in winter?

    Edit: Thanks Virgil, just saw your post. Agree with everything you said. Thanks for the update on the bulbs. I really wasn't intending to use anything stronger than 100w even if they were available for all the reasons you mentioned.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 09:15 AM.

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    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    This is an experiment that I'd like to try out with these lamps, but I still think I would lean towards a whiter light in general conditions. The selective yellow intrigues me in that for snow, rain, drizzle, haze or any reduced vision conditions the yellow should give a greater contrast for road conditions than a normal clear light. That's why I want to try the 175's for a winter light.
    It's not for "greater contrast", it's for "it's easier for our optical system to deal with", such as not having the blue light that focuses in front of the retina and overall blue light stimulating a glare reaction that the rest of ROY G. doesn't.

    We change our clothes according to the seasons, why not our lighting?
    Change over from clear to yellow in winter?
    It could be the best summer EVER but there could be a freak torrential rainstorm. Are you going to change your lights out before driving? It's not like these are dedicated winter tires, where changing them out with the seasons is needed. A selective yellow light will work in many, many more situations than a white one. Pretty much they will be appropriate in any situation a white one would be appropriate in.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-14-2018 at 09:26 AM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selective Yellow vs White for Auxiliary Lamps

    For what its worth, I've had selective yellow headlights since february of last year, and I dont see myself going back. I live and work in southwestern PA, and my daily 45 minute commute winds me through washington county. I see fog nearly every day on my drive in to work. I also see the benefits (literally) of them in other conditions, such as driven rain, and snowy conditions.

    I find that for most nighttime driving, I cant really tell the difference in color perception when there arent other cars around, other than greatly reduced glare from roadsigns (of which there are significantly more than necessary, let me tell you, and each spaced and aimed *just so* to minimize your ability to spot critters emerging from the woodline).

    I actually find driving other vehicles, especially vehicles with higher cct lighting (a friends 2014 corolla with the led lowbeam) or even normal halogen lighting, to be uncomfortable now. Significantly more glare and reduced ability to see through evening/morning fog. The only advantage is in heavily urbanized areas, where you do encounter more blue colored objects/vehicles.

    Im pretty sure Im going to stick with selective yellow for a good long while. I dig it. I drive a ton at night. I have a company truck (2017 f250 with the quad headights) that i will probably add selective yellow auxiliary low/highbeams to (stock headlamps are terrible for drivong on lease roads and winding around west virginia. There doesnt seem to be much of an intensity difference between the center portion of the beam, and the taper to the edge of the beam. There is also a very noticeable cutoff effect, even when the highbeams are off, which makes even low-speed driving (typically 15mph on lease roads) uncomfortable to navigate the winding/twisting roadways, and the lack of any center "punch" to the beam means that all of the excessive (imo) foreground light dramatically drowns out the beams reach.

    To bring the conversation back to the point at hand, I have a set of LED Cibie super Oscars (the 14watt draw 75k candela versions). I love them. Theyre fantastic, especially considering the extremely low power draw. The biggest issue is the literal glaring one: they are 6000k led's. Super blue. The beam pattern is fantastic, the reach and spread are simply amazing, but even the slightest hint of haze/fog/moisture in the air renders them practically unusable. I am tempted to tint the lenses with paint, but I know Ill pay a big hit in output. I tinted the lens of ancheap light bar I had laying sround to selective yello. It was effective, but cut the output dramatically due to how cold blue-white the led's were. LED lighting is probably the way to go, but unless we see mass adoption of much lower cct led's in the auxiliary lighting world (looking at you, Cibie, JW Speaker and Grote), auxiliary lights that are useful putside of perfect conditions will continue to be far and few between.
    Last edited by John_Galt; 06-20-2018 at 08:09 PM.
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