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Color temperture for Snow??

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by FisherVMan, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    What is the general agreed color that is soposed to be the BEST for snow driving ??? Searching the internet and driving forums it looks like there is still a lot of supporters that a "Yellowish" color temperture [3000K] still seams to have alot of support. The arguement seams to stand that anything near pure white [5-6000] is going to have the most REFLECTIVE qualitys and really be your poorest choice; and that the blues 6K to purple 10K are better than white; but still not as good as Yellow's. I am looking to upgrade my standard 55w H13s in my Intensifiers; and just wondering what the bottom line on these color tempertures are ???? I see the kids all running this blue stuff, to look cool but staying away from "cool" what really works the best ????? I also saw it quoted on a BMW site by some soposed "expert" that unknown to most is that as the color temperture rises with the bulb so the lumens DROPS ???? So a 3000K yellow is going to have a higher amount of LUMENS than a 12000K Purple if they both have the same wattage ??????? Any comments out there "light experts"?????? HELP!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I've done some reading/studying that concurs with your findings. Amber/yellow bulbs are readily available for most of the popular bulb sizes - 9006, H1, H7 etc. Many of the HID kits are available in 3700K too. I've seen a few vehicles with amber bulbs, and plow trucks with the yellowish work/driving lights up top.

    Would like to try some, just haven't gotten around to it.
  3. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Well having discussed this with a few guys I can see right away that the general feeling is that yellow must be "dimmer" than blue and come to find out that is probably just not true................. I remember most guys agreed that when flying in FOG in Alaska alot of us wore "YELLOW" shooting glasses and found out that to see the edge of the alders alongside a stream or the grass line out on a tidial flat that the yellowish color definately gave you more contrast . Not being a physics major and not compleatly understanding light waves, and the coresponding measurements of light absorbtion rates etc . I am suspicous that the reflected light waves; coming back from a light source; close to the color of "SNOW "is going to be higher; than from colors further away from that lightwave ????? And if getting away from the same color is good then getting more LUMENS certainly sounds like an improvement as well ???
    Wasnt there a song about looking thru "Rose Colored Glasses" making everything seam clearer???
    With the present day craze about having "blueish" bulbs I am not sure this is a good time to look for an unbiased answer...............?

    I have also noticed more than a few State Plow Trucks from different parts of the country running High Power "Yellowish to Amberish" lights up top ????? Wonder if they have done some studys on this ????
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  4. Thor78

    Thor78 Member
    Messages: 71

    Having read quite a bit on this subject, and having had almost every color bulb in my vehicles at one time or another, I'll give you my take on it. Yellow light has a wavelength range of 570-580 nanometers, and a kelvin value of 3000k give or take. This makes it highly visible in the absence of natural sunlight, such as during cloudy or inclement conditions. Yellow light has been used in fog light technology for its property of minimizing glare against snow, rain, or watery/icy roads. Blues are ok. Better than pure white in bad conditions, but worse than white in ideal conditions. More for looks IMO. I think purple is a cross between preformance and looks, kind of a jack of all trades. The hyper whites are the best under ideal weather conditions. That being said, I've found a combo works best. A white for detail/sharpness and a yellow for contrast. Currently I run a titanium white for my lows (these kinda change color depending your angle to them), crystal white for highs, and JDM yellow for fogs. I use Luminics, but Piaa and Nokya also make pretty nice bulbs. I will be getting some Luminics Ultra Golden for my headgear, they are brand new and seem to be the ideal bulbs for plowing.

    Here is a more detailed explination, hope this helps.

    "The higher the Kelvin value, the more visible light will reflect back to the driver, increasing visibility at night. Light output from the higher Kelvin value bulbs is made up of a wider range of the visible light spectrum. White light contains all colors of the spectrum and the whiter the light produced, the more it will reflect off a wider range of objects independent of their color. Bulbs with an output in the lower, amber Kelvin range work best in fog, snow or rain conditions to highlight objects and enhance contrast. The light output of these bulbs is made up of a much longer wavelength band of the visible light spectrum. White light that is made up of all colors of the spectrum tends to scatter or disperse differently off fog droplets, rain droplets and snow causing a blurry, white out or dispersion effect. Most drivers have experienced this when they turn on their high beams in fog and everything seems to blend together in front of them. Using a single color, longer wavelength band of the spectrum reduces this dispersion. Human eyes are most sensitive to amber and green colors that have a longer wavelength. These longer wavelength colors scatter the least and reflect the most visible light back to the driver under these conditions. That is why amber color output is still the color of choice for most fog lamps."
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  5. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I believe that my HID's are either 6 or 7k, but they appear to be more white than blue. I've found that when driving during the worst part of blizzards, I had the best visibility using my trucks HID's instead of my NightSabre II's which look pretty yellow in comparison. I havent noticed any worse than normal reflections with them either
  6. Welderguy24

    Welderguy24 Member
    Messages: 87

    I have 6000K HID's in my pickup and stock lights in my plow and WHILE plowing i run the plow lights but while driving outside of town i flip to the HID's and love them, i can see so much better.
  7. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    That is a very nice discription of the advantages of certain colors; and how they pertain to fog and snow. Thanks for responding on this thread!
  8. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I often do the exact same thing
  9. bigbadbrad

    bigbadbrad Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    I run 5000k in my car, have found no troubles in the snow at all, can see everything, I dislike the 6000k which is a blueish tint like you said, not as bright and crisp as the 5000k's white light. From what i have read is that the most luemens would be from 4300k, that is the brightest ones, have not seen any one try them yet, at work we are selling mostly 5000k kits, only 6000k when some one asks for it, have not sold any of the 3000k yet, would like to see how they work though, town of Mapleton's newest double winged plow truck has yellow spot lights up on top of the plow gear
  10. Thor78

    Thor78 Member
    Messages: 71

    Not a problem at all. I don't necessarily have tons of knowledge on plowing, so I figured I'd share what I could. Good luck, hope it helped.
  11. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Here is a photo of the 3K bulb on one side and the standard Fisher bulb on the other side . Can you see the difference??? I have NOT had a good chance to try them out yet to speak of, But just driving around with them the last few nites; I can certainly see the smooth edges of snowbanks, are more defined. I will try to give an unbiased evaluation of them, after a few good storms, and we have more experence with them.
  12. Fourbycb

    Fourbycb Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    In the last few days I read an article that the State of Ohio ( I think) is toying with the idea of going to Green Lighting for it's snow plows to make them more visiable in storms. I believe the story deals with a number of the states plow trucks being in accidents. I wish I could remember where I seen this story I believe it was a SIMA or GO PLOW .com site
    I believe the story delt with the Amber / yellow lighting as to many personal plow companies using Amber Lighting and that the general public was / is getting use to them and when State Vehicles are on the roads there are not being given ample space.
    I wish I could find the story again I will keep looking
  13. Fourbycb

    Fourbycb Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    Taking a cue from the comic book superhero, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is hoping a Green Lantern will protect its snowplows, which have been involved in a dangerous spike in crashes this season, as well as Ohio drivers.

    As of December, the number of crashes involving drivers hitting ODOT snowplows (63) had already surpassed last year's total (57). In January, another crash resulted in the death of a Northeast Ohio college's coach, when the team bus and a snowplow were involved in a crash.

    As part of the department's legislative requests for the 2012–2013 State Transportation Budget, ODOT is proposing the use of green lanterns – flashing LED lights placed atop snow removal equipment – as a way to help snowplows be seen better on the highway.

    Currently, Ohio Revised Code only allows ODOT to use yellow flashing lights, commonly shared by other non-emergency vehicles such as tow trucks and mail delivery vehicles. Research indicates that green lights have a better visibility in snowy, wintery conditions.

    According to ODOT's safety experts, many of these crashes are caused by drivers who don't anticipate how fast they will approach the slower-moving plow – crashing into the back of the truck.

    In other crashes, drivers have difficulty seeing through the cloud created as the plow clears ice and snow from the highway. Both types of crashes are often severe and have led to serious injuries and fatalities.

    By increasing visibility, the green lanterns, says the DOT, should help motorists spot snowplows sooner – even in the darkest and snowiest conditions – and give drivers ample time to slow down and avoid the potential of a crash.

    The final decision on whether to allow ODOT to use green lanterns will be decided by the new legislature. The change wouldn't go into effect until next winter season.

    green leds.jpg