Do Yellow Fog Lights Offer a Better Experience?

Fog lights are installed as low as possible on vehicles. Fog hovers several inches above the ground, so pointing fog lights downward illuminates the road. Although the primary purpose of fog lights is to increase safety, people sometimes install different kinds of lights on their vehicles. Yellow fog lights are one example.

What do Yellow Fog Lights Mean?

The color yellow represents caution. Certain cars have yellow headlights in racing, designating them as slower vehicles. Yellow lights are also often used to warn, such as the yellow light on a police car. There is no national legal standard for fog light colors in the U.S.; most states require vehicles to have white, amber, or yellow fog lights.

If you come across a car driving slowly on the road with only yellow fog lights on, they may be trying to warn you that they are turning or stopping. Although some people claim that yellow fog lights offer better visibility than other colors, this is unproven. The primary purpose of fog lights is to increase your ability to see the road while reducing eye strain, but there are no other reasons that yellow is better aside from personal preference.

Do Fog Lights have to be Yellow?

No. Many states have laws requiring fog lights to be amber, yellow, or white. You can purchase items to turn your fog lights any color, but they may not be legal. If you are unsure, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Legality aside, there is no specified color for fog lights. They can be any color if they light up the road in foggy conditions. Some drivers prefer yellow fog lights because they cause less eye strain. However, others prefer white fog lights because they are brighter.

Fog lights should be visible but not too bright. Fog lights should be bright enough to see the road and allow for safe driving conditions. Therefore, it is essential for fog lights to diffuse and illuminate the road. Drivers can always add brightness by turning on high beams. Visibility cannot be improved after a certain point because, beyond that point, the light is just too bright and will reflect.

The color of fog lights does not affect how visible they are. The only thing that matters is the number of lumens, which is a measure of brightness. Fog lights can be made less visible by reducing their lumen output, but you can do nothing to make them more visible.

Other Fog Light Colors Available

  • White
  • Amber
  • Green
  • Red
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Blue/white
  • Other colored lenses, paint, or film

Blue and red lights are reserved for emergency vehicles and are usually illegal. Blue/white lights generally contain a slight tint of blue and are generally legal. Green and purple fog lights are typically unlawful. Other random colors are usually illegal. Just because these lights are available does not mean they’re usable.

What Do Yellow Fog Lights Do?

Yellow fog lights provide increased visibility in foggy conditions. No light can penetrate fog, so yellow’s longer wavelength does not matter. The light points at the road at a specific angle. Yellow is preferred because it reduces eye strain.

Fog lights do not shine as far as headlights, but the light should be enough if you’re driving carefully. No matter what color your vehicle’s fog lights are, they should be installed as low as possible on your vehicle’s bumper or below it. This location provides an increased field of view in poor weather.

The reduced glare from yellow for lights in wet conditions also benefits cyclists, motorcyclists, and other nighttime road users.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Yellow Fog Lights

Why Are Yellow Fog Lights Better?

●     Yellow fog lights are less likely to cause eye strain than other colors, so they’re better for long drives in inclement weather.

●     Yellow light creates less glare when shining through moisture.

●     Yellow can signify caution to other drivers.

●     Yellow lights are aesthetically pleasing, and many drivers like how these lights look.

●     Yellow lights do not refract in vision due to glare, so depth perception is improved.

Disadvantages of Yellow Fog Lights

●     Yellow light is not the brightest and does not illuminate as white light.

●     Some yellow fog lights are white lights with an applied yellow lens. This lens reduces the output compared to replacing the bulb.

●     Because yellow fog lights are easier on the eyes, some drivers use them when they are not needed.

When To Use Yellow Fog Lights?

Use yellow fog lights when the fog is too dense to see through, and you need to reduce your speed. If you can’t use headlights because of oncoming traffic, you can momentarily use fog lights in some situations. Fog lights may be helpful in other low visibility conditions like heavy snow or heavy rain.

Another metric is that drivers should only use yellow fog lights when visibility is 100 meters or less. Using yellow fog lights in conditions where visibility exceeds 100 feet is sometimes illegal and can result in a fine. This distance varies by state, so be sure to check the details in your locality.

Another advantage of using a yellow fog light is that the color of the light is different from traditional headlights. By using a yellow fog, drivers can signal that they are on low beams to other drivers. This makes yellow fog lights especially useful when trying to signal an oncoming car or another driver in front of you. Yellow fog lights allow you to show your intention to other drivers without confusing them.

So, is Yellow Better for Fog Lights?

Yes, yellow is better for fog lights. Yellow is more manageable for our eyes to stare at, reducing fatigue during long drives in poor weather.

Blue light produces glare due to its short wavelength. It can look fuzzy and is challenging to look at for extended periods. White light has less glare than blue lights but more glare than yellow lights. This property also applies to glare directed at oncoming drivers.

Science does not support the idea that yellow fog lights are better for increasing visibility. The idea is that yellow light is a longer wavelength and can pass through the fog, but adequately aligned fog lights are pointed at the road, so the wavelength does not matter. The fog hovers and does not sit directly on the road.

How to Turn Fog Lights Yellow?

You can change the bulbs, of course. Many fog lights contain removable lenses so that you can change the color based on your needs. A popular option is to use yellow stained glass translucent spray paint on plastic light covers, but this can fade over time.

Lens tint spray is another option. This spray is applied to fog lens covers and peels off as needed. Some drivers apply metallic yellow spray paint to the metal surrounding the bulbs, which causes light to reflect yellow without modifying the light covers. Another option is to apply yellow transparent pieces of vinyl to the light covers, which do not fade or damage paint. 

Are Yellow Fog Lights Legal?

Yellow fog lights are legal in many areas of the United States, but there is no definitive answer, as the law may vary from state to state. However, regulations change, so always check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles before installing new fog lights.

In some cases, yellow fog lights are not allowed, while others are considered a safer alternative to white lights. It is best to check with authorities to be sure.

Where to Buy Yellow Fog Lights

Online-only retailers like Amazon and RockAuto sell a variety of yellow fog lights. You can buy yellow fog lights at most automotive stores and on their websites:

  • Autozone Auto Parts
  • Wal-Mart
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Carquest Auto Parts
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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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