Car bulb color temperature - how does it affect the quality of automotive lighting?

50% - Half of the vehicles on Polish roads dazzle drivers coming from the opposite direction with their lighting. This is according to a study by the Traffic Department of the Capital Police Headquarters. Why does this happen? There are many factors, but one of the most important is inadequately chosen color temperature of the bulbs. What it is and why you should keep it in mind when choosing car bulbs - you will learn from today's article. Read to the end.

And if you are fed up with drivers who blind you and would like to "educate" them all in a decent way, we have a great way for you - share this article with them on your social media, for example. Educate the world together with us!

What is color temperature?

The color temperature is An indicator that determines the color of the light emitted. It is what determines the color that the bulb gives us. The unit of this parameter is Kelvin [K]. In practice, it looks like this:

  • The more Kelvin, the colder (white) the light,
  • The less Kelvin, the warmer (yellow) the light.

According to the above relationship, we distinguish the following values - use them when searching for car bulbs, and you will certainly find the model you are looking for:

  • 3000K - yellow light characterized by good penetration
  • 4300K - the beginning of the range of xenon type bulbs.
  • 5000K - white light
  • 6000K - white light having a slight blue glare
  • 6500K - daylight, the most favorable for human vision
  • 8000K - white light with a clear blue glare.

You will encounter the listed values on car bulb packages and on sites where you can buy such bulbs. But are you sure you can buy a bulb with any color temperature - to your liking? Not really - you can't. different types of car bulbs have certain maximum color temperatures. If you exceed them - you risk a fine, for example. Keep reading and you definitely won't get one 😉.

color temperature of the bulb

What color do car bulbs need to be?

The colors of incandescent light bulbs for cars were top-down in our country as early as December 31, 2002. It was then that the Decree of the Minister of Infrastructure came into force, which clearly states that:

  • Dipped beam and high beam must be white or yellow selective,
  • The turn signals must be car yellow,
  • Tail lights must be red in color.

These are the basic requirements for car lighting in our country. If you violate them - you risk losing your license plate and a fine. And even the right color temperature won't help us. And we can also receive a fine for it. How to avoid it? You'll find out in the next paragraph.

Maximum allowable color temperature vs. types of automotive bulbs

5000K is the highest allowable color temperature for xenon lights. In contrast, for halogen bulbs, the maximum color temperature is 4200K. These are the values set by ECE standards. They are worth keeping in mind. Literally worth it, but not only, as you are about to find out.

Why is the color temperature of a car bulb so important?

Because if, when choosing, a bulb you forget about it and buy one with too high a color temperature, you could get a fine. But seriously - the right color temperature makes you move safely and comfortably. And, above all, you do not blind drivers coming from the opposite direction. In this way, you increase overall safety on the road.

You already know that improperly adjusted color/color temperature of car lighting risks a fine and loss of registration. But did you know that if the driver you blind causes an accident then you as the perpetrator of the blinding must face criminal liability? A blinded driver sees worse for up to several tens of seconds. This is a serious danger. You can prevent it by choosing the right car light bulbs. Keep reading and you'll learn how to do it.

How to choose a light bulb for a car? What color of light to choose?

Choosing automotive light bulbs, keep in mind the requirements, which we have just discussed. The right choice of color temperature and light color is essential if you want to move safely.

In practice the most common choice of drivers are 4300K incandescent bulbs, which are characterized by a light color similar to that provided by the sun on a clear day.

Another thing to consider is the lifespan of the bulb. If you are looking for the most durable solution - bet on traditional incandescent bulbs. The tinted ones, which give a blue glare, are not as durable as traditional solutions.

Also pay attention to whether the bulb you are about to buy has a UV filter. The presence of such a filter significantly extends the life of a car bulb. This is because the UV filter prevents tarnishing of the reflector and the glass/plastic from which the headlight is made.

After reading this article, you already know what requirements car bulbs must meet and what to pay attention to when buying them. After buying the right bulb - you will need to replace it, which our guide will help you with:

How to replace the bulb in the headlight?

In which, in addition to replacement instructions, you will also find more tips on how to choose a bulb. You are welcome!