Yellow Lights

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Yellow Lights

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:04 pm

When looking through the parts catalogue for another lighting issue I noticed that the original yellow 480 headlight bulbs for were done by having a yellow bulb cap, rather than a painted lens like the long-range driving lamps and the fog lights.

The Volvo part number for the yellow H4 bulb is 963370 which was sold as a NOS item Sweden with this pic showing how they looked:
Image

I do love a yellow bulb and try to fit them to everything, but did find that the cap reduced output too much on the 480 so changed back to standard white. I may have another go again as I still have the caps in a cupboard.

Cap only, from Italy
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Citroen-2CV- ... SwvzRX0Z8s
Image

Cap plus bulb from UK (cap can be easily fitted to different bulb)
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-x-12V-GLB4 ... Sw88xgNR4Q
Image


Here is my old E-reg with yellow lights at our October 2017 meet:
Image
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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MisterH
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:15 pm
Location: Stockbridge

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by MisterH » Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:44 pm

So what are these exactly? Are they like French deep good yellow lights (never been a fan) or are they more subtle. Now you have pointed them out, they do look similar to mine which have a yellowish tint, but doubt they are the same

Image
Current Jobs to do (1/1/21):
Fix Central Locking
Fix drivers side speaker
suspension creaking below 40mph

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by jamescarruthers » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:12 pm

:rofl: I think yours are probably just old filaments of standard white bulbs maybe loosing a few volts to the resistance in the system if they are starting to look a little yellow to you. They look okay to me though, a tungsten filament is always nice and warm. Can you see okay with them? 480 lights are pretty good on dipped beam when sorted out with good bulbs and maximum volts/ minimum resistance to the bulb; superb when on high-beam with the long-range and fogs filling in nicely.

If you want to know how much voltage you are missing from your bulbs, pop the bulbs out and measure the voltage across each with the engine running and the bulb on. Compare this to the voltage across the battery with the engine running. If the values aren’t close, then ask Jeff for a masterclass on how to find the resistance with your multimeter as any advice I could give would be a bit vague. :D

The caps are exactly what they look like and give you a French yellow which is what must have been supplied in France early in production. I quite like them but the caps reduce light output compared to actual yellow bulbs— but these are hard to find now in decent quality.

Personally I just like how the world looks with yellow headlights but each to their own. Conversely, I don’t actually care too much about how they look to those looking at the car. There is a lot of debate about “selective yellow” French bulbs and I think the conclusion seems to be inconclusive. They are certainly not proven to be better from what I’ve read.

I am a convert to yellow lights but don’t think they are better than white in the dark/fog, I just find it very peaceful to drive with them, especially when it is properly dark and no other cars around so you can appreciate it more.

It’s the cold blue modern lights that I really dislike. The Avantime came with really cold blue lights from the previous owner. I have yellow HIDs in that now but am not 100% convinced yet that this was a good idea.
Image
(Fogs don’t match, I know!)
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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dcwalker
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:30 pm
Location: York

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by dcwalker » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:00 pm

Very interesting stuff James!

Not a fan of yellow lights myself but you have certainly delved deeply into the subject and I'm pleased for you that you can achieve what you seek :D

I'd echo what you say about 480 lights generally being good ones. I think what helps them most is that they spend most of their time not on and folded away. On the other Volvos from quite a time-span with headlights on all the time (to some degree) and headlights continually exposed to sun-light, the reflectors degrade. I have noticed that if I look into a 480 headlight with the lights off it looks much shinier and "more silver" than, say, my C70 lights or - before I obtained brand new old stock ones - the 440 lights.

Ben - your lights look perfectly normal to me!

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 Celebration 331 (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 1995 440 ES)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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MisterH
480 Connoisseur
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:15 pm
Location: Stockbridge

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by MisterH » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:10 pm

Haha, yes the White Dwarfs on Audis are particularly dangerous, especially with a low car with a glass tailgate!!

My headlights are out of alignment anyway so I can't really see much, though they do pickup the all important eyeshine, and yes the main beams are extraordinary.

I have always preferred the warmer tone of Halogen bulbs, although the Xenons of the noughties were quite nice. I find yellow fogs to be hit and miss. On something sleek like the 406 coupe they just break up the shape, but on something like a Renault 11 they look really good

Image

On a 480, not so sure:
Image
Current Jobs to do (1/1/21):
Fix Central Locking
Fix drivers side speaker
suspension creaking below 40mph

jifflemon
480 Is my middle name
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by jifflemon » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:37 pm

Image

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dcwalker
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:30 pm
Location: York

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by dcwalker » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:55 pm

I trust that is some sort of parallel universe, Jeff - it can't be your driveway, there simply aren't enough cars there!! :lol:

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 Celebration 331 (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 1995 440 ES)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by yorkievolvo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:04 am

Somebody will correct me, if I'm mistaken, but aren't yellow headlights illegal on British roads?

Espada
Started learning about 480
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 6:43 pm

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by Espada » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:48 pm

To the best of my knowledge as long as they comply with and display the appropriate British standard they are legal in the UK white or yellow.

It will be the beam alignment that could create a problem. If for example you were to use a LHD headlamp unit in the UK with the opposite dip on the beam that would not be legal. Doing such creates the same problem as parking on the wrong side of the road with your headlights on, approaching traffic simply gets blinded.

Regards

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by jamescarruthers » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:37 pm

yorkievolvo wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:04 am
Somebody will correct me, if I'm mistaken, but aren't yellow headlights illegal on British roads?
There used to be some debate as I think Construction rules and MOT rules did not quite agree but it was legal but you may have had argument with a policeman who didn’t like you but probably to win that argument on later investigation.

Thankfully this has just been clarified in the recent MOT regulations overhaul and yellow is explicitly allowed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspect ... tion-4-1-4

Image

Thankfully also bans awful aftermarket LED and HID scatter guns too!
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

yorkievolvo
Started learning about 480
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by yorkievolvo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:52 pm

Espada & James - thank you for the clarification.
I've never used yellow headlights but I do prefer yellow for fog-lights.

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jamescarruthers
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 2106
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 3:19 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by jamescarruthers » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:56 pm

No worries. It’s good to hear from you Mike. Hopefully see you again when the our little meets are allowed. :D
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2003 Renault Avantime 3.0 V6 (Big Ren)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

User avatar
dcwalker
480 Is my middle name
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:30 pm
Location: York

Re: Yellow Lights

Post by dcwalker » Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:36 pm

Thanks James - I must admit my first thought was to wonder about the legality of yellow headlights in the UK, so the clarification is welcome!

David
Current: 1994 480 GT, 1995 Celebration 331 (plus 2004 C70 Collection & 1995 440 ES)
Previous: Celebration 467 (returned to Martin Mc); Celebration 346 (re-homed with Alan480); Celebration 269 (scrapped abandoned project), Celebration 73 (sold on after 6 years), 1992 ES, 1988 ES - and numerous other non-480 Volvos!

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