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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-29-2002, 09:58 AM   #1
rodney
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Are 6000K D.O.T. legal?

Just wondering...
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Old 04-29-2002, 10:42 AM   #2
stanmo
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No. On the bulb, it clearly marks 'Not for use in USA and Europe." Hope it helps!
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Old 04-29-2002, 10:54 AM   #3
low
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legal on offroad...however i wonder why that is??????? could it be that it provides more light than our stock 4300k bulbs????

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Old 04-29-2002, 11:00 AM   #4
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ummm... I think it's because the actual light output (lumens) of the 6000K are lower than the 4300K. I read this somewhere...
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Old 04-29-2002, 11:13 AM   #5
low
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i thought so too, but when i saw the 6000k bulbs in person, it literally looked 10x brighter than my stock... kinda funny to think that they wouldnt be road legal because it doesnt put out much light. if 6000ks didnt put out that much light, then why the heck would sites claim it as, "FOR OFFROAD USE ONLY" light be a very high priority for offroad vehicles, no??

but who knows...i know that im gettin those damn 6000ks before they stop makin 'em!
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Old 04-29-2002, 11:37 AM   #6
Andre328CI
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6000K might not be legal on the road because it is deemed to be too bright for the oncoming traffic and would be blinding them. The reason that advertisers claim for off-road use only is probably because the DOT only have jurisdiction for what you do on the road. This is just my guess about the situation.
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Old 04-29-2002, 01:46 PM   #7
stanmo
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A while ago, FTHM posted the specs of the 6000K vs. 4300K... Maybe he can post them again!
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Old 04-29-2002, 02:01 PM   #8
Karl
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The DOT, just like any other government agency, only does what they need to. If their efforts have to go either towards testing the headlights of new and upcoming cars, or to testing some random xenon bulbs, they'd have to appropriate their funding for what is more necessary.

The light output of 6000k xenons is on average about 3/4 that of a 4xxxk set, which translates to lower contrast and therefore a lesser ability to spot objects with slight differences in color to their surroundings (not to mention that the light does not reach as far).

Borrowing from an article I read about HID headlights, it has been shown that the bluer the hue of a particular light is (the higher the color temperature and wave energy), the greater its "dazzle" effect is ("dazzle" is perceived brightness of the light based on how much it impairs your ability to see other things in the dark). This is why the light "seems" brighter.

I don't think they deliberately turned down the light output of the 6000k's so as not to completely blind oncoming drivers. Given that you're putting the same amount of electrical energy into the bulbs, the extra energy that would have gone into producing that extra 1/4 of the light output is instead being put into the photons themselves to make them higher energy (and hence the higher color temperature).

As far as offroad use goes, it doesn't literally mean offroading as in 4x4's. "Offroad use" just means off of any public road that is under DOT regulation. If you happen to own a really big ranch with a racetrack or highway network, you are free to use any bulbs you like, as long as you don't stray out onto public roads.
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