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Thread: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

  1. #1
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    "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Hi guys! I have a question and would be grateful if you could help me with this.

    I'm from Russia and here it's widely thought that JDM cars or culture have to do with yellow (selective yellow), mainly, or orange (or even any other from pink to blue) color of headlights/foglights (lenses or bulbs). However, I couldn't find any prooflinks except for the fact that 80's-90's JDM cars could have yellow foglights really (e.g. pics here).

    Could you please tell me if it is true and JDM cars can really have colored head/foglights? Maybe some JDM style or stream? And also, what does it really mean - "JDM style"? This term is very popular here (put yellow film on the lense and your car is "JDM style"), but it seems to me nobody can really explain what does it mean.

    Thank you very much in advance!






  2. #2
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Hi, I'll be the first to stick my hand up and have an opinion.

    "JDM" is literally Japanese Domestic Market. This means all motor vehicles that are sold in Japan. Many of these models have also been available in various other countries but there are also cars that were only ever available new in Japan.

    JDM has become a way of describing the whole Japanese car modding scene in many countries which is probably ok if everyone knows the original meaning.

    Yellow head/ fog lamps are nothing new. Years ago many European countries had yellow head lights as standard and yellow fog lights are thought to increase visibility.

    However... The Japanese have always had (and still continue to have ) an amazingly varied and innovative car tuning and modifying scene. They will try anything and unless it is a total disaster it will become another sub-sub culture.

    Back to your question. Coloured headlights, foglights, running lights are all very Japanese, along with insane camber or 10 foot long exhaust pipes, cars that look like cartoon race cars, vans that look like super heroes and trucks that look like Christmas or Transformers.

    Google some of these words and see where you go.

    Bozozoku, Garuchan, Dekatora, Shakotan.

    Yellow headlights may be part of it but there's so much more !
    Happy hunting

    To anyone else reading, feel free to put me right or stick your oar in.

    Dan

  3. #3
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Standards for the Japanese Domestic Market do not include yellow headlights, driving lights, or any other color. As per above though, mods are all over the place, but generally do not include any change in color to the main lamp set - driving lights included. Some do, but changing the main lamp color is a definite attraction to getting police attention. So, "put yellow film on the lens and your car is "JDM style" is not true.

    France however, used to specify yellow for any main lamp? Neko.

  4. #4
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    It's all for decoration now. As Skorj said, OEMs do not add any tinting to the headlamps. in the 90's many cars in Japan had fog lights in non-traditional rectangle boxes and integrated them into the grill and headlamp assembly (Levin AE86).

    Yellow headlamps are legal in Japan (and Washington State, USA!) but will draw attention. On my bike here in Japan, I have a yellow headlamp. I run one because it gets EVERYONE'S attention. This means pedestrians tend to keep from running in the streets and taxis dont lose me in their blind spot.

    JDM used to be a kind of bragging rights. To say you have a part that originated in Japan or Japan only. Now JDM has become a brand outside of Japan as any cue from japan's many car sub-cultures. Usually it means lame stickers and posing hard. It's better now to use J-spec (Japanese Specification) to distinguise from parts and fads.

    J-spec = Japanese model/Japan-specific parts
    JDM = ass clowns and fanbois
    JDM tyte = yo!

  5. #5
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Kuroneko is right. Yellow headlights have always been a trademark of French motoring culture. As of the nineties, France was the last nation that had yellow bulbs standard under law on their cars. Every car would have them, it was a regular thing.

    The reasoning behind the yellow lens is that it supposedly improves visibility in the fog, and better adjusts eyes to see the road in fog at night. There was also a benefit to other drivers, because the yellow light would not blind them as much as if they were on the opposite side of the road.

    Bulbs used to be encased in yellow glass. But as halogen bulbs were introduced, a stronger thicker yellow covering was placed over what would be a regularly bright white light. The result of this cut away a considerable amount of brightness from the halogen. So by the turn of the millennium, most of the French auto industry phased out yellow in favor of white, which was brighter and more available.

    I always considered yellow lights to be more a rallying/ French nostalgic thing and not so much a Japanese trademark. Renault, Citroen, Simca, and Peugeot are just some of the classics that spring to mind. However, as mentioned before, Japanese car enthusiasts are very colorful in the fact that they will adopt a variety of styles to make their cars fresh and unique. I myself have a pair of yellow Cibie fog lights for my Z car, but there's rarely a case to use them so they are mostly mounted purely for a classic rallying vibe.

    Hope this is useful.

  6. #6
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Expanding on the French lights, I read it was imposed in the 1930s to distinguish their cars at night from invading German vehicles. Obviously that didn't work. Then it became kind of national pride to have them. They stopped doing that in the early 1990s.

  7. #7
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    And this...
    "Wakaba Mark"


    Is actually for Novice/beginner or inexperienced drivers as a way to warn everyone else that you are a new driver on the road. Required by law in Japan to be displayed for 1 year after getting their license.

    Taped Xs on headlights is a Racing trick to help prevent from shattering glass all over the track in case of accident. On the street? It's a trend "it looks mad tyte sicccc yo! Rally car Race Car fo realz", because most cars these days have plastic head lamp lenses.

  8. #8
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorReed

    Taped Xs on headlights is a Racing trick to help prevent from shattering glass all over the track in case of accident. On the street? It's a trend "it looks mad tyte sicccc yo! Rally car Race Car fo realz", because most cars these days have plastic head lamp lenses.
    I had always wondered about :tu: what it was for the tape! thanks for clearing my doubt

  9. #9
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    Re: "JDM style" and yellow headlights

    When I was little, when we would take the ferry to France, my parents would have to paint yellow tint on the headlights to be allowed to drive in France.

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