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I'm curious why BMW uses orange dashboard lights? I've recently read some info about night vision. Red and green/yellow are the two best colors for night vision based on military studies. I know Audi uses red and I loved my red dash and led map lights. Maybe orange is a compromise or is it just to differentiate them?
 

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The Orange dash is one of my favorite things about BMW. They have always used orange. I think it goes well with the sportiness of the car. It really looks good if you change the interior lights to orange as well-
:M5rev:
 

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I have read that orange reduced night vision the least when BMW tested color choices.
 

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its actually a combination of the yellow and the red but now BMW has decided to swap over to the blue as its more in tune with the Cone spectrum of older (bmw's target market) buyers.

Its easier on their eyes at night...

Im a red/orange/yellow man myself.
 

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I prefer the blue, or the red/white combo found in VW's and Audi's over the nearly all amber in more modern BMWs. The all amber is just to montonous on the dash and offer no good contrast between the numbers and the needles.. IMO.
 
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Rod cells are less sensitive to long wavelength light, like reds, so if you were truely dark adapted (rod function only) red dash lights would be less interfering.
Realistically, you're not fully dark adapted, practically ever, especially while driving (with headlights, overhead lights other cars etc) so i think the red/orange is mostly just to look good. (or maybe so salesmen can say, "see, these red dash lights won't interefere with your night vision, bmw engineers know there stuff...") To be fully dark adapted, you would need to be in complete darkness for several minutes.
Mike
 

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SC'dKellenersM5 said:
now BMW has decided to swap over to the blue as its more in tune with the Cone spectrum of older (bmw's target market) buyers.

Its easier on their eyes at night...

Im a red/orange/yellow man myself.
Changing over to BLUE?! Wow another Bangle mistake.... (sorry to all Bangle fans:7: )
 

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I do like the orange and feel it is a good color for night without being distracting. I like the "firefly look" as one magazine put it with lights all over. That's far better than having to feel for the controls in lesser cars. The Ms are a bit less monotonous with the yellow gauges.
 

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DC187 said:
They have always used orange.
Guess it depends on what the definition of "always" is... :hihi:

My 1972 Bavaria had a soft white illumination of the instruments along with a soft white light that shined out of the side of the steering column toward the center panel controls (which were unlit).

Chuck
 

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I think the dash lights are the same red used in the overhead ambient lighting and throughout the dashboard and switches. I think the grey dials make the red light appear orange.
 

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mottati said:
Rod cells are less sensitive to long wavelength light, like reds, so if you were truely dark adapted (rod function only) red dash lights would be less interfering.
Realistically, you're not fully dark adapted, practically ever, especially while driving (with headlights, overhead lights other cars etc) so i think the red/orange is mostly just to look good. (or maybe so salesmen can say, "see, these red dash lights won't interefere with your night vision, bmw engineers know there stuff...") To be fully dark adapted, you would need to be in complete darkness for several minutes.
Mike
Veering way off topic, but does anyone wonder why- in low light situations- you can better perceive objects if you shift your focus slightly away from the object you are trying to pick up in the dark?

The fovea of the eye is densely populated with cone cells, which are the color sensitive cells. Unfortunately, they are less sensititive to absolute light level than the rod cells that surround the focal point- just shift you focus slightly and the target will land on the rods and you will then see it. Works great with dim stars... also was a great line from Marlon Brando in Missouri Breaks scene.


Another factoid...

A
 

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When I was in the Navy (a very short time a very long time ago) every light on the ship was reddish-orange at night. The party line was that it was better for one's night vision. But it was MUCH darker at sea than it ever is out on the road. And greenish-blue just looks SO 1974 Buick to me.
N.
 

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The peak spectral sensitivity of the human rod photoreceptors occur at shorter wavelengths of light than cones, from approximately 450nm to 550nm(blue to green). In dim light, dash lighting with blue or green would therefore saturate the rods faster than light with longer wavelengths.

The rod spectral sensitivity curve falls off rapidly beyond 580nm-600nm(yellow) so orange light, at between 600nm-650nm, provides the best compromise between rod saturation and cone sensitivity, which remains quite high at that range. In a truly dark adapted state, as Mike pointed out above, rods become even more critical and red light would be the least disruptive(i.e. causing saturation), but one also loses the fine discrimination and color perception provided by the cones. This is why submariners run with red cabin lighting at night: to maximize their rod photoreceptor function and perception and reduce rod saturation.

Therefore, under our typical night driving conditions, orange dash and cabin ambient lighting actually does minimize fatigue while preserving fair cone function and acuity.

Whether BMW chose this color by chance or via thoughtful planning I am unclear on, but I really like it :)


:cheers:
 

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My optical brothers..i love it

Schnelle..it was specifically designed for that reason that BMW was going over to the blue side of the wavelength side of things...

It was an article in BWM magazine that i read a while back about it...

5 min for basic night vision ability, 30-45 (depending on person) for full rod sensitivity.

Off center viewing is the key in low light situations..
 

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schnelleM5 said:
The peak spectral sensitivity of the human rod photoreceptors occur at shorter wavelengths of light than cones, from approximately 450nm to 550nm(blue to green). In dim light, dash lighting with blue or green would therefore saturate the rods faster than light with longer wavelengths.
:cheers:
I hate to have my rods saturated. :eek:
 

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Digi said:
I hate to have my rods saturated. :eek:
Saturated rods are better than a thrown rod! :M5thumbs:
 

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Nybes said:
Yeah, what he said.
Who, me? :hihi:


SC'dKellenersM5 said:
it was specifically designed for that reason that BMW was going over to the blue side of the wavelength side of things...It was an article in BWM magazine that i read a while back about it...5 min for basic night vision ability, 30-45 (depending on person) for full rod sensitivity.

Off center viewing is the key in low light situations..
If BMW is truly shifting dash lighting to blue to cater to its older client demographic, it is probably due to the fact that as we develop cataracts, the cataractous lens selectively absorbs more light at the shorter end of the visible light spectrum, in the blue-green range, reducing color perception in this range but also reducing fatigue from blue dash lighting at night. This is also the reason that, immediately following cataract surgery, patients typically report enhanced perception of blues around everything they look at.


Digi said:
I hate to have my rods saturated. :eek:
Hey, at least they recover in 30 minutes ;)



ELEVENS said:
Saturated rods are better than a thrown rod! :M5thumbs:
Good one, Bill. ;)


:cheers:
 

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I have to believe that any changes to new BMWs are based more on style than science. Did you see C. Bangle's pants at Pebble Beach?
N.
 
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