Thread: Is it possible?
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Old 02-18-2001, 01:15 AM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Ali Al-Chalabi Ali Al-Chalabi is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
It can be done, but I would not do it.

A dash illuminated in the proper color has many benefits. The best color to light up a car is red, because while looking at red light, your eyes are better able to adjust to the darkness, thus you can see better at night with the same amount of light eminating from your headlights. This is why all airplane cockpits are illuminated in red. It enables a pilot's eyes to adjust to the outside darkness, and there is less of a light gradient for the eyes to compensate for between the red cockpit light and the black outside. Pilots can then see other planes and obstacles better. BMW has caught on to this, and all their dashes are red. On the other hand of the spectrum, the light that is the worst for night illumination is blue. It serves the exact opposite purpose of red, and allows for the biggest illumination gradient possible between outside and inside.

When you step outside into the dark night after you have been in a brightly illuminated room, it takes a period of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. This is the same principle that applies. A red dash is like going from a dim room to darkness, while a blue dash would be like going from a very bright room to darkness. Much more time for your eyes to adjust. After being exposed to bright light, it can take as many as 30 minutes for your eyes to completely adjust to the dark.

Try driving with your inside lights on, it would be very hard to see outside, this is an example of how the color of lighting works. Driving with blue illuminated instruments could be compared with having your inside lights on at full intensity, while having a red illuminated dash could be compared with turning your inside lights as low as they can go (if they were dimmable), thus facilitating night driving and making it much safer by allowing your eyes to see clearer through darkness.

Just my 2 cents, I believe in function before looks.

-Ali Al-Chalabi
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