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Blue Dot Tail Lights WHY? When did this start?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 48flyer, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. This is very true. I read all the post on here and haven't heard of any of them, sorry.

    But done right they are VERY bright, and the "catch" I had heard (and seen when I put them on my '63 Comet wagon taillights) is when the brakes are applied there is a bright red and slight purple light with a blue ring/circle outlining the red illumination. It's very easy to spot if the lens is circular, but any other style lens the dots don't work.
    jimmy six likes this.
  2. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    Blue does actually transmitt the light better ...
    Why do you think all the current POLICE vehicles changed from RED to BLUE for their flashing lights ??

    Most Blue Dots are not properly done. Properly done ... they do emit a bright light. I do not run them because in my area ... they are COP bait.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  3. 23 bucket-t
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,366

    23 bucket-t

    I was told, blue lights on your car is illegal is because emergency vehicle are the only ones who are supposed too have them.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  4. ltex old iron
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 515

    ltex old iron

    i have a whole box full of misc. blue dot lenses tucked off somewhere i have heard that they were factory and i have heard that they were illegal..i dont understand why they would be illegal but i like them..
  5. I agree with DrWatson, I think they were just added decoration, nothing more. In the thirties a lot of cars ran mudflaps and then someone dressed it up with a reflector and then somebody drilled a taillightand stuck a reflector in it, just trying to be different.
  6. I think pasadenahotrod has it right ... Blue Dots just aren't considered "Traditional" (on a Hot Rod).

    Although my father's coupe has been running a set of '50 Pontiac tail-lights since 1956, it wasn't until the late '70s that he swapped to a pair of Lynx-Eye (all glass) '50 Pontiac lenses:

    Even though they are illegal in California, I still run them today ... partially because I like 'em ... and partially because (much to DocWatson's chagrin) the brake lamps are much more visible than the stock (all-red) '50 Pontiac lenses.

    Oh ... and here's an old Lynx-Eye counter display: Lynx-Eye Counter Display.jpg
  7. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,640


    2 pages and nobody posts a pic.....

    I've had mine in for over a year.
    And Doc,they give off a cool "purple-ish" light.

  8. I know the light they give off, my 38 had them.
  9. They are still illeagal in Ca but i still don't care! I didn't care 35 years ago and i don't care today. Just write the Fucking ticket and leave me the fuck alone !!!
    thebluelion and Timvmax1985 like this.
  10. Sorry Doc must be a hemisphere thing cause I have followed behind many a blue dot and when the brakes are applied they "seemed" brighter to me.
    I always like the purple glow they added, saw them rarely in So Cal in the '50s & '60s, they were big around here in the '70s & '80s but not so much now, didn't have much trouble with the local law but on the west side they were less understanding...
  11. Woogeroo
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 1,144

    from USA

    The law in Georgia about Blue Dot tail lights, in case you were wondering...


    O.C.G.A. § 40-8-90 (2009)​

    § 40-8-90. Restrictions on use of blue lights on vehicles

    (a)(1) Except as provided in this paragraph and subsection (b) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to operate any motor vehicle equipped with or containing a device capable of producing any blue lights, whether flashing, blinking, revolving, or stationary, except:

    (A) Motor vehicles owned or leased by any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency;

    (B) Motor vehicles with a permit granted by a state agency to bear such lights; or

    (C) Antique, hobby, and special interest vehicles, as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 40-2-77(below), which may display a blue light or lights of up to one inch in diameter as part of any such vehicle's rear stop lamps, rear turning indicator, rear hazard lamps, and rear reflectors.

    (2) Any person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

    (b) The prohibition contained in subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply to any elected sheriff who, pursuant to an agreement between the sheriff and the county governing authority, is using his or her personal motor vehicle in a law enforcement activity, provided such vehicle is marked as provided in Code Section 40-8-91.

    (c) It shall be unlawful for any person to use any motor vehicle equipped with flashing, blinking, revolving, or stationary blue lights in the commission of a felony, and, upon conviction of a violation of this subsection, the punishment shall be a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than one year, or both.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1966, p. 208, § 1; Ga. L. 1971, p. 781, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1092, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1012, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 1193, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 40; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1287, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1026, § 1/SB 178.


    O.C.G.A. § 40-2-77

    <center>GEORGIA CODE

    O.C.G.A. § 40-2-77 (2009)</center>
    § 40-2-77. Special license plates for antique or hobby or special interest vehicles

    (a) As used in this Code section, the term "antique or hobby or special interest vehicle" means any motor vehicle which is over 25 years old or a motor vehicle which has been designed and manufactured to resemble an antique or historical vehicle and which is owned as a collector's item and for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, and similar uses but which may be used for general transportation.

    (b) Upon application, registration, and payment of an annual registration fee of $20.00, the commissioner shall issue a special license plate, as described in this Code section, for every antique or hobby or special interest vehicle within the state which is a private passenger car, truck weighing less than 14,000 pounds, or motorcycle.

    (c) For antique vehicles or hobby or special interest vehicles, said license plates shall be of metal at least four inches wide and not less than seven inches in length and shall show in bold characters the words "Antique Vehicle" or "Hobby or Special Interest Vehicle," as appropriate, the full name or the abbreviation of the name of the state, distinctive numbers or letters or a combination thereof, and other distinctive markings as in the judgment of the commissioner will to the best advantage advertise, popularize, and otherwise promote the state.

    (d) The commissioner shall make such rules and regulations as necessary to ascertain compliance with all state license laws relating to use and operation of a private passenger car, truck weighing less than 14,000 pounds, or motorcycle, as applicable, before issuing these plates in lieu of the regular Georgia license plate.

    (e) Special plates issued under this Code section shall be transferred to another antique or hobby or special interest vehicle as provided by Code Section 40-2-80.

    (f) Any vehicle for which an antique vehicle or hobby or special interest vehicle license plate has been issued pursuant to this Code section may be operated upon the roadways of this state in the same manner and under the same conditions as any vehicle bearing a regular Georgia license plate. No owner of such antique vehicle or hobby or special interest vehicle shall be required to obtain any special permits for its operation on the roads of this state.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1958, p. 302, §§ 1-5; Ga. L. 1977, p. 596, § 1; Code 1981, § 40-2-75; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2298, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 29; Ga. L. 1985, p. 261, § 7; Ga. L. 1990, p. 8, § 40; Code 1981, § 40-2-77, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 779, § 10; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1678, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 40; Ga. L. 1997, p. 419, § 25; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1179, § 21.
  12. 57tony31
    Joined: Jul 20, 2008
    Posts: 632

    from Woods

    Real glass.

    Attached Files:

  13. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    Used them on all my cars going back to the early 60's. Just because they were the "IN" thing to do. We used to make our on out of the old style glass reflectors found on the old wooden guardrail posts. Easy "find" hop out of the gataway car with screwdriver in hand insert along side of the reflector of choice and pry out gently and run back to the getaway car. Sometimes there was a metal "cage" surrounding the lens that you could use to holed them in place after drilling the proper sized hole or just glue them in. The "liberated" ones were brighter than the store bought ones.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,426

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    I like the look of them, it brings attention to you stopping.. Now a days any additional attention to you stopping i feel is a good idea. (too many out there driving with their heads up their ass)
    Ive had them on my 53 for the past 12 years, and on my Harley's since 1982
    Ive never gotten a ticket or stopped because of them.
  15. I got pulled over for them being to bright in my 55 Buick.
    I asked the cop if he noticed how bright they were.
    He said man they were bright, but I think they are illegal. Not too sure.
    So why are you pulling me over?
    Because they are reddish purple and need to be red.
    Did you notice them?
    Yes. They stand out
    Well I guess they did their job.

    No ticket for me.

    I was told that Duesenburg used them.

    Mikey did it
    "does bad things to cops"
  16. Sweeney
    Joined: Jun 8, 2009
    Posts: 75



    My conversation with an L.A. County Sheriff in Diamond Bar was almost dead nuts the same as yours, 'cept my "officer" had a rookie with him and he needed to show off a little.

    Made me pop them out and crush them in the street or, and I quote, "I'll have to hold them as evidence"!!! Not a whole lot of crime going on in DB in the late 70's.

    I figured he was going to pull me over again after I removed them because now the bulb was aimed right out the end of the lense. He didn't. There was a Winchell's in that same parking lot...had to teach the rookie I guess.

  17. I had blue dots on my '66 El Camino in 1993-94?
    I still have them laying around in a box somewhere.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    For correct lighting effect the Blue-Dot insert must be exactly lined up with the light bulb in the taillamp. Most early taillamp lenses have a clear circle in exactly this position so it wasn't that hard to figure out where to drill them to install a Dot scavenged from an old lens.
    The Blue-Dot was reproduced and sold in a lens or separately during the 70s. Dots could not be bought loose until this time. You scrounged an old lens and broke the red away, then installed the Dot in your more modern car or cycle.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,300


    Wrong. 32-34 Packard V-12 models, Cadillac V-12 and V-16s from 32-35. There were others, mostly high-end cars with premium features appart from the rest of their car lines. It's easy enough to find as it's a matter of automotive history, not an opinion. Original Packard 12 blue center lenses are a bit pricey and visibly different than the garden variety blue dot.
  20. Make sense to me the low priced 3 owner trying to look upscale , just like many oyher accsessories.
  21. Harry Bergeron
    Joined: Feb 10, 2009
    Posts: 345

    Harry Bergeron
    from SoCal

    The physics is that the human eye can't focus on red and blue at the same instant, giving the pecular effect that you wouldn't get with red-yellow or blue-green, for instance.

    The theory might be to make them more noticiable, but in practice the blue blocked enough light to make them less visible.
  22. I was gonna put em on the Grand Caravan just so's I'd look cool when I'za drivin' it.:cool::p
  23. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    Off the top of my head I want to think that either BLUE or RED LENS will block 2/3 of "white" light....

    Since 3 colors make up white light...


    ( and/or )


    A RED lens blocks the blue and the yellow light, only letting the RED pass through, (1/3 of white light)


    since a blue lens only allows BLUE LIGHT to pass, it will block RED and YELLOW, (again 1/3 of white light)


    My reasoning, assuming the same efficiency level of the colored lenses, says that either/both color lens will allow the same amount of light through whether it is a "light color??" like red OR a "dark color??" like blue...

    Some MIGHT say that in a very limited manner that the 1/3 red + 1/3 blue X each colors respective surface area) MIGHT = a little MORE light than the single color lens would emit.... ???

    Food for thought for bigger brains than mine... :D
  24. FatRanza
    Joined: Jul 14, 2009
    Posts: 4


    That's a beautiful story man! I love it when kids say stuff like that, I have two daughters, bless their hearts, that have that same attitude.:)
  25. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    All the tickets I got for blue dots ('36 five window, channelled 'A' Coupe, '54 Ford Coupe, '55 F100) were doled out in San Jose, CA.
    Reason for citation? "POLICE I.D.' The cops all declared that the SJPD police motorcycles ran them so the prowl cars could spot them in traffic.
    Even now in the central valley, CHP pulls rods & kustoms over with a stern warning, same reason. Can't do Nuthin' anymore!
  26. budhaboy
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 157


    to an extent, that only blocks part of the light spectrum, not the intensity of the light.
    The theory behind it is the Blue Spectrum is more visible, especially over a longer distance than the Red spectrum - problem is, the effect only truly works with glass tailights and dots(even clear glass has IR blocking properties to some extent) the plastic blue dots, well they just make a pretty purplish light.

    The effect can be seen at any Salt Water Aquarium - the deeper the depth, the less red spectrum - deep water fish use this as camoflauge - the deeper water the fish lives in, the more reds the fish will display, because with the lack of red spectrum of light, it makes them less visible.

    I've been keeping Coral reef tanks for the better part of 15 years, and the steady improvement of lighting for corals(they're both plant AND animal) has been producing bulbs that contain a heavier concentration of the Blue spectrum -early Metal Halide lights burned at around 6700K as opposed to the newst bulbs that burn in the 10000K- 20000K spectrums.
    If you walked into my living room, the 750 watts of 20000K lighting(3 x 250 watt metal halide over a 150 gallon tank) coming out of my aquarium wont seem anywhere as bright as the 60 watt white bulb in the overhead lamp, but the blue light permeates everything at an even level, all over the room whereas the white light casts far more shadows.
  27. dabirdguy
    Joined: Jun 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,404

    Member Emeritus

    I remember the old man getting stopped for having them on his ride in 1955 or 56 in Chicago.
    He had just been over to my Uncles and they both had spent the evening buying them at Western Auto, putting them on, and admiring them.
    They were COOL.
  28. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    From what I have hear ,,30's or so ( not 100% on that ) They were given to Doctors ,,as Doctors made house calls then and something getting there fast was important. So If a Policeman saw a speeding car with a Blue dot he knew it was a Doctor..and would'nt stop him and maybe even help him get there faster.
  29. Fascinating stories and theories. Used them on my Harleys since 1977 and never had an issue-I also avoided doing shit that would have got me pulled over,especially when I was with a local M/C. Ran 'em on a number of cars as well without problems,but this is in Michigan;cops seem to be a bit more understanding and/or tolerant. Must be more serious criminal issues to deal with-I hope!

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