A front indicator light on my Honda Civic 2012 (Dutch market if relevant) is dead, so I'm trying to change it.

The owner manual says:

  • front indicator: orange/silver bulb,
  • rear indicator: orange bulb.

Looking at both, the front one has indeed a silvery glow. But looking at what's written on it, one says: 12VPY21W (brand osram), the other SVPY21W12V (brand Philips).

Except the 'SV' in the Philips one, it does not look that different, and it is tricky to be sure what I would be buying online (silvery or not).

Does this silvery thing has an actual point, beyond possibly aesthetic? In other words, can I buy any 12VPY21W, not matter if silvery or not, and be OK?

1 Answer 1


If the indicator lens is colourless, then you will need an orange bulb installed for the indicator to flash orange. If the indicator lens is orange, then it won’t matter whether you install an orange or a clear bulb.

Presumably your rear lenses are colourless, therefore requiring an orange bulb. It may be that your front indicator lens is orange, so you could use either type of bulb. However I guess the lenses are transparent and that you can see the chrome lamp, since I have just found out that you can get chrome plated bulbs that light up amber.

This will allow the indicator to look totally colourless when the indicator is not flashing. This is purely for cosmetic reasons and from what I can see there is no harm in fitting the orange bulbs.

  • I can confirm that both my front and rear lenses are transparent, but the rear bulb is not directly visible, so aesthetically its actually colour does not matter. And indeed, the front bulb looks mostly colourless from the outside. Thanks!
    – Guillaume
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 8:02

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