Fog Light Buyer's Guide
- Fog lights were introduced to the automotive industry as a safety feature.
- Its primary use is to ensure that the driver has a clear view of the road even if visibility is hampered due to mist, fog, dust and snow.
- The common fog light sources are halogen and LED.
- Fog lights can have yellow or white beams.
- Fog lights can easily be installed by your trusted mechanic. Fog lights could help avoid unwanted accidents on the road.
- They cost around $15 to $35.
Fog lights do not always come as standard in some vehicles. Most cars are only equipped with high and low beam headlights to compensate for the lack of fog lamps. In fact, for the longest time, fog lights have only been associated with top of the line vehicles. However, some experts argue that relying on your headlights might not be enough.
What are fog lights and when do you need them?
Fog lights were introduced to the automotive industry as a safety feature. Its primary use is to ensure that the driver has a clear view of the road even if visibility is hampered due to mist, fog, dust, and snow.
What makes fog lights different from other driving lights is its internal structure and placement. Fog lights are usually placed near the lower bumper cover. These lights are placed as low as possible so that the light beam can illuminate the road without interference. With its sharp cut-off angle and position, the light beam would not reflect off the fog. This would ensure that the light beam would only illuminate the road ahead, giving the driver adequate visibility. Fog lights do not have the reach of headlights because they are purposely angled downwards. However, the beam is enough to enable the driver to slowly reach the destination despite poor visibility.
What are the types of fog lights and which is a better option?
Fog lights are classified into two types. Although there is an ongoing debate on which kind of fog light for a car is the best, it all boils down to vehicle fitting and personal preference.
Halogen Fog Lights
One of the major advantages of having halogen fog lights is their low cost. For most cars, halogen bulb is a standard. It has been used by car manufacturers for decades. A lot of car owners prefer to stick to halogen than convert to LED because its simplicity and practicality. Although halogen lights are considered to be an older technology compared to LED, there are still a lot of promising halogen light upgrade options available in the market.
LED Fog Lights
LED fog lights are more expensive than halogen lights but it can cost you to save more money in the long run. Since LED lights are more advanced, they can last longer than halogen. Some high-quality LED can last for years, while halogen lamps usually last for around 18 to 24 months.
LED lights are usually brighter than halogen. Its beams also has a cooler colour temperature because they produce a whiter shade of beam. Another advantage of LED is that it is easier to install and replace compared to halogen lights. But if you manage to find some issues in the process, you can always call your trusted mechanic to install them for you.
Yellow vs White Fog Lights
Which between the yellow and white fog lights is really more effective? Considering that each shade has its advantages, most drivers would prefer yellow fog lights. Studies suggest that a yellow beam light causes less stress to the eyes because it hits the retina in a less stressful manner compared to other colors. Colors with shorter wavelengths, such as blue and indigo, are difficult for the human eye to comprehend.
Furthermore, there are fog lights that are offered in different color tints other than yellow and white. Green fog lights are available from time to time. Plus, there are specific lamps made from tungsten-halogen lights that are excellent for brightening up the road at short distances, and you can get them in orange and blue. Orange fog lights are also effective in terms of providing adequate illumination and safety. However, the light coming from blue ones may sometimes be reflected back to your face when passing through fog or snow.
What are the benefits of installing fog lights?
It is needless to say that fog, mist and heavy rains have been one of the major causes of accidents on the road. Having fog lights installed would ensure the safety of everyone on board, at the same time, cause the driver less stress. Fog lights work way better than headlights during smoggy, foggy, or rainy environment. They enable drivers to see road signs, lane markers, and other vehicles better. Whether you are looking for safety and security or you just might want to improve the look of your car, upgrading your fog lights may be the right option for you.
What to consider when buying fog lights
Although you should consider the color of the fog lights, it is more important to mind the position and angle. Remember that the main purpose of these lights is to illuminate the road. Ideally, fog lights must be 12 to 24 inches above the ground. Fog is settled two to four inches above the ground so if your fog lights are not positioned properly, the color wouldn’t really matter at all.
Fog lights come in different variations. Brands offer different choices in terms of bulb type, placement, color, and its placement on the vehicle. There are also different options in terms of size and types of vehicles. Finally, it is also important to check if the lights you want to meet all U.S. safety requirements.
How much is a fog light replacement?
Prices would also vary depending on the kind of bulb, but usually, a fog light costs around $15 to $35.
How to install a fog light kit
When visibility is down to almost zero, you can always rely on your fog lights to zero in your focus on the road. You see, these types of lights are engineered to provide you the optimum amount of lighting during cases of hazy weather conditions. In case you need a new set of fog lights for your auto, here is a speedy six-step guide to installation.
Needed tools and materials:
- Electrical tape
- Drill and rotary cutting tool (if mounting holes are not available)
Step 1: Preparation before installation
As a safety measure, be sure to turn off the ignition and to disconnect the black negative battery cable before performing the installation. You see, failing to do so will cause electrocution.
Step 2: Making a hole for the fog lights if one is not present
Typically, a car should have an empty space allotted for the fog lamps. These spaces are usually located just underneath or on the bumper. Use a drill and rotary cutting tool to cut off a hole from the bumper. Make sure that the dent created allows the fog lights to fit tightly.
Step 3: Mounting the fog lights
Once a hole is present, mount the fog lamps to the housing based on the instructions set by your model-specific installation kit. Also, use the drill to make holes for the kit's mounting screws.
Step 4: Connecting the wiring
Next, check the relay under the hood to connect the wiring from the back of the fog lamps. Finding the right connections should be easy since the installation kit's manual contains the wiring scheme.
Step 5: Mounting the fog light switch to the housing
Once the relay is connected to the lamps' wiring, mount the switch on the instrument panel. In addition, use the screwdriver to tighten the screws in place.
Step 6: Testing the new fog lights
Finally, you can test the newly installed fog lamps once all the parts are settled into place.
Tips and warnings:
- You may use the electrical tape to waterproof the wirings for an additional protection.
- It is always a good idea to wear gloves during installation because skin oil can reduce the bulb's lifespan.
How to install a new fog light assembly
It's time to say goodbye to your failing fog lights. Now, bring back your car's ability to go through fog, snow, rain, and dust while allowing you to still have good road visibility. If you have your new fog lights with you, then you are almost ready to install them in your automobile.
Putting brand-new fog lights to your vehicle is easy. You don't need sophisticated tools to help you in the process. It only takes a few steps to completely install a new fog light assembly to your automobile. Approximately, you'll be finished in about 20 minutes. Below is a list of the things you will need and the instructions to follow in installing your new fog lights into your automobile.
Note: These are general instructions for all types of automobiles.
Put on protective glasses while working on your automobile. You can also wear latex gloves, closed toe shoes, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
Step 1: Closely check your existing fog light assembly.
Step 2: Remove the wiring harness from the fog light assembly.
Step 3: Take out the mounting screws of your old fog light assembly. These screws are normally found at the back of the fog light assembly.
Step 4: Take out the fog light assembly from your automobile.
Step 5: Get your new fog light and install it on your vehicle using the mounting screws that you removed earlier.
Step 6: Tighten the mounting screws just enough to keep your new fog light assembly securely installed. Be careful not to tighten the screws too much or they might cause damage to the assembly.
Step 7: Get the wiring harness connected to your new fog light assembly.
Step 8: Switch the fog lights on to see if they are working properly.