Driving Lights Vs. Fog Lights – Which Should You Be Using?

Driving Lights Vs. Fog Lights - Which Should You Be Using?Headlights are an essential part of a vehicle; they illuminate the road and surrounding area when it is dark or when conditions require extra light. Fog lights are very similar and can provide additional light when needed. When is it essential to use headlights, and when would fog lights become beneficial?

Fog lights are an excellent addition to any vehicle; they are designed to provide additional light to the front of the vehicle without causing an obvious hazard. Driving lights provide a standard light pattern to the front and forward sides of the vehicle. They typically have two settings, high beam, and low beam. When used correctly, they can provide a safe and bright light to help you see the road.

Now that we have covered what the differences in each of these light systems are, perhaps you are wondering if you can use them at the same time when to use them at all, or maybe if you can add fog lights to your existing vehicle? We did the research for you and have created this helpful article to provide you with everything you should know. Read on to learn more.

What Are Driving Lights?

Driving lights are a set of lights that are often mounted on the front of the vehicle. Their purpose is to act along with the high beams in the headlights to provide as much light as possible. You should not use them with the low beam setting or in place of standard headlights. Doing so may prove to be a visual distraction for other drivers and cause a safety hazard.

What Are Fog Lights?

Fog lights are typically mounted on the front of the vehicle and are designed to provide light in poor visibility conditions such as fog, snow, and dust. These types of lights are designed to be used in conjunction with the standard lights on a vehicle. They should only be used in specified conditions.

Is It Illegal To Drive With Fog Lights On?

Technically no, it is not illegal to drive with fog lights on.  The caveat to this is that they must be aimed within the legal range and not provide a distraction to other drivers. It is always suggested that they only are used when conditions require extra lighting.

Should I Use Fog Lights In Heavy Rain?

Fog lights are perfect for use in heavy rain. They should provide ample secondary illumination for the driver. Using them only in heavy rain will also help cut down on the glare for other drivers. Using them in a light rain may prove to be a visual impairment for other drivers.

Are Fog Lights And High Beams The Same?

Fog lights and high beams are not the same things. Fog lights are designed to work in conjunction with the vehicles' low beam headlights to provide better illumination under challenging situations.

Turn on the high beams and low visibility situations will not help the driver and it may also cause visual impairment for other drivers as the construction of the high beam headlights has a tendency to refract light off of whatever the obstruction is.

How Far Should Fog Lights Shine?

There is no particular distance that fog lights should shine; however, it is crucial to know that they should be mounted anywhere between 10 and 224 in off the ground, and are below your standard headlights.

They should also be centered approximately 24 in apart and as close to the center of the grill or bumper area as you can get them for them to provide the maximum visual coverage.

Can You Use Fog Lights As Headlights?

Though you may often be able to use them in conjunction with your headlights, you should not use fog lights as a replacement for headlights. It may, however, be possible to use fog lights as a replacement for headlights in an emergency such as an electrical failure of the original headlights in the vehicle if you have to do that so it should only be for the short-term in order to get the vehicle safely somewhere where you can have repairs made to the standard headlights.

Are LED Fog Lights Road Legal?

LED fog lights are technically road legal, however, the reality is that it has to do with the direction in which the fog lights are aimed. There is not so much of an impact on the bulb type as far as legality goes; however, if they are mounted incorrectly and the fog lights purposely shine outside of the established legal field of vision, they may cause visual impairment to other drivers and be a safety hazard.

LED headlights are easy to install and usually and relatively inexpensive and easy to install on vehicles that do not have fog lights that come from the manufacturer. The LED nature of the bulbs also makes them cost-effective for constant use instead of having to replace bulbs throughout the life cycle of the system.

Are Amber Fog Lights Better?

Amber fog lights can often be better, but usually, that is a matter of preference to the driver. From a scientific standpoint, they may provide better lighting in certain conditions as the pigment of the lens or the bulb frequently changes the wavelength of the light, making it refract less in fog or snow, minimizing visual impairment on the driver and other vehicles.

Amber headlights tend to cut out blue light out of the spectrum. Oftentimes in poor driving conditions, the light being bounced around from the standard headlights off the precipitation or dust tends to fall into this spectrum, so amber headlights can help cut down the visual impairment of the obstruction and provide a much less impactful effect on other drivers

What Are Daytime Running Lights?

Daytime running lights are a bulb that is set up on some vehicles that run all of the time when the vehicle is in operation. They do not serve the same purpose as fog lights and do not provide any additional illumination factor. They serve purposely only to let other vehicles know that there is a vehicle coming towards them is being operated and is not stalled out on the side of the road or in the middle of the lane, causing a traffic hazard.

This concept has become so popular in some locations that do they require headlights to be turned on at all times when in certain areas. This primarily applies to mountainous regions where two lanes are thinner, providing less of an emergency stopping area. Having the headlights on the daytime running lights can indicate to other vehicles and pedestrians that a vehicle is, in fact, in use.

What Are Auxiliary High Beam Driving Lights?

Auxiliary high beam driving lights are additional lights that are frequently installed on vehicles to Aid in providing light in inclement conditions such as rain snow and fog to offer higher levels of Illumination for night driving.

They may not be so popular in urban areas; they are frequently used in rural areas, primarily those where dirt roads are the norm. Especially those dirt roads that have higher traffic believe it, or not there are still some places where the primary thoroughfare is, in fact, even dirt or gravel.

Having a set of these lights in the appropriate setting can also help keep drivers safe from collisions with wildlife. In several cases, people have been able to avoid accidents with deer because they had an extra set of headlights that provided better illumination.

Other Colored Lights

When selecting lights, you must pay attention to the color of the light that they are going to emit. Reds and blues are not going to be as effective as clear or yellowing light will be as they may intensify the glare effect.

Beware of sets that are purchased online, and that allows you to switch the light colors to multi-colors. Though it may be a cool-looking gimmick, law enforcement may find it to be obnoxious and even illegal in some areas.

Combinations of red lights and clear lights are frequently used to signify fire department vehicles. The nations of red lights and blue lights are also used to signify law enforcement vehicles and or ambulances. So while these units are available, it is not recommended to purchase them unless you can appropriately use them in any given situation.

My Vehicle Does Not Have Auxiliary Lighting.

If your vehicle does not have auxiliary lighting and you find yourself wanting them, most systems are easily installed if you have basic mechanical and electrical knowledge.

Most auto mechanics can easily install a system such as this, and it should not be too expensive. It is always best to go based on necessity rather than the looks of a vehicle because while they may look impressive, they should also be functional.

Now you should have a better understanding of the two different systems that are used to augment your standard vehicle headlights. If you are unfamiliar with using them, it is a good idea to find an area in which you can practice without being an obstruction to other drivers.

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