Visibility is probably one of the most important factors when it comes to safely operate a motor vehicle. When you’re driving, there are several factors that can spontaneously occur which have the potential to interfere with your ability to safely operate your vehicle. Weather is one of the most unpredictable factors that drivers have to take into consideration while out on the road.
Heavy rain is one of the most common weather conditions that have the potential to cause you to become unable to properly operate your car or truck in a safe operational manner while out on the road. Fog is also another very common occurrence that can happen while traversing the roadways, your primary location of residence will also play a huge role in the type of conditions that you face while traveling in your vehicle.
If you live in an area that is known for bad weather, installing fog lights on your vehicle is a great way to ensure that you’re able to safely operate your vehicle under virtually any weather conditions. When it comes to finding the perfect fog lights to install in on your vehicle, there are a lot of different options for you to choose from depending on the make and model of your vehicle. There are a lot of fog light types available on the market which can make choosing the right fog light for your vehicle quite challenging.
The various types of fog lights that are out there all serve their own unique purpose in relation to the weather conditions that you have to deal with, your vehicle type, and the level of visibility that you won’t achieve by using fog lights. Before making a final purchase decision, you need to ensure that you take into consideration all of the various factors that are related to fog lights if you expect to install fog lights that provide you with maximum visibility and control. Traditional fog lights tend to deteriorate in quality very rapidly over time with regular use of your motor vehicle.
When your fog lights begin to degrade in quality, they’ll usually begin to develop a yellowish to orange tint which significantly reduced the overall brightness of your fog lights. Installing new fog lights can help you regain control over the total brightness and visibility that your fog lights provide. To make the right decision on which fog lights are best for your vehicle, you’ll need to know about all of the facts regarding how to choose fog lights, the various types, and how to determine compatibility with your vehicle.
In this guide, we’re going to give you a detailed breakdown of the various factors that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing fog lights. We’re going to go over all of the details involved with browsing through the fog lights available for purchase on the market so that you can rest confidently in knowing that you’re making the right purchase decision.
Types of Fog Lights
Before we get into the various types of fog lights available on the market and what features to look for, let’s talk about some of the standard vehicle lights that you can install on your vehicle in order to increase or maintain maximum visibility. Vehicles are designed with various intended purposes in mind which all play a role in determining which fog lights are best for your car.
Let’s take a look at some standard car lighting options below:
Long-Range Lights/ Spot Lights
Long-Range lights or spotlights feature pencil beam lenses, which they use in creating extremely focused beams of light that penetrate farther than standard driving beams are capable of. Spotlights and Long-Range lights are typically used for high-speed racing and off-road rallies due to the unpredictable and undeveloped nature of the environment that these types of vehicles are designed for.
Spotlights, long-range lights, and pencil-like beams are often mounted on the roof of your motor vehicle in order to maximize visibility while traveling. Spot beams are not for normal road use, but they are perfect for off-road driving where speed is important since they help you to see as far ahead as possible without any concern for oncoming traffic.
Driving lights project a bright, focused, and very long beam into the distance. They are originally meant to supplement a vehicle headlamp’s standard high beam. Although driving lights are great for road use, they are best when used off-road because they offer a higher degree of visibility along the trail.
Driving lights are usually mounted on the same level as the vehicles normal headlights. This allows them to focus their beams nearly the same way as the headlights, but only brighter and farther. Most driving lights adhere to ECE and SAE regulations which makes them stick to standards, but some like spread light beams don’t and are often taller, wider, and brighter than standard driving lights.
Floodlights create a widely angled light that spreads out at a 30-degree angle. These flood beams are not intended for road use because they are very powerful and shine in nearly every direction. A floodlight is like a more powerful fog light that gets mounted on a truck’s roof.
It’s perfect when a large area needs to get brightly lit. Floods lights are also great for various off-road uses, as well as RV and farming use. On trucks and on off-roaders, they are not ideal for speed, as is the case with spot-lights. Rather, they help you get a wider view of the trail while driving at slow to medium speeds.
While spot beams are narrow and long, fog lights tend to produce beams that are wide and short. The goal of the fog beam is to offer as much illumination as possible in the 100 to 350 feet of road ahead. Fog lights are best mounted close to the ground. This is usually below the headlights and on the bumpers. The light is additionally aimed slightly downwards to give the best visibility for nearby vehicles.
As for color temperature, amber (about 3,000 Kelvins color temperature) works best for fog lights because it provides better visibility in fogs, dust and snow storms than pure white and even blue-tinted lights. Note though, that different jurisdictions have different laws guiding fog light use. They are normally road legal but that’s only when there are no other vehicles within a 500-ft vicinity.
Essential Features to Look for When Purchasing Fog Lights
Now that we’ve covered all of the various types of vehicle light options that are out on the market. Let’s dive deeper into the various features that you need to look for when choosing which pair of fog lights are right for your vehicle and visibility needs. Keep in mind that all of the features listed below will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle so seek professional assistance if you have any issues.
Color Temperature Profile
Color temperature refers to the light’s tint or hue that is produced when your fog lights are turned on. It’s measured in Kelvins, with lower values around 3,000 Kelvins containing more yellow or amber and referred to as warm, while higher values around 6,000 Kelvins and above contain blue and are cool. Most fog light offers you’ll find have an average temperature of 5,000-6000 Kelvins.
This temperature produces very crisp images but causes eye strain after a while because of their blue color content. If this presents a concern for you, then consider getting amber or yellow fog light because they don’t strain the eyes after prolonged use.
While considering a bulb, you should make sure that you won’t get into unforeseen problems down the road by checking that the manufacturer has designed it in a way that makes its installation easy across different vehicle types. Automobile lighting systems come with different socket types and need that a bulb should have a corresponding plug so it can fit perfectly into the car headlight socket of your vehicle. You should, therefore, check to see what your car offers and find a bulb with a matching plug since this is the only way to get Plug and Play installation.
Fog Light Safety
This refers to how well-built the bulb’s housing is and includes features like anti-shock and ingress protection. The reason for safety features is because LED chips get manufactured with fragile materials, which makes them necessary to protect. A minimum ingress protection rating of IP-67 is ideal for LED light bulbs, although there are bulbs with lesser ratings like IP-65. With an IP-67 rating though, it means that neither dust nor water can damage the bulb easily. You can submerge it in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes and it won’t break down.
Fog Light Cooling Features
Fog lights produce lots of heat, and while this isn’t a problem for halogen and HID bulbs, LED bulbs are normally manufactured using materials that can get damaged by excessive heat, so cooling is usually necessary. Since most fog lights output 2,000 Lumens on average, their cooling needs are not as huge as those of 8,000-Lumen LED headlight bulbs, for instance. Still, few manufacturers go the extra mile to offer a better cooling system for their LED fog light bulbs so you can choose them if a well-cooled and long-lasting LED light is important to you.
Fog Light Compatibility With your Vehicle
You’ll first need to consider compatibility issues when choosing the right fog lights for your vehicle before making a final purchase decision. Fog lights are best mounted on car bumpers, but while some cars have bumper spaces for their fog lights, other vehicles may have different types of bumpers that make it difficult to install a fog light. You need to carry out a visual inspection to make sure the lights can get installed without issues.
The socket type is also an issue because you need to make sure that you’re buying the right bulb for the sockets on your car bumpers. Other compatibility factors include supply voltage and enough current for the lights. This is only an issue though if you’ve got many other appliances connected to the car. If you’re installing a LED fog light on newer European vehicles, then it may need a load resistor to avoid flickering.
Fog Light Brightness
Brightness is a measure of how much light a bulb produces under any given circumstance. It’s usually measured in Lumens, which indicates the light’s intensity. The higher the Lumen value, the more intense the light. You’ll find fog lights from just over 1,000 Lumens to those with over 3,000 Lumens and higher. The average brightness for fog lights is between 1,500 and 2,000 Lumens. Your choice here about brightness depends on how much more you’re willing to pay for a brighter bulb because brighter lights cost more.
Here are also some factors that you should consider when purchasing a new set of fog lights:
- Fit: Before purchasing the best aftermarket fog lights for your vehicle, make sure to check the specifications and features in advance. You’ll want to make sure they will properly fit on your vehicle. For example, make sure the vehicle can supply enough current for the lights. You may also need a load resistor on some models.
- Longevity: Nothing’s worse than having to continuously change your vehicle’s light bulbs. It’s expensive and can take some time. Many LED fog lights last for thousands of hours. You’ll probably want to purchase a pair that lasts for a long time. Some even provide as much as 50,000 hours of lighting.
- Wattage: When you’re purchasing fog lights, one important consideration is efficiency. Low-wattage lights use less power and therefore may be less capable. In general, the higher the wattage, the more intense the light. One good thing about LED fog lights is they can have a low wattage but still be very effective.
- Lumens/Voltage: The best-LED fog light bulbs are rated by their lumens, while other types of fog lights are rated by voltage. Both lumens and voltage let you know how bright the lights will be. So, if you’re looking for an LED fog light that is particularly bright, pay attention to the lumens rating.
- Cooling: Compared to halogen and HID bulbs, LED bulbs can produce a lot of heat. Some brands have heat dissipating features so that the bulbs don’t get too hot. An 8,000-lumen LED bulb will produce much more heat than one that is 2,000 lumens, for example. You may want a cooling feature for safety.
- Beam Distance: Fog light bulbs have a variety of different patterns and beam distances. The aim is to find a set that reaches a good distance with a focused ray of light. They should have a wide horizontal range and a short vertical range. You don’t want to blind other drivers or reflect light back into your own eyes.
- Installation: Ease of installation is key. You’ll want to avoid damaging the wires and other equipment in your vehicle. Top-rated fog lights often feature a plug-and-play system in which you connect the new bulb to the current circuit. If you don’t know how to install the fog lights, consult a professional.
You need to take all of these factors into consideration before making a final purchase decision on which fog lights are best for your vehicle to ensure that you get the operational results that you’re expecting. There is a lot of information available online that you can use in order to ensure that you’re making the right purchase choice for the right fog lights that provide you with the visibility that you need in extreme weather conditions.
Top Fog Light Recommendations
Now that you’re familiar with most of the important factors to look for when purchasing new fog lights, it’s time to give you some recommendations about the best fog light options available on the market. All of the fog light options listed below vary in terms of their build design and vehicle compatibility so keep that in mind before deciding to purchase new fog lights.
OPT7 has emerged as the leader in replacement LED fog light bulbs, and number two on our best fog lights list. Their LED conversion kit provides many size options and produces a bright white light color. These LED bulbs produce a light color that looks very similar to HIDs, with some minor differences.
LED headlight or fog light bulbs have single LEDs that are mounted to the sides of the housing. Therefore, the light output may not me perfectly intense at 360 degrees, unlike HID that accomplish this well. The major upside to LEDs is service life. At 50,000 hours, you’ll never find anything else that comes close to lasting as long as these do.
Even with that slight downside, these LED fog lights come in at number two on our list. An excellent choice for anyone looking for bright white light, and long service life.
These yellow bulbs have received 4.6 stars out of 5, and PIAA is a very good and trusted brand anyway. If you are in the market for yellow halogen headlights, I suggest you consider these. These will give you that euro look, and discharge a very yellow light. You can’t go wrong with these. These are an OEM direct replacement for your vehicle so there would be no modification to install these. Just make sure you purchase the correct bulb that fits your vehicle, as not all bulb connectors are the same.
These currently have a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. These will also give you the yellow fog light look that you’re looking for, but they’re also not very expensive (around $10 for a pair). Both will give you a color temperature of 2500k, which is well into the yellow spectrum.
As you consider the two brands, PIAA is well known, well established and that is primarily what you are paying for with the added cost. It’s likely that their construction is better as well. Nokya is not a bad brand, but their’s is not as widespread and well known as PIAA, hence the cheaper price. It’s likely that you’ll be happy with either bulb.
From Sylvania comes this halogen fog light bulb, designed for reliability, safety and performance. Unlike LED bulbs, this one has a much lower lifespan though. It has a lifespan of around 250 hours, which is lower than those of LEDs, but it measures up in other features.
Color temperature is 4,200 Kelvins and light-intensity is 1,500 Lumens. The package includes 2 bulbs and they’re better for upgrading your fog lights because they cost less than HID bulbs, although they are quite bright and nearly as intensive as HID bulbs. On the other hand, though, these bulbs still cost more than LED lights and their power consumption is also relatively higher, making them less attractive than LED bulbs as the brightest fog light bulbs.
OPT7 offers 2 high-quality fog light bulbs here, made with LED chips from Cree. Their energy-efficient circuit design makes them use less energy to produce lighter while lasting longer for up to 60,000 hours and more. They come designed as Plug and Play bulbs, as they are available in a range of socket types. This makes it easier for you to get a pair that matches the sockets on your vehicle.
OPT7 makes the housing using aluminum for strength, durability and better heat dissipation. The housing is also shatterproof and waterproof, being rated with an IP-65 ingress protection rating. IP-65 is a good rating, but it means that while the bulb is waterproof against light rain and other water splashes, it’s unable to resist submergence in about 1 meter of water for less than a half hour.
Calais also has something to offer here and it has two features to offer. The first feature is the 3,000-Kelvin yellow light, while the second feature is Calais’ unique COB chip which offers many advantages. Some of the advantages of the COB chip include a single chip which offers a uniform and non-glaring light, better heat dissipation to extend the chip’s lifespan, and high luminous efficiency.
The bulbs come two in a package and have a total intensity of 2,000 Lumens, plus a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. The housing comes from high-grade aviation aluminum to help with heat dissipation and maximize the bulb’s durability. There’s a 2-year warranty on the bulb and it’s rate IP-68, meaning it can temporarily get submerged in a meter of water without breaking down.
You’ve seen the first offer from Philips, which is the old and original halogen bulb from many decades ago. Being a top brand name in the electrical appliances industry, Philips doesn’t stop there though, but rather offers its own LED fog light bulbs here. This one is the X-television LED bulb and it’s designed to fit a range of sockets including H8, H11, and HH16 sockets. The light is 6,000-Kelvin pure white and each bulb delivers 840 Lumens from 9.3 Watts. This puts both bulbs at 1680 Watts.
Philips is so sure of this bulb that it states its expected lifetime as 12 years while offering a 3-year warranty on the bulbs. Its SafeBeam technology additionally guarantees that the lights get focused on the roads and not in oncoming drivers’ eyes. There are two bulbs in the package but the price is something else. Such a high price makes it over 5 times costlier than the competition but if you want the best aftermarket fog lights for your car, then you should consider paying the price.
This JDM Astar LED bulb makes it easy to replace your vehicle’s stock fog lights. It features a Plug and Play technology that makes it one of the best replacement fog light bulbs. The two bulbs produce 2,400 Lumens at a 6,000-Kelvin temperature from 144 chips beautifully arranged around the bulb.
This gives the bulb a unique look and additionally produces a unique light beam pattern. This pair of light bulbs is also offered at a low and attractive price, which makes it a compelling offer, but the bulbs are only available for a few socket types. Still, JDM Astar backs it with a 1-year warranty.
These Cougar Motor fog light bulbs offer you the two things that every best LED-fog-light must have. The first is a very bright light and the second is a very attractive price. Each bulb produces 1,200 Lumens of light intensity, making the total 2,400 Lumens. The light has a 5,000-Kelvin color and comes from Cree XB-D chips.
These chips use the latest ASIC technology to get lifespans of over 60,000 hours while keeping their energy consumption in check. Cougar Motor offers a 1-year warranty on the bulbs, but they do have one downside, which is their IP-65 ingress protection rating, meaning they can’t survive high water pressures or temporary submersion.
Although white fog lights look great, yellow and amber fog lights look even more amazing, at least for some people. With this offer, you get to add yellow fog lights to your vehicle and see the difference. The bulbs come with a 3,000-Kelvin color temperature, which is warmer to the eyes and offers better visibility in fogs and other adverse weather. Most people believe that the best fog light for cars needs to have a yellow or amber temperature around 3,000 Kelvins.
Each of the bulbs produces 1,000 Lumens, bringing the pair’s intensity to 2,000 Lumens. Installation is also easy and it comes in a variety of plug types, making it fit as many vehicles as possible. Each bulb has 16 pieces of 3030 LEDs, which are high-intensity and have a lifespan of over 50,000 hours. Alla Lighting backs it with a 1-year warranty.
You could not be a fan of LED lights and therefore, need something original like from the good old days. This offer from Philips provides you with a solution for such situations. It’s the original fog light replacement bulb for many vehicle models. There are no fancy features like with LED bulbs, but you need to avoid touching the bulb’s glass during installation. You should note though, that this offer is for just one bulb and not for a pair like most other offers on this list. This makes it less cost-effective against LED bulbs, but it’s still a great price to pay for the best halogen fog light bulb.
FAQ’s About Fog Lights
Fog lights have separate switches and bulbs. They can be placed on a vehicle’s roof, bumper, or lower grille. They are usually angled downwards so the light doesn’t reflect off the fog, snow, or rain and bounce back into your eyes.
Some believe the best yellow fog light bulbs offer superior performance in heavy fog, rain, and snow because they have a longer wavelength than white light. There’s also a theory that the yellow light causes less eye strain. However, it’s a personal preference. Many drivers like white or slightly blue light instead of yellow.
They can. Fog lights are very bright and can be very distracting to other drivers, particularly if they are not installed properly and are not pointing in the proper direction.
Fog lights can be installed on a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles, boats, ATVs, golf carts, and lawnmowers. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations before purchasing them.
Check your local ordinances. Depending on where you live, your town or city may have a law pertaining to the color of your fog lights. There may also be regulations on fog lights’ location and other properties. For example, if the fog lights are aimed too high and/or are too bright, then they may not be legal.
All of the information in this guide can be used to aid you in your guide to finding the right set of fog lights to install on your vehicle. Use the detailed information in this guide figure out the exact features and specifications that you need when selecting the perfect fog lights for your vehicle. Before making a final purchase decision, you need to ensure that you take into consideration all of the various factors that are related to fog lights if you expect to install fog lights that provide you with maximum visibility and control.
There are so many fog lights available that it can be difficult to make a final purchase decision, hopefully, now you have more clarity about the various types of fog lights out there and how to know which one is right for you. When it comes to finding the perfect fog lights to install in on your vehicle, there are a lot of different options for you to choose from depending on the make and model of your vehicle. There are a lot of fog light types available on the market which can make choosing the right fog light for your vehicle quite challenging.
The various types of fog lights that are out there all serve their own unique purpose in relation to the weather conditions that you have to deal with, your vehicle type, and the level of visibility that you want to achieve by using fog lights. Traditional fog lights tend to deteriorate in quality very rapidly over time with regular use of your motor vehicle. Whether you’re looking for the best fog light for trucks or cars, you should know if a LED of halogen will do the job better, as well as if a pure white light or a 3,000-Kelvin yellow light is better. We’ve come to the end of this best fog light review and you’ve seen all the available offers out there, including offers made from LED and from halogen bulbs.
Ensure that you can see clearly and precisely by installing a new pair of fog lights that get the job done. In the end, the final choice is yours alone to make because it’s only you that knows exactly what you want, what will fit your vehicle, as well as what you can afford.