Things You Should Know About Your Car’s Fog Lights

You wake up in the morning. You go out to see that everything is covered with heavy blanketing fog. Visibility is minimum but you have to go out right now. Foggy conditions make for a tricky and slow commute usually. For this reason, you need fog lights. This is a safety feature that far outshines your regular headlights, literally! So what are they? Here we will discuss what you need to know about your car’s fog lights.

How Do They Work?

Before going into how they work, let’s first talk about what fog is actually. You can find fogs almost everywhere around the world. Especially near large water bodies. What happens is that water droplets and ice crystals in some specific conditions condense near the ground. Creating a cloud-like blanket over a certain area. This cloud-like mass makes for low visibility conditions and they reflect light as well. If you have high beam lights it can become dangerous even driving through fog.

So when there is a foggy day, the fog lights come in to play. These lights go in a different direction to solving the visibility issue. Along with foggy conditions they also work in mist, snow, and even blowing sand. Factory equipped lights are usually set at the lower side of the car. This is done to help see through the fog. On most modern vehicles you can find the fog lights on the lower bumper. Despite the low setting it doesn’t touch the ground and is usually set around above the surface. Fog usually doesn’t touch the ground but hovers 18 inches or more above the surface. The placement of the light is low enough to be under the fog. 

This is why the light beams can penetrate through without facing any cloudy interference. One of the reason for the light to not bounce back off of the fog is because of its sharp cutoff angle. The lights are only angled at the road and the road only gets illuminated. Because of this angled placement, the fog light bulbs face downwards. This limits their reach and unlike headlights; they don’t cover a large area. The area is just big enough to show the road ahead and so that other drivers are aware of you. This why I said earlier that they are essential for road safety. 

Difference Between Driving Lights and Fog Lights

Driving lights is a general term for car lights. It can mean anything like headlights or any auxiliary lighting like fog lights or even turn signals. However, in this context, the term driving lights refer to large circular lights that are found on the front of cars. These are found in several sizes and most come with a universal filament. They fit across most car models that can be found. They are good for driving in the dark but in low visibility weather conditions, they don’t function as well. 

The main difference between the two lights is in their construction and placement on the car. The beam cutoff angle means that fog lights only project light on the roads. The most common types of fog lights come with yellow lenses with yellow bulbs. While these are the most common type they aren’t the only ones. You can find a lot of different type of fog lights including LED fog lights. The aftermarket fog light sector is filled with different choices for you to choose from.

You see yellow lenses and yellow fog light bulbs most times because those lights have a longer wavelength. The longer the wavelength can penetrate thick layers. This is why submarines use ultra-long radio waves for communication underwater. Well, this may seem like sound scientific reasoning for the yellow lights on fog light it is not. Experts have said that the only reason it works well is that it is angled at the road. 


These are some basics about fog lights that everyone should know. Do you have fog lights in your car? If not, you should install them. Make sure you do ample research on which ones to install in your car. Take the help of an expert during the fog light installation process if you aren’t confident enough.