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Fog Lamps


Phil E
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15 hours ago, Phil E said:

Used the fog lamps a few days ago which were pretty much useless. No difference with them on or off. Has anyone upgraded to LED’s?

We had thick fog recently and I noticed the front fogs just managed to illuminate beyond the front bumper.

Which is not where my eyes were focused 😂.

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5 hours ago, ernieb said:

No I've not done front fog lights, reserving lights makes a massive difference and is an easy swap.

I upgraded the interior and reversing lights based on the advice on this forum and agree makes a huge difference. Also saved the expense of installing an outside light which I had been considering 

Fog lights can make a real difference if specced properly, the LED’s worked a treat on my last car. Doesn’t look a difficult job to change the bulbs but you’d have to go through the wheel arch

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Perhaps not legal in uk. I found fog lights to work very well in Prius and Auris that I have. If it’s me I will just leave them as they are as not used every day. At the end any lower light will help in rain and foggy conditions better than not having anything. 👍

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Fog lamps only come into their own in the right conditions and when used properly.
 

i.e. The visibility is such that the dipped headlights reflect back off the fog and actually make things worse. In this situation the fog lamps should be used instead of dipped headlamps. The point of them is that they are positioned lower and have a wide, flat pattern so that it illuminates the road under the fog rather than into it. In this way you should be able to see the edge of the road and anything in it for at least a couple of car lengths ahead.


In over 40 years I have only ever experienced this twice and both times using the fog lamps in this way was far better than trying to use them as additional lights. Those in areas where thick fog is more common may see a benefit more often.

Unfortunately far too many people see fogs lamps as fashion items and manufacturers use them as gimmicks.
 

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Absolutely right.

When I had my poverty-spec Fiesta I experienced exactly what you describe - Full and dipped beams just put up a sheet of white that obscured all vision as the light was reflected off the fog because it was so dense; ended up switching to sidelights and relying on the motorway lights (This was before they switched them all off to save money...!) and following the lights of other cars to know where the road was!

Annoyingly, ever since I've had cars with front fogs I've never encountered a similar situation again that would give me a proper reason to use them! So typical! :laugh: 

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It should also be borne in mind that it is an offence to use fog lamps, front or rear, except in conditions of fog or falling snow and then only when visibility is less than 100m.

Rear fogs used inappropriately, especially in rain, are a real PITA as they just glare. Thankfully, the local constabulary does have a crackdown on "anti-social" driving from time to time.

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Indeed, a sensible rule that was made when the people in charge had more brain cells.

Alas it's all a bit pointless now as DRLs are just as bad as leaving your fog lights on - They are far brighter than fog lights ever were - but are legally mandated to be always on! I have always been opposed to them as people just leave them on and they are painfully bright in low light, e.g. dusk, and make it near-impossible to see cyclists, pedestrians and bikers as all you can see are DRLs.

Even with the rear fog light, with practically everyone sitting on their brake pedal while stationary, you'd be hard pressed to pick out a rear fog light in the sea of brake lights in heavy traffic!

 

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First, regarding front fogs, a particular condition in the fens is rising fog where it is clear  up to the bonnet height. With modern OEM I have not found a way of having fogs on with headlights off. It may be me. 

Regarding rear fogs, I find them invaluable in the day time, less important at night.  It is true they can cause glare but heavy spray in daylight can conceal a car on side lights. 

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Yea, really they should be used in any situation where there is reduced visibility, not just when there's 'fog'.

I think some people take the name too literally - There are people here that will, if there is even a tiny hint of fog, turn on *all *their fog lights despite the fact it's broad daylight and visibility is so good you can see the horizon, but when it's raining so hard you can't see the side lights of the car in front, said people will carry on driving with no lights on at all and just their DRLs!

 

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31 minutes ago, Roy124 said:

With modern OEM I have not found a way of having fogs on with headlights off. It may be me. 

That was my thinking too - that we had to be on dipped headlights before the fog lights worked. So I looked it up (RTFM) to find on my RAV there are three positions on the headlight stalk:

  1. Auto / off - lights come on when the car feels that they are required
  2. Side / position lights only - headlights do NOT come on but we can use fog lights
  3. Headlights on

I suspect that the Yaris Cross is the same and that the mid position would allow us to use fog lights without headlights ...

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Our I20 also allows the foglights to come on with just the side lights.

Four positions on the lighting stalk: 1) Off. 2) Auto - headlights, cornering headlights & sidelights. 3) Sidelights. 4) Headlights, cornering headlights & sidelights.

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1 hour ago, Cyker said:

Yea, really they should be used in any situation where there is reduced visibility, not just when there's 'fog'.

I think some people take the name too literally - There are people here that will, if there is even a tiny hint of fog, turn on *all *their fog lights despite the fact it's broad daylight and visibility is so good you can see the horizon, but when it's raining so hard you can't see the side lights of the car in front, said people will carry on driving with no lights on at all and just their DRLs!

 

^^^ This. The key thing with rear fogs is that, as a general rule, if you can see the car behind then it's a reasonable assumption that they can see you, and therefore you should do them the courtesy of switching off your rear fogs.

Alas, that requires that people are actually thinking about what they are doing rather than just blindly operating switches.

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Or they are driving TOO CLOSE. I use my rear fog if I can only see the car in front of he has his rear fogs on. 

I assume then that the car behind cannot see me unless I have mine on. 

It's a balance and while I will switch off when vi's ahead is better I don't want to keep switching off when a fast car decides following closely is a good idea. 

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17 minutes ago, Strangely Brown said:

^^^ This. The key thing with rear fogs is that, as a general rule, if you can see the car behind then it's a reasonable assumption that they can see you, and therefore you should do them the courtesy of switching off your rear fogs.

Alas, that requires that people are actually thinking about what they are doing rather than just blindly operating switches.

On top of that it's getting worse as people just rely on the auto lights, which don't even use the sidelights when it gets to lower light, so everyone's either got their super-bright DRLs on or super-bright dipped beams on around dusk, and it gives me a headache and makes spotting e.g. scooters, pedestrians, bikes etc. all that much harder; Pedestrians and scooters are the worst, as most motorbikes at least have lights, and good cyclists usually have light and wear high vis (Although you still get the suicidal ones wearing dark clothes, no lights or high vis, no helmet - Practically invisible at night!). Pedestrians and scooters have none of these things and usually wear dark clothes and do things like suddenly step out while glued to their phone or randomly switch between pavement and road, respectively.

 

Just now, Roy124 said:

Or they are driving TOO CLOSE. I use my rear fog if I can only see the car in front of he has his rear fogs on. 

I assume then that the car behind cannot see me unless I have mine on. 

It's a balance and while I will switch off when vi's ahead is better I don't want to keep switching off when a fast car decides following closely is a good idea. 

I think that's a reasonable rule of thumb!

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1 hour ago, philip42h said:

That was my thinking too - that we had to be on dipped headlights before the fog lights worked. So I looked it up (RTFM) to find on my RAV there are three positions on the headlight stalk:

  1. Auto / off - lights come on when the car feels that they are required
  2. Side / position lights only - headlights do NOT come on but we can use fog lights
  3. Headlights on

I suspect that the Yaris Cross is the same and that the mid position would allow us to use fog lights without headlights ...

Quite right.  Just checked. 

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1 minute ago, Cyker said:

On top of that it's getting worse as people just rely on the auto lights, which don't even use the sidelights when it gets to lower light, so everyone's either got their super-bright DRLs on or super-bright dipped beams on around dusk, and it gives me a headache and makes spotting e.g. scooters, pedestrians, bikes etc. all that much harder; Pedestrians and scooters are the worst, as most motorbikes at least have lights, and good cyclists usually have light and wear high vis (Although you still get the suicidal ones wearing dark clothes, no lights or high vis, no helmet - Practically invisible at night!). Pedestrians and scooters have none of these things and usually wear dark clothes and do things like suddenly step out while glued to their phone or randomly switch between pavement and road, respectively.

 

Good point, though where I am we actually have roads without cars. 

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34 minutes ago, Roy124 said:

Or they are driving TOO CLOSE. I use my rear fog if I can only see the car in front of he has his rear fogs on. 

I assume then that the car behind cannot see me unless I have mine on. 

It's a balance and while I will switch off when vi's ahead is better I don't want to keep switching off when a fast car decides following closely is a good idea. 

Very reasonable, and it is always worth remembering that the answer to any question related to driving begins with the words, "It depends...".

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AFAIK you cannot simply replace the bulbs in the fog lights. Well you can but they are not legal or fully effective. You need a different reflector so you have to change the whole unit.

I did consider this early days but it worked out quite expensive for the amount of use they get.

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9 hours ago, PCM said:

I always thought... fog lights had to have that yellow tinge, so they are NOT just more bright, white lights reflecting back on you...

Fog lights depend more on their position, beam pattern and use instead of headlights to be effective than they do on any particular lens colour.

For those that watch TCCN (The Car Care Nut), have a look at the latest video about the new Toyota Venza. He actually makes a point of showing that it has fog lights, and where they are.

About 3 mins in.


 

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Just been driving in really thick fog. Main beam was too much glare and a brief try of figs alone was abandoned as the car was plunged into darkness.  That said, no glare from the fogs.

As for rear fog, no need, I could clearly see the cars in front and the van following me even though he was using sidelights.  I would have been happier if he had not been too close. 

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