Are you confused about the difference between Driving Lights and Fog Lights? Here’s the deal: driving lights are for use when it is not foggy… but they could. However, when it does get foggy, you will need to turn on your fog lights (which some consider a type of driving lights). This should help clear up any confusion!

It doesn’t, does it? Let’s take a deeper delve into it.

What are driving lights?

Driving lights are additional lamps fitted to your vehicle to assist with visibility. They can be used for several tasks, including:

  • Improving the amount of time you can see ahead of you when driving at night or in bad weather conditions. Driving lights will help increase visibility and make it easier for other drivers to spot your car from further away, thereby preventing accidents.
  • Being able to easily see pedestrians at night, as well as other cars around you, without blinding them with headlights that may be too bright

Driving lights are similar to fog lights, but they’re used during daytime hours and not just in poor weather conditions since they work by pointing light up towards the sky so that it reflects off moisture in clouds or raindrops as well as other objects like leaves and branches along a road – allowing drivers to see further ahead so they can avoid obstacles like potholes or debris on a wet surface before hitting them head-on!

What are fog lights?

Fog lights are designed to illuminate the road surface, increasing visibility in inclement weather and at night. They’re mounted low on the front of your car to help you see puddles, snow, and foggy conditions.

In addition to providing illumination for nighttime driving, fog lights can be used during daylight hours when visibility is poor due to fog or rain (or even dust). Fog lamps work by projecting light forward into areas where it would otherwise be difficult or impossible for drivers’ eyesight alone (without additional lighting) to detect hazards in time for them to take appropriate evasive action.

When can you use fog lights?

Fog lights are intended to help you see better in low visibility conditions, like fog, rain, or snow. Although the law around the usage of fog lights varies from state to state, more commonly, you can use your fog lamps when visibility is less than 100 meters.

Fog lights are typically used in areas where there’s more moisture in the atmosphere that can reduce visibility; however, they can be used in other situations as well.

You can also use them when it’s dark or hard to get a good look at the road ahead, even with your headlights on. The important thing is that there’s not enough visibility for safe driving—not just because of darkness alone but because of something else that makes it difficult to see clearly.

As such, you can use them whenever it’s raining or snowing, when there are heavy rains or hail, after dark (duh), and even when there is smoke in the air from forest fires or other causes. And because fog lights illuminate a broader area than driving lights do (the latter usually direct light on a smaller area), they don’t blind other drivers as much as driving lights do—which means you can get away with using them more often.

So.. what are the differences between driving lights and fog lights?

There’s a lot of fair confusion about the difference between fog lights and driving lights when it comes to driving lights. However, those differences become more apparent once you know what to look for.

The main difference between driving lights and headlights is that the former are designed to increase visibility beyond the range of standard headlights. On the other hand, headlights must be switched on as part of your vehicle’s primary lighting system, which means they can’t be operated separately from your car’s other lights. 

In addition to providing additional illumination for nighttime driving, certain driving lights can also be used as daytime running lights (DRL) or fog lamps.

Regardless of where you install them, though—and whether you’re using DRLs or not—it’s important to remember that headlight laws vary by state/province and country, so make sure you know exactly what requirements apply before making any modifications!


Driving lights are mounted higher, whereas fog lights are mounted lower. This position allows fog lights to shine the light down at a 90-degree angle and across the road in front of your car. They also illuminate a larger area than driving lights, making them ideal for low-visibility situations like foggy or snowy conditions.


Fog lights are angled more toward the ground than driving lights; typically, they’re aimed at an angle between 5 and 15 degrees. Driving lights’ aim is much straighter on average—between 30 and 45 degrees—which makes them better for illuminating straight ahead when you’re going fast enough that you need more visibility without blinding other drivers around you (like in inclement weather).

Beam Pattern

Fog lights also have a more downward-angled beam pattern than driving lamps or headlights, as they’re designed to cut through low visibility conditions like fog and rain (hence the name).

Driving lights, on the other hand, are designed with more coverage than fog lights. Since they are mounted higher up on your vehicle, they typically provide a broader beam pattern than their lower-mounted counterparts.


Driving lamps are larger than fog to illuminate the road ahead while traveling at speed. Fog lamps are smaller, explicitly designed to cut through dense fog or snow to help you see where you’re going.


Driving lights are generally brighter than fog lamps because they’re mounted higher up on the vehicle and usually point further down towards the road surface.

Overall Vision

Fog lights have a wider field of vision than driving lights, but they’re angled more at the ground rather than aimed at where you’re going (to avoid blinding oncoming drivers). That means that fog lights aren’t as effective for illuminating the road ahead—but they do help motorists see what’s going on around them, which is why most experts recommend using both types of light together (i.e., one set pointed forward toward where you’re going and another set pointed slightly lower to help illuminate other vehicles or pedestrians).

Different car lights, different laws 

When it comes to fog lights, the law is pretty straightforward in terms of where they should be placed and when they can be used. However, with driving lights, things are not that straightforward.

Due to the latest developments within the automotive lighting industry, more and more models have emerged, but the law tends not to be up to date. For example, LED bars are a type of auxiliary lights (just like driving lights and fog lights), but, in some states, they are considered off-road, and their usage is illegal. In Arkansas, no auxiliary lights can be used on public roads, while, when driving on California’s public roadways, off-road lights must be turned off and covered with an opaque cover. More strictly, in Massachusetts, driving with LED bars turned on is deemed illegal.

As such, before buying new auxiliary lights for your car, it may be a good idea to check the laws on auxiliary lights, depending on their type: fog lights, off-road lights, and driving lights, according to your jurisdiction,

What about similarities?

Both types of auxiliary lighting have a spotlight-like beam pattern that’s intended to illuminate the road ahead in conditions where visibility is reduced, such as darkness, fog, or rain. However, there are some subtle differences in how each type of light aims its beam at the road—and those differences affect both how well you can see with your headlights and how much glare they emit into other drivers’ eyes.

In addition, while they’re mounted in different positions, both types of lamps are meant to illuminate an area outside your line of sight—that’s why they’re called “auxiliary” lamps. However: because fog lights are angled more sharply downward than driving lights, their beams create less glare for other drivers (and for you).

Driving Lights vs. Fog lights: What should you choose?

Which is the best? Well… the answer to that depends on what you’re trying to get out of them or what conditions impact your driving.

In case you prefer to see further into the distance, then driving lights are the way to go. But if you want the best visibility in poor conditions and at night, then install a set of fog lights.

Driving lights may be more suited to long-distance travel, while fog lights are better suited for low visibility situations such as heavy rain or snowfall. Driving lights will help you see further into the distance with their bright light, while fog lights illuminate what’s immediately in front of you at night or in bad weather conditions.

Driving lights are designed to be used in conjunction with headlights or fog lights on vehicles that don’t have either installed as standard equipment. The vast majority of vehicles built since 2000 have some sort of headlight system that uses LEDs for increased brightness and efficiency. 

Although there’s nothing wrong with using your vehicle’s original headlamp setup, it won’t offer as much illumination at night as driving lamps (which is why we recommend buying aftermarket ones).

Fog lights, on the other hand, are perfect for low-visibility situations or when it’s dark outside — like during rainy days or early mornings/late evenings where there is limited natural light available from the sun (or moon) shining through many clouds/fog particles that can distort visibility even more than usual — thus making driving difficult enough already without additional obstacles such as these affecting it even further!

Driving lamps and fog lights may indeed be used in similar weather conditions; however, they’re most effective when visibility is low due to darkness or foggy conditions because they spread their beams farther than standard headlights do, so you can cover more ground at a greater distance without having to worry about blinding oncoming traffic behind you while trying not run into any pedestrians walking along sidewalks nearby while simultaneously avoiding potholes hidden under piles snowdrifts during winter months.

Bear in mind that driving lights are designed specifically for nighttime driving. They’re usually higher-power and feature bulbs with larger filaments than fog lights.

Driving Lights vs. Headlights

So, what about the differences between driving lights and headlights? 

While driving lights are essentially the same as headlights, there are a few key differences you should know about. 

The main difference between driving lights and headlights is that driving lights are designed to increase visibility beyond the range of standard headlights, which means they can be switched on independently of your vehicle’s headlights. This gives you more control over your visibility as a driver in certain situations—such as when it’s raining or snowing, and you need extra light to see where you’re going.

Headlights, on the other hand, must be switched on as part of your vehicle’s main lighting system, which means they can’t be operated separately from your car’s other lights. In addition to providing additional illumination for nighttime driving, certain driving lights can also be used as daytime running lights (DRL) or fog lamps.

Moreover, headlights are mandatory by law, while driving lights are usually aftermarket upgrades. Though they may look similar, they are not interchangeable: your car won’t be street-legal if you swap the two out.

A benefit of having driving lights is that they’re usually mounted higher than standard headlamps on larger vehicles (like trucks and SUVs). This helps prevent other drivers from being distracted by the glare caused by high beams shining into their eyes while on the road at night; if they were mounted lower down, this would happen much more often! 

This also makes sense when considering how tall most cars’ windshields are—it wouldn’t make sense for manufacturers to put them right next to each other so close together since then both sets would shine directly into each others’ faces rather than where they need them most: ahead into traffic!


In summary: if you need something that works well in low-light situations such as heavy rain, snowstorms, or dense fogs/cloud coverings, then go ahead and buy some fog lamps which will provide ample illumination where others might fail due to lack thereof light. 

However, if you want to increase the visibility of your mandatory headlights and get a better view of the road ahead, then driving lights may be the right way to go.