Fog lights are like high school relationships: you don’t think about them until something goes wrong. And when they do go wrong, you’ll be kicking yourself for not making the right choice in the first place.
While many drivers use their fog lights only when a light drizzle or dust storm is obscuring their view of the road, fog lights come in handy during any kind of inclement weather. Whether you need to navigate a blinding snow squall or an early morning layer of dense ground fog, your car’s fog lights can help keep you safe on the road—if they’re working correctly.
The human eye is a remarkable tool. It’s capable of detecting light waves in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared spectra. It can perceive motion within these various wavelengths and take in everything from the delicate detail of a butterfly’s wings to the fiery glow of the Sun. And yet, despite this impressive ability to sense light on all fronts, it has one glaring weakness: an inability to see through foggy conditions.
In order to overcome this shortcoming, many drivers choose to install fog lights on their cars or trucks as an additional safety measure when driving at night or during times when visibility is reduced due to precipitation or other weather conditions such as mist or smoke (which often occur during wildfires).
First of all, what are fog lights?
You’ve probably seen them on the road before—small, round lights that are mounted low on the vehicle. While they may look like headlights, they’re actually fog lights.
If you’ve ever driven in fog or snow and noticed that it’s difficult to see where you’re going, then you understand why fog lights are such a necessity for drivers in areas with harsh weather conditions. They help reduce glare from headlight beams by lighting up areas directly in front of your vehicle instead of shining into other drivers’ eyes as standard headlights do.
They’re also called spotlights, driving lights, or auxiliary lights and are usually mounted low on the vehicle so they can illuminate anything that might be ahead of you without blinding other drivers behind you.
Types Of Fog Lights Light Bulbs
For those who’ve decided to roll the dice on buying a vehicle that already has fog lights installed, there are still more options in-store: HID vs. LED vs. Halogen fog lights.
This article will break down the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can know what kind of headlight technology your car needs when visibility is low.
Spoiler alert: They all work, even if they don’t all perform equally well.
Led Car Fog Lights
While halogen bulbs have been used for years with great success—and continue to be popular among consumers today—there are now alternative solutions available that provide even more benefits than ever before, including longer life spans; higher brightness levels; shock resistance; heat resistance; moisture resistance; corrosion resistance…and more!
- LED car fog lights not only last longer, but they also come on more quickly.
If you’ve ever turned on your car’s fog lights and been blinded for a few seconds by the bright white light, then you know how important it is for these lights to turn on immediately. This is where LED car fog lights are superior to traditional halogen bulbs.
In addition to being brighter, LEDs can also be turned on more quickly because they don’t require a warmup time as their halogen counterparts do. Furthermore, apart from rapid lighting characteristics, LEDs also have an instant off feature. This makes them safer than traditional bulbs because there’s no delay when turning suddenly needed lights off (such as when exiting an intersection).
Since LED car fog lights aren’t hot enough for this purpose, they take about 2 seconds longer than traditional halogen bulbs at first startup; however, once your vehicle reaches 20 miles per hour (or whatever speed it takes for turbochargers or superchargers in gas-powered cars), its computer will detect that conditions warrant turning on bright lights like those found in front bumpers or tail lamps rather than just dimmer ones from inside headlights or taillights.
- The light emitted by an LED light is cleaner and less yellowish than that of a halogen bulb.
The light emitted by an LED light is cleaner and less yellowish than that of a halogen bulb. It has more white coloration, and better visibility – LEDs produce an attractive color output that’s closer to daylight (as opposed to the yellowish hue produced by traditional incandescent lights).
Additionally, an LED bulb runs at higher temperatures than its halogen counterpart, which results in greater durability and less energy usage over time.
- LED car fog lights use less energy than halogen bulbs.
If you’ve ever been the victim of a fender bender, you’ll probably understand why this is important. Halogen lights are designed to produce a lot of light in a short amount of time—and it’s because they’re so intense that they can cause damage if they illuminate your eyes at night. That’s why it’s recommended that you wear eye protection when working on cars or driving at night with your headlights on.
However, LED car fog lights shine their light more evenly over an extended period of time, which means their intensity isn’t as high when measured for its duration. These longer durations mean that even though the LEDs are brighter overall, their effectual lumen output doesn’t pose any threat to drivers who happen to be looking straight into them.
- LED car fog lights tend to last longer.
How so? For one thing, they’re made of polycarbonate plastic that is not only impervious to corrosion but also far more durable than glass. The polycarbonate material is also softer than glass, which means it’s less likely to shatter if you accidentally run over a rock or pothole while driving at night with your LED headlights on. In addition to all this, LED fog lights come on much quicker after being turned off—within seconds of turning off the ignition key in most cases—and they’ll stay lit for many more hours before needing replacement (upwards of 50k-100k hours versus 10k hours).
- LED car fog lights may be a safer and more efficient alternative.
LED lights use less energy and generate less heat. Because of this, they can be safely integrated with high-performance motors or even used in extreme conditions where other types of bulbs might fail.
They use fewer parts and draw less electricity than incandescent bulbs or halogen lights. Their increased efficiency means that they last longer with less power consumption (and fewer greenhouse gas emissions).
They also cost less over time because you only have to replace them once or twice a year instead of multiple times with halogen bulbs. So if your car is still using those old-fashioned yellowish-white lights for its fog lamps, then it’s time to switch over to some LEDs as soon as possible!
- LEDs’ installation may be less of a daunting task than you may believe.
LED lights are a great way to replace halogen bulbs, but the installation process may be more difficult for some than others. A simple replacement can be done on your own at home with a few tools and a bit of patience, but if you’re worried about doing so yourself, or don’t want to spend the time installing new bulbs, simply take your vehicle into an auto electrician’s shop or garage – taking into account LEDs are increasing in popularity, chances are you will find a professional in your area.
- LEDs tend to be brighter.
You won’t miss out on seeing things at night, even if you have one of those fancy new headlight settings on your car’s dashboard (or even if there are no headlights at all). And if anything ever happens to go wrong with your LED fog lamp or headlight assembly? Just replace the old bulbs with new ones!
No need for expensive repairs because these work so well—they’re durable enough not just to survive but thrive through years of use without any problems whatsoever (it’s almost like having brand new parts!)
LEDs are the wave of the future, and they’re moving quickly to illuminate the way forward. It’s harder to find halogen bulbs these days because LEDs are just better in almost every way. They last longer, they use less energy, they come on faster, and they shine brighter.
Halogen Fog Lights
Halogen fog lights use a halogen bulb, which is mounted inside a metal housing. The bulb is powered by the car’s electrical system and gives off a bright white light when you turn on your fog lights for driving in low-visibility conditions. You can usually find your halogen fog light by looking at the radiator grill of your vehicle, where it will be mounted in a plastic housing with other headlamps or turn signal lights.
Halogen headlights are standard on most vehicles, and for a good reason. They are less expensive than HID or LED headlights. In fact, halogen headlight bulbs can last anywhere from 18-24 months with a lifespan of 450 to 1000 hours before they need to be replaced. That’s not much when you consider how long the average person keeps their car (about 10 years), whereas LEDs can last for years to come.
How Do Halogen Light Bulbs Work?
Halogen lights are made of a tungsten filament in a quartz glass tube. It’s similar to the way a gas stove works for cooking food. When current passes through the filament, it heats up and emits light. As electrons move quickly through the filament, high heat levels are created, causing electrons to rise in energy levels and collide with atoms in the gas inside the halogen bulbs, causing them to emit light.
Halogen Fog Lights: Pros
- Brightness: HID (high-intensity discharge) bulbs produce about three times more light than halogen headlights. That’s because they use an electric arc to ignite xenon gas, which produces a brighter light than the filament in traditional headlights. The result is better visibility in fog, snow, or other low-visibility conditions.
- Increased safety: more light means less guesswork when driving at night, especially in bad weather conditions where reduced visibility can make it difficult to see what’s ahead or behind you on the road.
Halogen vs. HID
For those of you who want to know the difference between HID and halogen fog lights, you’re in luck. Here are some key points:
- Halogen bulbs are cheaper than HIDs: they’re not as bright as HID bulbs, but they can be purchased for a much lower price since they are the most common replacement option;
- Halogen bulbs use more energy than HIDs.
- Halogen bulbs have a shorter lifespan than HIDs.
- Halogens aren’t as bright as LEDs or HIDs because they produce light from a filament that glows when electricity runs through it instead of being an LED chip or incandescent bulb (like your car headlights).
Some people confuse halogen fog lights with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps because both types produce a very bright white light that can be seen from long distances away from your vehicle.
However, HID headlamps don’t work well in inclement weather because moisture may cause them to burn out much faster than halogens do; if you live in an area where it rains frequently or snows often during the winter months, then these types will probably not be suitable for your needs. Let’s dig in.
Nonetheless, halogens do offer more versatility than their pricier counterparts: if you don’t care about brightness or durability and just want something that works well enough at an affordable price point—and if your car has the space in its headlight housing for these larger bulbs—then halogens or LEDs are probably suitable for you!
HID Fog Lights
What Are HID Fog Lights?
HID stands for high-intensity discharge, but you probably already knew that. HID bulbs use a gas-discharge process to produce light, which is much more efficient than halogen bulbs and can last longer.
When it comes to halogens, the bulb is filled with gas and has tungsten filaments inside it; when electricity passes through the filament, it heats up and causes the tungsten to glow.
But when you look at an HID bulb (or xenon), it’s like looking into a miniature sun: The bulb contains mercury vapor that produces ultraviolet light when an electrical current passes through it. This UV light then interacts with metal salts in the bulb to produce visible white light. HID bulbs are also less likely than halogens to burn out or break due to vibrations during driving (you know those annoying vibrations?), so they last longer as well!
How Do HID Fog Lights Work?
If you’ve ever wondered how HID light bulbs work, this is the place to start. In a nutshell, HID light bulbs are a type of light source in which the light is produced by a gas plasma. This can be any number of gases, but for automotive applications, it’s usually xenon or krypton.
The gas is contained in a quartz bulb that has two electrodes attached to it—one positive and one negative—and when current flows through these electrodes, they ignite the gas and create an electrical arc that produces ultraviolet radiation (hence UV). The ultraviolet radiation travels from one end of your bulb to another, where it emits visible white light as it passes through phosphor coatings on each side of your bulb (converts UV energy into visible light energy).
HID Fog lights: Pros and Cons
The benefits of HID fog lights include:
- Less glare. Halogen lights put off a lot of light towards the front of your car, which causes glare for drivers in front of you when driving at night or on cloudy days. HID fog lights produce less glare because they emit more light downwards towards the road instead of upwards into other vehicles’ headlights
- Better visibility than factory halogen bulbs. The increased brightness of HID lights can help you see better in foggy conditions, rain and snow.
- More light on the road. The superior beam pattern and brightness characteristic of Xenon bulbs are able to illuminate an area farther ahead than regular halogen bulbs do
HID fog lights can provide better road visibility than standard halogen lamps. HID light bulbs have a higher lumen output than halogen bulbs, which means that they produce more visible light on the road. They also have a better color rendering index (a measure of how accurately an object’s color is reproduced), so details are more easily visible in low-light conditions.
Finally, HID light bulbs last longer and use less power than a traditional halogen bulb—two factors that make them especially useful for foggy weather conditions.
HID vs. Halogen
HID fog lights can provide better road visibility than standard halogen lamps. HID light bulbs have a higher lumen output than halogen bulbs, which means that they produce more visible light on the road.
They also have a better color rendering index (a measure of how accurately an object’s color is reproduced), so details are more easily visible in low-light conditions. Finally, HID light bulbs last longer and use less power than a traditional halogen bulb—two factors that make them especially useful for foggy weather conditions.
Additionally, HIDs use less power than halogen bulbs, while the lifespan of an HID light is about three times that of a halogen bulb.
However, HID fog lights tend to be more expensive, costing at least twice as much as Halogen bulbs, and may come with fewer warranty options from manufacturers.
Moreover, replacing damaged HID ballasts due to corrosion caused by water intrusion can be costly depending on how well you maintain your vehicle, so check them regularly during oil changes and others.
HIDs vs. LEDs
The main difference between halogen fog lights and HID or LED models lies in how they produce their respective colors: HIDs use high voltage to ionize the gas inside a tube filled with xenon gas so that it glows brightly; LEDs make use of semiconductor chips containing tiny diodes to emit photons when electricity passes through them.
What are the similarities between LED, HID, and Halogen fog lights?
All three of these types of fog lights provide high beam visibility, which is great for night driving in fog. These types of lights are also used for driving in rainy conditions and weather that may have reduced visibility. The difference between them comes down to the fact that LED and HID fog lights are brighter than halogen fog lights, but they do have different advantages and disadvantages.
LED vs. Halogen vs. HID
- LEDs are more efficient than halogen lights, and they’re more efficient than HIDs.
LED fog lights are more efficient than your average halogen bulb, which means they produce less heat. Instead of passing through a tungsten filament, LEDs use diodes that emit a specific wavelength of light for each color (red, yellow, and blue). The three colors can then be combined to create any other color.
- LEDs have a longer lifespan, which means you’ll be able to save money on replacements.
The lifespan of an LED is much longer than either HID or Halogen bulbs. This means you don’t have to worry about having it replaced every few months like you would with other types of lighting systems on the market today!
In addition to reduced maintenance costs over time, thanks to lower energy consumption rates thanks to improved efficiency levels between 50% – 80% depending on model type compared against standard halogen bulbs rated at 35%.
- A n LED’s durability makes it less likely to break or burn out than a Halogen/ HID bulb.
LEDs are more durable than Halogen lights and HID Xenon light bulbs. Since they don’t contain glass or filament, they can withstand impact without breaking and without risking injury to you or anyone else in your vehicle.
Into the bargain, since LEDs do not have any moving parts (like the mercury vapor inside an HID bulb), there is less chance of them malfunctioning over time due to wear on the internal components like wiring connections or ballasts that regulate current flow through the bulb’s electrodes (cathodes and anodes).
- An LED is much less likely to fail suddenly than an HID lamp would be due to its longer life span and lower susceptibility to damage from moisture or shock.
- HIDs are brighter than both Halogens and LEDs, but they don’t last as long or run as cool as LEDs do either, so there really isn’t much benefit here unless you think looks matter more than anything else (which is fine).
- Halogen Fog lights seem to be the cheapest alternative
HIDs and LEDs are both more expensive than their halogen counterparts, but they’re also more efficient. The more expensive price tag means that these two types of lights need to be replaced less frequently than halogens, which will save you money in the long run.
- HID fog lights provide the best beam pattern and color range
If your car came with standard halogen bulbs, upgrading to an HID kit will improve visibility in foggy conditions. LEDs are also an excellent alternative to halogen bulbs because they’re more efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs.
- HID and LEDs tend to be more efficient
The higher efficiency of HIDs and LEDs is due to the fact that they produce light using electricity rather than a gas (such as tungsten) like halogens do. This means that there’s no heat given off by HIDs or LEDs in order to produce light—which makes them better at dissipating the fog on the road ahead of your car!
So… which bulb should you choose for your car?
Both HID and LED fog lights are very bright, but they each have pros and cons that make them better suited for certain types of cars. If you want your fog light to last a long time and provide the most light, an HID bulb is the way to go.
They’re more expensive than LED bulbs, but they have a lifespan of over three years—much longer than ordinary halogens or LEDs (which start losing intensity after just one year).HIDs also give you an increased color temperature (CT), meaning they produce cooler-toned light compared with halogens or other bulbs.
This makes them ideal for foggy conditions because their color temperature reflects well against water droplets in the air; it’s like having “anti-fog” features built right into your headlights!
Consequently, just like everything else in life, choosing the right fog lights for your car depends on your preferences and budget, as there are not any mind-blowing differences between those three. As long as you have fog lights, regardless of the bulb of choice, ride on!