Do Fog Lights Really Help in Fog?
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 17, 2012)
Do fog lights really help in fog, or are they simply for decoration? While the question may seem like a rather simple one, the answer is surprisingly complicated. The short answer the question is yes, they do. However, there is more to that answer, so the answer is more along the lines of yes they do, kind of. Make sure that you know whether these types of lights are what you should be using, and how to use them properly, before you begin turning them on every time it gets a little muggy out there.
- They do work, kind of. First and foremost, it must be said that fog lights do work to a certain extent. That extent is they increase the level of light that is shined ahead of the vehicle at a lower level, which can help illuminate an area that is obscured by mists such as fog. However, there is a key word here that needs to be stressed, and that is can. It all depends on whether the lights are being used in the proper way.
- Purpose. Ideally, fog lights are supposed to be angled so that the light that is being thrown out is directed away from you, and reduce the amount of glare that is bounced back towards you. Unfortunately, many lights are not mounted correctly, or a driver is sitting at an improper height, for these to be really effective in this way. A large majority of fog lights are pointed straight ahead, and as such have more of the light being bounced back towards the driver than it should be.
- Positives. For the most part, fog lights do work. When they are angled properly they work exactly like they are supposed to, and will allow you to see the roadway ahead of you. The trick is to ensure that the lights are properly angled. Whenever the lights are replaced, or if there was an accident, or some other type of event that could have caused them to shift, you really should double check and ensure that they are still angled in the right direction.
- Negatives. There are some fog lights that have been designed with a "low glare" filter that is supposed to reduce the amount of light that is reflected back towards the driver. Unfortunately, all these are really is some yellow colored plastic which makes the lights appear to cut through the fog better, but in reality aren't. If you do decide to use fog lights, make sure that they are working as promised.