Even the most experienced drivers would dread driving during inclement weather without well-functioning fog lights. This kind of lights gives off special beams that could cut through fog, snow, and rain so you can see the road and safely find your way to your destination. This is the reason most vehicles in the market these days are now outfitted with fog lights.
Whether you're looking for a replacement fog light or an aftermarket unit, here are some factors you need to consider before shelling out bucks for a set of new fog lights:
Your local laws
Some states and cities have restrictions on the type, color, and number of lights you can install in your vehicle. There are fog lights that are approved for street use by the Department of Transportation while there are some that are allowed for off-road or track use only. So before you purchase, check first the local regulations in your area. This way, you'll know which type of fog lights are legal.
Types of fog light bulbs
Vehicle owners can choose between three main types of bulb for their fog lights.Halogen, Light-Emitting Diode (LED), and High-Intensity Discharge (HID). Some prefer an exact replacement for their vehicle's stock bulb while others decide to convert their fog lights by installing a different type of bulb. Before you do the latter, make sure the configuration of your fog lights allows conversion.
Here are some information about the different types of fog light bulbs to help you make a more informed decision:
LED fog lights
Unlike ordinary bulbs, LED lights don't have filaments and do not produce much heat, so they are not as prone to burnout. They are also more resistant to vibrations, making them less susceptible to breakage and a good choice for vehicles that are usually driven on difficult terrains. LED bulbs, which make use of semiconductor technology to give off light, are also available in different colors, so you can choose one that suits your vehicle and satisfies your personal taste. They also consume little power, making them more energy efficient than other bulb types.
HID fog lights
Like LED lights, HID bulbs have no filament. Instead, they contain an electrical charge that ignites the xenon gas inside the bulb to emit a beam that's light blue in color. This electronically charged gas is produced and stored between two electrodes. A fog light with HID bulb can produce up to 70 percent more light compared to a halogen bulb. It is for this reason that HID light is often compared with natural daylight.
Halogen fog lights
This type of fog light bulb contains pressurized halogen gas and tungsten filament. It gives off very bright light and emits heat. Halogen fog lights have a glass lens, which is responsible for the emission of amber light. The lens can be tinted if you want the lights to give off white or blue beams.
Bumper-mount fog lights are designed to fit in the round or rectangular pre-drilled holes in the vehicle's bumper. Most fog lights coming from the factory are of bumper-mount type. There are also grill-mount fog lights, which usually come round and larger than bumper-mount lights, making them ideal for trucks and SUVs. These fog lights are installed either on the front grille or behind it. Rack-mount fog lights, on the other hand, are those units mounted above the vehicle or onto the front brush guard. They are round or rectangular in shape and are often installed as auxiliary lights for trucks and SUVs.
Aside from these three major considerations, other factors that can affect your choice of fog light are color tints, warranty, price, and of course, your budget.