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Fog Lights - Useless or Essential?

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On my way to work today, I had a warning light go off in my Audi A3 that I had never noticed before. Apparently my daytime running right side light had gone out. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I had daytime running lights. I also noticed that I have fog lights, but in my ten years of driving, I don’t think I’ve ever used them. So being the curious type, I decided to do some research to see if they really are worth using.

Supposedly, ordinary headlights do not penetrate fog very well. According to my research, regular headlights put out a high intensity beam that reflects a vast majority of the light back at the driver. This is what makes it “hard to see” in the fog—it’s too much light. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never noticed that.

Fog lights use a lower intensity halogen bulb to provide a flat beam of light. This is a big reason why the lights are mounted closer to the bottom of your vehicle. Since fog is just water vapor forming a cloud-like substance, it makes sense that you would want a light closer to the ground so it won’t reflect directly off the cloud of fog.

So apparently there is a purpose for this feature, but from my experience I’ve never needed to use them. Do you use your fog lights? Do they make a difference?

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  • Visitor, February 03, 2012, 12:31

    06 Vue, need to have low beams on to turn on Fog Lamps. Turn off the main lights and the Fog lamps go off has well. Kinda defeats the purpose. Personally, I think they're just there for "BLING".

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