Fog Lights - Useless or Essential?

By Cory Langner, February 3, 2012

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?

1 User Comment

Sign in to comment
By , February 03, 2012
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".