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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does a car equipped with full LED lights still need fog lights? I'll be interested come winter to see what difference they make.

I know historically fog lights were seen as aspirational as it showed you had a higher spec car - which is why some herberts still drive around with them on in perfectly clear conditions - but is this still really the case with the advent of compulsory DRLs?

As LEDs become standard fit i can see the need for dedicated fog lights being consigned to history
 

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I think I'm right in saying that DRLs have to be off if any other lights are on, so they're not really in the picture.

Fog lights... is the point that you want them bright and low... so people can see you but without you dazzling yourself (as full beam headlights would)?

Maybe LED dipped headlights are as good, but I think a fog light on the rear is still a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the point with LED DRLs was that fog lights are no longer the 'chavs choice' of showing you are in a more expensive car.

like i say it will be interesting to see how the LED (front and rears) perform in poor winter conditions
 

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The DRL's on there own will not be bright enough to cut through fog, but as you say, it'll be intersting to see how the LED's do - they are surely brighter than any fog lights I can remembered, so maybe they will not be needed. However, as has also been said, they also point more to the road directly in front, rather than a distance away.
T.
 

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I know historically fog lights were seen as aspirational as it showed you had a higher spec car
Yes, absolutely. Few drivers know what fog lights are meant to do.

A fog light is meant to help you see in fog (you had guessed that, hadn't you?) by:
- having a very wide but flat-topped beam, so that it illuminates to the sides almost as much as in front;
- being mounted low down, so light from the fog light isn't reflected back into the driver's face by the fog (the 'white wall' phenomenon);
- by allowing the driver to turn off their headlamps which will be mounted fairly high and whose light will certainly be reflected back into the driver's face by the fog.

Switching on fog lights with the headlights means that it isn't foggy enough for the fog lights to do any good - they are really only for use under 20-30mph in really, really thick fog.

Some drivers feel they can see better with fog lights on in addition to headlights - but that increases the illumination on unimportant places to either side, so makes the distance straight ahead (the place where seeing well is essential) comparatively less well-illuminated. Not clever.

Fog lights became popular to deal with pea-souper smogs in the days of houses burning coal for heat. Since we no longer get those smogs, fog lights are as much use in modern cars for driving in fog as cigar lighters as for lighting cigars.

Next week's episode: Why do we need a glovebox?
 

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Since it is now getting dark before bed time, I just went out to test that all my lights work properly. The foglights are as you say they should be... very low, flat topped beam and quite a bit wider than the headlights.

The LED headlights seem to have a levelling feature when you switch them on and the beam has a flat top with some steps in it and a distinctive purple fringe.

The sidelights... I don't imagine using them. When the headlights are off the DRLs are on. The manual describes them more as parking lights.

The instrument panel uses the light sensor to decide whether to illuminate or not... everything comes up orange and the HUD goes into night mode. When I switched my headlights on it all disappeared though... the reflected light off the garage door made it think it wasn't dark any more :)
 
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