Fog Lamp

If you are a driver, chances are you have had this exact same experience. You are driving along in the dark, perhaps it is raining or the early morning fog has been rolling in, making visibility a nightmare. Suddenly, behind you, comes a large vehicle, its lights glaring in on the back of your neck, and worse, further wrecking your visibility in this already tense situation. You realize that not only does the large vehicle have its headlights on; it also has its "brights" on. "Brights" that are, unfortunately, casting their devilish glow straight into your eyes as you try to navigate home. What is happening here? Why does this driver have his bright lights shining straight in your eyes?

No matter what reasoning the driver of the large vehicle was operating under, he was clearly not possessed of a proper set of fog lamps. Yes, you are reading that right, those bright lights that penetrate the darkness in front of you (and, as a matter of course, blind the poor hapless driver you just happen to be following) are probably not giving you all the help you need in navigating through a perilous foggy night.

A good pair of fog lamps, rather than nearly causing the driver in front of you to have an accident, illuminate the sides and periphery of the road, not the area directly ahead of you. In fact, if you are using the wrong kind of "Brights" to navigate through an especially foggy night, chances are you are hurting yourself more than you are helping yourself. Having too much light just in front of you when driving in fog can actually do what you don't want it to do – illuminate the fog instead of the road. And any driver who has ever ran off the road knows that all the bright light in the world will not help you when you can't see the median, the dividing lines, the margin lines and the forest, field or driveway off to the side of the road. No, bright lights may be more of a menace than a help when driving in fog. A good pair of fog lamps, though, is the only helper you will ever need.

But, you ask, aren't my "brights" supposed to be all I need for driving in dark, rainy or foggy conditions? Yes, that's true, but the simple fact is that the majority of factory installed so-called fog lamps are simply not effective when driving through fog. On the other hand, good fog lamps produce white or yellow light, use tungsten-halogen bulbs, and illuminate the part of the road you truly need to see when driving in a bad weather event – the sides and periphery. Unlike factory installed fog lights, premium fog lights do not make like their name and illuminate the one thing you don't want to see – the fog.

It would be very wise to consider investing in a good, sturdy set of fog lamps if you live in areas that are prone to fog or drive at a time of day that is conducive to driving through fog. Areas prone to fog include river valleys, extremely wet places, and hills prone to what is known as "hill fog." (Fog can also occur at very high altitudes.) Times prone to fog are late nights, early mornings, and periods of time after a rain or other moisture causing event.

Also, thought it might be tempting, do not use fog lamps while driving in clear conditions. When used in clear conditions, fog lamps actually work to give you more light and illumination than you need. While this gives you more foreground light, foreground light is not necessarily what you need while driving. Generally, things in your foreground (i.e. 30 or so feet in front of you) are, unfortunately, things you are going too fast to do much about.

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