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What Are Fog Lights and How Do They Work?

It's a cold, damp morning as you trudge to your car preparing yourself for the long busy drive to work. You step out of the house and, behold, there's a dense blanket of fog. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a fog season. In late autumn and early spring when temperatures fall to the dewpoint, and the cooling air can't hold as much water vapour as when temperatures were warmer.

Fog is a danger to motorists, as visibility can be drastically reduced. This is when your vehicle's fog lights save the day.

How do fog lights work?

Because fog consists of water and, sometimes, ice crystals, using your regular headlights or high beams can make visibility worse as the light is reflected at you. Factory-installed fog lights are placed as low as possible on the car, often in the lower bumper. Contrary to its appearance, fog doesn't touch the ground, so the fog lights need to be as close to the ground as possible.

The housing for fog lights is angled sharply downward to keep the light only on the road right ahead of you, preventing light from reflecting into your eyes. Also, most fog lights are yellow. Yellow is used because white light creates more glare as it reflects off the fog, or rain, or snow — a problem in poor visibility conditions. The yellow light can pierce through the fog better and reduce any glare.

When should I use them?

You should use fog lights when visibility is poor during fog, rain, snow—and even when there is an excessive amount of dust or sand in the air. If you put your standard low beam and high beam headlights on, and all you see is glare back, it’s time for the fog lights to do their job.

It still isn’t safe, though, to travel at high speed with your fog lights because they do only light the road immediately in front of you. They are meant to get you somewhere safe to wait out the weather.

If your vehicle didn’t come equipped with fog lights, they can be added as a retrofit.

Assured Automotive helps to make sure you get home safely, no matter the weather. Every single Assured location utilizes the latest in repair and production techniques to ensure every vehicle is repaired back to factory specifications quickly, efficiently and effectively. 

Find a location nearest you for all your autobody and collision repair needs at https://www.assuredauto.ca/locations.


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