Putting OEM fog lights to good use in clear weather - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:20 AM
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One thing first : It does matter how far away you park your car away from the test wall. Go ahead and start at 20'away from the test wall. Mark your target spots, and then adjust your fogs accordingly. Back up to 50' and see what your fogs are illuminating. Bet it's a lot higher, and I bet I would flash you. It's the target that is the goal. How you go about it matters not.

Fog lights are intended to be just that. If you want DL's, install some. Then hope you don't get behind a cop. The other reason to have fogs (where I live anyway) is that there is a good law here that requires headlights on while raining. Duh. You are turning them on so that your gray car on a gray road with a gray sky can be seen. Not to see better, but so I can see YOU!!!

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:43 AM
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One thing first : It does matter how far away you park your car away from the test wall. Go ahead and start at 20'away from the test wall. Mark your target spots, and then adjust your fogs accordingly. Back up to 50' and see what your fogs are illuminating. Bet it's a lot higher, and I bet I would flash you. It's the target that is the goal. How you go about it matters not.

Fog lights are intended to be just that. If you want DL's, install some. Then hope you don't get behind a cop. The other reason to have fogs (where I live anyway) is that there is a good law here that requires headlights on while raining. Duh. You are turning them on so that your gray car on a gray road with a gray sky can be seen. Not to see better, but so I can see YOU!!!
boxerfan67: Are you saying no current Lexus, BMW, Audi and some Benz cars cannot get behind the cop? What happens if they do, since all of them have LED DRLs...?
80% of drivers in my neck of the woods have fog lights on all the time - and they frequently get behind the cop ... and nothing happens....what exactly are you saying?


Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:49 AM
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I cannot help but read this with the classic 60's TV super-hero announcer voice.
What voice would you assign to a statement (actually a fact) that some 80% of drivers in NW FL never use turn signals? I vote for Sasha Cohen's voice in Borat ...LOL
Are we discussing safety issues here or chewing fat on clichés...LOL

Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:25 AM
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Just leave your hi-beams on all the time, it's cheaper and easier, you'll see plenty far and most people are too lazy to blink their hi-beams back at you anyway.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:25 AM
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boxerfan67: Are you saying no current Lexus, BMW, Audi and some Benz cars cannot get behind the cop? What happens if they do, since all of them have LED DRLs...?
80% of drivers in my neck of the woods have fog lights on all the time - and they frequently get behind the cop ... and nothing happens....what exactly are you saying?
The crux of my message is why use fogs in clear weather (I believe that was the original thread)? Why use any lighting at all in clear weather? I cannot understand the concept of DRL's. If you cannot see me coming when the weather is nice without the aid of lights on my car, then I would think it's time to give up the keys. Also, on the flip side, The DL's you mentioned on the exotic end are calibrated not to blow out the person in front of you. Perhaps, as on my car, the fogs will only work on low beams, Merc's, BMW's etc. may be the same way...when the brights are on, that's ALL that's on. If people enjoy riding around in the daytime with their headlights and fogs too, more power to them. But to adjust an existing light to do something it was not intended for,(the concavity of my 02 OB reflectors are far wider than my headlights are) all that will be achieved is that now, looking directly at it is more blinding than before. I just don't see how it would help the driver see better unless the concavity of the reflector is reduced. Hope that helps.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:35 AM
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Boxerfan67:
That helps... somehow... but I still don't understand why most people here in NW FL have fog lights on all the time? Any clues?
Also, not sure what do you mean by "calibrated" LED DRLs on those "expensive" models. The only "calibration" that I can think of is dimming....I don't see those DRL lights being dimmed or pointed down, etc., when one of those cars is behind me, do you?
They must have been DOT approved, so why worry about being behind a cop?

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 11:13 AM
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Boxerfan67:
That helps... somehow... but I still don't understand why most people here in NW FL have fog lights on all the time? Any clues?
Also, not sure what do you mean by "calibrated" LED DRLs on those "expensive" models. The only "calibration" that I can think of is dimming....I don't see those DRL lights being dimmed or pointed down, etc., when one of those cars is behind me, do you?
They must have been DOT approved, so why worry about being behind a cop?


It must be a local phenomenon. I'm probably not more than 300 mi. from you geographically, maybe a beach thing??? On to the "calibration" issue. The DL's more than likely have been aimed toward the right at a distance decided by the automaker. Also, My DRL's are not as bright as when I actively turn my headlights. Don't know if this is because less electricity is being sent to the bulb, or something else controls the brightness. Whatever it is, I sure would love to disable the DRL's completely.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 11:21 AM
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Thanks... on 2013 the DRLs are actually dimmed high beams - no "loss of power"... that is the way, they are designed. It might be the same on your model - not sure though.
The reason I dwell on this is because I actually think that DRLs are a safety issue. Same as rear fog lights that I have just installed on my 2013 OB. That safety issue still did not filter into these woods... As you have mentioned, it's better and safer "to be seen" ... in many countries and many states they are now mandatory. All of Scandinavia, all Nordic Countries, all of Canada and most EU countries....there are many statistics that claim decrease in accidents....

Quidquid agis, prudenter agas et respice finem.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 12:01 PM
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Thanks... on 2013 the DRLs are actually dimmed high beams - no "loss of power"... that is the way, they are designed. It might be the same on your model - not sure though.
The reason I dwell on this is because I actually think that DRLs are a safety issue. Same as rear fog lights that I have just installed on my 2013 OB. That safety issue still did not filter into these woods... As you have mentioned, it's better and safer "to be seen" ... in many countries and many states they are now mandatory. All of Scandinavia, all Nordic Countries, all of Canada and most EU countries....there are many statistics that claim decrease in accidents....
I just find it disappointing that the average driver requires DRL's to operate a vehicle safely. I still hold that if someone is reliant on others using their headlights in the middle of a clear day to operate a vehicle more safely, then like I said, it's time to hand over the keys, or, as I KNOW, for Alabama anyway, the driving test is incredibly easy. If that's not bad enough, one is able to attempt the test UNLIMITED times. It's a huge responsibility every time one gets behind the steering wheel and starts her up, and now after finally passing the test on the 14th time; OFF WE GO!! Another scary issue here is that once issued a drivers license, you have it for life. Even the octogenarian who can barely read his mail can go hop in the big Caddy or whatever, and take a little ride.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 04:41 PM
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I modified my lights a few years back as follows:

1) Philips Xtreme Vision H1 bulbs in the low beam housings. I was running their +30 and +50 ECE bulbs that I was buying from a store in England before the latest version became available from Candlepower.
2) 9005 high beam bulbs in place of the stock 9006 in the factory fog light housings.
3) Using the adjustment screw, I took the upper beam tails a little above the horizon for some long distance vision, and more side illumination.
4) Ditched the silly plastic grills.
5) Added a relay and secondary dash switch so that I can selectively control the fog lights to come on and off with the high beams.

Comments and results:

1) The low beams are brighter and whiter within the legal coverage area, with slightly better/sharper cutoff than the stock bulbs. I attribute this to tighter build tolerance and filament placement. Net is more useable light where you need it with less glare to oncoming traffic.

2) I NEVER use the fog lights unless I am driving in FOG or blowing snow (with low beams), or when totally alone on dark country roads when using the high beams. And even when using the modified fogs with the low beams, I will sometimes switch them off to not impact oncoming traffic.

3) Despite the higher aim and brighter bulbs (1700 lumens instead of 1000 lumens, for only 10 watts additional draw), they still retain reasonable ‘fog light’ capability. They produce improved distance vision in bad weather without reflected glare as they start out low enough, and it’s far better then blinding yourself using high beams.

4) The relay / switch solution gives the options of fogs always off, fogs on with low beams but not high beams (stock arrangement), fogs off with low beams but on with high beams, or fogs on with either low or high beams.

5) The relay output is wired directly to the harness a few inches from each fog light, rather than hooking into the underdash feed. I found that by avoiding the existing dash controls in the ‘on with high beams mode’ I get about 1 volt higher to the lamps. Apparently there is a bit of a voltage drop going thru the stock arrangement. As filament emission is somewhat logarithmic with voltage, the net is a surprising increase in brightness.

6) So far, no meltdowns with 65w rather than 55w fog draw (about 1 amp more per side).

7) MOST IMPORTANT to me – Total illumination with high beams for deer spotting is just amazing! To give you an idea of what I achieve with these mods, here are some pictures I took prior to the snowfall this past year. My driveway is about 500 ft long and lined with bushes and trees. To keep the snowplow from running astray I edge it with reflectors paced out every 30 ft. About 250 ft from where the car is stopped, the driveway drifts left and descends down a slope. The very last dot in the bottom photo - low and centered in the image - is at about 350 ft away. The car is sitting with a set of markers to the left and right around the front doors, so the first markers visible are around 25 ft away.



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