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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
Here are the beam patterns of my fog lights on the road. The passenger side fog is aimed down and not very far from the front of the car. The driver side seems to be pointed out far left. Just curious if this is how everybody's fogs are.


No fogs




With fogs
 

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2015 Outback 3.6 Limited
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I have noticed the same thing with mine, but I have not taken the time to look at them yet.
 

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Fog lamps were intended to help illuminate the immediate area in front of the car and the sides of the road when forward visibility is limited (e.g. heavy fog, snow and rain). Good performing fog lamps should provide a short, wide beam to help spot the edges of the road, signs, etc. with a sharp horizontal cutoff so as not to produce glare. Fog lamps were never intended to be used as "driving" lights (which have an entirely different pattern and purpose) or in most scenarios to be honest. .....only in bad weather when you are typically driving quite slow as a result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fog lamps were intended to help illuminate the immediate area in front of the car and the sides of the road when forward visibility is limited (e.g. heavy fog, snow and rain). Good performing fog lamps should provide a short, wide beam to help spot the edges of the road, signs, etc. with a sharp horizontal cutoff so as not to produce glare. Fog lamps were never intended to be used as "driving" lights (which have an entirely different pattern and purpose) or in most scenarios to be honest. .....only in bad weather when you are typically driving quite slow as a result.

While I agree, I would not have cared except for the fact that the driver side and passenger side have totally different aiming points. The one on the passenger side does illuminate the curbs very well at night. I don't like driving with them on, and only started to notice this pattern when they illuminate for the turns.
 

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I wonder if they have horizontal and vertical adjustment hardware so you can re-aim them. If they are fixed, I'm not sure what you can do.

Here is a link to the 2015 OB Fog Lamp kit. I was hoping to see if they would show how to adjust them after installation. However, they only show how to check that they are properly aimed. Not sure if this helps but here you go:

http://techinfo.subaru.com/proxy/77218/pdf/077218-H451SAL100IxIOutbackFogLightKit.pdf
 

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The short range flood lights under the bumper ideally should light the shoulder of the road think single lane dirt road and the distance that seems to be about right is about 20ft out anything beyond that is too far for the flood style lighting lens. The purpose of these lights are to light the shoulders of the road up close. Think of being able to see a ditch or section of road shoulder thats missing on a narrow road the short range floods need to be set so your able to spot this road shoulder hazard more or less so you can avoid dropping a tire into it etc.

They are technically called rally lights everyone calls them fog lights due to the 80's marketing machine but in reality there is no such thing as a fog light especially a wide beam flood style light which is actually the opposite of what you want to use in a fog, heavy snow or rain where the wide beam generates a large amount of reflected light back at you vs the narrow sharp beam pattern of the low beams or BMW's supposed laser fog lighting system they are developing.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6 Limited Eyesight White
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They are technically called rally lights everyone calls them fog lights due to the 80's marketing machine but in reality there is no such thing as a fog light especially a wide beam flood style light...
The Outbacks have rally/driving lights (*see EDIT below) that do help in foggy or snowy situations.
There are vehicles that have actual fog lights, they usually have a yellowish colored lens.


Most people always use the term 'fog lights' because they don't know that there is a difference.

EDIT: I mistakenly wrote that the Outback lighting is rally lighting. It is not, rally lighting is made to be especially bright and send a large beam far forward, think of the rally car racers with those huge accessory lights out in the desert or mountain roads . The Outback lighting is opposite to that, it is a combination of fog and corner lighting which helps bring clarity near the front of the vehicle.
And from personal experience, I know the Outback fog lights help in fog and snow.
 

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The Outbacks have rally/driving lights that do help in foggy or snowy situations.
There are vehicles that have actual fog lights, they usually have a yellowish colored lens.


Most people always use the term 'fog lights' because they don't know that there is a difference.
GDS I can 100% promise you there is actually nothing sold today thats an actual fog light period! The best lighting for fog or any other situation with reflective stuff in the air is a focused beam of light hence why BMW is playing with lasers to see if they can create the first ever "Fog" light.

Changing the color does nothing for a wide coverage short range light source regarding "Reflected light" The only thing that reduces reflected light is a narrow beam of light like your low beams or a laser.
 

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subiesailor,


We are talking about accessory lighting, lighting that helps the main driving lights (headlights). I agree that standard vehicles do not have main fog lights that are supposed to be used instead of the regular main lights. Also agree that yellow does not help see through fog, but many fog lights are yellow, or they were several years back.
 

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I have the fog lights on my limited, I also thought they were aimed strange and when I had the car in the shop to get the driver side wind noise kit installed I had them check and they told me they are correct as is. That drivers side one for sure will let you see a curb or something else you don't want to run into, I guess they're fine.

Gene
 

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dragicon,


Compared to what I remember with mine, your passenger side fog light does seem to be aimed much more in front than to the side. I'll check it out tonight.
 

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I have to disagree with you Subiesailor (in regard to a fog lamps existence, general characteristics and intended functionality). Fog lamps are designed that way precisely for use in those conditions and are generally regulated around the world as such. In fact, some states/countries specifically restrict fog lamps for use only during those types of conditions. Unfortunately, some laws are little vague (like here in CA). Having said that, there is a good argument that most “fog lamps” on cars these days are essentially useless and/or are of poor design/quality.

The following is a link to Daniel Stern’s website who is a lighting consultant/expert. This particular article of his discusses fog lamps and (IMO) is really informative:
Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply
So, what is a good fog lamp? A good fog lamp produces a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp horizontal cutoff (dark above, bright below) at the top of the beam, and minimal upward light above the cutoff. Almost all factory-installed or dealer-optional fog lamps, and a great many aftermarket units, are essentially useless for any purpose, especially for extremely demanding poor-weather driving. Many of them are too small to produce enough light to make a difference, produce beam patterns too narrow to help, lack a sufficiently-sharp cutoff, and throw too much glare light into the eyes of other drivers, no matter how they're aimed.

Good (and legal) fog lamps may produce white or Selective Yellow light—it is the beam pattern, not the light colour, that defines a fog lamp—and most of them use tungsten-halogen bulbs though there are some legitimate (and a lot of illegitimate) LED fog lamps beginning to appear. Xenon or HID bulbs are inherently unsuitable for use in fog lamps, and blue or other-colored lights are also the wrong choice.

The fog lamps' job is to show you the edges of the road, the lane markings, and the immediate foreground. When used in combination with the headlamps, good fog lamps weight the overall beam pattern towards the foreground so that even though there may be a relatively high level of upward stray light from the headlamps causing glareback from the fog or falling rain or snow, there will be more foreground light than usual without a corresponding increase in upward stray light, giving back some of the vision you lose to precipitation.

When used without headlamps in conditions of extremely poor visibility due to snow, fog or heavy rain, good fog lamps light the foreground and the road edges only, so you can see your way safely at reduced speeds.

In some places, the law prohibits the use of fog lamps without the low beam headlamps also being on. Whether or not this is the case where you drive, it's vital to realize that fog lamp beams, by definition, have a much shorter reach than headlamp beams. If you drive in conditions foul enough to call for the use of fog lamps without headlamps, it's essential to have good fog lamps that are up to the task and are properly aimed, and it's even more imperative that you slow down because even with high-performance fog lamps, you can't see as far with fog lamps and in poor weather as you can with headlamps and in clear weather.
 

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subiesailor,


We are talking about accessory lighting, lighting that helps the main driving lights (headlights). I agree that standard vehicles do not have main fog lights that are supposed to be used instead of the regular main lights. Also agree that yellow does not help see through fog, but many fog lights are yellow, or they were several years back.
Rayleigh's scattering law gave the misconceived notion to automobile engineers that yellow would somehow penetrate fog droplets better than white light. When that theory was later shown to be flawed, someone deemed it desirable to make fog lights yellow as a way of signalling to other drivers that visibility is poor and thus caution is in order. Yellow fog lights have more to do with tradition than science I'm afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Funny I recall a co worker from Germany telling me the auxilary lights on my old car should be yellow so that when they are used that oncoming drivers will know that there could be hazardous road conditions in front of them. LOL makes sense but around here in the the good ol US we are all about our selves and will run as many lights pointed any which way we want! Screw the oncoming driver who cant see squat with 1million candle power lights in his face LOL.
 

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My passenger-side light was pointing down at the road. Turns out it was installed incorrectly at the factory. My dealer had to remove and reinstall it.

If you looked at it you could tell it was not centered in the hole.
 

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Mine is the exactly the opposite way, the driver site is pointing to the near the vehicle, to the ground (about 20 ft), the passenger side is pointing to the tree lines, cannot see any spot on the ground.
 

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Of concern to me about Dan the"lighting expert" is his lead with a chart showing distant visibility for a system that is meant for near visibility. This damages his expertise and challenges the validity of his piece.

I certainly experience, as others here, that a high percentage of 'those drivers' turn the lights on at purchase; same lights remaining on until they burn out, while impairing the vision of all oncoming drivers! One design aspect of newer BMWs that I like is the momentary nature of the fog light switch, which zeroes when the car is shut off, therefore requiring reactivation continually, as needed. rarely, do I see fogs on, with such cars.

I think these SRFs are a poor design 'feature'; totally useless to me. Having tried always ON and SR, I find they are similar to my television: best when OFF and I'd prefer they remain off w/o requiring that selection at each start. As SRFs they are a distraction, at best in 99% of our fogless environ.
 
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