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rear fog lights

38947 Views 94 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  jogosub
Winter and fog seems to be a good time to discuss this. Anyone use them and if so where, what and how is it mounted?
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Budaru installed an outside red rear fog light that he mounted under the rear bumper, that is yet another alternative solution.
Yes, I purchased an LED rear fog light from Amazon and installed it under the bumper on the left. The only hassle was running a hot wire from the dash to the light in the back, but it was easy to fish without taking everything apart. The light is on a switch that I mounted on a switch blank on the left side of the dash.


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Grabbed my GoPro, and went and did some 'vestigatin. Here's what I found...
This is what the back of the reflector looks like.
That hole looks perfect to mount an LED in...

Also, it's hollow. There's probably a quarter inch gap between the "cover" and the actual reflective surface on the back.

Then, on the bumper itself, there's a thru hole, to pass the wiring through.

It's almost like Subaru designed the car for this, either as standard equipment in some places, or as an easy mod.
I like this idea a lot and plan to investigate it myself. It looks like there's room to install one of those flat LED arrays and bring the wire out the hole. Two things bother me about it though:

- are those flat LED panels bright enough?
- Since the red lens is made to reflect light from the outside, how much of the LED light would pass though it from the back, or would it just glow?

One other thought would be to use a bright LED bulb like Jogosub did and mount it behind. You'd need to cut off some of the plastic backing and maybe a bit of the bumper plastic behind the light, and then glue a light socket with enclosure behind everything to make it weatherproof. That may work too, depending on access behind. Hopefully one of use will figure this out. Then I'd move my wiring from the external rear fog I have now, to the new fog light behind the reflector.
The VLed panels are bright enough. Have one of the 12 led 6watt panels to insert into the bumper reflectors. Light goes through very well. I will attempt to take a pic this week of the light in the reflector. Have tocut them open first
Great! Thanks for letting us know that it works. If you have a moment, I'd appreciate further details on the cutting, installation, and maybe a photo or two. I've already ordered a spare reflector so I have a backup, and I ordered a led panel as well, so I'll be ready o go soon.

I am also curious whether your led panel is red or white. There seems to be some disagreement on whether putting red or white under a red lens looks better.


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Budaru, I have read around, and cannot not find a definite answer on that either, I also read that a white LED behind a red lense uses more power than a red LED because it produces light on different spectrums that gets filtered out anyways by the colored lens. So in the case of brake lights, it would be better to use a red LED White LED through a red lens can look somewhat pinkish which i discovered when i shined my LED flashlight into the reflectors.

I will try to do cut the reflector open Friday evening, and take some pics of them with the lights in. I am still getting my garage squared away from my move.
Thank you sir, I'm looking forward to hearing from you. I already ordered a red led panel, following the advice on VLEDs and other web sites, so I guess I'll find out how that works.

I can guess how to open up the back of the reflector and install something there, but those LED arrays aren't weatherproof so I'm wondering how you did that. Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Here it is for Calif. Your State may have a different law(s)...

V C Section 24602 Fog Taillamps

As far as I know, some States don't even regulate rear fog lights... like FL, if I am not mistaken!
OMG they even specify that the switch has to lighted amber. Oops mine is red, keeping with the red lighting of the dash. Oh well
I'm fairly certain you guys are safe....I've never heard of anyone being cited for a "fog light switch color" violation LOL :D
I agree. If there's a cop inside my car where he can see my fog light switch color, I've likely got much bigger problems. :)
71 posts on the subject of Rear Fog Lights. Who woulda thunk?
I agree!!!

Like that comedian "Gallagher" once said; we should all have dart guns and be able to shoot darts at cars driven by idiot drivers. When I cop sees a car with three or more darts attached, it's automatic probable cause to stop and write the citation for being an idiot. :29:
Love it! Where do I get my dart gun?

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OK back OT. Today I installed a rear fog using the left rear reflector. It was easier than I originally thought. Here are the steps:

1. First I bought a spare left reflector, just in case, and a meter of weatherproof, flexible, red strip LED lighting from SuperBrightLEDs. This strip can be cut into 3" lengths.
2. Cut a hole in the back of the reflector at the bottom, full width and about 1/2 an inch high
3. Carefully slide the LED strip into the reflector between the back and the red lens. Cut the strip where it comes out of the lens, at the nearest marked cut place.
4. Repeat step three until 4 strips are inside the lens. Use a piece of coat hanger wire to insure the strips arestraight
5. Solder wires onto each strip. Solder all the positive wires together, same with negative wires. Attach a connector to each
6. Remove stock reflector from car. Cut a narrow rectangular hole in the bottom of the recess to accommodate the wiring
7. Snap the modified reflector into place, fitting the wires into the hole.
8. Connect the wires. Since I have an external rear fog, I just temporarily tapped those wires. Both fogs come on at once now. I will remove the external fog once I see the new fog at night.

Note that I cut the holes in the bottom so that the lens wouldn't fill with water. Also, I used liquid electrical tape and shrink connectors for further water proofing. Some silicon caulking might help too.

That's it. Easy and works great.


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Nice work, Budaru! One note though, typically, not all light assemblies are always waterproof - and for a good reason - so they don't sweat. Typically, most body parts and some light assemblies are designed in such a way that "water comes in" and "water/moisture drains out"... Sometimes you see headlights or rear light fixtures filled with moisture/sweat, especially in climates, where cold and hot temps fluctuate. Most "plastic" fixtures have drain holes. Actually, in some of my earlier cars I would drill a small hole for water/moisture to drain out.
Just a thought though... you did a good job!
I'm not sure what you're advocating. In the case of this fog light / reflector, it originally appeared to be totally sealed with glue. After my mod, there's the opening at the bottom, which I haven't totally sealed although I'm thinking about it. Right now, since the hole in the reflector lines up with the hole I cut in the bumper, water can get in from behind. I just need a little more waterproofing on the connections i made, I think.
Looks nicely done, Congratulations! Curious to see how this works out and if you feel it is bright enough etc, after you get to test at night!
Thanks! While I bought the brightest LED strip lights that I could find, I'm not expecting anything terribly bright. That's because the strip lights just aren't as bright as a high LED count lamp, and the reflector was designed to reflect outside light back out, not to pass inside light and magnify it. Still, I think it's a useful thing to have. I'll try to get a photo tonight.
I like the idea of turning the reflectors into rear fogs on the current gen. That puts them well away from the regular brake lights, they're small enough to not so easily be confused with brake lights, and they're a good marker for the full width of the vehicle. I would put them in BOTH units though, not just one side.
I agree, I thought of that as well after I had converted my left reflector into a fog. But I have a feeling (based on no facts) that there might be something illegal about having four lights in back. Maybe I'll check the vehicle code.

In any case, now that I know how to do it, I might just go and convert the other reflector as well. It would look kind of cool
I just followed the EU code and put rear fog in just one/left side.
Converting both to fog lights would eliminate totally rear illumination when backing up...and cars/drivers with rear view cameras would not be able to see anything at night (unless you convert that backup camera to military "night" vision camera/lens)...LOL
I agree, I'd never eliminate both backup lights. My friend's BU aren't working and he has a lot of trouble in parking lots with cars and pedestrians not knowing his car is in reverse.

What Euchre and I were discussing is converting the reflectors. That leaves the BU's intact.
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