What Are The Differences Between Fog Lights And Daytime Running Lights?

What Are The Differences Between Fog Lights And Daytime Running Lights?

Modern cars have a lot of lights. Although it was once common for vehicles to be equipped only with headlights and tail lights, today's cars have a variety of lights. All are intended for different purposes and serve important safety functions. But, for the average driver, it can be hard to know exactly what each light does. 

In this article, we'll take a look at two types of lights that drivers often confuse - fog lights and daytime running lights (DRLs).

Fog lights

Fog lights are designed to help you drive in poor weather, including thick fog. Drivers typically use their regular headlights in rainy weather. However, main beam or high beam headlights can actually make it harder to see when conditions are foggy.

This is due to the way the light is angled and the brightness of headlights. Your headlights tend to reflect off any moisture in the air. In a thick fog, this can make it nearly impossible to see the road ahead.

Fog lights, on the other hand, cut through fog without causing glare. Today's vehicles have two sets of fog lights. One is located on the front of the vehicle, and another on the rear. These lights act as headlights and tail lights when conditions are too foggy for ordinary headlights.

The only time it's necessary or advisable to use fog lights is when there's too much fog or moisture in the air to allow for the use of regular headlights. In clear conditions, fog lights can blind other drivers and distract them.

Shop fog lights here.

Daytime running lights

Daytime running lights (DRLs) are a modern invention. These lights aren't found on every vehicle, but they are increasing in popularity. Luxury vehicles in particular usually come equipped with daytime running lights.

Unlike fog lights, DRLs aren't meant to be used as a substitute for headlights. Though they are also typically located in the front and rear of your car, they are too dim to sufficiently light the road ahead. If you were to turn on your daytime running lights at night, odds are you would only be able to see a few feet in front of you.

Daytime running lights are meant to be used, as the name implies, during the day. Rather than helping you to see obstacles in the road, DRLs help other drivers spot you. They make your vehicle more easily visible without the need to leave your headlights on all the time.

Because they're not used to illuminate the road, many vehicles use LED lights as daytime running lights. LEDs are bright and long-lasting, and give you that sleek, modern look to match luxury vehicles.

While fog lights are a necessary safety feature, DRLs are optional. They can improve safety and prevent accidents, but plenty of drivers either don't have or don't use daytime running lights.

If you want DRLs but your vehicle doesn't already have them, you can purchase and install them yourself. This simple upgrade not only improves safety, but can also enhance the styling of your vehicle.

Shop DRL kits here.