Best Auxiliary Lights: In a Fog

Vivek Nayyar
by Vivek Nayyar

Top 8 Best Auxiliary Lights

If you’re eating from the instant ramen end of the automotive menu (*ahem Ace of Base ahem*), chances are your new whip won’t have all the snazzy options a manufacturer has to offer. While economy of scale and common platforms increasingly ensures that base cars have some kit they would not have had just a few short years ago, costs have to be cut somewhere.

Binning fog lights or auxiliary driving lamps is usually one of the first stops on the Cost Cutting Express, causing a certain amount of forward illumination on cheap wheels to vanish like an ice cream cone in the sun. Sure, not all of those things are efficiently designed to cut though fog (recall the useless but stylish bumper buckets on the 1993 Bonneville SSEi) but the loss of light can’t be denied.

It’s important to note that some of the aftermarket fog and auxiliary lights on this list are intended for off-road use only, so be sure to check your local laws before lighting them up out on the freeway. Also, don’t be a Chad or Kyle and blind people ahead of you in traffic. Dim these things for oncoming cars, in other words. And seek installation help if you’re unsure what goes plugged in where. Car electrical fires are never fun.

With that legal mumbo jumbo out of the way, let’s check out the best auxiliary lights available. As Gul Madred asked Captain Picard: “How many lights do you see?”*

Table of Contents

1. Editor’s Choice: Quad-Row LED Light Bar & Amber Marker Light Kit

A proliferation of cheap LEDs has allowed manufacturers to create some powerful lights in very small (and affordable) packages. Your author paid much more than this for a simple set of incandescent fogs of approximately the same size as these unit. Difference was, those old lamps put out as much illumination as a couple of fireflies in a jam jar.

By adding a strip of amber light above and below the bright white LEDs, these lamps can be wired up for extra signal duties or forward-facing clearance markers. The twin rows of LEDs heave out 6K light from their sixteen points, while its aluminium alloy housing is designed to exhaust what little heat these things produce. Life span is an estimated 50,000 hours, meaning you can drive for five hours a day for over 27 years and not have to replace a bulb. At that point, there will probably be other maintenance issues.

Pros

  • Consistently great reviews, twin amber lines of light, IP68 waterproof rating

Cons

  • Amber is visible when turned off

2. Editor’s Retro Choice: KC HiLITES 152 Apollo Pro 6" 100w Fog Light System

I’m listing a brace of Editor’s Choice units in this post, since I’m writing this thing. A good dose of retro cool is fantastic when it’s done right, and this modern take on KC HiLITES is just tremendous. Yes, they still deploy a halogen bulb but are now of a 100-watt rating and can crank out 200,000 candlepower. The system includes a complete relay wiring harness, switch kit, and those too-cool integrated stone guards.

A fog-beam pattern is said to offer improved visibility under rain, fog, snow, and dusty conditions. Just remember that you’re the one mounting these things, not automotive engineers with years of experience. If one illuminates the International Space Station while the other is searching for nightcrawlers, that’s on you.

Pros

  • Happy customer base, awesome retro looks

Cons

  • You’ll have to sell your mullet to pay for them

3. Nilight 2-piece 18W Spot and Fog Light

Cube lights are nothing like cube roots or cubed cheese but they are infinitely more useful than either. Okay, with two rows of three LEDs, they’re technically a small rectangles but nothing rhymes with rectangle. The pod can be adjusted by about 45 degrees, making the alteration of light beam direction much easier.

IP67 waterproof rating means you can dunk these things in 3.3 feet of water for up to thirty minutes without worry. Its construction is also dustproof, according to the seller, so feel free to take them on the Rubicon. A huge sample size of reviews are largely positive, showing these lights mounted on vehicles from Wranglers to F-150s.

Pros

  • Very cheap, very bright, very small

Cons

  • Scattered reports of intermittent quality issues

4. Zmoon 7-inch LED Fog Lights

At 24,000 lumens, these sub-$30 lights should be capable of illuminating the dark side of the moon. Throwing 240W per pair, they cast a spotlight measuring 15 degrees and a wider beam of 170 degrees. Putting that in perspective, the average vertical range in the visual field of humans is around 150 degrees.

They’re lightweight, too, tipping the scales at just 1.5 pounds each. A die-cast aluminium profile should keep the lamps in good shape for a long time, given its extra resistance to wear and corrosion. The anterior side is covered in a heat sink for optimum cooling. Like others on this list, they should shine brightly for 50,000 hours.

Pros

  • Dual duty illumination, not expensive

Cons

  • Not exactly sleek

5. AutoSaver LED Offroad Pod Lights

Looking for all the world like a set of arachnid eyes, these round pods dispense with a shiny background between the LEDs and put black plastic in its place instead. This results in a distinctive lamp, one whose symmetrically positioned LEDs are easy to see when turned off. Measuring 7 inches in diameter by 2 inches thick, a quartet of them would line the front of a brodozer quite nicely.

An IP68 waterproof rating should make for a condensation-free performance, while an aluminium housing with heat sinks promote fast cooling. A spot beam throws focused light to add a punch of illumination down the middle of a lane, giving drivers a good distance of vision through the dark. You’d have to be travelling a good clip to overdrive these lights.

Pros

  • Slim construction, IP68 rating

Cons

  • Weirdo spider-eye style

6. KaTur 2pcs High Power 3.5" Projector MultiColor

Not every aftermarket fog light has to be deadly serious in its work, which is why your author selected these multicolor units from the Vulcan-sounding company called KaTur. Measuring just 3.5 inches in diameter, these little projector pods will snug in behind a grille or into a base model’s empty fog light bucket with ease.

Choose from seven different colors across the RGB spectrum, including blue and red. Note well: any use of those shades on public highways will likely end with a stern impromptu roadside chat with the local gendarmes who get quite cross when civilians flash reds and blues. Output is only 30W max for each light anyway, so best to keep these for the auto show.

Pros

  • ZOMG COLORS

Cons

  • It’s a bad idea to use them on the street

7. Universal Chrome Housing Yellow Front Driving Fog Lamps

If the KC HiLITES listed above are charmingly retro, these things are straight out of an old JC Whitney catalog. Yellow lenses in a chrome housing will look right at home on the bumper of your K5 Blazer or GMC Vandura. Incandescent bulbs, which will surely heave off a lot of heat, are in a housing measuring 5 inches wide by 1.75 inches high and 2.5 inches deep.

Old school screws are used for beam adjustment and seem to be of the type that will rust and seize after the first winter’s use. Standard H1 bulbs are used here, casting a 55W beam of light. The lone customer review mentions that the lens cracked after cold weather, probably a function of extreme heat and cold cycles. Your author had this same problem with the old aftermarket fogs on his car.

Pros

  • Old school cool, unique yellow lenses

Cons

  • Ancient tech, lens could crack in cold weather

8. EEEKit 9-LED Fog Light Kit

Recall those LED strips of lights sold to jazz up items like toolboxes and car interiors? This nine lamp unit takes the same tack, as it is able to be curved ever so slightly around a car’s bodywork or truck’s bull bar. This flexible installation is marketed as good for auxiliary backup lights, turn signals, or fog lamps.

Equipped with 3M tape on its anterior side, these things are just about ten inches long and not quite an inch high, meaning the opportunity for creative placement is high. Customers report the connecting wires are small and thin but have plenty of slack with which to work. Recommendations abound to add your own adhesive in addition to the 3M gunk.

Pros

  • Creative install possibilities, dirt cheap

Cons

  • Dainty wiring

FAQs

Which light is best for driving?

You must think about other drivers while you’re on the road too. Therefore, you must turn on the headlights when the visibility is less than 100 meters. This usually happens at night or dusk.

When you believe that you need the headlights, you should turn on the dipped lights as they are the brightest and also don’t dazzle fellow drivers. Although main high beam lights are also available, you must switch to them only and only when the visibility is extremely poor and you cannot see other drivers, vehicles, or people.

Similarly, if the weather condition is adverse, such as it’s raining or there is a lot of fog, you must switch on the foglamps present at the front and rear of your car, and turn them back off immediately when the visibility gets a bit clearer.

Simply put, dipped lights are the safest and brightest. Also, you must avoid using high beams as much as you possibly can to prevent others from feeling uncomfortable which could put them at risk.

What are the best off-road driving lights?

Although the definition of ‘the best’ depends on the route you mostly take for off-roading, using a long bar-shaped combo is considered to be the most useful gear when it comes to driving at night. A couple of models from reputed vendors that have received a decent number of reviews on Amazon are:

• KC HiLiTES ( Buy here!)

This combo bar model comprises 8 pieces of LED lights. However, you can go for lower variants that have 6 and 5 lights as needed. With the IP68 rating, this bar draws 8.3A to 13.3A of current from the battery.

• Rigid Industries ( Buy here!)

With the built-in thermal management system, this 36V bar has LED lights, and scales to 32.85” Long x 6” Wide x 6” High.

The links for the models given above are for reference purposes only, and you must check other variants from those or different vendors to find the best off-road driving lights that suit your needs and budget.

Who makes the brightest off-road light?

When it comes to manufacturing the brightest off-road lights, Vision X is the name that has a good reputation in the market. The company’s PX series is considered to be the best, and when talking about a precise model, it is Vision X XIL-PX9010 that consumes 30W of power and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.


Another brand that you may come across while conducting a quick online search is KC HiLiTES with its most appreciated models 91308 Pro6 ( buy here) and Daylighter 238 ( buy here) which are a combo bar with 8 LED lights and a 100-Watt 2-pcs set of halogen bulb spot beam light respectively.

What are the best LED lights for trucks?

When discussing the trucks, it is assumed that the lights will be used mainly for off-roading. Considering this, a couple of LED lights for trucks that have received positive reviews on Amazon are:

• Zmoon LED Round Light Bar ( Buy here!)

This set of 2 pcs can be positioned at the upper-front area of the truck and consumes 12V of current from the battery. The model is placed under the Amazon’s Choice category and is a universal fit.

• Nilight – 60002F ( Buy here!)

This one is again a set of 2 pcs and draws 36W from the battery. These lights come with a 2-year warranty.

The products suggested above are based on the reviews they have received from users on Amazon. On your part, you can check various alternatives before deciding upon the LED lights that best fit your car, needs, and budget.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: kwanchai.c / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

Vivek Nayyar
Vivek Nayyar

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  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
  • Joe65688619 I agree there should be more sedans, but recognize the trend. There's still a market for performance oriented-drivers. IMHO a low budget sedan will always be outsold by a low budget SUV. But a sports sedan, or a well executed mid-level sedan (the Accord and Camry) work. Smaller market for large sedans except I think for an older population. What I'm hoping to see is some consolidation across brands - the TLX for example is not selling well, but if it was offered only in the up-level configurations it would not be competing with it's Honda sibling. I know that makes the market smaller and niche, but that was the original purpose of the "luxury" brands - badge-engineering an existing platform at a relatively lower cost than a different car and sell it with a higher margin for buyers willing and able to pay for them. Also creates some "brand cachet." But smart buyers know that simple badging and slightly better interiors are usually not worth the cost. Put the innovative tech in the higher-end brands first, differentiate they drivetrain so it's "better" (the RDX sells well for Acura, same motor and tranmission, added turbo which makes a notable difference compared to the CRV). The sedan in many Western European countries is the "family car" as opposed to micro and compact crossovers (which still sell big, but can usually seat no more than a compact sedan).
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