Auxiliary lights work in conjunction with your standard headlights to give you improved visibility in different driving conditions. There are two basic types: driving lights and fog lights.
Driving lights work with your hi-beams for greater visibility at longer distances. They project a long, narrow beam of light in a variety of patterns which greatly extend your range of view. Fog lights work together with your low-beams to improve your visibility in foul weather, such as fog, rain, snow and mist. They emit a low, wide pattern of light that’s designed to shine below the haze. This reduces the amount of blinding glare that occurs when you turn on your hi-beams in foggy weather.
Your auxiliary lights are controlled by an in-dash switch. During the installation, the wiring harness will have an extra cable that runs through your firewall (don’t worry, there are pre-drilled holes for wires to pass through)
The difference between regular auxiliary lights and off-road auxiliary lights is that off-road lights are built to withstand harsher conditions. Think of the difference between a Cadillac El Dorado and a Jeep Rubicon. The Caddy is a solid set of wheels, but you would not want to race it in the Baja 500. The Rubicon, however, has a special suspension, 4-wheel drive capabilities and a roll cage, so it’s ready to shred through any mud bog. Similarly, off-road lights are tougher, sealed tighter and are larger than regular auxiliary lights, making them better equipped to survive a wild trek across the badlands.
The installation times are different depending on whether you are mounting auxiliary lights or OEM replacement lights. Auxiliary lights, including the off-road variety, are easy to install, but they take a tad longer then the OEM lights. All you have to do is attach the auxiliary light to your vehicle, connect it to your battery with the included wiring harness and then run the switch into your cockpit. Some drilling may be required on select vehicles, but nothing that’ll faze any do-it-yer-selfer.
OEM replacement lights require fewer steps and no drilling. Just detach the old lights and pop the new ones in their place. It’s just that easy.
Fog lights should be mounted low on your bumper because they work best when they are close to the ground. The recommended mounting height is between 10″ and 14″ off the ground. Most vehicles have openings in the front valance specifically for fog lights.
Driving lights are usually mounted higher so that they can be inline with your headlights. Generally, they should be installed between 14″ and 30″ off the ground, depending on your vehicle. Driving lights can be mounted almost anywhere on your vehicle. Some of the most common spots are on top of the bumper, on grille guards, on billet grilles, on roof-mounted light bars, on roll cages and even on roof racks. Check with your local laws before you mount them because many states have a height restriction on lights for street use.
Driving lights are designed to be used with your hi-beams, not by themselves. While most are completely street legal, some of the more powerful pencil-beam driving lights may only be legal for off-road use. Lighting laws vary from state to state, so you will want to check with your local DMV or DOT for a definitive answer.
The old wives’ tale that yellow fog lights give you greater visibility over white or blue ones is just not true. The premise of that superstition, that yellow light waves are long enough to pass through water particles without reflecting back into the driver’s eyes, is based on a misinterpretation of Lord Rayleigh’s principle of light scattering. As it turns out, the water particles in fog and mist are entirely too large to have an effect on any light waves from fog lights, be they yellow, white, blue or even green. In other words, any fog light that is properly mounted and aimed is effective, so don’t worry about the color.
HID is short for High-Intensity Discharge, which is an advanced, powerful and efficient lighting technology that’s making the transition from the industrial to the consumer market. It works by creating an electrical arc, which then heats up a cloud of gas that’s floating in the bulb. Usually, xenon gas is used because it creates an incredibly bright blue light that virtually matches the color temperature of noontime daylight. HID xenon lighting is far superior to traditional
No. You should not replace your traditional halogen lights with HID xenon bulbs. The problem is that the reflectors and lenses on your vehicle are designed for halogen bulbs. If you replace those with HID xenon ones, you will dramatically increase your headlight’s glare, which is blinding and dangerous to oncoming traffic. There are special xenon-filled halogen light bulbs that you can put on instead to get a simulated HID experience.
Of course it is safe to wash your new auxiliary lights. Just scrub them down like you would any other light on your vehicle. In fact, if you neglect to wash your lights, the muck that accumulates on them can block out up to 80% of their juice. Also, keep in mind that their aim might be affected by harsh bumps and knocks. Don’t pussyfoot around washing them, but don’t manhandle them either. Be thorough yet kind, and you’re lights will reward your compassion by staying aligned.
12. What if I’ve read through all the information, but I’m not sure which lights are right for my vehicle?
We are presenting you with a large dose of information, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling a bit like a deer in headlights by it. You are in luck, though. We have a cure for information overload: give us a call. We have a troop of highly knowledgeable Automotive Accessory Specialists standing by to answer any questions you might have about automotive lighting or any other part for your vehicle. Our toll-free number is 888.874.8888.
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