Two vehicles activate their fog lights while driving along a highway.

Fog lights are designed to combat visibility issues on foggy and dreary days. Without the proper lights, driving in these conditions can be a hazardous and harrowing experience. This informational guide will fill you in on the type of fog lights that may be best for your car, the importance of fog lights, and when it’s appropriate to use them.

Our team has gathered the highest quality information so you can feel confident in knowing all the important details and functionality of your fog lights. Fog lights are essential for everyday safe driving and off-road adventures, so before you hit the road, make sure you have all the facts. 

What Are Fog Lights?

Front fog lights are assistive lights that help you see the road in front of you on foggy or rainy days. Located below the headlights, fog lights are designed to illuminate the road and emit a wide light beam that won’t reflect off of fog. Fog lamps are generally installed low on a vehicle and are angled downward to illuminate the road below the fog, helping to prevent any reflection that can affect visibility.

Fog lights may also be referred to as auxiliary lights because they are not mandatory, unlike headlights. Fog lamps do not always come installed on some models of vehicles. While it is vehicle-specific, you generally have the option to add them to your car. If your vehicle model does not have fog lights, we recommend adding them to enhance your view of the road and make driving in poor weather safer.

How To Use Fog Lights

The silhouette of a car using its fog lights.

In most vehicles, there is either a button or control arm near the steering wheel that offers easy accessibility for any driver and allows the driver to turn on different car lights. Fog lights have a specific symbol that shows a lamp pointing to the left with lines pointing diagonally down through a vertical wavy line. 

Depending on where your light controls are, you can either press the button matching the symbol or turn the control arm in the correct direction to turn on your fog lights. When working properly, the fog lamps should illuminate the road in front of you and increase visibility.

When To Use Fog Lights

A vehicle's fog light shines through mist.

There are only a handful of specific weather conditions that require the use of fog lights, and they are not necessary to use with daytime running lights or headlight bulbs. Below, we’ll highlight a few of the most common uses for fog lights so you know exactly when to have them on while driving.


The most obvious use of fog lights is to combat fog, and any fog lamps can help increase visibility while driving on a foggy morning. Fog sits fairly low on the ground and can impact how far you are able to see in front of you. 

Fog lights have a low placement that makes them able to hit the ground underneath the fog to prevent the light from bouncing back and causing glare.


Heavy rain can impact visibility and make it hard to see what’s in front of you, both up close and far away. Regardless of if you are using high beams or low beams, the higher placement of these lights can produce a glare making it harder to see. Thanks to the lower placement of fog lamps, they help to prevent glare and increase visibility, having a similar effect when driving in foggy conditions.

Driving at night in heavy rain can make visibility especially difficult, making fog lights a necessity for safety and peace of mind by increasing both near and far visibility while on the road.

Dust Storms

While dust storms are not common everywhere, any dust or debris from extreme winds can impact visibility. Although it is not recommended to drive in high winds or dust storms, it may be essential for some, making it important to use fog lights to combat any challenges to visibility. These lights should always be used in addition to headlamps, as fog lights only illuminate part of the road in front of you.


For ATV, UTV, or other off-road vehicles – including models from GMC, Honda, and Chevyoff-road lights consist of spotlights, headlights, tail lights, and fog lights. Fog lights specifically work while off-roading to clear a pathway without catching or causing glare from any dust or other debris in the air resulting from off-road driving.


Snow is incredibly reflective and can cause visibility issues while driving during wintry weather or while snow is still on the ground. Fog lights can be especially helpful if you are driving while it’s snowing, as the lower placement of fog lights helps to combat the glare that can be caused by your headlights.


In the event you are driving through smoke, it’s recommended that you use your low beam headlights paired with fog lights for optimal visibility. Similar to a dust storm, smoke can impact visibility, causing a safety concern for yourself and drivers around you. Fog lights prevent any smoke from reflecting back onto your windshield or line of sight, which can otherwise impair your visibility. Always opt for fog lights and low beams when in contact with smoke while on the road.

Different Types Of Fog Lights

A yellow-tinted car light is illuminated on a parked vehicle.

There are a handful of different styles of fog lamps that you can choose from. Between LED fog lamps and halogen lights that either give off a yellow or white hue, you need to choose the fog light that’s the best fit for your vehicle and visibility requirements. This section highlights some of the fog lamps on the market so you can get a better idea of what to look for if and when the time comes for you to buy an aftermarket or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) fog light kit

Yellow Fog Lights

Yellow fog lights are offered with either halogen or LED fog light bulbs. Yellow fog lights generally give off less of a glare because yellow is easy for the human eye to process, which can help with visibility. Yellow fog lamps generally also have a longer wavelength because your eyes are able to identify the light easier, increasing the range at which you can see the light that is cast outwards from your vehicle.

White Fog Lights

White light fog lamps have either halogen bulbs or LED light bulbs. Often, these lights are advertised as xenon fog lights because they radiate a white-blue light under a clear lens. While these lights are brighter, they do have a shorter wavelength and are not as easy on the eyes due to the intense brightness. These white lights may be best if you are looking for a fog light that will help you see shorter distances at a higher brightness.

Different Types Of Car Lights

Different types of car lights are illuminated during snowy driving.

There are various different types of driving lights, and it’s important to know when each should be used and what exactly each one does. From headlamps to tail lights, this section covers the basics of need-to-know information on the various lights you will find on the exterior of your automotive vehicle.

Fog Lights

As previously mentioned, fog lights are lower-set halogen or LED light bars that provide extra visibility in foggy conditions, heavy rain, or extreme winds. Fog lights have various replacement bulb options including yellow or white lights and halogen or LED fog light bulbs, so you can choose the best-fitting light for your vehicle and visibility needs.


Headlamps provide visibility without causing a potential glare for oncoming drivers on the other side of the road. These lights are essential for driving at night or in the dark and are also recommended for use in poor weather conditions including rain, fog, sleet, and snow. These lights should also be turned on if you are driving during either sunset or sunrise, as visibility is limited for all drivers on the road at these times. 

High Beams

High beam lights should be used to see the road in the dark when you are in poorly-lit areas such as back roads or while off-roading. However, high beams give off a glare because they are high-power lights, so they should be turned off if you are nearing an oncoming vehicle, even if there is a median to separate both sides of the road. This will prevent your lights from temporarily blinding the oncoming driver and causing a potential safety concern or accident.

High beams are not recommended for use in wet weather conditions. The glare high beams give off is caused by light reflecting off moisture or particles in the air, and with rain, snow, or fog, there is an increase in moisture, which can result in your high beams blinding oncoming drivers. This makes fog lights ideal for driving in poor weather. 

The low positioning of fog lights shines the light beam lower to the ground than high beams, preventing any glare caused by moisture or poor weather. Fog lights are cast at a slightly downward angle, unlike other car lights, but they still give off a similar brightness to high beams without causing a glare.

Brake Lights

Brake lights are located at the back of your vehicle and inform drivers behind you that you are stopping or slowing down. They automatically turn on when you press down on the brake, working in the same way as your interior lights turning on when you open the car door. So, you don’t need to worry about turning brake lights on before hitting the road.

Tail Lights

Tail lights are also located at the rear of your vehicle and are turned on whenever you turn on your headlights. They let drivers coming up behind you know where you are on the road and how far away you are, increasing visibility for drivers behind you.

Daytime Running Lights

Daytime running lights are different from headlamps and work to increase your vehicle’s visibility for other drivers on the road. They can turn on automatically when you start your engine in the daytime.

Fog Lights: Bottom Line

Fog lights have a variety of important uses, especially when faced with adverse weather conditions. High-performance fog lights will provide optimal visibility and prevent glare or bounce-back due to fog, rain, or debris. Fog lights are not included in all OEM vehicle light set-ups, but we recommend investing in a set of the best fog lights to enhance safety and visibility on the road.

Fog Lights: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.