What’s the Difference Between Driving Lights and Fog Lights?

What’s the Difference Between Driving Lights and Fog Lights?

In today’s society, life is full of work, school, errands, activities, and responsibilities. By the end of the day, drivers may be so weary that they have difficulty focusing on the little details, such as which lights they should turn on for different types of weather or road conditions. A little advance research into the types of lights that are present on most carscan keep drivers from making a mistake in their lighting choices.

Some types of car lights are reserved only for severe inclement weather or darkness that is compounded with fog, snow, or some other substance that reduces visibility. Two of these kinds of lights are fog lights and driving lights. This guide explores the features, the purposes, and the designs of driving lights and fog lights. It also suggests a few places, including brick and mortar auto shops and websites like eBay, where buyers can purchase replacement fog lights or driving lights for their car.

Fog Lights

Regular headlights can reflect off the fog, snow, or dust particles in the air, causing glare and confusing the eyes of drivers so that they cannot see the road adequately. Fog lights, as their name suggests, were developed for use in dangerously thick fog. They can also be used for other conditions in which visibility is severely limited. Fog lights are completely separate units from standard headlights.

Fog Light Beams

Fog lights have a unique beam shape. Their beams are flat and wide, and they are positioned low on the car, usually near the front bumper. The shape of the fog light beams usually resembles a narrow bar. They are meant to cut through the fog and light up the surface of the road so that drivers can see well enough to stay on the road and within their lane. In addition to fog and mist, fog lights are also useful where there are significant amounts of dust and snow on the road, either drifting in through the air or being churned up from the surface of the road. Without fog lights, drivers might not see obstacles such as tree branches, wild animals, or debris in time to avoid them.

Front and Rear Fog Lights

Vehicles are typically equipped with both front and rear fog lights. Those in the front extend the driver’s visibility range as far as possible directly ahead of the car. However, even if the driver can see the road ahead, other drivers may not be able to distinguish objects clearly through the fog, mist, smoke, or other hazardous conditions. The fog lights installed at the back of the car serve to warn other drivers of the car’s presence. Usually, the rear fog lights are wired on a separate circuit, apart from the rest of the car’s lighting.

Fog Light Colors

Fog lights installed in the front of the car are usually white, though they can also be yellow or blue. Fog lights in the rear are always red.

Restrictions on Fog Lights

Fog lights are so strong that most regions outlaw their use except in cases of thick fog or other severe weather. If they are used under normal conditions, other drivers can be blinded by their brightness or distracted by their light pattern. If this happens, the result could be a minor fender-bender or a serious accident. As soon as the fog clears or the mist dissipates, drivers should turn off their fog lights so as not to disturb or distract other drivers. Drivers who use their fog lights when visibility is normal or only slightly reduced could be pulled over by an officer. They may even face a fine if the officer deems the use of the fog lights inappropriate given the weather conditions.

Driving Lights

Driving lights are even stronger than fog lights are. They have a narrow, straight beam, and they are installed on the front of the car, pickup truck, or SUV. Driving lights are always white, since white lights are more powerful in the dark than yellow or red are.

Uses for Driving Lights

Driving lights can be switched on in addition to the regular high beam headlights. Many drivers use them while off-roading or traversing dark, deserted country roads. Driving lights are designed to send powerful beams far ahead, illuminating the next stretch of road that drivers have to traverse.

Restrictions on Driving Lights

Driving lights should be wired to engage only when the high beams are in use. Since they are so powerful, they should never be employed around other drivers. The bright lights can be a distraction for them, taking their attention away from the road. Even a momentary distraction can cause an accident, ranging from a minor incident to a severe wreck involving injury to drivers and to passengers. Some areas enforce penalties for the inappropriate use of driving lights.

Other Types of Lights

To fully understand the intended purpose and correct use of driving lights and fog lights, car owners should also know the function of the other types of lights on their car. The chart below explains the difference between these other lights.

Types of Lights



Headlights need to be used whenever it is dark. Usually, they are switched on during the evening or the night, between twilight and sunrise. They are also used on gray, overcast days or on rainy days. If drivers cannot distinguish a pedestrian in dark clothing from 100 meters away, they need to switch on their headlights.

High Beams

High beams are strong lights that are used at night when there are few other cars on the road. Regular headlights can be typically be adjusted between low beams and high beams, depending on the environment and on the traffic.

Low Beams

When a car in the opposing lane is approaching, drivers need to turn their lights down from high beams to low beams. They should also use low beams when they are following closely behind another car or truck.

Daytime Running Lights

Daytime running lights are strong white lights that are installed in the front of the car. This term is often used to refer to standard headlights. However, daytime running lights refers more specifically to lights that come on automatically when the car is turned on. Not all cars illuminate their headlights automatically. Some cars have headlights that must be manually turned on by the driver when they are needed. Daytime running lights need to be adjusted so that they do not aim directly at the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Daytime running lights are becoming more popular, especially since they have been proven to increase a car’s visibility to other drivers even on a sunny day. Anything that increases visibility can serve as a useful safety feature and may spare drivers and passengers from injury or death. In the near future, daytime running lights may become standard for all cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks.

How to Buy Driving Lights or Fog Lights on eBay

Many brick and mortar auto repair shops will have driving lights and fog lights in stock. However, you may be able to find high-quality fog lights or driving lights on eBay at a much more cost.

Searching for Driving Lights or Fog Lights on eBay

To begin searching for driving lights or fog lights on eBay, visit the homepage and type "driving lights" or "fog lights" into the page's search field to see a list of results. To keep up with current eBay listings, save your search and eBay will send you a notification email or message whenever sellers post new listings for driving lights or fog lights that match your search terms. You can also search the eBay Stores area of the site to view more listings for these lights.

Top Rated Plus Sellers

Some of the listings for lights will have special Top Rated Plus seals. This indicates that the seller of the item is has received very high ratingsfrom other eBay customers. Top Rated Plus sellers offer you a full refund if the item is return within a certain time period, usually 14 days. They also ship items within one business day and provide tracking information for your convenience. Top Rated Plus sellers and other eBay sellers often supply package deals or bundles (which is when extra items are included with the main product at a discounted price). To ask sellers about a product or a policy, click Ask a Question on the listing page or go to the seller’s profile and click Contact Member.


Some people may own a car that already has fog lights or driving lights installed in it. These may have been installed by a previous owner or by the manufacturer. Other car owners may be interested in installing fog lights on their vehicle because of the conditions in which they usually drive. If owners plan to add fog lights or driving lights, they should first look up the regulations for such lights within their state or region. Full knowledge of any restrictions will help drivers avoid being pulled over for unapproved use of their fog lights or driving lights.

To ensure quality and longevity, buyers should purchase brand-new fog lights or driving lights. If car owners have experience with maintaining or repairing their vehicle, they may want to do the installation of the lights themselves. With the help of some advance planning and preparation, buyers should be able to choose the right driving lights and fog lights, install them, and use them correctly as needed.