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I bought my Ascent without the fog lights, bought an OEM kit on eBay from a Subaru dealer and installed. I don't know if they are just not adjusted right or what, but I can hardly tell they are on at night other than some side lighting that really doesn't do much for me as a driver. I noticed there's a gray knob on each light, I suppose they adjust the beam, but there's no instruction on how. I've found general instruction on how to set the lights; 25' from wall, level, mark wall to same height as center of fog lens and adjust beam for 4" below that line. I don't have anyplace to get 25' flat away from a vertical wall, so I haven't checked to see how far off these are, but right now I can just barely see light from them on the road past my hood. Not far. I imagine they are aimed a little low?
But in any case, they only work when low beams are on. That should make it really fun to adjust. I suppose I could block out the headlights while adjusting; tape some cardboard over them or something.

So what are others opinion of the functionality of these fog lights? Did you have to set yours or were they adjusted right from the get-go? Self installed or factory installed?
I paid $326 for my set, the cheapest I've found, and I feel like a fool from what I can see how well they cast light.
 

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Ours came standard on the limited. LEDs. They are brighter and I do notice them on. I had the dealer install the accessory fog lights from Subaru that are not LEDs on my Crosstrek since the base model didn't have them. I think incoming traffic notices them. However, I don't see a ton of difference for the money from the drivers point of view.
 

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Factory installed...standard on the Touring. I haven't bought a vehicle with out them for decades. For me, they are very helpful, especially in rural driving as well as bad weather. I never turn them off...although auto-high beams does shut them down while high beams are active which is normal for North America.
 
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I bought my Ascent without the fog lights, bought an OEM kit on eBay from a Subaru dealer and installed. I don't know if they are just not adjusted right or what, but I can hardly tell they are on at night other than some side lighting that really doesn't do much for me as a driver. I noticed there's a gray knob on each light, I suppose they adjust the beam, but there's no instruction on how. I've found general instruction on how to set the lights; 25' from wall, level, mark wall to same height as center of fog lens and adjust beam for 4" below that line. I don't have anyplace to get 25' flat away from a vertical wall, so I haven't checked to see how far off these are, but right now I can just barely see light from them on the road past my hood. Not far. I imagine they are aimed a little low?
But in any case, they only work when low beams are on. That should make it really fun to adjust. I suppose I could block out the headlights while adjusting; tape some cardboard over them or something.

So what are others opinion of the functionality of these fog lights? Did you have to set yours or were they adjusted right from the get-go? Self installed or factory installed?
I paid $326 for my set, the cheapest I've found, and I feel like a fool from what I can see how well they cast light.
I use my standard Limited fog lights regularly. Last evening in a snow storm, I went from auto high beam (reflected too much off the falling snow) to my standard lights with fog. Big difference. No adjustments necessary. I went back to high beam as appropriate for road and snow fall conditions required.
 

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The reason I didn't mind getting a Premium without factory fogs is that none of the OEM fogs I've had hold a candle (pun) to the aftermarket fogs I put on my cars back in the day, amber rectangular Hella sealed beams units. You drilled holes in the underside of the bumper to mount them. In heavy fog and snow the best things was to turn off the headlights and use just the fogs. (probably not legal). Anyway, the OEM fogs I've had mainly added light very close in and out to the side to help stay in the lain in poor vis, and of course only operated with the low beams on. I saw somewhere that somebody is making a light bar for the Ascent that mounts low in front of the grill. That would provide a way to mount some effective fogs if you wanted to go that far.
 

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Fogs are meant to light up the very front and underneath of the vehicle,also helps with seeing the traffic lines on the road better and not meant to give you more light down the road during foggy conditions - it would cause glare.
 

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I live in a rural area with way too many deer. Where fog lights help me is in seeing the sides of the road where the deer are waiting to ambush cars. I’m not sure what those pesky deer hate about cars but they sure try to run into them often.
 

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Lighting is everything at night,if it not for the LED’s I installed I’ve would not seen the hogs and deers(eye reflections) lurking on the side of the road.
 

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I live in a rural area with way too many deer. Where fog lights help me is in seeing the sides of the road where the deer are waiting to ambush cars. I’m not sure what those pesky deer hate about cars but they sure try to run into them often.
You mention one of the primary reasons I said my fogs are "on" 100% of the time. (switched on; obviously, they don't light during times when high beams are automagically engaged by the sensors)
 

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I don't have anyplace to get 25' flat away from a vertical wall
Try a parking lot for Home Depot, Lowe's, WalMart, etc. Anyplace where they have a large loading area in the back of the building for 18 wheelers. Later at night there shouldn't be any traffic in the rear and the area should give you enough distance to measure against the building.
 

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Daniel Stern is a recognized SME in the industry, and this primer gives good basic understanding into the whys and hows of "fog lights" --->


Items that I want to highlight from Stern's article:

Daniel Stern said:
under abnormal driving conditions (very thick fog, very heavy snow) they can be of some help. That's the key point: fog lamps are meant to be used in heavy fog, rain, or snow to help the driver see the edges of the road close to the car so s/he can safely make progress through foul weather at very low speeds. That is all these lamps are designed, intended, and able to do, and most of the ones available as factory or optional equipment or in the aftermarket aren't even capable of doing that.
....and even moreso the following:

Daniel Stern said:
Fog lamps of any type should not be used in dry weather.

Leaving the fog lamps on at all times does not actually improve the lighting safety performance or the driver's ability to see, though many people do so in the mistaken belief that they can see better this way at normal road speeds in dry weather. In fact, a systematic study done by one of North America's preëminent traffic safety research institutes shows that in the United States more people inappropriately use their front fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather.

Why? Because we human beings generally can't accurately tell how well or how poorly we see. We have subjective impressions, reactions, and feelings about how "good" or "bad" our headlamps are, and they feel very real to us, but they're very far out of line with the objective, measurable, real lighting performance and seeing ability. It's not that we're fooling ourselves, it's that our visual systems just aren't equipped to correctly assess how well or how poorly we can see. The primary driver for a subjective impression of "good" headlighting is foreground light—and remember, that's what fog lamps produce—but foreground light is very far down the list of factors that go into the actual, real safety performance of the car's lighting system; that is, how well it actually lets the driver see what must be seen to avoid a crash. In clear conditions, though it makes us feel (falsely) more secure, more foreground light is not a good thing, it's a bad thing. Of course, some foreground light is necessary so you can use your peripheral vision to see where you are relative to the road edges, the lane markings and that pothole 20 feet in front of your left wheels.

But foreground light is far less safety-critical than light cast well down the road into the distance, because at any significant speed (much above 25 mph), what's in the foreground is too close for you to do much about. That is, at normal road speeds, whatever is close enough to be within the foreground light is too close for you to avoid hitting. If you increase the foreground light (such as by turning on the fog lamps), your pupils react to the brighter pool of foreground light by constricting, which in turn substantially reduces your distance vision—especially since there's no increase in down-the-road distance light to go along with the increased foreground light. This is also the reason why it is not appropriate to have fog lamps lit with the high beam headlamps: if you're going fast enough to need high beams, you definitely don't want to spoil your distance vision by overly lighting the foreground.

So all in all, when we use front fog lamps inappropriately, we feel like our seeing is better than it really is and we unconsciously adjust our driving to match how safe we feel. That, in turn, makes us less safe!
This is why in the vast majority of OE applications, switching the fog-lamps on/off in clear weather barely seems like it's doing anything at all.

This is also why when we switch these lamps on in foul weather, we cannot appreciate the difference that they make: because under the majority of these conditions, we're already in-reality going too fast for-conditions and out-running the actual productive use of these lamps.

What these lamps are designed for - aside from adding "perceived value" to your purchase ;) - is to help crawl to safety when conditions are bad: their low aiming (as well as in the better designed/made units, the actual beam shape they cast) is specifically done so that backscatter glare is reduced when there are so many particulates in the air that it makes use of the otherwise piercing (and high-aimed) high-beams to be counterproductive.

Similarly, under foul-weather conditions, their broader, flatter beam is used to help the driver identify lane markings and curbs, to enhance our peripheral/"edge" awareness.

Again, from Stern:

Daniel Stern said:
The fog lamps' job is to show you the edges of the road, the lane markings, and the immediate foreground. When used in combination with the headlamps, good fog lamps weight the overall beam pattern towards the foreground so that even though there may be a relatively high level of upward stray light from the headlamps causing glareback from the fog or falling rain or snow, there will be more foreground light than usual without a corresponding increase in upward stray light, giving back some of the vision you lose to precipitation.

When used without headlamps in conditions of extremely poor visibility due to snow, fog or heavy rain, good fog lamps light the foreground and the road edges only, so you can see your way safely at reduced speeds.
...and he concludes with this:

Daniel Stern said:
If the road is wet or slick with ice, but there's no falling precipitation or fog, fog lamps should be used with discretion. Their extra downward light can help compensate for the tendency of water to "soak up" the light on the road from your headlamps. But, this extra downward light hitting a road surface shiny with water or ice will also create high levels of reflected glare for other drivers. Since we're all "other drivers" to everybody else on the road [*emphasis added: this is the main reason why I don't "high-beam" or even "flash" oncoming vehicles who have their high-beam engaged - to-wit: why would I want to intentionally cause visual discomfort for an ONCOMING driver? thereby exposing myself to the odds of a collision in what may well be the most horrific way, that of a small overlap], it's well to think of roadway safety as a cooperative effort. In most driving situations, fog lamps are neither useful nor necessary, but—back to that study linked above—more people use their fog lamps when the prevailing conditions don't call for their use, than use them when the conditions do call for their use. Fact is, it's not helping you, and nobody hinks your car is cool because it has fog lamps, and glare is dangerous, so do yourself and everyone a favor: choose them carefully, aim them properly, use them thoughtfully and sparingly, and leave them off except when they're genuinely necessary.

Resist the urge to re-aim your fogs to "help" see downroad, SkiPro3. :) If you must, getting that flatter beam to lay out more as a fan-shape side-to-side should be of some help in foul-weather use.

If you feel that you need more forward lighting in-general, auxiliary headlamps - if legally allowed in your area - properly mounted and aimed, can be of a lot of help.

Similarly, if you feel that you need more forward lighting in higher-speed highway or rural roadway scenarios, look into additional driving lamps. Properly aimed and mounted to supplement the high-beams, these lamps will project more forward light further down the roadway in order to enhance one's distance-to-react, when your lights are the only lights to be had on the road. :cool:
 

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>>That is all these lamps are designed, intended, and able to do, and most of the ones available as factory or optional equipment or in the aftermarket aren't even capable of doing that. <<<
That's was the point I was making. OEM fogs do little. Aftermarket fogs can be much more effective, but still for relatively short distance very wide angle illumination. Amber is backscattered less than white light, and particularly the blue-white of HIDs or LEDs, so can improve visibility in fog/snow/rain significantly by comparison.

Here's a bumper guard for the Ascent to which you can mount aftermarket fogs:

.
 

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^ Yup - and that's why I hit your post above with a "Like." ;)

As to the validity of "selective yellow" (i.e. "amber"), that's a little hard to truly dissect....also from the Stern website:


Personally, I like warmer hues. I feel that it gives me better color rendition and depth perception. Similarly, I feel that when there are particulates in the air, it helps me "see better" by "punching through" better. Whether it is behind the wheel or behind the trigger, when there's snow, fog, or gunsmoke in the air, to my eyes, it just seems that a warmer color temperature (between 4300 to 5000K) allows me to make out more details, faster - even where it comes to punching through or versus photonic barriers like sodium-vapor street lighting - than with a cooler color temperature (5000K+). I've never played with less than 4300K with weaponlights, but I really like "selective yellow"/amber from behind the wheel. Either way, I gladly sacrifice a lumens in exchange for a warmer hue.

But the physical and visual science of it would suggest that I'm just making that up. :)

In the flashlight world (yes, I'm a nerdy flashlight collector :p?), CRI is where it's at - but it's strange how we don't really talk about this with automotive headlamps.
 

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...As to the validity of "selective yellow" (i.e. "amber"), that's a little hard to truly dissect...
Talking specifically about penetrating fog. Physics is the same as for why the sky is blue and sunsets red; shorter wavelengths are scattered more than longer wavelengths. IDK about objectively quantifying the effect, but it was subjectively noticeable with my old-school fogs driving in the notorious CA central valley. With some new LED fog/driving lights you can select the color on the fly and decide what works best for the conditions at hand.
 

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^ And that's the thing, subjectively, what we "feel" may not actually be better - Stern's writing specifically address the why (I'm going to need to take his writing a bit out-of-turn, though, to confer the effect I want, here):

Daniel Stern said:
Selective yellow light can improve a driver's ability to see in fog or rain or snow, but not because it 'penetrates fog better' or 'reflects less off droplets'.
Daniel Stern said:
And a particularly persistent myth holds that yellow light "penetrates fog better" because blue light scatters more, as evidenced by the sky being blue. The sky is indeed blue because of Rayleigh Scattering—short-wavelength light such as blue, indigo and violet does indeed scatter more—but only in droplets and particles equal or smaller than the wavelength of the light. That's much smaller than the particles and droplets that make up ground-level fog, rain, and snow; there is no Rayleigh Scattering happening to the light from a vehicle's front lamps, and whatever blue light those lamps might be producing does not get scattered by the fog, snow, or rain more than other colours of light.
As a scientist by trade and training (and a visual scientist at that), this, of-course, bothers me - because to me, subjectively, a warmer hue "punches through" better. At a low-light carbine class held on an outdoor range in NE-Ohio , the Rittman PD facility, I brought along a handful of lights and demonstrated to my fellow students take-home points between lumens/output, candela/beam-shape, color-temperature, and CRI. It was a cold and snowy night here in NE-Ohio, and all but one of us subjectively rated the warmer color temperature lights as being able to "punch through" snowfall better.

As Adam Savage of Mythbusters used to say:



:D

I guess the only redeeming factor - the thing that allows me to sleep on this for all these years - is that at least unlike the science of "fog lights," there's yet to be definitive studies into whether or not "selective yellow"/amber truly helps.

So with that, I'd like to think that it does - or that at the very least what I feel that it's doing may actually be at least somewhat what it's doing to help out.

But if the science should prove me wrong one of these days, that's OK by me, too. :)
 

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This is an interesting discussion! My Limited is my first real experience with fog lights, not counting my buddy's Beetle back in the day with a set of B52 landing lights from the base salvage yard, which of course were useless in fog but fun none the less.

Subjectively speaking, it sounds like the amber fog lamp wraps someone posted about a while back could be better than the stock white LEDs. Just looking to optimize what I have, I'm not really interested in any after market additions.

I'd appreciate suggestions pro or con about this.
Thanks!
 
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As someone who used to regularly drive in super heavy pea soup thick fog at night (California Central Valley), I will say that fog lights only help when the beams are properly adjusted very low and wide. The brighter it is, the more glare there is that bounces back at you.
 

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Yeah. I think the consensus is that the benefits of amber are subjective. Having the lights mounted low and angled properly is the main thing, along with their very wide beams.

I should have caught the particle size Rayleigh/Mie scattering aspect, which says the amount of scattering/reflection for fog and precipitation particles is independent of wavelength, so it's mainly a matter of perception.
 

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This is why I found the stock LED fogs helpful. You still must pay close attention in the fog / white out, but they help at low speeds to see the road markings. They have nothing to do with distant viewing as they are designed to have their light cut off low so it does not reflect off any water droplets. Having them this low also safeguards against blinding oncoming traffic.
 

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This is an interesting discussion! My Limited is my first real experience with fog lights, not counting my buddy's Beetle back in the day with a set of B52 landing lights from the base salvage yard, which of course were useless in fog but fun none the less.
Oh, now THAT sounds like fun!

How many lumens/candela did that thing put out?!!?!!! :D

Subjectively speaking, it sounds like the amber fog lamp wraps someone posted about a while back could be better than the stock white LEDs. Just looking to optimize what I have, I'm not really interested in any after market additions.

I'd appreciate suggestions pro or con about this.
Thanks!
Exactly, subjectively - and that means that you'll have to see (no pun intended) for yourself.

Stern's write-up about "selective yellow"/amber goes a bit into the various ways to achieve that color output with current methods. I cited it above, but here it is again:


Aftermarket film overlays is probably the easiest, but as Stern noted, the light produced won't be very yellow (his write up, at the very end, has a picture of what a well-done white-to-yellow conversion looks like, output-wise) - and if it is, it'll come at typically not-inconsiderable output: output which you may not want to sacrifice, given just how little the factory setup is able to contribute to lighting side-to-side.

There used to be a few decent aftermarket incandescent replacement bulbs that Stern recommended, but I don't seem to see any in his write-up anymore. Regardless, that's moot, anyway, as we're playing with the factory LEDs. :) In the flashlight community, we'd open the bezel and replace the emitter, but I honestly haven't been in the headlight modification hobby since full-optic HID retrofitting fell out of fashion, so I don't know if anyone's pursued this to such depths.

I'd say to do, say, a Lamin-X overlay on the factory LEDs, and just be satisfied that it's a bit for show, a bit for go. ;)
 
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