Whether you are looking for new fog lights or driving lights, it can be difficult to sort through the endless options.

For instance, many manufacturers sell fog lights, driving lights and daytime running lights that all look similar – but they each have a very different purpose.

So, how can you tell the difference?

Fog Lights

Unfortunately, some of our readers have been disappointed that their new fog lights were not very bright – well this is actually by design.


Fog lights produce a short and wide beam of light to help you see through fog, rain or snow.

Fog lights are unique in the fact that they are designed to illuminate the ground directly in front of your vehicle so you can see the edges of the road.

They should be used in addition to your normal headlights during difficult visibility.

Fog usually settles about 24″ above the ground. For this reason fog lights should be mounted around 18″ above the ground to allow them to shine below the fog.

Driving Lights

In contrast, driving lights are to be used with your high-beam headlights to spot obstacles in the distance.

Driving lights produce a rectangular shaped pattern that is designed to extend beyond normal headlights. The design of the light beam will help you see much further down the road as well as on the side of the road.

Driving lights are very bright and can be a distraction to oncoming traffic. You should use your driving lights when driving at high speeds on remote roads with limited visibility or on unlit highways.

Driving lights should not be used as fog lights as they will be very ineffective.