Reviews

Best Aftermarket Fog Lights: Increase the Light Ahead

See better in inclement weather when you drive with these aftermarket fog lights

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BY Andra DelMonico , Daniel Rika , Linsay Thomas / LAST UPDATED ON July 22, 2021

If you replace your stock fog lights with aftermarket fog lights, you may finally start seeing in inclement weather. You aren’t limited to installing them as fog lights, however. You can mount these lights in other places on your vehicle to get more light as well as a more aggressive look. Finding the right lights is about choosing the right look and brightness. Check out the following aftermarket fog lights for your vehicle.

Best Overall
Philips H8/H11/H16 X-tremeUltinon Automotive LED Fog Light
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Summary
Summary

These fog light bulbs are designed to replace the bulbs in your stock fog lights. They produce a bright light at 6500K. They replace halogen light bulb sizes H8, H11, and H16.

Pros
Pros
  • These bulbs let you keep your stock fog light housing. 
  • Their SafeBeam technology directs the light towards the road so as to not blind other drivers. 
Cons
Cons
  • These are only the bulbs. 
  • You’ll need to make sure they fit in your fog light housing and have compatible wiring connections. 
  • They also may have some intermittent flickering.
Best Overall
Philips H8/H11/H16 X-tremeUltinon Automotive LED Fog Light
Best Value
HELLA Driving Lamp Kit
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Summary
Summary

Each set of fog lights come with two lights, wiring, halogen lamps, two stone protector shields, and an illuminated switch. The kit features two white protective stone shields with HELLA logos.

Pros
Pros
  • This kit comes with step by step instructions to make for easy installation. 
  • It also has a switch that you can install in your dashboard for easy operation of your new lights.
Cons
Cons
  • The housing is made out of plastic, which makes them more vulnerable to breaking during installation and use. 
  • The wiring also tends to come loose.
Best Value
HELLA Driving Lamp Kit
Honorable Mention
KC HiLiTES Fog Light System
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Summary
Summary

You can buy these fog lights as a set or single light. They feature a bold “KC” over a clear lens. This kit comes with all required hardware and wiring.

Pros
Pros
  • These lights feature a fog beam pattern designed to improve your visibility in all weather conditions. 
  • Lights are bright, at 200,000 candlepower. 
  • Wattage of 100. They are designed and built in the USA. 
Cons
Cons
  • You might find that these lights aren’t as bright as other fog lights on the market. 
  • You also can’t remove the KC rock guard.
Honorable Mention
KC HiLiTES Fog Light System

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Benefits of Aftermarket Fog Lights

  • Improve safety. Fog lights allow you to see the road ahead of you more clearly, especially at night, in fog, or during inclement weather. They also allow other drivers to see you well before they reach you. You can also see animals or people walking or riding their bikes more easily.
  • Clearer vision. Headlights may work just fine, but fog lights work much better when it comes to seeing the road. They are more focused toward the bottom of your vehicle and may have a shorter distance but tend to be brighter and more powerful. They are even more effective at slower speeds.
  • Enhanced look. Fog lights can improve the overall look of your vehicle as well. You can mount them anywhere to get a better view of the road. Doing so makes them stand out and adds some style to your vehicle. You can also get different-colored bulbs for your fog lights: white or yellow. White fog lights are more ideal in remote locations or if they’re used as off-road lights, and they are more pleasing to the eyes. White is the standard choice and provides a clearer vision in bad weather.

Types of Aftermarket Fog Lights

LED

There are two types of lights to choose from. LED fog lights are the brightest bulbs you can find for your vehicle. While they tend to be more expensive than other types of lights, they last longer. LED bulbs also reduce the amount of power they draw from your car so you don’t drain the battery. They resist overheating yet are still one of the most powerful lights on the market.

Halogen

Halogen fog light bulbs are the standard ones you’ll find on older model cars. They work by heating up filaments made of halogen gas and tungsten. The heat makes the elements glow without burning the glass. They are cheaper to manufacturer and must be handled with care. You should always install these with gloves on and never touch them with your fingers as that can cause them to fail.

Top Brands

Phillips

Phillips has been one of the leading manufacturers in both home and automotive lighting since 1891. The company began by making carbon-filament lamps more than 100 years ago and now focuses on designing smart bulbs for cars and homes. It is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and makes the Philips X-tremeUltinon LED Fog Light Kit.

JDM ASTAR

JDM ASTAR is an online retailer that specializes in automobile LED lights. The company was founded in 2012 and while it is based online, it has an office in California. Its lights, like the JDM ASTAR Bright White Max 50W High Power Fog Light Bulbs are used in cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and lawn mowers.

HELLA

HELLA Electronics Corporation USA is based in Northville, Mich. The company began operating out of the location in 1998 and focuses on designing lights for vehicles. The company was founded in 1899 in Germany. Today, it operates out of 125 locations and 35 countries. The HELLA Driving Lamp Kit is one of its top aftermarket fog lights.

Aftermarket Fog Lights Pricing

  • Under $20: If you just need to replace your fog lights then you can find a cheap kit for your car. They may not last as long or be as bright as more expensive lights, but they will get the job done.
  • $20-$60: The fog lights in this price range are great for replacing bulbs. They are simple to install and can be halogen or LED.
  • $60 and up: The best fog lights are powerful and have a longer lifespan. These tend to be built for Jeeps or larger SUVs with an LED light bar. However, they can be used as replacement fog lamps as well.

Key Features

Lumens

The most important factor to consider with new aftermarket fog lights is how many lumens they have. The lumen is the amount of light emitted per second. The more lumens you have, the brighter light you are going to get. If you live in a location that is foggy or rainy, you may want to consider fog lights with more lumens. They tend to range from 1,000 to 3,000 lumens.

Lifespan

Like any other light on your car, fog lights will lose their power over time. The typical fog light will last you up to 30,000 hours, but you can find some that last up to 50,000 hours. Plus, since you don’t use them as much as your high-beam driving lights, they can last a long time. You should get 3-6 years out of your fog lights.

Other Considerations

  • Compatibility: Make sure the fog lights you are looking at are compatible with your vehicle. You may end up replacing the entire headlight or getting a conversion kit to make it fit. Consult your vehicle’s guide to see what kind of fog lights it suggests for your car.
  • Colors: You can find fog light bulbs in one of two colors: white or yellow. White is the standard color for all fog lights, but yellow light can be more pleasing to the eye. They both have their benefits when it comes to seeing more clearly. It just depends on your preference.
  • Installation: If you’ve never installed a fog light before, it isn’t too difficult. You should always wear gloves when handling any bulb as contact with your skin can cause the bulb to fail. If you are installing a brand-new kit for the first time on your vehicle, you may want to use a professional to install the full mounting bracket.

Best Aftermarket Fog Lights Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Philips H8/H11/H16 X-tremeUltinon Automotive LED Fog Light

This kit includes a bright pair of LED fog light bulbs that are designed to replace the bulbs in your stock fog lights. You get a high-intensity beam that produces a bright white light at 6,500K. These are designed to replace halogen bulb sizes H8, H11, and H16, and they are easy to install.


You don’t have to worry about swapping out the entire fog light system as these bulbs let you keep your stock fog light housings. They are built with SafeBeam technology, which directs the light on the road. This prevents the light from bouncing into the eyes of oncoming drivers, walkers, and animals.


There are a few things to note about these Phillips fog lights, however. You need to make sure they fit in your fog light housings and have compatible wiring connections. You may also notice they can flicker here and there, and they can cause an error message to pop up in some vehicles when there is actually nothing wrong.

Best Value
HELLA 500FF Series Driving Lamp Kit

These heavy-duty HELLA fog lights are built to let you see more effectively. Each set comes with two lights, wiring, halogen lamps, two stone protector shields, and an illuminated switch. The kit features two white protective stone shields with HELLA logos. 


The kit comes with step-by-step instructions to make installation easy. The system also has an easy-to-access switch that you can install in your dashboard for easy operation. The lights emit a powerful white light that lets you see better through drizzle, rain, and fog.


You will find a few downsides with this kit. The housings are weak and made out of plastic. This makes them more vulnerable to breaking during installation and use on rough or difficult terrain. The wiring also tends to come loose, which can be a hassle.

Best for Off Road
KC HiLiTES Apollo Pro 6

If you just need a single fog light or need to replace or add two to your vehicle, KC has you covered. You can buy these fog lights as a set or single light for versatility and convenience. They feature a bold “KC” over a clear lens that makes them stand out. Plus, the kit comes with all required hardware and wiring.


These lights feature a fog beam pattern designed to improve your visibility in inclement weather. The lights are also powerful and feature 100-watt halogen bulbs. They each come with a durable polymax housing with integrated stone guards for maximum protection.


They may not be the brightest lights on the market but are still powerful enough to get you through the dark. Another negative is you can’t remove the KC rock guard or the protective casing, so you’re stuck with the giant KC badge on the lights. You may also find it difficult to install the lights on some vehicles.

Most Versatile
JDM ASTAR Bright White Max Fog Light Bulbs

Depending on your needs, these JDM ASTAR lights double as fog lights or as daytime running lights. The 50W high-power white LEDs are plug and play for easy installation. They are ideal for drivers that desire a bright output. 


Drivers are impressed with the ultra-white hue this set puts off, rather than the bluish color some LED lights display. This illumination enhances visibility for drivers while ensuring other vehicles see them from afar during nighttime rides. For the low price, most drivers that opted for these lights felt they got their money's worth.


Proper angling is key when installing them to prevent obstructing the view of oncoming traffic. However, for certain vehicle models, the lights may not be as bright as you anticipate. Some drivers have struggled with the installation due to their larger size. Others reported that the lifespan was less than they expected.

Honorable Mention
Rigid Industries 50481 D-Series SAE Fog Light Set

Rigid Industries is known for being a leader in the LED lighting arena. This fog light set is SAE compliant, so they are powerful yet safe and legal for use on the highway. They provide a wide, smooth beam with minimal height. Just because they project a long-range, high-intensity light beam doesn’t mean less running time. 


There are many features that make these lights stand out. A high-grade aluminum alloy heat sink aids in thermal management. The GORE Pressure Equalizing Vent protects the housing of the fog lights by equalizing the pressure within and protects against heat build-up. The set includes a mounting bracket, a stainless steel u-shaped bracket, a harness with a switch, and a deutsch connector. A limited lifetime warranty is also included.


Overall, drivers are pleased with this set of Rigid Industries fog lights. However, they are very bright, and some have mentioned that other drivers have mistaken them for high beam lights. The hardware, such as the wiring harness, has also been reported as being of lower quality. They also have a higher price tag than other available options.

Tips

  • Pay attention to whether you are buying fog lights or driving lights. Driving lights tend to have focused beams of light that let you direct them in a similar direction as your headlights. Fog lights have a wider and shorter beam for illuminating the road immediately in front of your vehicle. 
  • Plan where you want to install your lights. You could do a direct replacement of your stock fog lights or you could install additional lighting on the grill or bumper. Plan whether you want one or two lights added to the front. 
  • You need to decide if you want yellow or clear lenses. Yellow lenses are a more traditional fog light look, while clear lenses provide a brighter light. Consider the look you’re going for with your vehicle and the brightness you want. 

FAQs

Q: Are fog lights legal?

A: The answer to this question will entirely depend on where you live. You need to check with your local laws and regulations. Some states limit the number of lights you can have on the front of your vehicle. Other states limit the height and location of the installation of the lights. 

Q: Should I worry about compatibility?

A: Yes, you should consider compatibility. You need to look at your vehicle and make sure there is space to mount the fog lights. Some vehicles don’t have a natural space for them. Then you need to check that you’re buying the right type of bulb for the sockets in your bumpers if you’re doing a direct replacement. There are other compatibility concerns, such as voltage. 

Q: What does color temperature mean?

A: Color temperature refers to the tint of the light. The measurement is expressed in Kelvins. The lower the number, the more yellow or amber the light will look. The higher the number, the cooler and more bluish and purple the light will look. In the middle of the scale is clear, bright white light. 

Final Thoughts

The Philips X-tremeVision Fog Lightbulbs is a high-quality kit that allows you to replace the bulbs in your stock fog lights without having to change the entire housing.  

The HELLA Driving Lamp Kit is a quality, affordable option for those on a budget.