Driving Lights, Fog Lights, off road lights... What's the difference?

We've all been in situations where we have been infuriated by a driver's inability to use a turn signal when turning or we've been blinded by the person running their light bar on the highway.  Turns out there's a time and a place for all these lights. And for good reason.

Low Beams:

Low beam headlights are designed to be used during low light situation on or off of the road. The beam pattern is of medium length and width to ensure that the light is not shining in oncoming driver's eyes. 

High Beams:

High beam headlights are designed to be used in low light situations where no oncoming traffic is present. High beams have a longer and higher beam pattern thus increasing the driver's viewing distance. Foreground illumination is sometimes reduced (ever notice your car turns off the fog lights when the high beams come on?). This helps your distance vision by reducing foreground lighting. 

Fog Lights:

Fog lights are designed to be used in treacherous weather conditions, including fog and heavy rain. The viewing pattern is very wide, low and short to increase visibility directly in front of the vehicle.

Driving Lights:

Driving lights are designed for long range viewing in low light conditions with no oncoming traffic. These lights have a very wide, powerful beam pattern making them perfect for highway driving when distance vision is essential for spotting road hazards such as wildlife. These are not intended for use when other traffic is present on the road.

Off-Road Vehicles:

While it might seem like a good idea to get some extra light on the road with your 22" light bar, please don't. Just... just don't. There are better ways. These lights are specifically designed to be used (say it with me now) off road.

Off-Road Flood Lights:

Off-road flood beams are designed to light up a much broader view than that of a typical headlight. They do not have a long range, but offer very good close in visibility. 

Off-Road Spot Lights:

Spot lights are designed to illuminate a very tight field of view with high intensity. This produces a much higher concentration of light than that of a typical headlight. This light pattern is good for long range vision, similar to the driving lights mentioned above. The difference is off-road spot lights do not necessarily have a well controlled pattern like a driving light and should never be used on the road. 

Off-Road Combo or Multi Beam Lights:

Combo lights are just that.. a combination of spot and flood beam patterns. They combine the best quality of both spot and flood beam patterns. This creates a concentrated and wide field of view. 

Now that you know how to properly use your lights, head to sparksmith.com to make sure you are outfitted with all of the latest and greatest technologies that the lighting world has to offer.