Why Do Fog Lights Turn Off With High Beams?

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Fog lights turning off when high beams are activated
why do fog lights turn off with high beams

Fog lights and high beams enhance visibility during different driving conditions. Fog lights emit a wide but considerably low beam to illuminate roads in low-light conditions. On the other hand, high beams provide a more intense and focused beam for long-distance visibility. Interestingly, many people try turning on fog lights and high beams simultaneously. Also, they think that it will improve the lighting. 

Sadly, you can’t turn on fig lights with high beams under normal circumstances. So, why do fog lights turn off with high beams? Also, can we keep both fog light and high beam lights turned on at the same time?

Fog lights turn off automatically when you turn on high beams for safety reasons. It also ensures better visibility with reduced glare and reflection. However, you can override your vehicle’s safety requirements to turn on both high beams and fog lights. But it’s not advisable. 

Why Do Fog Lights Turn Off With High Beams?

Did you turn on the high beam and fog lights simultaneously? Chances are high that you are fed up with seeing failure every time you try the trick. Well, you can’t keep both lights turned on at the same time, and there’re reasons for it. 

Safety Requirements:

The main reason fog lights turn off with high beams is due to safety requirements. Different automotive regulations prohibit the use of fog lights and high beams at the same time. So, vehicle manufacturers have set safety precautions to stop such incidents.  

Whether you use LED vs. halogen fog lights, they both will improve visibility in challenging lighting and weather conditions. These conditions cause light to scatter and reflect. Hence, it reduces the effectiveness of regular headlights. At such moments, fog lights, with their placement closer to the ground, offer better visibility. 

Also, it uses a wide beam pattern. Hence, the light can penetrate through the atmospheric conditions better. Therefore, it will illuminate the road surface and potential obstacles more effectively.

On the other hand, high beams are made for dark, open roads with no other vehicles nearby. The high-intensity light can cause glare for oncoming drivers. So, when there are high beam lights, fog lights will turn off automatically. 

It stops additional glares and reflection, ensuring that other drivers don’t get disturbed due to increased glare. The safety features allow drivers to maintain a clear line of sight on the road.

Energy Consumption:

Using both fog lights and high beams simultaneously will significantly increase energy consumption. As a result, it could drain the battery of your vehicle faster. And quick battery draining is detrimental to the health of your pocket and the vehicle’s engine.  

Fog lights consume less power than high beams. Yet, running both simultaneously could still strain the electrical system. High beam lights in cars are roughly 70 watts, and fog lights use 35 watts. 

So, when you use both lights simultaneously, it will consume around 100 watts from the battery. Thus, modern vehicles are designed to deactivate fog lights when high beams are engaged. It is vital to avoid potential issues with battery drain and maintain sufficient power for other essential vehicle functions.

Reducing Glare:

We have already mentioned that high beams are susceptible to producing intense glare. And it can be difficult for oncoming drivers, making it tough for them to see the road. The rays will also increase the risk of accidents. 

The wide, low beam pattern of fog lights is ideal for reducing glare as it directs the light downwards. It also keeps the light away from the eyes of approaching vehicles. Nonetheless, it still has a level of glare that can be disturbing with the combo of high beams. 

So, when you switch on the high beams, vehicles will automatically turn off the fog lights. It will prevent the combined glare effect and maintain safer road conditions for all drivers.

Improve Visibility:

Fog lights in adverse weather conditions improve drivers’ visibility. It illuminates the road surface and potential hazards. The wide beam pattern cuts through fog, rain, and snow, enhancing the driver’s ability to react to sudden obstacles or changes in road conditions. 

However, when you turn it on, fog lights can cut through the high beam. So, it will reduce the effect of the high beam lights, and it’s the last thing you want at the driver. Hence, activating high beams will instantly turn off the fog lights to ensure the maximum intensity of the high beams. Also, it helps the light be directed ahead and is particularly useful for long-distance visibility.

Decreasing Reflection:

Fog lights emit a specific beam pattern that reduces reflection from the fog or other atmospheric conditions. This feature prevents the light from bouncing back into the driver’s eyes. Or else it could create a blinding effect and decrease the driver’s visibility. 

When using high beams, the light is focused further ahead and at a higher angle. It will further reduce the chances of reflection. Turning off the fog lights ensures that the focused high beam does not interfere with the optimized beam pattern. Hence, without interfering with two different beam patterns, your vehicle can maintain better and optimal visibility in both scenarios.

Fog lights turning off when high beams are activated
why do fog lights turn off with high beams

Can You Turn On Fog Light and High Beam At The Same Time?

Although switching on fog light and high beam is dangerous, many people will try it. But can you really run both lights simultaneously? Is it possible? 

No, you generally cannot turn on fog lights and high beams at the same time in modern vehicles. As a safety measure, the fog lights are designed to turn off when you activate the high beams automatically. 

This safety feature ensures compliance with regulations with different traffic rules and CPC laws for other states. All states in the USA strictly prohibit running fog and high beam lights simultaneously to avoid collisions. So, vehicle manufacturers have designed their safety system only to turn on the high beam or fog lights. 

However, some vehicles might allow users to override this safety feature manually. You can modify or customize the safety and lighting options to run both lights simultaneously. Nevertheless, we strongly discourage you from simultaneously using fog lights and high beams unless specific driving conditions permit you. 

Running these two lights simultaneously with a modified and overridden safety system is risky. You may even damage other systems and the CPU of your vehicle in doing so. 

Final thoughts

You should now understand why your vehicle’s fog lights turn off with high beams. It is both a safety feature of your vehicle’s CPU and the obligation of the traffic authority. If you turn on both lights, their beam pattern will interfere and reduce their impact. 

Also, it will enhance glare and reflection to cause disturbance to the drivers. So, naturally, it’s not ideal to run both lights to avoid accidents. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can you use fog lights instead of low beams in adverse weather conditions? 

No, fog lights are not a substitute for low beams. Low beams are designed to provide adequate forward visibility, while fog lights are made to cut through dense fog, heavy rain, etc. However, high-beam lights can’t cut through the dense fog and will reduce your visibility and safety. 

  1. Why do some drivers use fog lights even when there is no fog?

Some drivers might use fog lights in clear weather because they believe it enhances the appearance of their vehicles. Also, they think that it provides additional lighting. However, fog lights create glare for other drivers. So, you must avoid engaging them in clear weather or well-lit urban areas.

  • Are there any restrictions on when I can use high beams?

Yes, there are restrictions on using high beams. It would be best if you only switched on high beams in low-traffic, dark, open areas. Switching back to low beams when there is oncoming traffic or when you are following another vehicle is crucial. Or else you can blind other drivers.

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