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Old 10-21-2019, 03:22 PM   #1
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Question Fog Lights - Driving Lights / Please share your upgrades

I just had a white knuckle drive through Oregon last weekend due to the really poor driving lighting on my 2020 2441DS.

I'm looking to make some improvements and was wondering if anyone else had gone down this road and would be willing to share some of what they came up with.

I've already got some higher end H13 bulbs on the way from Amazon for a quick improvement and will spend the time to make sure they are aimed as well as possible once they arrice.

Here's what I got from Amazon: Philips 9008 X-tremeVision

Beyond that I'm looking into a few options such as an LED lightbar with combo output or just some dedicated FOGs. The FORD upfitter switches are another thing I am looking into as the factory fusing/relay setup would make for a nice easy install.

So, what driving light upgrades have you made to your rig?

Thanks for sharing
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:28 AM   #2
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While not a MH, I upgraded my halogen F-150 headlights with LED bulbs. Once aimed correctly, they have made an incredible difference in long distance visibility without the need for add-on units. They also have a controlled beam pattern that can be used on low beam without blinding oncoming traffic.

If you do go with add-on lighting, I'd stick with switchable driving lights and not fog lights. Fog lights are designed to produce a low, wide beam of light that is limited in its illuminating distance. They are meant to light "under" the fog (so the light does not to reflect back off the fog droplets) allowing you to see the painted fog lines on either side of the road.

Driving lights are usually designed with a pencil-like beam that illuminates far down the road. Great for nighttime visibility but absolutely retina-searing to oncoming traffic. Some folks connect them to relays that are actuated by turning on the vehicle's high beams.

LED light bars put out a lot of diffused general light, but most cannot be used without adversely affecting oncoming traffic. I have seen hybrid driving light reflector units that use LEDs, but I have no first-had experience with them.

FWIW
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo View Post
While not a MH, I upgraded my halogen F-150 headlights with LED bulbs. Once aimed correctly, they have made an incredible difference in long distance visibility without the need for add-on units. They also have a controlled beam pattern that can be used on low beam without blinding oncoming traffic.

If you do go with add-on lighting, I'd stick with switchable driving lights and not fog lights. Fog lights are designed to produce a low, wide beam of light that is limited in its illuminating distance. They are meant to light "under" the fog (so the light does not to reflect back off the fog droplets) allowing you to see the painted fog lines on either side of the road.

Driving lights are usually designed with a pencil-like beam that illuminates far down the road. Great for nighttime visibility but absolutely retina-searing to oncoming traffic. Some folks connect them to relays that are actuated by turning on the vehicle's high beams.

LED light bars put out a lot of diffused general light, but most cannot be used without adversely affecting oncoming traffic. I have seen hybrid driving light reflector units that use LEDs, but I have no first-had experience with them.

FWIW
Thanks for the input. Given the experience I had last weekend, fogs are actually the thing that would have made the biggest difference from a safety aspect. I'm definitely leaning towards adding both driving and fog lights for all of the reasons that you mentioned. Running them through a relay setup is pretty much a given for me unless the amperages are ridiculously low on whatever units I end up with. LEDs for these AUX lights are also a given.

Do your headlight LED upgrades use fans? That was a bit of a turnoff when I looked at the LED drop-in options. That and the no-name mystery manufacturers that you need to wade through when choosing which to go with. I think if a well-known manufacturer of automotive lighting made something like this I'd be all over it....once I come to terms with that cooling fan and what happens if/when they fail. What Brand did you go with?

Edit to add: I have a small collection of high output Li-ON powered flashlights so I know how hot LEDs can get.

Thanks for chiming in here. I was wondering if anyone was going to come along.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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Over the years I've found the best auxiliary lights for night driving are a light that has a sharp horizontal cutoff of it's beam. One that puts almost all of it's light on the road surface and "ditch" for a few hundred feed down the road.

You want lots of light on the road but not a lot reflecting back in your eyes from any moisture in the night air.

HID's are very effective in this manner although they have a rather steep price tag. LED's that illuminate far down the road are going to run hot and retrofitting can cause issues as the manufacturer didn't design his regular halogen light assembly for the extra required cooling.

Here's a comparison picture of the different types. HID's typically provide a more "focused" light with less "glare".



Note in the picture how the LED light looks a lot brighter but in the HID picture there are two more objects beyond the shiny object in the center of both pictures that are visible that are not in the LED picture. It's really not how much light you have but rather if it's illuminating where you need it.


In the end it all boils down to what looks best to you and how much you want to spend.

My solution is to pretty much leave night driving to the truckers and "non-retired" people who have to go to work on Monday
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:03 PM   #5
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I agree Theo. My Super Duty has upgraded fogs BUT they are too bright with too little pattern control. A lot like the cheap LED bars- lots of light but none of it useable. I will soon be upgrading yet again. This time I will be using Diode Dynamics SLF bulbs. They are a little pricey but the reviews and actual customer photos look really good. They are made in USA, have a 60 day satisfaction guarantee and a 3 year product warranty.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:10 PM   #6
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I appreciate the input on LED light bars, especially the cheap ones. It sounds like something I'll avoid moving forward although the opening in the E450 bumper is perfect for installing one.

Looking at those Diode Dynamics bulbs, do you see an H13/9008 equivalent?
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:29 PM   #7
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The H13 are going to be HID conversions. I do not think they have LED for those. Give them a ring or email. Paul is a really nice guy. I have always gotten fairly quick responses. My current truck has a lot of their LED marker lights on it and his recommendations on what lumen rating to go with were spot on.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:59 PM   #8
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I went with the Supernova PerfectFIT LED headlight bulb. They DO NOT have fans, but have a substantial heat sink to keep them from overheating. No problems at all since last February. Note that an LED replacement bulb must be oriented correctly when installed. LEDs must face a certain direction (9&3 o'clock and not 12&6 for my Supernovas).

I was going to include a link to them but it appears Headlight Revolution doesn't carry them any more. On second look, the GTR brand may have bought-out Supernova. At least the images and no-fan design of THESE H13 LED bulbs look exactly like my bulbs.
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:27 PM   #9
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We have a couple houses in the mountains where we end up driving through clouds/fog. Fog lights are what I am adding to one of our vehicles that doesn't already have them.

The factory LED headlights are awesome and I love the automatic high beams on my 2018 F-150.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:33 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo View Post
I went with the Supernova PerfectFIT LED headlight bulb. They DO NOT have fans, but have a substantial heat sink to keep them from overheating. No problems at all since last February. Note that an LED replacement bulb must be oriented correctly when installed. LEDs must face a certain direction (9&3 o'clock and not 12&6 for my Supernovas).

I was going to include a link to them but it appears Headlight Revolution doesn't carry them any more. On second look, the GTR brand may have bought-out Supernova. At least the images and no-fan design of THESE H13 LED bulbs look exactly like my bulbs.
Thanks for the link. This page seems to give me a few good H13/9008 options to explore. https://headlightrevolution.com/prod...tyle/h13-9008/

It would be great if I can just do some drop-ins and FOGs and be done with this effort. This is a great start.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
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I appreciate the input on LED light bars, especially the cheap ones. It sounds like something I'll avoid moving forward although the opening in the E450 bumper is perfect for installing one.

Looking at those Diode Dynamics bulbs, do you see an H13/9008 equivalent?
LED light bars make pretty good backup lights for your back bumper. Great for backing into a campsite in campgrounds with few area lights.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:10 AM   #12
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Spend a little time on Ford Truck Enthusiast forums in the 2017 and newer Super Duty forum. Quite a few folks (myself included) have gone with Beam Tech led lights from Amazon. Not expensive, good light.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:11 AM   #13
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I added these LED bulbs to my RAM 3500 https://youtu.be/n_iITderA_Q
Made a huge difference,
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:06 AM   #14
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I always apply yellow tint to the "fog lights" of my vehicles. Got into that after living in the interior of Alaska where most folks would apply yellow tint to fog lights and sometime even headlights to cut thru the ice fog and rain. Even the military got into the kick and did it to many of their vehicles. I carried the practice with me when I moved back to the lower 48. It makes a significant difference, especially on the more rural roads. My wife's Cadillac CTS has yellow tint fog lights as does her Chevy Equinox. My semi truck and my 3/4 ton both have yellow fog lights. Seeing is believing. It is one thing to just brighten up a normal night, it is quite another when one is in heavy fog, rain, or snow. And yellow is ideal for the the inclement weather stuff. Sometimes, I will even turn off the headlights and just use the yellow foglights in really bad fog, rain, or snow.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:26 AM   #15
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I hate how drivers are putting those HID and LED in housings made for normal bulbs. As well as those LED light bars everyone is putting on. they all say "Nobody flashes there headlights at me so they must not be bothering anyone". well I can't see with all the glare they create coming at me, and I don't flash my headlights. The fact they are not DOT approved for on road use don't seem to matter to anyone anymore.
The fog lights your talking about are supposed to have covers on them, and fuses removed (fuse holder must be out of reach of driver) when running vehicle on street
and the factory fog lights are not worth the plastic they are made out of.



Try adjusting your MH headlights. I bet they are too high. Factory adjust them with coach empty, MH dealer adds lots of weight but never aims headlights.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:01 AM   #16
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I live in OR, and like TowPro's comments. In our fog, good quality fog lights are more important than the bright headlights (even on "dim") which reflect light back into your eyes. Wire the things to your re-adjusted low beams circuit with a handy switch so you can turn them off when meeting traffic, especially on two lane roads.
As far as the light bars go, mine is wired to the high beam circuit. It works great on dark rural roads with livestock and wildlife, but has to be off when meeting traffic.
Both add on light systems needed to be recognized by the pickup's computer so the mechanic told me.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:32 PM   #17
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On my Chevy 2500 the dealer made the low beams stay on when the high beams were on. Out of the box when the highs or lows when on the others went off.

Next they added what felt like a diode. If the fog light are on they cycle with high beams. If high beams are off the low beams and fog lights work normally.



LEDs maybe next
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:33 PM   #18
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Just installed some H13 LED bulbs in my car. I have to say they seem to be very bright and the cut off seems good. The ones I purchased after some research were Beamtech fanless. Got them from Amazon.
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:56 PM   #19
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I have had hid kits and currently used led. I will switch back to hid once these are no longer working. Do not get the cheap 50 dollar kit unless you want to buy them twice a year. In Florida lots of people / A@#$%& use light bars they will not make you any friends on The road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Over the years I've found the best auxiliary lights for night driving are a light that has a sharp horizontal cutoff of it's beam. One that puts almost all of it's light on the road surface and "ditch" for a few hundred feed down the road.

You want lots of light on the road but not a lot reflecting back in your eyes from any moisture in the night air.

HID's are very effective in this manner although they have a rather steep price tag. LED's that illuminate far down the road are going to run hot and retrofitting can cause issues as the manufacturer didn't design his regular halogen light assembly for the extra required cooling.

Here's a comparison picture of the different types. HID's typically provide a more "focused" light with less "glare".



Note in the picture how the LED light looks a lot brighter but in the HID picture there are two more objects beyond the shiny object in the center of both pictures that are visible that are not in the LED picture. It's really not how much light you have but rather if it's illuminating where you need it.


In the end it all boils down to what looks best to you and how much you want to spend.

My solution is to pretty much leave night driving to the truckers and "non-retired" people who have to go to work on Monday
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