Let’s start at the very beginning. Lights are an essential part of any vehicle and of course, come from the factory with them. While some high end car manufacturers might offer you a choice of lights, most manufacturers don’t. What you see is what you get. That’s all there is to it. But the lights that come from the factory are of the barest minimum enough to meet the required standard and no more. Let’s face it – for real safe driving and good illumination they belong on the junk heap. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the nearly half of all fatal accidents happen after dark though only about 25 percent of daytime traffic is on the roads. Is that a coincidence or is poor illumination from factory lights a large part of the cause?
Let there be Light!
How about we have a look at the various kinds of lights for illumination – we’re not talking warning lights here like tail lights, indicators, and so forth.
Though vehicle high-beams are good enough to drive around in cities and well-lit roads, if you are an outdoor person and like to make your own way, then driving lights are an essential addition to your truck or Jeep. Now that you have spent tens of thousands of dollars on your Jeep or truck, why should you choose driving lights and spend hundreds more? After all, money doesn’t grow on trees (not in my world, at least). The point is vehicle manufacturers do not pay much attention to the fact that truck owners will also be driving off road, on country roads or terrain where there is little or no light during the night. In these conditions, the high-beams of the vehicle are just not sufficient. If you are into off-road driving, the driving lights can help you avoid hazards such as animal collisions or holes or dips in the road. Driving lights can be installed in the bumper, on top of or under the bumper, on grille guards and many other places. The guys at Chux have lots of creative ideas for mounting these. The ideal choice for driving light bulbs is tungsten-halogen or the more advanced Halogen Infrared (HIR) bulbs. The most recent technological advance are the ultra-efficient and incredibly bright LED lights with their low power consumption. These come in many shapes and sizes, including the “LED light bar” design that come in small sizes of 10” long by just a couple of inches tall to 36” or even longer light bars with multiple rows.
The fog light is the second kind of illumination lamp to assist in driving in poor weather conditions. It is designed to project a wide beam of light which is bar-shaped and has a sharply defined horizontal cut-off (bright below and dark above). The objective is to illuminate the immediate foreground, lane markings, and the edges of the road. Most factory-installed fog lamps are useless for their intended purpose producing far too little to serve drivers effectively. The cut-off is poorly defined resulting in too much glare shining into the eyes of oncoming drivers. Terrific fog lights produce selective yellow or white light with tungsten-halogen bulbs. HID or Xenon bulbs are unsuited for fog lights and blue is the wrong choice of color. Plus it may not match the color of your truck and that would defeat all purposes.
The downside of factory-installed/OEM lights is that they produce barely enough illumination to steer by, compared with a quality and working set of aftermarket lights. In many cases, when you turn your factory fog lights on, you can’t even tell they are on since they typically put out no more light than your factory headlights. That’s just sad. Except for high end and luxury cars, most OEMs install the cheapest kind of lights that meet the minimum required specifications. Statistics have proven that they fall far short in providing enough of impressive visibility for normal driving, much less for poor weather driving where their scattered beam often proves to be hazardous.
Aftermarket (A/M) lights are made by several manufacturer’s. Their objective is to produce better quality lights which offer brighter, more sharply defined illumination for your driving safety and convenience. You can invariably find an A/M light which will fit into the factory locations on your car or truck. But if you cannot, that’s not a hassle because we can always build a custom bracket to mount your lights. Whether it’s driving lights, fog lights, or off-road lights you need, you’re certainly far better off with A/M lights. And you’ll actually use them because they’ll provide you with a whole new night driving experience. Use them in bad weather and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Still not convinced? Ask any user of A/M lights and they will explain to you the clear and distinct difference.
At the Forefront of Truck Lighting
We are a full-service auto lighting company. Tell us your problem and we’ll meet all your lighting needs. Always at the pole position, Chux stocks the full range of some of the icons in auto lighting such as KC HiLites, Rigid Industries, Vision X Lighting, and PIAA Corporation.By: Chris Ripper