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A work colleague use to call small stakes “Mice Nuts”.

Pretty much nails it.

And don’t feel bad, @Lane Anderson - My Nissan Rogue came with “fog lights” ( that, AFAIK, go out on high beam - I suppose I should check) but they are almost useless at highlighting anything in front of the car.   They sort-of glow a little for about 25 feet out, way down low.  Pretty pathetic.

My Marshall driving lights on the Speedster, OTOH, brightly light up the whole road beyond a quarter mile out.  Love my Marshalls!

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

There is a theory that light near you, in your depth of field of vision, actually causes you to see less,  so that is why the high beams turn them off.  AFAIK.  

I had some large Hella driving lights at one time on a 1979 VW Rabbit, and they shone two spots down the road quite well.  I liked them a lot.  Now  my marshalls on my IM are fogs really they don't give off much light hence I use them for daytime driving.  You must have different lenses on yours Gordon.

That’s right, Ray.   Totally different lenses.  Yours probably have a lot of “flutes” in the lenses.  Think of that as folds or pleats in the lens glass to take the extent of the light projected forward by the lamp reflector, divide the light into horizontal segments and focus each segment into a horizontal beam projected forward.  That is what a fog light does.  Looking through the lens, it is difficult to make out the bulb inside because of those segments in the lens.

OTOH, my driving light lenses have no flutes and are clear to look in and see the H3 bulb.  The “spot” pattern projected forward is focused by the lamp reflector, not the lens.

This is the same for any company’s fog or driving lamps.  Fogs are fluted, driving are clear.  I actually have wiring in my Speedster for both fogs and driving, but since I don’t drive in rain or fog much, all I run are the driving lamps (and there isn’t a lot of lamp real-estate in the nose of a 356 to fit both and be effective, either).

Hope this helps.   gn

Oh, and several pickup trucks ago I had a pair of Cibie “Super Oscar” 10” driving lights out front because we had a camper back then and would often head out Fridays up into Vermont to go camping.  I could spot a deer at a mile away on I-91 with those puppies!

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I’m trying not to sound  like a broken record, but again:

Fog Lights throw light forward and down, sweeping the forward pavement out 50-75 feet (US) or 200 feet (Euro).  They have wrinkly lenses, sometimes even yellow (not amber).  Most American/Asian made fog lights are pure junk. Good fog lights will not reflect much light off of fog, rain or snow out to their limits due to their height cut-off limits.   Bad fog lights (and there are many) are aimed too high and reflect everything - They’re terrible and dangerous, even in good conditions.

Driving lights project light forward, focused between 1/4 and 1/2 mile out (1 mile in Europe) culminating in a bright spot out there 2 lanes wide.  Coming from the other way, that spot is a high intensity blinding light for oncoming drivers and should be used with caution and NEVER on low beam.  The lens is perfectly clear, no flutes at all and NEVER in yellow (unless on a GT car on the track to distinguish from a DP or LeMans car which have white a lens).

Bad fog or driving lights are those “no-name” or unrecognized brands from the Autozones and O’Reilly’s of the world or especially Walmart.  The back-up light on my lawn tractor threw more light than a typical Walmart “Fog light”.  The “Chrome Vintage Fog Light” with amber lens from Speedway motors is about equivalent to an old flashlight.  I’ve seen them on Speedsters (and a few newer Minis) and a flashlight out the window would be better.

Good fog or driving lights come from:  Cibie, Marshall (reproductions are not quite as good as originals, but better than most other Asian versions), PIAA, Hella, Lucas Flame Throwers (only the originals).  Hella has brought out a line of focused LED fog and driving lights that my GT4 racing friend says are awesome (he races the 12 hours of Sebring and the 24 hours of Daytona), but I have no direct experience so far.  I can only imagine that they’re good because the racers use them.

Just remember that quality light, where you want it, isn’t cheap.  If you’re paying less than $100 per pair for fog or driving lights, you probably should be looking for something better from those companies above.  Good light out there, where you really need it, might just save your life or prevent an accident, someday.

Good light hunting.

Jim, if it's "unsafe to drive after dark", then the answer is "Light up the whole damn world like it's daylight!"

Way back when, there always seemed to be an unspoken rule in town that you wanted the biggest, brightest, Bad-ass'est lights you could hang on your bumper without getting in trouble with the local Constabulary.  

Johnny Clark, who has shown up on the Facebook Speedster Owners page if he responds to one of my posts (he's a FB friend), had a very stout 356 C coupe with some really big Cibies out front that drew the eye of Police Chief Hank McNamara, questioning if they were "legal".  

Johnny took him for a ride at night and they  impressed him - So much so, that the Chief put a smaller set on his personal police cruiser (Hank was cool before "Cool" was cool).  We never had trouble in town after.  

Johnny eventually became the Service Manager at Al Alden's Porsche Audi in south Burlington, Vermont and retired a few years ago.  He raced something his whole life - Now he's racing his Kubota tractor around his farm up there.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@Bob: IM S6 posted:

Interesting, Gordon.  What you just wrote would not need to have been written back in the heyday of sports cars (1950s/1960s).

Most anyone who drove one back then, knew the difference. 

I'm younger than both of you by 15 years or so, and I can't believe the number of people (car guys included) who are confused by this. I thought everybody knew.

Driving lights are useless in fog and snow because all they do is light up the snowflakes (or fog), fog lights are useless the other 360 days/year because they illuminate about 25 ft of road, which is great if you are driving 5 mph.

OEMs don't put actual driving lights on cars because they don't want to assume the liability of blinding oncoming traffic.  If your new car came with secondary lights, they are "pretend fog lamps" (as Gordon notes, useless for all intents are purposes).

Jeeps and the like will often mount driving lights on the roll bar, up high, but they need to be covered while driving on the road (at least in this state). A row of lights is one of the things contributing to the petro-masculinity of every country-girl Jeep in America (along with 40"+ tires, a winch, and other things useful for operation off-road).

LOL, @Stan Galat....   I had one of those Jeeps, once!  Two, actually!  Kathy had a big '87 Grand Wagoneer with the wood sides, 4-doors, power everything, "Turbo-style wheels", four modes of wheel drive and a big, honkin' 360 V8.  

I put the biggest set of Hella rectangular fog lamps on it I could find 'cuz she was pulling a 2-horse trailer with it and sometimes had to drive home after a late ending of a horse show.  I also got a Hella 550 fog to use as a backup light - THAT was awesome!  Everyone should have one, especially today!

Later, I bought a '96 Grand Cherokee (with the puny in-line 6) but mounted 2 Hella 550 fogs and 2 550 driving lights on it, all wired to the hi/lo relay.  Those puppies could light up the entire Seapowet beach in Tiverton, RI.

American auto lighting is terrible.  Anyone who's driven in Europe or Australia will tell you that.  It was a miracle that they allowed HID lighting here, and even that in stock form isn't much better than a good pair of aftermarket H3 lights or H4 headlights.  My 80-ish watt H4's on the Speedster can easily keep up with the HID lights on my Rogue (for a helluva lot less money).

I wonder how many past accidents in America could have been avoided if people weren't over-driving their lights simply because they weren't bright enough or projected far enough out (or both).  This has been a pet peeve for me for decades (starting with 4 lights on the front of my Dune Buggy and 4 more on the roll bar in the 60's) but I finally realized that if you really want exceptional lighting on your car, buy some really good after market lights, properly install and aim them and Rave On!

Back in about 1968 LA County Sheriff started using "Alley Lights". These were mounted on the right and left of the "Twinsonic Vizibar" on the roof and faced the right and left. They were halogen, really bright and lit up an alley on both sides of an alley like daylight ! The CHP gave LASO a lot of flack about them at first and wanted them covered when not in use like the requirement for the big driving lights facing to the front. Of course this sort of defeated the usefulness of the alley lights. Having to get out and uncover them before use. The dispute went away when the CHP tried them and liked them a lot.  Now "Alley Lights" are built in to most "Visibars". I thought they were great and mounted a set on my CJ-5 Jeep down low on the front bumper. They also faced right and left and I used them when I was up in narrow canyons or just to look at stuff off the side of the trail on a night off-road cruise.They had some value on the sand dunes at night as well.

I always wanted to have one of those aircraft landing lights that is motor driven to fold down out of the bottom of the wing and turn on about 500,000 candlepower. I'd be nice when someone flips his brights on because he thinks you have yours on bright. (Of course I would't ever do that !)..................Bruce

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