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Driving lights vs offroad lights vs foglights...behind a stock grill?

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Old 12-16-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
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Driving lights vs offroad lights vs foglights...behind a stock grill?

I have a two part question all you lighting geniuses:
First, what is the difference between driving/offroad/fog lights from an application stand point? I know driving are usually a 5-7 degree beam, offroads >70 degree, and fogs are about 70 (I think?) But would driving cut through fog? Or offroads? I'm trying to think of which two to get. I do a bit of dirt road driving but nothing crazy but, here in MT, we have a few deer I would like to see to avoid.

I'm planning on putting two round (one of the lights above) in the factory fog lights spot (not prewired on my truck ) and maybe some small rectangular lights in the stock grill? I have the 2010 Access Cab SR5 Tacoma 4x4.

Any help would be awesome in determining which way to go on a budget!
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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All depends on what you want the lights to do... There are 3 major types of beam patterns. Fog, Euro, and Pencil. The fogs are great for cutting through the shit up close, but their downside is that they won't be providing you a whole light too far off of the front of your bumper. Euro lights try to find a balance between Fogs and Pencil beams. That is my beam of choice for they throw light out to the sides well, while still getting light down the road just about as far as you can see. Pencil beams are good for those long, straight roads when you feel like you need to know what is ahead of you 400 yards haha. I would go with standard fogs in your stock housings, and maybe couple them with some 3000k HID bulbs. For behind your grille, I would suggest Euro beams. I just think that pencil beams are mainly for competition, aka desert runners etc. Their application just doesn't make sense for everyday driving for it is a highly specialized beam that I wouldn't see myself utilizing anyway.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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I've got 2 PIAA 520 driving lights with amber bulbs and they are great! They very easily cut fog. You can see quite a ways out with them but not so much side to side. PIAA makes an ATP (all-terrain pattern) which is a cross between the fog pattern and driving pattern if you want to spread the light a little more. I didn't go for those because I feel the yellow light makes it easier to see and the ATP's are only available with white bulbs.

If you're putting something in your stock fog location you're limited based on what fits. I've got stock fogs and am replacing the bulbs with yellow Nokya's for the time being. Eventually I'll put PIAA 510's in the stock location.

I wouldn't put anything behind the stock grille, they'd be useless. There is not enough open area for the light to shine through.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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Thanks Colton!
Any recommendations for which fogs (cheaper than the Toyota ones!) to get that fit well and which euro lights to get for behind the stock grill? I'm kinda thinking a rectangular light would be best.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
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Right... Since I have headlights I wanted to see farther ahead... so I got pencil beams to go beyond the standard high beams. The truck also already has fog lights (wide, short, cornering beams) but they are weak with 35 watt halogen bulbs.

Pencil beams should be as high as possible for distance.
Driving (Euro) should be at standard light height.
Fog (cornering) should be as low as possible to see under the fog.

If you go with HIDs, do not exceed 5,000 K in color, if you want maximum light on the road to see with. The more blue, the less usable light.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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here is a good explanation on beam patterns

http://www.rallylights.com/hella/Beams.aspx
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claw View Post
Thanks Colton!
Any recommendations for which fogs (cheaper than the Toyota ones!) to get that fit well and which euro lights to get for behind the stock grill? I'm kinda thinking a rectangular light would be best.
As far as the fogs, pretty much anything that will fit in there will work. I would suggest converting them to HID regardless. I will be honest and say I don't even know the size of them off the top of my head, but I have seen some PIAAs in there before. You might even be able to buy mine for I will be moving to a plate bumper eventually here. As far as behind the grille, are you keeping your stock grille and looking to place like some rectangulars in the spaces or are you going to do an aftermarket grille at some point? When I did my grille, I initially put my 4 Hellas behind my grille. They looked cool as hell, but I ran into air flow and heat issues in the heat of summer. Also, I figured that I was only getting about 70% of the lights output actually on the road. But if you are squeezing rectangular lights in between the horizontal pieces, you might be able to get some decent output. I would have to do some homework on rectangular lights though.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:18 AM   #8
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Thanks Kevin, I think that site may be useful to gain better understanding. And Thanks David for the helpful basics! Colton, that's exactly what I was thinking. I wouldn't mind changing the grill but i would want a spare to work on and then buying that plus just seems to get spendy quick for something that isn't that great TO ME. But if I could ram a few rectangular guys in there then hopefully that would not block too much light, nor too much air, and be a good compromise....
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memario1214 View Post
As far as the fogs, pretty much anything that will fit in there will work. I would suggest converting them to HID regardless. I will be honest and say I don't even know the size of them off the top of my head, but I have seen some PIAAs in there before. You might even be able to buy mine for I will be moving to a plate bumper eventually here. As far as behind the grille, are you keeping your stock grille and looking to place like some rectangulars in the spaces or are you going to do an aftermarket grille at some point? When I did my grille, I initially put my 4 Hellas behind my grille. They looked cool as hell, but I ran into air flow and heat issues in the heat of summer. Also, I figured that I was only getting about 70% of the lights output actually on the road. But if you are squeezing rectangular lights in between the horizontal pieces, you might be able to get some decent output. I would have to do some homework on rectangular lights though.
I'd be weary of the HID fog conversion if you actually expect them to be useful in thick fog. HIDs have too much stray light in the stock housings and you'll end up looking at a wall of light in front of you and you won't be able to see anything. Under normal driving conditions they'll look cool and work great as supplimental lighting but not as true fogs. Just something to think about...
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I'd be weary of the HID fog conversion if you actually expect them to be useful in thick fog. HIDs have too much stray light in the stock housings and you'll end up looking at a wall of light in front of you and you won't be able to see anything. Under normal driving conditions they'll look cool and work great as supplimental lighting but not as true fogs. Just something to think about...
Could you get shielded bulbs in fog housings...? I haven't seen the scatter from HIDs in the stock housings that you speak of. But I will give it to you it probably exists.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memario1214 View Post
Could you get shielded bulbs in fog housings...? I haven't seen the scatter from HIDs in the stock housings that you speak of. But I will give it to you it probably exists.
I've just seen what they do in our stock headlight housing so I researched how they'd perform in the fogs. I found enough negative responses to deter me from pursuing HIDs in my fogs. Maybe they're low enough where it won't make a difference but in thick fog I want something I know will work.

They do look pretty awesome though with 3,000k bulbs though...
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zombie Runner View Post
here is a good explanation on beam patterns

http://www.rallylights.com/hella/Beams.aspx
the guys at suquehanna motorsports are VERY knowledgeable with lighting. great site.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:49 AM   #13
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I'm still looking at these options and was wondering if anyone had thoughts on these PIAAs
http://www.piaa.com/Lamps/Lamp-pages/2100.html
I have to measure when I get home but it seems like they may not be too much taller than the gaps in the stock grill so they may be able to deliver all their light. I don't know much about them but I know PIAA is usually solid. Thoughts?
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claw View Post
I'm still looking at these options and was wondering if anyone had thoughts on these PIAAs
http://www.piaa.com/Lamps/Lamp-pages/2100.html
I have to measure when I get home but it seems like they may not be too much taller than the gaps in the stock grill so they may be able to deliver all their light. I don't know much about them but I know PIAA is usually solid. Thoughts?
if you are looking for that shape light, have you considered the hella micro ff? incredible output from a pretty small rectangular lamp.

i think piaa is meh compared to hella, mainly because hella's main business is OE performance optics and lighting, whereas piaa is more of an accessory consumer company. for instance, if you buy a set of hella high performance bulbs for 35 bucks, they do exactly what they say, are bright white, and have no crazy claims. if you get a set of similar piaa bulbs for double that price, the package has all this nonsense on them, all these wacky fake conversions for actual output vs. wattage, blah blah.

anyway, sorry for the rant.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:18 PM   #15
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Thanks Tony,
I hadn't looked at those, they look pretty neat. The reason I liked the PIAAs was that they were shorter and would work with the 2010 stock grill. I think the Hellas are tall enough that the grill would block part of the light.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:10 AM   #16
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I was thinking to put lights behind my stock grill. Worry was heat on the grill and in front of the radiortor (no stock fogs on mine and it seems I would get a more solid mounting behind the grill)
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:18 AM   #17
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Heat shouldn't be an issue since many other people have put it there. Cooling from a stock grill vs the satoshi or grillcraft should be comparable. I'm working towards the PIAA 2100 and may have to do minor adjustments to the grill to get them to fit. Since it seems there is some interest I will definitely document everything (then it is just a question of loading it on here).
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:56 PM   #18
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I'm torn between small lights (fit behind one of the horizontal opening) or little bigger to shine though the horizontal and honey comb shapes.

I might put a halogen work lamp in there to test how it shines.
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