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The LED SAE fog pod and fog light review

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Cfincke, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Dec 16, 2018 at 4:50 PM
    #1
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Chris
    San Antonio
    Vehicle:
    2014 Tundra 1794 CM 5.7 4x4 sunset bronze
    5.29s, Auburn LSD, 37x12.50R18, Icon coilovers and shocks, SPC UCA's, Tech 12 Volts sound system, Enve Grill
    Sharing this TacomaWorld write-up with approval from the author @crashnburn80
    Original write-up is located here and has 80 plus pages of comments:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-led-sae-j583-fog-pod-fog-light-review.554813/

    Author plans to add more lights as they are released, I am personally looking forward to the testing of the upcoming Baja SAE fogs
    Author has many other informational light comparisons/reviews too.

    The LED SAE J583 Fog Pod & Fog Light Review

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    This is a review of nearly all replacement LED SAE J853 fogs for a Tacoma and nearly all LED SAE J583 fog pods which can mount on a Tacoma (or other vehicles) with adapter plates. The purpose of this thread is to help people make informed lighting decisions for their vehicle and have an understanding of how a fog beam pattern is supposed to perform.

    The importance of beam patterns
    What is SAE J583 and why does it matter for fogs?

    SAE J583 is the official designation of the fog beam pattern, it specifies a very wide beam with a flat horizontal cut off allowing no light above the cut off horizon. This is critical in a fog application for multiple reasons, the first being the purpose of the fog light is to put the light beam low and wide so that the driver can find the edges of the road at low speed without causing the beam to break the horizon and reflect light back at the driver in rain/fog/snow/dust, which reduces visibility in the conditions that the fog is primarily designed for. The clean cut off also allows this beam to be run in oncoming traffic without blinding oncoming drivers, unlike any other pod beam pattern. All other patterns like wide cornering, spot, flood, driving, diffused ect do not have cut offs to run in oncoming traffic and should be considered for high beam use or off road use only. While each of those other patterns serves a specific purpose, none will illuminate the edges of the roadway without reflecting light back at the driver in rain/fog/snow/dust conditions or be safe to use in oncoming traffic, making them a poor choice for true fog light use.

    What a fog beam looks like?

    Fog Beam - Toyota’s OEM Tacoma TRD Pro Rigid LED fog pattern. Note the flat clean cut offs and wide beam of the J583 pattern. This is what a fog beam should look like, the wide beam pattern illuminates the edges of the road way while the sharp cut offs prevent light from reflecting back at the driver in poor weather conditions and allows for the beam to be run on the street without blinding oncoming traffic.

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    Examples of other beam types commonly run in the fog position, but not suitable for use as fog lights.

    Spot beam – CaliRaised spot pods. Spot beam patterns are often placed in the fog location leading people to mistakenly think these are acceptable for fog use or somehow provide the same function, but they do not.

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    As you can see spot beams have no clean horizontal cut off and do not provide a wide enough beam pattern to illuminate the edges of the road for use in poor weather situations. This beam pattern will not only defeat the primary purpose of the fogs by eliminating their ability to illuminate the side of the roadway in poor weather, they will also blind oncoming drivers at distance making them not safe for street use with oncoming traffic. Spot beam should be considered an off road only or high beam pattern only. Spot beams are intended for distance illumination, and if interested in distance illumination higher vertical mounting is better, meaning the low fog location is not ideal for a distance projection spot beam.

    Wide Cornering beam – Baja Designs. The wide cornering pattern is commonly misunderstood. Wide cornering emits light in all directions (horizontal and vertical) in a wide angle, this effectively creates a wall of light which is great for effectively illuminating a wide near field area off road. While the beam width will illuminate the side of the road very well (unlike spot) it will reflect significant light back at the driver in rain/fog/snow/dust and emit massive amounts of glare to oncoming drivers due to lack of cut off and wide vertical projection. The pattern is very distributed making it not ideal for distance projection and will put out less light in the fog area than a dedicated equivalent fog beam. It should be considered for offroad use or high beam use only. Note in the photo, where with all other patterns you cannot see the deck above the garage, these lights cast shadows of the deck railing against the 2nd story and actually illuminate the 3rd story of my house.

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    What oncoming drivers see with Wide Cornering. Rigid 1760 lumen SAE Fog pod (left) vs Baja Designs Squadron WC 1800 lumen pod (right). The massive glare isn't due to brightness, as the lights are almost equal, it is due to beam pattern and lack of cut off.

    [​IMG]

    SAE J581 - SAE J581 is a street legal beam pattern for auxiliary high beam. There are pods available in this patten, so it is important to note the SAE pattern designation and just that it is an SAE compliant beam. SAE J583 is fog, which is wide and low and safe for oncoming traffic. SAE J581 should be treated just like your high beams and not used with oncoming traffic.

    The important take away is to select a beam pattern that meets your needs. For people who are looking for a beam pattern to run on the street with oncoming traffic and to help with visibility in poor weather conditions, SAE J583 fog is the needed pattern.


    Why test nearly every SAE J583 LED product suited for a Tacoma?


    Automotive LEDs are perhaps one of the most difficult to understand and most misleading automotive products on the market. Rather than specifying output in actual ‘effective’ lumens like traditional lighting products, most manufactures advertise ‘raw lumens’ or theoretical lumens per chip multiplied by the number of chips. So while one manufacture advertises 3000 raw lumens, they may be significantly outperformed by another that advertises 1700 raw lumens, because neither is advertising actual output. For power, some manufactures will specify actual power draw of their LEDs, while others may specify theoretical power draw per chip multiplied by number of chips, but not specifically call out they are listing this theoretical rating vs an actual one. So it may be completely unclear if you are getting real numbers, or ‘theoretical’ numbers that are far higher than actuals. Then there are some that don’t list specs all together due to this inconsistency while others may list completely unrealistic overinflated specs. To complicate it further, some LEDs utilize a forward facing LED design, while others utilize a rear facing LED reflector design, so while you may have some idea of output based on theoretical raw lumen values and power draw If you can differentiate actual vs theoretical, the projection technology then also has significant impacts on the lighting performance. Apples to oranges to durians.

    There are effectively two types of legitimate replacement LED fogs. A direct replacement LED housing that replaces the entire OEM fog light assembly, or a fog pattern LED pod light that requires a vehicle specific adapter plate to mount in the OEM fog location, so naturally I decided to test both types.

    Note that keeping the OEM halogen reflector fog light assembly and replacing the halogen bulb with an LED light source is not a legitimate fog light replacement. It will result in loss of cut off, glare, decreased distance projection, etc. See this article explaining why LEDs should not be run in halogen reflectors.


    The Fog Lights
    Bare with me as this is just a ton of info to process. I'll give a high level overview of each light first with some notes, specs, measurements, photos, and then go over areas of interest afterward.

    Direct Replacement SEA J583 LED fog lights

    Morimoto XB LED fog - These are complete replacement fogs, many people like their black out look for eliminating chrome. They produce nice clean cut offs with a narrow wide beam pattern. These are the most budget friendly option when you factor in the cost of the mounting plate for the pods if running in the OEM location, though the lux output is also among the lowest in the group.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP76
    Color: 5500k
    Power: N/A
    Intensity: 1200 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: 10 years

    Measurements:
    Color: 6088k
    Power: 9.9w
    Lux @ 18ft: 170.3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    PIAA LP530 LED Fog - PIAA uses rear facing LED reflector technology like KC, though these fogs are actually smaller than stock at 3.5" vs the 4" stock fog. They need adapter plates to mount in the OEM fog location, which is included in the kit or available separately. The specs and box listed power at 6w, the housings had stamped 8w and I measured 10w. The PIAAs were the lowest performing fog of the group in terms of lux output, while also having one of the highest costs. While all other fogs with a wiring harness utilized DTP style connectors, PIAA utilized individual bullet connectors in what was by far the lowest quality harness of the group. If using the fogs as an OEM fog replacement then you wouldn't need the wiring harness.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: NA
    Color: 6000k
    Power: 6w
    Intensity: NA
    Warranty: Unlisted

    Measurements:
    Color: 6614k
    Power: 10.3w
    Lux @ 18ft: 160

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    KC G4 LED Fog - The KC G4 is a direct replacement fog housing, it closely resembles a traditional fog light with its rear facing LED reflector technology. What is really impressive is the efficiency of KC's reflector technology. While having about the same power draw and the Morimotos, the KC G4s produce 1.7x more lux and produce a significantly taller beam pattern for approximately 2x more light area coverage. The KCs also had the best light color quality IMO, minimizing the short blue wavelengths while providing more longer wavelength light which is beneficial for rain/snow/fog/dust visibility.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP69
    Color: 5000k (also avail in amber)
    Power: 10w
    Intensity: 866 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: 23 years

    Measurements:
    Color: 5062k
    Power: 9.8w
    Lux @ 18ft: 296.3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    SEA J583 LED Fog Pods

    SuperBrightLEDs fog pod - These are one of the least expensive SAE fog pods. They share similarities in appearance with some other fog pods but offer a unique slightly humped beam pattern for a little more area coverage. While the pattern does have a cut off, the 5 projector lens has some light leak artifacts that go down to the ground immediately in front of the vehicle and up into the air at such a steep angle it shouldn't bother any oncoming motorists. Having the DOT SAE label clearly visible is nice.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: NA
    Color: 'Cool white'
    Power: 13w
    Intensity: 1700 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: unlisted

    Measurements:
    Color: 6200k
    Power: 15.7w
    Lux @ 18ft: 230.3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    FutureVision LED fog pod - Future had the highest lumen claim of all the lights tested and while it performed in the mid to upper part of the pack, it certainly didn't come close to the output promised by the specs. It suffers the same light artifacts as the other 5 projector face LED pods and the beam pattern height is the same as Morimotos, though these have a blue tint around the perimeter. Not very easily seen in the photos, but it does have SAE DOT stamped on the top of the pod.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP68
    Color: "5000-6500" ?? Do they not know?
    Power: 25w
    Intensity: 3000 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: 1 year

    Measurements:
    Color: 5712k
    Power: 16w
    Lux @ 18ft: 270.5

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Vivid Lumen Industries V-spec LED fog pod - This is another pod that seemed to over promise on specs listing 2600 raw lumens. It has the same light artifacts from the 5 projector design as the SuperbrightLEDs and FutureVision pods. The beam pattern on these has a blue tint around the perimeter and the height seems to be the same as Morimotos. These pods look suspiciously similar to performance to FutureVision, and both companies are in Canada. More on that later. DOT labeling is on the lens but not very noticeable.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: NA
    Color: 5500k
    Power: 25w
    Intensity: 2600 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: unlisted but claimed to be 'unbeatable'

    Measurements:
    Color: 5836k
    Power: 15.7w
    Lux @ 18ft: 285.4

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    $118 LED Pods, OFFROADTOWN 2pcs 3'' SAE Fog Lights Off road Driving lights Waterproof LED Cubes OSRAM Work Light for Truck Jeep Motorcycle ATV UTV Boat, 3 Year Warranty
    OffRoadTown SAE Fog Pods
    - These pods are unique in that they use a single large projector like the Morimoto fogs, which has great cut offs and doesn't have the light leaking issues. They also provide a unique black out look, similar to the Morimotos. These say 'Nova Auto' on the lens, Nova Auto is a Chinese automotive LED maker, but I don't see this product on their website. The beam pattern is a little shorter than than Morimotos, but these things are much brighter ranking the 2nd highest lux reading of the group at over 2x the Morimoto lux.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP68
    Color: 6000k
    Power: 20w
    Intensity: 2400 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: 3 years

    Measurements:
    Color: 6356k
    Power: 11.3w
    Lux @ 18ft: 352.5

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    KC Gravity G34 LED Fog light - These use the same reverse LED reflector technology as the high performing G4s however rather than the 2 LEDs pointing to the top and bottom of the reflector, they are pointing left and right, which appears to be the articetcture of all KC's higher power Gravity series LEDs. These like the G4s do an outstanding job of providing a very tall beam pattern for more area coverage. Interestingly though, the lux numbers are not as high as the G4 despite having more power. The rectangular reflector also produces striations in the beam pattern when viewed closer on a wall, which smooth out at distance. I suspect a reflector that is equidistance from the light source (round) is going to be more efficient at concentrating the light and projecting it than a rectangular reflector. These also had great light color quality with minimizing the short blue wavelength light for better rain/snow/fog/dust visibility. Admittedly these are not pods and will not mount in the OEM Tacoma fog location, but they are the same height as a pod, and use the same mounting style while being 1" wider, so they could be used in many off road bumpers.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP68
    Color: 5000k
    Power: 16w
    Intensity: 1686 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: 23 years

    Measurements:
    Color: 5309k
    Power: 17.1w
    Lux @ 18ft: 246.3

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    Rigid SAE Fog Pods - Rigid is well known to be a quality industry leader in the pod fog lights, Toyota even uses Rigid for their TRD Pro LED lights, which are a different version than these pods. The Rigid SAE pods produce one of the vertically tallest beam patterns, meaning more area coverage while at the same time producing the greatest lux intensity. The beam pattern has yellow light around the perimeter. They also have they highest power draw, and run hot, which may be beneficial for icing conditions in cold climates. Note on the garage door panels how the beam is taller than most.

    Note the pod uses lower mounting holes, vs the standard center mounts of most pods, meaning to mount the Rigid pod requires specific Rigid mounts. It will not work in popular mounts like CaliRaised Tacoma fog adapter plates.

    Something I can not explain is the high color temperature readings, other than to say these do not look as high as the numbers would suggest.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: IP68
    Color: 'white'
    Power: 22w
    Intensity: 1760 raw lumen/each
    Warranty: Lifetime

    Measurements:
    Color: 7406k
    Power: 22.5w
    Lux @ 18ft: 395.5

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    Tacoma TRD Pro Rigid LED fogs - These are not 3" pods and will require the TRD Pro OEM fog plate for mounting. I know this is a popular swap, so I tried them out for comparison to the aftermarket Rigid pods. While they share the same fluted lens design, the Pro Rigids have a shorter beam and much less intense output. In appears they are running 2 LEDs vs the aftermarket version running 4. You can see that output is nearly half of the aftermarket Rigids. They do produce a very unique beam, with the lower part being more yellow and then fading to more white at the top. Whereas most all the LEDs run cool, which poses a serious problem for icing over in snowy conditions, these things run 4-letter-word hot. I picked one up after it had been on a while after handling LEDs all day and was extremely surprised how hot it was. These shouldn't have icing issues.

    Specs:
    Waterproof rating: NA
    Color: 'white'
    Power: NA
    Intensity: NA
    Warranty: Toyota bumper to bumper

    Measurements:
    Color: 5930k
    Power: 19.5w
    Lux @ 18ft: 203.9

    [​IMG]

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    I also picked up some TYC iJDM fogs which were claimed to fit a Tacoma but did not. They looked almost identical to Morimotos, but had chrome inside instead of the black out look. The fogs had no way of adjusting the beam and performance was terrible, with lux rating of just 90.5 to where even the app flagged it as hazardous. As they didn't fit a Tacoma and were such poor quality I decided to not include them.


    Some charts to summarize the above tests

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    [​IMG]


    Amber Fogs

    KC offers an SAE fog G4 with an amber light source for 2012+ trucks. Rigid's solution for an amber SAE fog pod is to use an amber light cover over their existing SAE fog pod. Any light color filter reduces output. It has often been asked how the amber light cover affects output the overall output of the Rigid pods, as the highest power pod they may have output to spare

    Comparing white unfiltered Rigids
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    Measured output
    [​IMG]

    While the amber covers do a great job completely eliminating the short wave length blue light spectrum spike, they also significantly reduce the effective output. I believe Rigid claims a 15% loss, I measured a 50% loss in a controlled indoor environment with a NIST certified digital spectrometer.

    Rigid lux at 18': 395.5
    Rigid lux at 18' w/ amber covers: 195.2, ~50% loss in output

    While the output loss is significant, that does place output on par with the stock TRD Pro OEM LED fog lights.

    Because I have exceeded the maximum photos TW allows in a post in this thread, see here for more details later in the thread.

    If you have an 05-2011 you may feel there is no amber options for your truck, being that the G4s don't fit early 2nd gen, and the Rigid pod covers will not clear early 2nd gen mounts. See how I solved the pod cover issue here.

    Update 10/2018: Rigid is launching new higher performing dedicated amber SAE pods in December. See the preproduction prototype comparison here.

    Cold climate testing

    LED pods tend to accumulate snow and freeze over in snowy cold climate conditions. The flat face design with raised edges basically turns them into a snow collection bucket, and since the LEDs put out almost no forward heat this results in them freezing over and putting out virtually no usable light. In a snow storm at night is where you are going to want to use your fogs to help you see the edges of the roadway, so it is really a poor time for them to fail due to icing. Halogens are hot and produce plenty of IR light to melt snow, so they do not have this issue. And while LEDs themselves do not produce heat, the driver on the backside does produce heat. In the case of the Rigids, being the highest powered lights that got physically hot to the touch, I was curious if they could actually self thaw and prevent icing. The aluminum housing is designed to be a heat sink and extends around the face of the pod. If it could remain hot enough, then it may be able to self thaw around the sides enough to clear the lens, though polycarbonate lens is an insulator, so it may not work perfectly.

    With lack of budget and time for an arctic expedition, I decided the freezer at -2 degrees Fahrenheit should suffice. For the experiment I took 3 pods, a SuperBrightLEDs (SB) pod to serve as a non-powered control point, a 2nd SB pod to be powered and a Rigid pod to be powered. All 3 lights sat in the freezer at -2 F for 1 week unpowered. Over the course of the week I used a spray bottle to soaked all the pods many times till they had built up a coating of ice over the face of the pods.

    [​IMG]

    After a week in their arctic freeze at -2 degrees F, I turned on 2 of the pods leaving 1 SB pod unpowered and put them back in the freezer for 45 minutes. I checked back on them every 15 minutes. (Preliminary testing of lights running in the freezer shown).

    [​IMG]
    Note the light color temperature compared to the measured kelvin values.

    After 45 minutes of running I took the pods back out. The control point pod remained a frozen podsicle and measured 9 degrees.

    [​IMG]

    The powered SB fog was partially defrosted and measured 34 degrees, just barely above freezing.

    [​IMG]

    While the other powered pod still had icing on it, the Rigid pod was fully thawed without any indication it had ever been frozen. It measured 45 degrees.

    [​IMG]

    The bodies of the powered pods were warmer than these readings, as aluminum body is a conductor and will conduct the heat from the back of the pod. The measurements were taken on the polycarbonate lens, as that is what must remain warm enough to prevent icing. Polycarbonate is an insulator, meaning it will not absorb the surrounding heat well, and since the LEDs put out almost no forward heat this is a very challenging test for an LED pod. If you were wanting to run an LED fog in a cold weather environment, it seems Rigid pods would be the best option as they are highest power and generate the most heat. Although, in extreme cold climates halogens will do the best job to prevent icing as they naturally give off plenty of heat and IR.

    So that was a lot of info, what to make of it? Here are some of my take-aways.

    Projection Technology
    As any old school off roader that remembers the days before light bars could tell you, bigger lights mean larger reflectors which equate to more efficient light projection. While LED pods have forward facing LEDs, most pods have 4-5 very small reflecting buckets the LEDs are set in inside the 3” pod. This provides a minimal amount of reflection surface area and then instead mainly relies on direct forward facing lumen power from the LED for projection. KC has taken a unique approach and retained the tried and true design of large efficient reflectors but adapted it to LED technology. These reflectors are specifically designed for an LED light source and not at all like putting an LED in a halogen reflector. I actually did not have high hopes for the KC G4 looking at the output specs, it was among the lowest power draw and lowest raw lumen specs out of any foglight in the group, while also being on the more expensive end of the spectrum. However, while the KC specs were not impressive on paper in terms of power draw and raw lumens, it outperformed every other fog but two. Of the remaining 2, the OffRoadTown pods produced higher lux by illuminating less than half the area.

    An interesting note on reflectors, KC’s G34 (3”x4” reflector) is higher power with higher raw lumens than the G4 (4” round reflector), but the G4 seems to be the higher performing unit. While light source reflector surface areas are about equal, there appears to be significant efficiencies of having the reflector uniformly equidistant from the light source in an evenly round reflector. The rectangular shape of the G34 also produces striation lines in the beam pattern when viewed close to a wall (but unnoticeable when projected over distance), whereas the G4 has a very naturally uniform halogen looking pattern.

    I ran some tests to see if either projection technology had an advantage projecting distance, comparing the Rigid pods against the KC G4s, as both these lights offered similar area coverage. I compared at the standard distance of 18' used in all the previous tests, then again at 44'. Remember a fog pattern is very wide beam pattern so light intensity falls off quickly. Both lights lux were between 15-19% at 44ft compared to what they were at 18'. A few percentage points is within the noise and I would say there is no benefit in this case. While the reflectors are far more efficient in lux/watt the beam intensity over distance still falls at nearly the same linear rate.

    [​IMG]

    Beam pattern
    J583 pattern compliance means the beam patterns must meet certain criteria, but it doesn’t mean all products with J583 compliance will produce the exact same beam pattern. When analyzing all the light patterns of the lights claiming J583 pattern compliance, once thing became clear. Nearly all light manufactures projected a very vertically narrow beam pattern, like that of the Morimotos that most are familiar with, almost appearing identical in dimensions, except for three outliers. Rigid and KC produced significantly vertically taller beam patterns than all other brands by approximately 2x, while PIAA produced a slightly taller beam than the others in the group but did have the lowest output.

    Recall that lux intensity is a single point in the beam, if that beam covers 2x the area compared to another beam and they have nearly equivalent lux numbers, the 2x beam would be putting out ballpark 2x the light. This demonstrats an important reason why any one measurement is not a good judgment of a light.

    Power
    Rigid comes in at the most powerful pod, while producing the highest lux output even though it is also lighting 2x the area of its competitors (except KC). While being much less efficient than the LED reflector designs of KC, they pull more amps than any other LED fog and out produce the rest through shear power. Out of every LED tested, only Rigids became too hot to hold. The realization of how hot these ran gave me the idea of running the cold climate test, to see if these could be an answer to those looking to run LED fogs in the cold.

    Light quality
    Most automotive LEDs are frankly not high quality light. They are lower CRI which causes color washout, the color temperature is often too high IMO, and they usually have large spikes in the short wavelength spectrum and minimal output in longer wavelength spectrum. Recall long wavelengths are better poor weather visibility while short ones refract and reflect back at the driver.

    Using a digital spectrometer, I measured all the lights tested. Here is a comparison of Rigid vs KC.

    [​IMG]

    You can see that when normalized for output KC puts out over 50% more long wavelength light than Rigid. 580nm is the transition from yellow to amber in the color spectrum, which is ideal for poor weather visibility. Meaning for a given amount of light, the KC should do better in rain/snow/fog/dust visibility. Based on all the lights tested, I believe KC is best in class for light spectrum quality. Of course, if considering snow, icing over may be a concern using a highly efficient LED reflector like KCs, even though they have a domed surface.

    SuperBrightLEDs vs Future vs Vivid - They all look the same
    All these lights came suspiciously in the exact same packaging, with the exact same hardware, packaged in the exact same way. And all 3 pods use the same style 5 projector lens.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While the SuperBrightLEDs had a unique beam pattern and the output and color temperature measurements did not match the others, Vidid and Future seemed very strikingly similar. They also both had the unique blue edge on their beam pattern. Both their lux output and color temperature were so close it was within the noise of a reading. Both shipped from Canada, from 2 Canadian LED companies. So I decided to compare their spectrum signature.

    [​IMG]

    I'd call that reading about identical. These appear to be the exact same lights with slight labeling tweaks on the body. The future lights come with nothing, whereas the Vivid lights come with a standalone wiring harness, though both are priced similar.

    Tacoma pod light fog adapter plates
    If not using a direct replacement fog like the Morimotos or KC G4s, you will need custom mounts to put pods in the fog location on a Tacoma. All the fog pods use the same center mount, except Rigid which uses a lower mount meaning it will need a specialized mount. To make peoples lives easier, I've listed some mounting plates here. For the purposes of this list, Rigid refers to a Rigid specific plate whereas standard refers to plates that fit all others. Note Baja Designs (not a fog pod) uses different pod mounting and will not fit a standard plate.

    Rigid Rago Fabrication adapters Standard CaliRaised adapters
    2016+ Tacoma
    2012-2015 Tacoma
    2005-2011 Tacoma


    Cliff notes recommendations
    I know this is a huge overwhelming amount of info, and many just want to know what is recommended. However no one solution is best for everyone, so I'll make a few depending on budget and needs.

    Cheapest budget option
    Morimotos XB LED fogs are the most affordable option in the group, being a direct replacement without having to purchase adapter plates provides a savings. However these are also the 2nd to lowest performing fog lights in the group, and their beam is very short meaning low area coverage compared to some more expensive alternatives.

    Low budget option
    OffRoadTown LED fog pods are a little pricer than the Morimotos when you factor in the adapter plates required to mount them, depending on the year of your Tacoma. 05-2011 get by with less expensive adapters. But for only a little more cost, the OffRoadTown pods come in at 2x the intensity, while utilizing the same single large black out projector of the Morimotos. Well worth the small price difference IMO.

    Higher budget option for high quality light
    KC G4s produce very high quality light, with more long wave wavelength light for a given amount of output than any of the competitors, meaning this light should do the best for poor weather visibility. The KCs illuminate 2x more area than the other fog lights (except being equal to Rigid) meaning greater poor weather visibility coverage. The 23 year warranty lets you know this is an outstanding quality product. While pictures do not do it justice, you'd question if the light from these came from an LED light source when comparing to the other lights in the group. Being a direct replacement, these do no require adapter plates and with the reflector design will appear nearly stock to those that don't look extremely closely.

    Highest budget option for highest power
    The Rigid SAE fog pods produce more output than any other LED fog light, and produce wider area coverage than all others except being equal to KC. These are the most expensive pods and then still require specialized Rigid mount adapter plates to put them in the OEM location, adding even more cost. However, with that cost comes the highest power and greatest light intensity with a lifetime warranty. These are nearly 2x brighter than the OEM TRD Pro Rigids, and come in at 33% more lux than the KC G4s, however their light is very high in color temperature and the short wavelength spectrum spikes making it less ideal for poor weather conditions than KC, though it may have advantages in self defrosting in cold climates. If you want the brightest LED fog possible, this is it.

    Some notes on the testing
    Data is only as good as the devices and techniques used to collect it.

    There were way too many fogs to mount on the truck to test. So instead I built a rack placing the fogs at the OEM TRD Pro fog height, and used the distance between the OEM fogs to mount the pairs on the rack. I based this on my truck with the TRD Baja lift. Unfortunately I had some late comers to the test and overfilled the rack, meaning for some of the wall shots the lights had to be free-hand-aimed using the same spread, but resulted in some less than level beam photos. The rack itself was great, but also not perfect as it was difficult to align the direct replacement fogs with the propriety mounts, vs the standard simple pod mount. I had originally intended to show different fog side-by-side but the extremely wide beam pattern of the fogs made them bleed over each other very quickly. Instead I decided to just show pattern and let measured numbers to the talking for intensity.

    To power the fogs outside of the truck I used a Volteq HY3006D linear power supply. I chose this model for the mid-range quality brand vs the cheaper products off Amazon. I used a linear supply instead of switching to achieve lower electrical noise for cleaner power. I also liked the extra precision it offered in the current and voltage readings while being one of the more powerful models to offer such precision. To calculate the wattage I used the readings from the power supply in volts x current = watts. I should point out that there is a very small draw from the LED in the Rigid foglight switch that was used to power all the fogs, that same draw is captured in all the foglight readings so it is consistent.

    [​IMG]

    For my light measurements I used an NIST traceable Asensetek Lighting Navigatordigital spectometer. This is the same brand equipment Toyota uses and exceptionally accurate. I cross checked the measurements with my Extech LT45full color LED light meter and got a difference of only 1 lux. I was surprised they were in such perfect agreement. All my data is logged in the app, which is why I don't have the usual lux meter beam shots. While the screen shots may look like this is a cheap app from the app store, it is far from it. The upgrade to export data is roughly $800.00. Things get expensive when you are using Pro grade equipment. So I use screenshots to share my data without paying for the extortionary upgrades. Note that to test LED output you need equipment specialized for LED measuring, a basic halogen lux meter will be insufficient and provide inaccurate results.

    I always enjoy a good NIST traceable calibration certificate:

    [​IMG]

    There is a lot of variability when taking a lighting measurement, for my purpose I focused on peak lux. I used a grid search pattern on the wall to find the peak lux reading and from there captured all the data. Color temperature can vary quite a bit in some of these patterns so I needed a standardized way to capture the data. Capturing it from the peak beam intensity seemed most logical. While it may be easy to write that off for the oddly high readings on the Rigids, I tried repetitively to get a lower number thinking it must be a fluke, but could not. The numbers are what they are.

    I am sometimes asked if I am sponsored, or which lighting company I work for. I am independent and the cost to run these tests came out of my own pocket. I enjoy doing this with my automotive background and am passionate about high quality lighting. I like to help others have a better understanding of the topic to promote lighting upgrades that are not only beneficial to the driver but minimize hazards to other fellow motorists.


    Special thanks to @White lightning boosted for helping out with some of the fog wall shot pattern testing, @camojared for bringing the unique OffRoadTown SAE pods to my attention and @TRD2010SpeedwayBlue for providing the Rigid amber covers for testing.

    Other alternative fog light upgrades:
    The ultimate foglight upgrade H11 (not LED or HID)
    The H10 to 9011 HIR Foglight upgrade (better than LED)

    Other lighting upgrades:
    The ultimate headlight upgrade H4 (not LED or HID)
    Gy6.35 HIR 921 reverse light upgrade (vs high power LEDs)
    The 921 LED Reverse Light Bulb Study

    More information on automotive lighting:
    Automotive Lighting 101
    Why LEDs should not be run in Halogen reflectors

    Home lighting upgrades:
    High quality efficient home lighting using LEDs, HIRs and Halogens
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    BamaMan44, ManoTundra, Newm and 9 others like this.
  2. Dec 16, 2018 at 4:54 PM
    #2
    Sas

    Sas Humor is everywhere

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    Lost track after #1.
    Wow, this is awesome thanks for posting!
     
  3. Jun 4, 2019 at 4:51 PM
    #3
    flinky14

    flinky14 If I'm the wife, who says no to new mods?

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    Any idea how the 2019 LED fogs stack up against these?

    I have the driving combo Baja designs that I was going to put in to my fogs...wrong beam pattern?
     
  4. Jun 4, 2019 at 5:43 PM
    #4
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Sweet write up @Cfincke! Thank you for your independent analysis with an eye for safety.

    I love proper fogs and how the light bends around the front bumper on the 1st Gen 2002.

    Recently installed LED PerfectFits in the OEM fog assys and the light is amazing. Here is an amateur wall test pic. The beam pattern looks proper per our state regs.

    upload_2019-6-4_20-36-34.jpg

    upload_2019-6-4_20-42-46.jpg
     
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  5. Jun 4, 2019 at 6:36 PM
    #5
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    Thanks, but the credit goes to the Tacomaworld member @crashnburn80 for buying all the testing equipment, all the lights, and providing a very well documented comparison.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2019 at 6:42 PM
    #6
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    For those curious, @crashnburn80 received pre production versions of the Rigid SAE amber lights. Here is his review of those lights. From his comments on page 42, the final production SAE amber lights have the same light output.


    Testing the Rigid amber SAE pre-production prototypes

    I was concerned with the level of output reduction caused by the amber lens on these pre-production lights after seeing the 50% loss caused by Rigid's amber snap on covers. I compared the measurements of the new Amber SAE pods (purple) vs the standard white Amber SAE pods running the Amber covers (green):

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The new prototypes come in at over 60% brighter than using the amber covers on white lights, while also having a slightly higher color temperature which is helpfulfor general visibility. A significant improvement over the snap on cover solution. You can see Rigid did their homework to achieve the lower color temperature while minimizing the lux loss in their amber SAE fog.

    As a major added benefit to those in cold environments, the yellow filtering lens appears to absorb a good amount of light energy and get quiet warm compared to the clear lens. You can see in the comparison to the unfiltered spectrum outputbelow, that all that low wavelength blue light gets absorbed by the lens, translating into heat. The amber lens should therefore have much better resistance to icingthan the clear lens.

    [​IMG]

    They take a little while to get warm, but icing shouldn’t be an issue. Ambient temp 63 degrees, lens temp 143 degrees.

    [​IMG]

    The reduction in output from using the snap on amber cover compared to no cover was measured at about 50% loss as shown below. The new prototype design is significantly more efficient with only a 20% loss.

    [​IMG]

    I've ordered Rago mounts for street testing. The performance of these lights is quiet compelling for an amber fog compared to the amber cover option.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2019 at 3:43 AM
    #7
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    Here is a light pattern output comparison of the Rigid selective yellow and the new Baja Designs SAE yellow lights that @crashnburn80 received yesterday. I am disappointed with the vertical light bleed of the Baja Design lights compared to the rigid and other brands.

    Original post is found here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...fog-light-review.554813/page-48#post-21035749


    Baja had one job.

    Rigid Selective yellow
    [​IMG]

    Baja selective yellow
    [​IMG]

    Rigid left vs Baja Right
    [​IMG]

    Baja does not use projectors for cut offs just as many have expressed significant concern over for these lights after seeing marketing output pictures. The lights emit significant upward glare as expected from a forward facing LED pod without projectors. Projectors are industry standard for fog pods. The focus area of the Baja pattern is certainly taller than Rigid, but without the cut offs to cap the output, this blends the pattern extremely vertical causing significant glare. Waving my hand above the Baja light creates shadows on the ceiling, waving my hand above the Rigid SAE fog light produces no shadows, because no light escapes upward from the cut off. Standing in front of the Rigid lights is not offensive at all. Standing in front of the Baja lights is blinding and causes one to see spots and have trouble focusing afterward.

    I will do my usual full proper review and performance analysis of the Baja SAE lights very soon, but I’ve had many members PM me questioning the cut offs based on the released marketing materials and wanted to share this initial info without delay for a full comparison write up.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2019 at 4:10 AM
    #8
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Thanks for posting. This testing takes time and is appreciated. Thanks for relaying the info.
     
  9. Jul 9, 2019 at 4:35 AM
    #9
    realtorblake

    realtorblake Tundra Thunda

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    Thank you for posting this. Really informative.
     
  10. Jul 10, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    #10
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    Below is the detailed review of the Baja Design SAE fog lights from @crashnburn80 from TacomaWorld.

    ______________________

    Baja Designs SAE Fog Pods

    [​IMG]

    These lights are very different than anything we've seen before for in an LED fog light. Thus far all LED J583 fogs fall into two categories, 1) forward facing LED emitters with projectors for glare control or 2) rear/vertical facing LEDs bounced off reflectors for pattern and glare control. Baja Designs has built (to my knowledge) the first SAE LED fog light to break that mold, using a series of multiple optics without projectors to provide pattern and glare control for a forward facing LED emitter. Projectors are actually not that efficient as a projection technology since by nature they cut out some of the output. However nearly every manufacture uses projectors with a forward facing LED emitter fogs, including Toyota OEM LED fogs, Rigid (Toyota's OEM supplier for Pro) and Morimoto among countless others.

    Also while these lights are listed by Baja as 'Amber' they are not an Amber light, they are Selective Yellow. So how does Baja's new innovative design stack up?

    First off, these lights do not have clean cut offs like all the other SAE lights in this thread. These lights emit more glare than any other SAE LED fog light on the market that I am aware of. SAE compliance allows a glare gradient threshold in the pattern, it is as if these were designed to pin to that maximum glare threshold. I'll come back to this later but feel the understanding is necessary before reviewing the output photos.

    It is a little hard to determine in the photos, but the heart of the beam pattern is 2.5 panels tall when projected from my standard 18'. However you can see that the cut offs above and below the 2.5 panels main pattern still is covered in a lot of light, meaning the pattern 'cut offs' are very weak and will provide significant glare.

    [​IMG]

    To compare here is the competing Rigid Selective Yellow light pattern. ~1.25 panels with much stronger cut offs thanks to the projector optics. The main pattern area is roughly 1/2 that of the Baja Designs main pattern area.

    [​IMG]

    Measured data for Selective Yellow Rigid vs Baja

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Both Baja and Rigid spec 22w as the power consumption. Baja's ultra wide angle fog design has dispersed the light over a much larger area while Rigid's design focuses all the light into a more condensed fog pattern region. The horizontal width of the pattern projection is very similar.

    While Baja has 2x+ the vertical area coverage by spreading light out more, Rigid has 2x+ the intensity over Baja by focusing all the light into the fog pattern region. Aka in the desired fog pattern region the Rigid lights are over 2x brighter, because their lights are more focused.

    What I find particularly interesting: Baja has some of the best in class light color of 5000k, while Rigids 'white' light color is way too high of a color temp at 7000k+. Why is this important? Because Baja then should be able to use a lighter lens to achieve selective yellow compared to Rigid. The further you are from the correct color, the darker the lens will need to be to correct it, and the darker the lens the greater the output loss.

    [​IMG]

    Note that Rigid lens looks more amber, vs Bajas that looks more yellow. Yet output color is extremely similar. Baja's yellow lens is more efficient for color correction to selective yellow compared to Rigid. However, there is one benifit to being less efficient. The Rigid lens will run a little hotter. Recall that light energy cannot be destroyed (law of conservation of energy), so if light is filtered it is converted to heat. Meaning the more filtering, the hotter the lens becomes. Hotter lenses are good to avoid freezing in snow conditions. Baja's yellow lenses still produce a good amount of filtered heat.

    In 75 degree ambient temp, the Baja selective yellow lights ran about 137 F on the lens. The selective yellow Bajas are the second best LED fogs in resisting freeze over in snowy conditions. Rigid ran ~20 degrees hotter, because the filtration is less efficient with a darker filter and a higher color temp light source. The Baja and Rigid selective yellow LED fogs are the only two I would consider for those in snowy climates. Note that for the lens to get hot takes time, the lights may need to run for 20 minutes before getting up to peak temperature.

    [​IMG]

    The Bajas pulled nearly exactly 22w as spec'd.

    [​IMG]

    Baja's lights did come with impressively good instructions that other SAE lights lack, for how to properly aim the lights for SAE compliance. More brands should provide good instructions like these.

    [​IMG]

    Back to that gradient glare issue.

    A wider angle Rigid SAE fog output shot
    [​IMG]

    vs a wider angle Baja SAE output shot
    [​IMG]

    The Baja light does not have the strong cut offs as the other SAE lights, and light up nearly the entire garage. Personally I actually prefer soft cut offs, as the hard projector cut offs do not blend as well into the headlight pattern. KC's G4 reflectors have great soft cut offs that blend very well. Baja's lights really have minimal cut offs as they literally light the ceiling almost directly above their SAE fog lights. SAE standards do specify a legal level threshold of gradient glare, I'd speculate these lights were designed to nearly max out that legal SAE glare level.

    Selective yellow glare is difficult to photograph. Here is a head on photo. Baja left vs Rigid Right. The orb of Baja glare is somewhat difficult to see in the photo.

    [​IMG]

    But what about the SAE white Bajas?

    [​IMG]

    Baja has one of the best color temps out there for their white LED lights. Pattern is identical to the selective yellow Bajas. 2.5 panels in height. Comparing the selective yellow Bajas to the white Bajas:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    While Baja uses 5000k LEDs, my readings were slightly less at 4800k. It could be the multi-optic caused a small loss in color temp. Looking at the comparison between the white SAE Bajas vs the selective yellow Bajas, the selective yellows have less than a 15% filtration loss with the colored lens, compared to Rigids 20%+ loss. Which makes sense, as the Baja light source and lens are closer together in color temp than Rigid's color temps. The small filtration loss is worth the color temp optimization IMO. And while both lights produce glare, yellow glare is much easier on the eyes than white glare.

    Comparing white Bajas to white Rigids.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Pretty similar match up to the selective yellow Bajas vs selective yellow Rigids. However in white, the Bajas have a far better color temperature at 4800k, than Rigid which is a bit blue at over 7000k color temp. Baja's white color temperature is the best white LED fog color yet, with KC close behind with their 5000k white G4 fogs.

    Mounts
    One of the advantages to the Bajas slim design lights is they fit better in the round 4" fog mount than square pods, which creates a cleaner look that many prefer. Here are the Tacoma mounts to put the Baja lights in the OEM fog location.
    2012+ Tacoma Baja fog mounts (also fit 4runner & Tundra)
    2005-2011 Tacoma Baja fog mounts (also fit Tundra)


    The Baja SAE pods produce best in class pattern area coverage, but also worst in class glare. While they produce 2x the area coverage of the competing Rigid fogs, they are also less than 1/2 the output intensity (since their light is spread over 2x+ the area). Meaning Rigid is twice as bright in the fog pattern region with 2x the measured lux output.

    While I appreciate what Baja was trying to achieve with their unique approach, I think people expected better cut offs from such a major name brand lighting corporation. Rather than trying to produce near the legal maximum glare level, most other companies have tried to go beyond to create much brighter lights while producing far less glare than legal limits regulate to manufacture more street friendly high performance lights. Rigid's SAE lights pack far more punch in a much more street friendly beam pattern with strong cut offs compared to the Baja SAE lights, though the Baja lights do cover a larger area. I may use the selective yellow Bajas in an upcoming project as additional aux fogs that can be turned on/off independently from my primary fogs depending on traffic for their wider area coverage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  11. Oct 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM
    #11
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    I think Tacoma World keeps him pretty busy. He has the new Rigid 360 SAE lights on order, so he will have a full write up on those once received.
     
  12. Nov 5, 2019 at 7:25 AM
    #12
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    Here is the review of the Rigid 360 SAE fog lights copied from the Tacoma World thread.
    The original review can be found here:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...fog-light-review.554813/page-76#post-21930636

    As always, the credit for the detailed review goes to @crashnburn80 from Tacoma World

    Rigid 360 Series SAE fogs
    White & Selective Yellow

    [​IMG]

    One of the common complaints about fog options for the Tacoma, is that many don't like putting a square light in a round hole, or don't like the look of traditional pod lights. Rigid's new 360 series lights take a different approach by using a round light body for the pod architecture, making them far more aesthetically attractive and the same 4" size as the 2012+ OEM fog light. The new 360 Series boosts 3100 raw lumens, which is the highest of any SAE fog reviewed here thus far. So how do they compare?

    The 360 Series pattern has greater area coverage compared to Rigid's SAE D-series.

    D-series on top vs 360 Series on bottom
    [​IMG]

    While the D-series fills ~1.5 vertical panels, the 360 Series taller beam fills 2 complete panels. The 360 series also has a noticeably wider beam pattern. Rigid specs the D-series horizontal beam angle at 52 degrees vs the 360s horizontal beam angle at 71 degrees. The combined pattern coverage improvements make the 360s the best in class SAE lights for area coverage, surpassing that of the KC G4. However, spreading the light over a larger area does reduce intensity.

    The 360 Series uses two stacked beam patterns of differing intensity. The upper pattern is higher intensity up near the cut off and the bottom pattern is lower intensity. The Toyota Pro fogs use this same concept of higher intensity at the cut off and lower intensity at the bottom of the pattern, as does Toyota's OEM Valeo LED fogs. Like headlights, ideally the leading edge of the pattern should have the highest intensity for best performance as that is the part of the pattern needing to project furthest.

    Selective yellow vs white
    [​IMG]

    One of Rigid's areas for improvement in the past has been their 'white' light color, which has been far too high in color temperature. Fortunately they have improved the white color in the 360s. Color temp readings can vary a bit though the pattern, at peak intensity I got about 6000k. In the upper white pattern I saw as low as 5600k. The top beam had a good improvement in reducing color temperature over the SAE D-series, but the lower pattern still had the high color temp of the SAE D-series. While much improved over previous generation lights, they are not down to the 5000k of the KC G4.

    [​IMG]

    Better dedicated shot of the selective yellows to show the differing intensity.

    [​IMG]

    Because the output is two separate patterns of different intensities, and not one uniform pattern, I took separate measurements of the upper and lower pattern.

    White
    Upper vs lower and vs SAE D-series

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    360 Upper vs the KC G4

    [​IMG]

    Selective yellow
    Upper vs lower and vs SAE selective yellow D-series

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The upper beam is 2.5-2.7x brighter than the lower beam when measured at 18'. When comparing the 360s intensity to the SAE D-series, the D-series continues to hold the highest intensity output out of all the fogs covered in this thread. While the 360s series are significant higher in raw output over the D-series (3100 vs 1760 raw lumens), the 360s are also illuminating a larger area meaning the beam intensity when measured at 18' is actually less.

    Power draw
    2.25A (2.25A x 13.8v = 31w)
    [​IMG]

    A great trait of the selective yellow lights achieved by using an amber filter is the heating of the lens, which is important in cold weather climates. As high color temperature (short wavelength) light is filtered out of the spectrum, the light energy captured by the lens is translated to heat thanks to the law of conservation of energy. The 360 series lights use a warmer color LED than the D-series meaning less high color temperature light to filter out which means less potential heat generation and they also run a secondary outer lens which could also impact how much heat makes it to the outer surface.

    With an ambient temp of 64 degrees, after 20+ min of runtime the 360 selective yellow light lens heated to 127 degrees. The D-series in the same test at 63 degrees ambient heated the lens to 143 degrees. While the 360 series is more efficient by using a warmer color LED to reduce filtration losses, it is also higher power putting more output through the lens.
    [​IMG]

    By comparison here is the lens temp of the white 360
    [​IMG]

    What was surprising though was just how hot the bodies get. This was the rear cooling heat sink.
    [​IMG]

    Mounts on pod bodies can be very frustrating, trying to hold the bolt tucked in place on the underside of the pod body while keeping it lined up on the mount and trying to thread the mounting bolt in at the same time. The 360s have a unique system to make that process easier, as the bolt fits into a contoured pocket and is then secured in place by a bolt on retaining strap. Cleaver design. While Baja's threaded bodies are simpler and easier to use, this design is a big improvement and easily serviceable should you strip the mount.

    [​IMG]

    Connectors - there are none
    The 360s come with raw wire leads. The separate vehicle specific mount kits come with the required materials to convert the raw wire leads to the correct plug to fit the OEM connector of the specific vehicle. However, if are running standalone or on an aftermarket bumper, then there is no connector included with the light purchase. I would have expected standard deutsch connectors with vehicle specific adapters for the price point, making it all plug and play out of the box like other manufactures.

    More pictures coming
    I will be installing a 360 on the truck and doing a side-by-side comparison with the existing SAE D-series to get a real world comparison on the output difference. Those photos will be added to this review.

    Mounts
    The 360s will mount in the OEM fog location on 3rd Gen Tacomas with a mounting kit from Rigid due out this month. It should fit 2012-2015 2nd Gens with minor modification. I'll be installing the mount later today on my 2015 and documenting what mount mods will be required for installing on 2nd Gens.
     
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  13. Nov 8, 2019 at 4:58 AM
    #13
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    5.29s, Auburn LSD, 37x12.50R18, Icon coilovers and shocks, SPC UCA's, Tech 12 Volts sound system, Enve Grill
    real world comparison of the new 360 vs the D series fog lights.
    The original write-up by @crashnburn80 can be found here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...fog-light-review.554813/page-81#post-21968637


    360 Series SAE forward facing OEM mount vs D-Series SAE Rago side facing .

    This isn’t the most direct comparison as late model 2nd Gen’s Rigid Rago mounts aim the fogs to the side of the truck, vs the 360 mounts are pointing straight ahead.

    360 left vs D-series right
    [​IMG]

    You can see the taller pattern of the 360s here, as the D-series pattern on the right starts further away from the truck.

    Left 360 only
    [​IMG]

    The tall pattern and wide projection provides outstanding best in class coverage area. The staggered upper/lower output intensity is cleaver to reduce the foreground light and put more light near the cut off for better distance intensity. While it might look odd on a wall shot, in the real world application it appears seamless. The minor break to prevent overlap in the center of the pattern is also not noticeable in the real world application.

    Right D-series only
    [​IMG]

    Thanks to the side pointing Rago mounts, these illuminate further to the side than the 360s in the forward facing OEM mount. But if you used a forward facing mount for the D-series like early 2nd Gen, that would not be the case as the 360s have a wider angle pattern. The output intensity is higher in the D-series but has a smaller area illuminated and the light starts further away from the truck. However the dark area between the truck and starting edge of the light pattern is hardly visible from the driver seat. I’m running a mild 2.25” lift and tire upgrade.

    Headlights only
    [​IMG]

    Headlight shot to establish a pattern baseline. Note I am running ultra high performance 85/80w Osram Hypers, so the fogs will not appear as bright by comparison.

    Headlights w/ fogs
    [​IMG]

    The 360s blend into the headlight pattern very nicely and their large coverage area fills in closer to the truck. Thanks to the side pointing Rago mounts the D-series provide good punch to the outside of the headlight pattern area for good wide shoulder illumination.

    Note these photos are not exposure controlled. For intensity rely on the earlier posted 360 review for comparative intensity measurements. I should have also used my tripod to better standardized the shots, but did not bring it with me to the photo location.
     
  14. Feb 3, 2020 at 6:37 PM
    #14
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    @@crashnburn80 just posted his full review of the Diode Dynamics review and testing over on Tacoma World.
    Found here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...og-light-review.554813/page-137#post-22622437


    Diode Dynamics SS3 Fogs

    DiodeDynamics has 4 different SAE fogs offered on the SS3 platform, and with a simple lens swap that number grows to an impressive 6 SAE fog options. The SS3s also have 3 other optic patterns available including SAE driving (aux high beam), spot and flood. These are available as pods, or in a Toyota specific fog mount for 2012+ Tacomas and others.

    [​IMG]

    The lights are available in a 14.5w Sport model, and a 36w Pro model, with color options of 6000k white or 3000k selective yellow on both.

    Total Internal Reflector optics (TIR)
    A unique feature of the SS3s is their TIR optics. The optic design increases efficiency by ensuring all light leaving the lamp has been reflected off of a control surface, providing less wasted light and increased focus leading to higher intensity output. Larger optics offer more control giving higher performance output, the SS3s have the largest optics of all the pod style fogs I have tested. It appears the optic was maximized for the pod body extending all the way out to the very edges of the pod such that the face securing hardware is accessed from the rear due to lack of space, which also provides a nicer look. The optics are further optimized for efficiency by incorporating the lens into the optic itself, so that the light does not have another medium to pass through as additional lenses reduce output efficiency. You can read an engineering white paper power point on aux lighting and their TIR optics here and see a youtube explanation here.

    Selective yellow optimization
    Unlike other LED fog pod manufactures that apply an amber/yellow lens over their existing white LED fog to to hit the chromaticity requirement for selective yellow, Diode Dynamics has optimized the selective yellow lights by using a warmer 4000k LED. Colored lenses introduce filtration losses to hit their target color. The amount of the filtration loss is relative to the how much correction (or delta from the source color temp) is being applied to the light source. Getting a high color temp light down to 3000k will require more filtration (light removal) than a lower color temp light, creating higher losses in output. By moving the LED light source down to 4000k for the selective yellow lights, the lenses only need to shift the color temp from 4000k to 3000k, a 1000k delta instead of 6000k to 3000k which is a 3000k delta. This reduces the filtration losses by allowing more light to pass though, making the lamp more efficient which results in higher output for the selective yellow lights.

    4000k!
    The SS3 platform has modular user swappable optics, this means you can use the 4000k backed selective yellow lights and change the optic to the white lens, giving you 4000k output. The resulting 4000k color is phenomenal and bests Bajas 5000k white light color temp.

    The SS3s have a unique pod body that is light weight and compact with extruded cooling pins vs the traditional pod fin design. The SS3 uses the industry standard Deutsch connectors.
    [​IMG]

    The lenses are easily interchangeable by removing 4 T10 Torx screws, allowing one to change the optic, light color (for yellow) or replace a damage lens. There are also pins on the back of the lens so that it can only be installed one way, eliminating installation error. Yellow Pro shown with selective yellow fog and driving lenses.
    [​IMG]


    Sport vs Pro emitters. The Sport uses smaller emitters which give it an advantage in focus. Like high efficiency halogen bulbs shrink the filament to increase focus, the same holds true for LEDs in the TIR optics. According to Diode Dynamics, the Sport meets the modern SAE J583 F3 spec, whereas the Pros meet the SAE J583 F spec.
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Sport

    Diode Dynamic Specs
    Fog Sport White 10,600 cd, 106 lux @ 10M, 1,520 lm actual, 2,262 lm raw, 6000K
    Fog Sport Yellow 9,050 cd, 91 lux @ 10M, 1,300 lm actual, 1,930 lm raw, 3000K
    14.5w for both

    6000k vs 4000k vs 3000k
    [​IMG]

    The Sport pattern (top) is just over 1 door panel in height while the Pro (bottom) is about 1.75-2 door panels.
    [​IMG]

    Both the Sport and Pro have best in class pattern width at 80 degrees.
    Sport in selective yellow.
    [​IMG]

    4000k
    Swapping the Sport selective yellow fog optic with a white fog optic results in great 4000k light color. The light spill above the horizon is better (less) on the Sports than the Pro.
    [​IMG]

    Output
    SS3 Sport 6000k white vs 3000k selective yellow
    [​IMG]

    SS3 4000k yellow w/ white lens swap vs 3000k selective yellow
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Sport 18' output tests:
    Sport 6000k white - 377 lux at 5477k
    Sport 4000k yellow w/ white lens: 376 lux at 3799k
    Sport 3000k yellow - 366 lux at 2952k

    Output testing was done after a 10+ minute warm up time when current draw on the lamp had stabilized.

    The Sport intensity values are impressive. For comparison vs the previously highest intensity output Rigid S-series SAE fogs:
    D-series SAE white - 395 lux
    D-series SAE yellow - 318 lux
    The Sports are SAE J583 F3 spec and have a shorter and much wider pattern than the D-series SAE fogs, which are an SAE J583 F spec. So looking at output intensity alone does not give the full picture. You can see that the D-series lights pay a much higher output tax on the yellow units than the SS3s.

    Diode Dynamics claims a 15% loss for the selective yellow Sports, but I was seeing much better that on the Sports. Knowing the number was supposed to be around 15% and seeing my results, I re-tested this many times, including reusing the same lamp and swapping the lens back and forth to white/yellow vs using the other paired lamp in the set. In my testing swapping the yellow lens for white to get the 4000k resulted in 3799k. With the lower color temp the yellow lens would be a little more efficient, but not enough to pickup the gains I was seeing.

    Sport 4000k vs 3000k selective yellow filtering. You can see how the yellow filter removes the short wavelength light output.
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Sport yellow chromaticity plot
    [​IMG]

    I measured the Sports drawing 1.06A, or 14.6w. Almost exactly matching the spec'd 14.5w.
    [​IMG]

    The SS3 Sport does not get very hot as at 14.5w it does not draw very much power. The yellow lens does heat up some, more so than white. I recorded the yellow lens temp of 111 degrees with an ambient temp ~65 degrees. (Vs the Pro white at 137 degrees, and Pro yellow at a blistering 170 degrees).
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Pro
    Diode Dynamics Specs
    Fog Pro White: 11,900 cd, 119 lux @ 10M, 3,000 actual, lm 5,796 lm raw, 6000K
    Fog Pro Yellow: 10,900 cd, 109 lux @ 10M, 2,700 lm actual, 5,220 lm raw, 3000K
    36w

    The specs are exceptionally impressive looking, far higher in output ratings than any other fogs I have tested or am aware of.

    SS3 Pro 4000k white (yellow pod w/ white lens swap) vs 6000k white
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Pro 4000k white (yellow pod w/ white lens swap) vs 3000k selective yellow
    [​IMG]

    4000k (yellow light with white lens swap)
    [​IMG]

    Compared to the Rigid 360s (top), the Diode Dynamics Pro fog (bottom), the Pro pattern is wider and higher intensity as measured at 18'. Note the 360s use a dual intensity pattern and there is a bit of pattern overlap between the top of the DD fogs and the bottom of the 360s in the picture below.
    [​IMG]

    Output
    Pro 3000k yellow vs 6000k white
    [​IMG]

    Pro 3000k yellow vs 4000k (yellow w/ white lens swap)
    [​IMG]

    The output numbers are insane.

    SS3 Pro 18' output tests:
    Pro 6000k white: 497 lux at 6356k
    Pro 4000k yellow w/ white lens: 502 lux at 4085k
    Pro 3000k yellow: 458 lux at 2988k

    Output testing was done after a 10+ minute warm up time when current draw on the lamp had stabilized.

    Compared to the previous highest intensity selective yellow light, Rigid's D-series SAE, the SS3 Pros are 44% higher in output intensity based on my measurements (318 vs 458 lux at 18') while having a substantially wider beam area. The SS3 Pro selective yellow is over 3x the output intensity of Baja's SAE selective yellow light. By my measurements the selective yellow takes an impressively low 9% loss over the white, which is about exactly on spec from Diode Dynamics numbers.

    The white output intensity is even more impressive, coming in at the highest recorded output intensity I have to date on an SAE fog, with the previous being Rigid's D-series SAE at 395 lux.

    Pro 4000k vs 3000k selective yellow filtering. You can see how the yellow filter removes the short wavelength light output.
    [​IMG]

    SS3 Pro yellow chromaticity plot
    [​IMG]

    The Pros drew 2.6A or 35.9w vs the 36w spec.
    [​IMG]

    The SS3 Pro whites came in with a lens temp of 143 degrees. (Ambient ~65 degrees)
    [​IMG]

    The SS3 Pro in yellow came in with a scorching 170 degree lens temp. (Ambient ~65 degrees)
    [​IMG]

    The bodies of the Pro were much hotter, I saw temps just over 200 degrees on the body. I think it is safe to say these will have no problem with icing and snow build up in snowy conditions, which has long time been troublesome for LED fogs. Keep in mind, this was a bench test, with the vehicle in motion there will be more cooling airflow on the lights.

    The Pros do not have as sharp of a cut off gradient as the sports and do have more spill light above the cut off.

    SS3 Pro vs Rigid D-series
    [​IMG]

    Rigid has much less spill light above the cut off. I have placed a divider next to the lights to avoid cross contamination of the pattern area and aimed the lights toward the corners of the garage, you can see there is some light contamination from the SS3 on portion of the right door. The Pro is spec'd to be within 20% of the legal uplight limit.

    SS3 Pro vs Baja SAE w/ new 'fixed' optic
    [​IMG]

    I should have retaken this shot, as there is some center contamination, but Baja's revised light has more light spill above the horizon on the door compared to the Pro. Baja's light is designed to be within 10% of the max compliance limit vs the SS3 Pro at 20% of the limit. (Note these are not exposure locked to compare to the previous image).

    While not noticeable at 18', moving the SS3 light closer to the wall it is interesting you can see the TIR optics shape in the pattern.
    [​IMG]

    This is a lot of lights and information to process. Because I'm sure people will want to see the Pro and Sport data side-by-side:

    SS3 Sport 18' output tests:
    Sport 6000k white - 377 lux at 5477k
    Sport 4000k yellow w/ white lens: 376 lux at 3799k
    Sport 3000k yellow - 366 lux at 2952k

    SS3 Pro 18' output tests:
    Pro 6000k white: 497 lux at 6356k
    Pro 4000k yellow w/ white lens: 502 lux at 4085k
    Pro 3000k yellow: 458 lux at 2988k

    The new SS3 lights have impressive output intensity across the board whether it is Sport or Pro. The Sports have better focus but the Pros have the highest output I've ever seen in a fog paired with the largest beam pattern. The innovation, optimization and attention to detail that went into these lights really shows in their performance. It is also worth noting, the lights are "Engineered and manufactured in the USA".

    I'll be testing the vehicle mount kit and doing some comparison night shots soon.
     
    sigh824 and Luckydog like this.
  15. Feb 3, 2020 at 7:18 PM
    #15
    14burrito

    14burrito IG @14burrito

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  16. Feb 3, 2020 at 7:28 PM
    #16
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    14burrito likes this.
  17. Feb 3, 2020 at 7:39 PM
    #17
    14burrito

    14burrito IG @14burrito

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    @ADSracingshocks - F 3 point ohh / R 2.5 - w/clickers @camburgracing - uniball UCA @rigidindustries - 40" amber/white split, Dually XL, D2 @coopertires - 35/12.5/17 STT MAXX @bayareametalfab - low pro bed rack @toyotausa - 17" rock warrior @sdhqoffroad - rock sliders, a-pillar @hondogarage / @apple / @gaiagps / @dualgps- navigation @wheelersoffroadinc - superbumps
    Well, that's quite interesting lol
    Hadn't noticed that prior to you mentioning it.
     
  18. Feb 3, 2020 at 7:48 PM
    #18
    Cfincke

    Cfincke [OP] Mall Crawler but capable

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    No worries, I have done it before
     

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