LED Fog Light Upgrade

Let others know about your performance modifications, and help members find the parts they want.
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Kizushi
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:27 pm

Hello, wanting upgrade my lighting performance on my '10 GTS. Thinking about replacing with morimoto xb LED fog lights - 70mm or 90mm.

https://www.morimotohid.com/morimoto-70 ... quantity=1

Measuring the exposed front fog light lens is 76.2 mm. Apart from dissembling and measuring the stock lights, does anyone have replacing the stock fog lights? Size and dimension of the lights or mounting location would be appreciated.
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KuroNekko
Posts: 4999
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: California, USA

Hi. Search the forum for my write-ups on fog lights. I've replaced my fog bulbs with HIDs in the OE housing. I've also had to replace an entire fog light due to damage so between these posts, you can likely find the details and photos you want to see. Also, the Kizashi uses the same fog light as a 2011 Yaris and Corolla (made by Valeo) so if you get the part number, you can check out the specs you need for the OE fog light assembly.

As for replacing the entire fog light with an aftermarket unit like the Morimoto LED, I see pros and cons. The pro is that the entire light (housing and bulb) are one product thus optimized for the LED performance. LED don't always work well as drop-ins with just the bulb so getting a housing designed for the emitter is optimal. The con is the expense and the fact that it might just not fit into the specific car's fog light bezel. This Morimoto LED has a universal design that might not fit the Kizashi's fog light bezel due to mounting specifics.

As I already stated, I have HID bulbs in my OE fog lights. My car came that way (I bought it lightly used) and have since upgraded just the bulbs to Morimoto HID bulbs for a better output. The HID bulbs are very good in the OE housing and cast a bright wide light that greatly aids in low visibility conditions. Given how well they work, I'd have to really see the LED output to believe it can be superior to HIDs in my set-up. I also like that with HID kits, you can replace or upgrade individual components rather than having to replace the whole unit like the Morimoto LED product you're interested in. For example, say a rock shattered the fog light (like what happened to me), you will likely need to replace the entire LED unit. As for an HID kit in the OE housing, I just replaced the fog light housing but reused the same bulb and ballast because they could be easily swapped out.
My whole point in all this is that you're not limited to an expensive LED replacement light just to get better fog light performance.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
Kizushi
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:27 pm

Thanks for the Toyota compatibility info. Looks as though morimoto makes a light specifically for those cars. My plan was to install LED fogs and see how much it improved the performance. Then I would upgrade to HID headlights if it was warranted. This car is going on 12 years and has around 100k miles on it. I hope to buy a new car IF/ONCE prices reach normal levels. I think were at least 2 years away from that. So, hid's in the headlights and fogs would be optimal, but for decent morimoto kits, I'm looking at ~$400. I have sourced a used morimoto fog light kit for ~$80, so I think I will try that first. The only thing is it is the amber kit. Anyone have experience with the lighting performance between white and amber?
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KuroNekko
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Location: California, USA

Morimoto HID kits and LED kits run about $180 each on www.theretrofitsource.com. However, these are just the bulb kits and not the light enclosure. IMO, if you're looking to offload your Kizashi in a few years for a new car, go the HID route for both sets of lights because they will offer more predictable fit and performance. The main pros of LEDs are bulb longevity and instantaneous full brightness but these are irrelevant for fog lights in a car you won't keep long. I only have LEDs in my DRLs/High beams and prefer HIDs for low and fog.

As for the white vs. amber, I have amber fog lights. They are 3000K Morimoto XB HID bulbs. While many have amber fog lights for the looks (especially on Japanese cars for that JDM look), they are technically supposed to be better for fog and rainy condition visibility by casting a light in a color that causes less glare. Basically, there is less glare off fog and heavy rain with an amber light than a white one, which in theory, is supposed to help you see road fog lines and other details better. That being said, it's mostly personal preference. I also think amber lights are far more noticeable and aid as lights to help you get noticed. I always seem to notice other vehicles with amber fog lights or auxiliary lights such as on overlanding vehicles or adventure motorcycles.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
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Woodie
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Location: Laurel, MD

KuroNekko wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 9:07 pmAs for the white vs. amber, I have amber fog lights. They are 3000K Morimoto XB HID bulbs. While many have amber fog lights for the looks (especially on Japanese cars for that JDM look), they are technically supposed to be better for fog and rainy condition visibility by casting a light in a color that causes less glare. Basically, there is less glare off fog and heavy rain with an amber light than a white one, which in theory, is supposed to help you see road fog lines and other details better.
The idea behind fog lights is low, wide, and amber all help illuminate with less glare bouncing back at you. All of this is completely lost when the stupid manufacturer wires them up so that they only come on with the headlights. :facepalm:

I too have amber fogs, but mostly because it looks cool.
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KuroNekko
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Woodie wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 12:34 pm
KuroNekko wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 9:07 pmAs for the white vs. amber, I have amber fog lights. They are 3000K Morimoto XB HID bulbs. While many have amber fog lights for the looks (especially on Japanese cars for that JDM look), they are technically supposed to be better for fog and rainy condition visibility by casting a light in a color that causes less glare. Basically, there is less glare off fog and heavy rain with an amber light than a white one, which in theory, is supposed to help you see road fog lines and other details better.
The idea behind fog lights is low, wide, and amber all help illuminate with less glare bouncing back at you. All of this is completely lost when the stupid manufacturer wires them up so that they only come on with the headlights. :facepalm:

I too have amber fogs, but mostly because it looks cool.
True as many automakers don't seem to actually care about optimal performance for visual safety for the USDM. I personally think only the Europeans really have thought it out thus have things like rear fog lights that can also double as panic brake lights. I once recall seeing a BMW braking hard on the freeway in a sudden slow down. It was apparent to me that the sudden and strong braking triggered the rear fog lights to come on too as secondary brake lights to help gain the attention of cars behind to slow down as well. Genius. The Europeans have also had adaptive lights for years and lead the industry in the technology, now working with laser headlights that detect and illuminate dark areas while reducing glare for oncoming traffic. Thankfully, the US just passed new laws that will allow adaptive headlights to be finally allowed on USDM vehicles. While the technology might not be necessary and expensive, at least they aren't prohibited by an antiquated law that has kept USDM vehicles among the worst for headlight performance. NHTSA and others are also now testing and rating cars based on headlight performance and have kept some vehicles from top safety ratings solely due to poor headlight performance, pushing automakers to offer better standard equipment.
While I personally wish I had full headlight autonomy to use fog lights separately thus have all lights (fog, low, and high) on simultaneously in some conditions, we all know many drivers are inept with proper usage. We all see those people driving in the city with brights on. We all see the ones who drive without headlights at night or in rain. I know some don't like DRLs but I personally think they were godsent given how many people drive so absent-mindedly regarding the fundamentals of driving safety. At least now, we see them coming better.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
KlutzNinja
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:58 am

There’s something about the gauge clusters in Hyundais and Kias that suggest to their drivers the headlights are on, because most of the cars I see driving in the dark without headlights are of these brands. On top of that, their electronics must be questionable, because their exterior lighting dies at a much faster rate than other brands. I don’t think it’s always the bulb itself, although it probably is in most cases. Recently I encountered a last-gen Sorento driving at night with the lights off, and on top of that, their left brake light didn’t work. We both ended up at the same gas station, and I told the kid who was getting the gas about it. His mom tested the lights before they left and found nothing wrong, but they tested it with the exterior lighting on, not off like when I saw them on the road. This leads me to believe something with the wiring is bad, that allows the faulty brake light to work when headlights are on, but not when they’re off. I’ve been seeing some LED DRL issues with late-model H/Ks, too. I’m guessing that while LEDs themselves last longer than traditional bulbs, faulty electronics and wiring in the vehicle can still prevent them from working.

I noticed years ago that the updated last-gen Honda Accords had a not-uncommon issue of part of their LED DRL being off on one side, even on fairly new cars. Hondas with halogen headlights tend to burn out quickly, too, I’ve seen.

Anyway, LED headlights seem overkill in most urban scenarios; I find myself getting blinded by newer cars all the time. HID seems sufficient for all but extreme situations or environments. At least in car to car moments and glare, they’re easier to deal with than LEDs. I do love LEDs overall, though, especially their instant on-off look (e.g. turn signals). Just wish the headlights weren’t so bright on the receiving end. IIHS (a private, non-govt organization that nonetheless holds a lot of influence in the automotive safety industry) tests headlights for not only low light illumination, but also glare. They have some videos on their YouTube channel about headlight testing that I recommend. I think some Subarus with halogens got Acceptable scores a while back, which is relatively good; most halogens get Marginal or Poor. And a lot of LED headlights get Marginal or Poor if the automaker just slaps them on and calls it a day. Projector beams tend to do better than reflectors (and look better, IMO), and adding adaptability improves the score, which is why a lot of upper trims with nicer adaptive projector lights get the better scores.

I forget why I’m rambling about headlights and the like, but I do enjoy the topic lol.
Current: Blue 2018 Mazda 3 GT 5-Door
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Black 2013 Kizashi GTS Sport (CVT; FWD)(RIP)
Kizushi
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:27 pm

KlutzNinja wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 10:57 pm At least in car to car moments and glare, they’re easier to deal with than LEDs. I do love LEDs overall, though, especially their instant on-off look (e.g. turn signals). Just wish the headlights weren’t so bright on the receiving end. IIHS (a private, non-govt organization that nonetheless holds a lot of influence in the automotive safety industry) tests headlights for not only low light illumination, but also glare.
Everybody wants to sit high up, so they buy trucks, jeeps, and suv's. IMO, the problem isn't so much the LED itself, but how high the light is mounted on the car. Even a properly mounted/aimed LED on a F-150 is going to blind cars all day long. You can't escape the beam field when a headlight is mounted higher than our rear view mirror. Why not have a maximum headlight mounting height? Hopefully adaptive light legislation will help curb the problem. It's insane how much light I have in my mirrors driving at night. I've had to adjust them in less optimal positions because of this. Speaking of, I wish the Kizashi had auto dimming mirrors. *edit* Oh they did start offering them
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KuroNekko
Posts: 4999
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: California, USA

KlutzNinja wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 10:57 pm There’s something about the gauge clusters in Hyundais and Kias that suggest to their drivers the headlights are on, because most of the cars I see driving in the dark without headlights are of these brands. On top of that, their electronics must be questionable, because their exterior lighting dies at a much faster rate than other brands. I don’t think it’s always the bulb itself, although it probably is in most cases. Recently I encountered a last-gen Sorento driving at night with the lights off, and on top of that, their left brake light didn’t work. We both ended up at the same gas station, and I told the kid who was getting the gas about it. His mom tested the lights before they left and found nothing wrong, but they tested it with the exterior lighting on, not off like when I saw them on the road. This leads me to believe something with the wiring is bad, that allows the faulty brake light to work when headlights are on, but not when they’re off. I’ve been seeing some LED DRL issues with late-model H/Ks, too. I’m guessing that while LEDs themselves last longer than traditional bulbs, faulty electronics and wiring in the vehicle can still prevent them from working.

I noticed years ago that the updated last-gen Honda Accords had a not-uncommon issue of part of their LED DRL being off on one side, even on fairly new cars. Hondas with halogen headlights tend to burn out quickly, too, I’ve seen.

Anyway, LED headlights seem overkill in most urban scenarios; I find myself getting blinded by newer cars all the time. HID seems sufficient for all but extreme situations or environments. At least in car to car moments and glare, they’re easier to deal with than LEDs. I do love LEDs overall, though, especially their instant on-off look (e.g. turn signals). Just wish the headlights weren’t so bright on the receiving end. IIHS (a private, non-govt organization that nonetheless holds a lot of influence in the automotive safety industry) tests headlights for not only low light illumination, but also glare. They have some videos on their YouTube channel about headlight testing that I recommend. I think some Subarus with halogens got Acceptable scores a while back, which is relatively good; most halogens get Marginal or Poor. And a lot of LED headlights get Marginal or Poor if the automaker just slaps them on and calls it a day. Projector beams tend to do better than reflectors (and look better, IMO), and adding adaptability improves the score, which is why a lot of upper trims with nicer adaptive projector lights get the better scores.

I forget why I’m rambling about headlights and the like, but I do enjoy the topic lol.
I've also noticed the issue with Hyundais and Kias with a higher rate of rear bulb failure than other makes, even among their newer cars. They also have a lot of recalls going on right now. While they have grown in popularity and have rather high reliability ratings (initially, at least), they just don't seem to hold up well over time compared to Japanese vehicles and some domestics. My brother's 2012 Kia Sorrento vs. my 2011 Suzuki Kizashi epitomized this difference. They were both fine early on but as the mileage got closer to the six-figure mark and the age closer to 10 years, the Kia had more issues than the Kizashi and they weren't exactly minor. The Kia dealer was also very hesitant to work on the car under warranty. My brother has since given the car to his son and drives a RAV4 Hybrid SE.

As for LEDs and glare, I agree that it can be an issue with certain vehicles depending on their type of headlight. I think the OE LED headlights that cause the most glare are the multi-reflector LED headlights that have a row of emitters without a projector housing. Notably, Hondas like the Accord have these and of any other LED headlight vehicle, these are the ones that I find causing more glare for me. I agree that LEDs in projectors are best as they have better cut-offs and focus the light where it's actually needed, just like halogen and HID projector lenses. I recall reading that a safety agency only gave the top safety rating to specific Toyota RAV4s models equipped with LED projector lenses for this reason. Below are photos of the current RAV4's different headlights. The top are the multi-reflector LED headlights (similar to the Honda Accord's) that cause more glare and don't make the top safety cut. The bottom are the LED projector headlights found on the higher trim models that helped the RAV4 equipped with these get the top safety rating.

As for HIDs, I don't think they are OE in any new car due to obsolescence. LEDs are superior in just about every way for an OE headlight thus I only see how they are advantageous as drop-in aftermarket units for vehicles originally fitted with halogen bulbs like our Kizashis. I really like HIDs in my Kizashi but will certainly seek OE LED headlights in a next vehicle. Lasers are also making an entry into the lighting world and will make better high beams and spot lights.

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2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
Jerzsk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2022 9:58 am

Here are Some pictures of My Zashi ewith multiple different color H IDs and Bulbs that go from 30 K purple 3K Amber between maybe this will give you a visual IDEA
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